Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Quick Draw Paper: Quickest Draw in the West

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

“A Drawing is simply a line going for a walk” - Paul Klee

When I meet with one of my visually impaired student’s teachers, the first stress from the teacher’s point of view is how to make sure the student understands the concept. Imagine how excited the educator becomes when I take out a sheet of Quick-Draw Paper and make a simple design from a water-based marker. The instructor takes her finger and feels the shape, which is always followed by a huge smile.

“Can you supply me with more of this?” The teacher always asks with enthusiasm.

Imagine how popular I become when I say, “I can bring you all the paper you would like”. Quick-Draw Paper becomes popular with me as well since I am no longer wearing the scars or paint from tactual paint that always ended up on my clothes, furniture or me.

Quick-Draw Paper creates instant tactile graphics for art, math, orientation and mobility as well as many other subjects. The water-based marker swells the lines instantly onto the paper. Within seconds educators and students will feel the benefits of a tactual drawing with no hassle or mess.

Expect to purchase more than just one package of Quick-Draw Paper as the ten sheets it comes with go quickly.

Below are a few ideas (used for developmental age from three to ten-years-old) for different subjects that will demonstrate Quick-Draw Paper as the quickest draw in the west.

  • When teaching shapes, quickly draw the shape of a circle, triangle and square (Hap Palmer has an awesome CD that teaches children their shapes).
  • After children identify each shape they will match a real object with the tactual picture and may begin to understand the differences in two to three dimensional objects.
  • I like for my students who are blind or visually impaired to learn their colors because they live in a sighted world where colors guide the general population. Simply illustrate red objects on the Quick Draw Paper and add a spice of cinnamon. Children will understand the two-dimensional graphic and smell the cinnamon thus relating the color of red to the smell of cinnamon. The child is beginning to gain an understanding of colors through his other senses.
  • Teaching sizes: big, medium and small is not always an easy task for children with other challenges, so once again, Quick Draw Paper can make this a fun activity. Assist the child in tracing around her hand and other classmates. The children can compare the sizes of each other’s hands.
  • Illustrate math problems with this incredible product. For example, if you are teaching addition, you could draw five ducks sitting on one pond and another three ducks sitting on another pond. Now the student may feel the five ducks and begin to add the other three ducks together with no hassle, no cost and absolutely no stress.
  • Draw maps on Quick Draw paper and help the child to understand north, south, east and west. Simply label the parts of the map and teach the following mnemonic phrase: “Never Eat Soggy Worms”
  • After reading a story, illustrate the main characters using basic drawing strokes giving each character one detail that distinguishes him from the others.
  • Students will enjoy feeling how their name appears in print. The instructor will guide the student’s hands to feel each stroke for each letter in the child’s name.

Above are just a few ideas that make learning concepts real and fun to our students with a visual impairment. In order for long lasting learning to occur, the brain remembers laughter and fun because of the endorphins pumping through the body.

Be the quickest draw in the west and use one of the best materials from APH, Quick-Draw Paper.

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