Inclusion in action

Written by Ed Cousins, Director Interacting+

As part of our Partnership meeting, we had an inspiring presentation from our colleagues from the Cristo de Yedra school in Spain. They showed us examples of the challenges they face and the measures they have taken.

Cristo de Yedra has learners from Kindergarten age up to secondary and we joined classes from all ages and stages. What was most impressive was the caring and supportive culture in the school, we could see how much empathy was valued and were warmly welcomed to all classes. We observed some outstanding uses of technology to facilitate expression and learning, learners supported their teachers to help each other grasp the lesson.

On our journey through the school we met two children aged five and twelve who used Grid 3 software as a means of communication. The five-year-old had a physical disability, caused by a brain injury and a diagnosis of psychomotor Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The older boy used the same communication system (Grid 3), but his degree of disability was higher, so instead of responding digitally, his form of communication was through the IrisBond, an optical mouse that operates through monitoring and processing eye movements. We learned that for him to be able to communicate in this way has involved years of speech therapy and physiotherapy both in and out of school to gain the appropriate postural and neuromuscular control.

Another reflection on how the school was successful in its approach to inclusion was in the layout of the classrooms. Each room had a different use of furniture with changes made depending on what was being taught to whom. This basic and fundamental aspect to bringing visibility and being heard in the class is part of the practical guidance in our training courses and it was great to see it put into practice.

For more information about Cristo de Yedra, watch the video:

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