Transition Tote System and Organizational Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities

The Transition Tote System is a kit produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) which contains lessons and an organizer case that are helpful to visually impaired students and adults as they explore, and prepare for, the world of work. All versions of the kit include three major components: the student manual, the tote case and a 3 1/2-inch disk. Basic principles underlying the system include those relating to organizational skills, social and self-advocacy skills, and personal responsibility.

Note: The previous Transiton Tote System has been discontinued. We are happy to report that a revised edition is in process! For information about the revision, please see the fiscal year 2011 APH Research Department report. Remember, you can always check the APH Shopping Site for the latest product information.

Organizational Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities: The Master Filing System for Paper

Think of it: Electricians arrive at a customer's home to do work and ask if they can borrow tools. A lacrosse team runs onto the field for the big game without their helmets or chest pads. Paramedics respond to a 911 call but leave the first-aid kit at the fire station. Unacceptable? Of course. The electricians would go out of business. The lacrosse players would be benched. The paramedics would be suspended. To do their jobs, these people need instant access to specialized equipment and tools. So do students. Yet we often hear: "I forgot my book." "I lost my binder." "I didn't print out my homework." "Can I borrow a pen?"

Students who have learning disabilities and weaknesses in executive function frequently struggle to keep track of the tools they need for schoolwork. Notebooks, handouts, homework^DDLeven pencils and pens^DDLseem to vanish inexplicably. Why is it so essential that students learn to manage their materials? First, efficient access to needed materials allows more time-on-task for learning. Second, good organizational skills contribute to students' feelings that they are in control of their learning.

The Master Filing System for paper is one effective strategy that helps students with learning disabilities manage their materials. Though the research on the effectiveness of teaching materials management skills is slim, the work that has been done indicates that these skills are essential for academic and career success.

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