Technology In Education

October 15th, 2014

The Best High Tech Tools for the Special Ed Classroom

Written By Felicity Dryer ( Guest Blogger)

Both general and special education classrooms are full of diverse learners, spanning the spectrum of skills, knowledge, and abilities that all need to be addressed. Using technology in the special education classroom is an excellent way for teachers to provide personalized lessons for children with a variety of needs.

The assistive technology used in special education classrooms is often high-tech, including computers, other electronic devices, and software that help special needs students maintain or improve their functionality in the world. For example, a student who has not been able to express their thoughts through writing by hand may be able to use a word processor with a keyboard or a talk-to-text program. The use of this technology not only helps the student with the writing process, but also allows him or her to use that particular kind of technology in the larger world.

Criteria for Technology Use in the Special Ed Classroom

High tech tools in the special education classroom are only helpful if they can be used on a regular basis by teachers and students alike. When considering incorporating technology into the special education classroom, consider asking these questions.

●     Educational Purpose – Can the technology can be used in clearly defined ways to increase the knowledge and skills of students who use it? Can the technology be used as an assessment tool to gauge improvement?

●     Ease of Use – Is the technology easy for teachers to prep and simple for students to use on a daily basis in the classroom setting?

●     Versatility – Can the technology can be used for more than one activity or purpose? Would the transition between the activities be easy for students and teachers to facilitate?

The Best High Tech Tools

The above questions and criteria have been taken into account when considering the top high tech tool for children with special needs. All three of these technological advancements can be used in a variety of practical ways to help children learn in the special education classroom.

Tablets and iPads – These high tech tools get high marks in versatility because they can be used in so many ways. Use an iPad or a tablet as a:

●     Projector

●     Mouse

●     Keyboard

●     Camera

●     Video camera

●     Remote for white boards

The availability and affordability of tablets and iPads also make them easy for parents, counselors and teachers to provide them for kids with special needs.

Special Needs Rugby at Terenure Rugby Club

February 13th, 2014

Terenure Tigers – Special Needs Rugby Team for Boys and Girls (7+) – All welcome

Supported by IRFU and Leinster Rugby – All sessions are fully supervised by qualified coaches.

Contact 01 490 4283 or Bernard 086 8044214 or Dave 086 4481468

Email or

Arrogance of CRC and Rehab only surpassed by St Michael’s House!

January 24th, 2014


If you think that the National scandal of the behaviour of the boards of both the CRC and Rehab cannot be surpassed – I believe that when the activities of St Michael’s house are investigated – even more shocking revelations will emerge.

We have been deeply disturbed by the management of the St Michael’s house for the last 6 years and we believe that the organisation is not fit for purpose.

We  lodged a complaint about the behaviour of Senior Management at St Micheal’s house last June and we are still being fobbed off by both the management and the Board of Directors. I believe that the Board of Directors of St Michael’s house are colluding with the senior management to deny us our right to complain about practices within the organisation that are an affront to service users.

I also believe that they should hang their head in shame and resign!

We are currently inviting all media outlets to talk with us so that these issues can be debated in public and ensure that this organisation be exposed for what it is.

Indeed any service users who have a grievance with St Micheal’s house – feel free to contact us so that we can collectively take action – including litigation – to prevent this organisation from continuing to fail it’s service users.

There arrogance and incompetence is staggering!

St Michael’s House Board of Directors Meeting – Cover Up?

June 13th, 2013

cover upimages

We have been seeking a meeting with the board of directors of St Michael’s house for months.

We have been trying for months to arrange this meeting with the board through the offices of Patricia Doherty in St Michael’s House but to no avail.

We are very concerned at the fact that the Board of Directors – despite being ware that we seek a meeting – are refusing to meet with us.

We have major issues with the way St Michael’s House is being run.

  • The Management are not implementing company policy re Inclusive Education
  • The staff are misinforming parents about their rights re Inclusive education
  • The Management are supervising a situation whereby children are being mistreated on a daily basis by forcing them to endure hours commuting on buses going to and from school.
  • The Management are clueless about what educational model re Inclusive Education they are following
  • There is no Assistive Technology department in St Michael’s house.
  • Corporate Governance at St Michael’s house leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The organisation has no leadership skills at Senior Management level.
  • The Management are failing the children in their care
  • The Management are tolerating a situation whereby they continue to allow children access to their services despite the Chief Executive of the organisation saying that they do not have the resources to cater for them
  • There are no measurements of outputs/results achieved for service users
  • There is no accountability within the organisation
  • The organisation culture is one of fear

These and a whole host of other issues are items we would like to get clarification on from the Board of Directors.

We keep being told that the Board of Directors are voluntary members – this is also very concerning as they are tasked with overseeing Government funding of in the region of €80 million euro per year.

We have now written to the HSE to inform them of our frustrations in this regard- we will wait and see how long it takes for this meeting to take place.

If we fail to get a meeting – it will confirm our suspicion that the organisation has mant things they would not like the public to know.

St Michael’s House change their mind about Wheelchair

June 13th, 2013

It would  now appear that low and behold, St Michael’s House now agree that our son Michael not having a wheelchair is indeed a Health and Safety issue and a new wheelchair has been ordered.

I cannot say that I am grateful for this intervention -it is hardly a luxury item.

Refused a Wheelchair by St Michael’s House!

May 28th, 2013


I have just been informed by St Michael’s House that our son Michael has been refused a wheelchair for which he has been sanctioned.

Apparently he has been put on a waiting list – but we have not been told how long this list is.

We as parents are contemplating returning  the wheelchair that he currently has – which is too small for him ( a health and safety issue) – and we will leave him sitting outside the gates of Leinster House until they give him a chair.

This news comes in the week that we have had serious difficulties trying to seek a meeting with the board of directors of St Michael’s House. We have now had 3 meetings with very senior management in St Michael’s house requesting to meet with the Board of Directors. The process is extremely time consuming, difficult, and uncomfortable and it looks like if we do succeed in meeting the board it will not be until after the Summer – ie a full 9 months after our initial request. The leadership and management of St Michael’s house is a cause of serious concern. I will post more about this later.

Autism Friendly Theatre Production

February 15th, 2013

The Ark

The Ark is excited to present an Autism-friendly theatre production of the show ‘Zoe’s Play’ on the Sunday the 10th of March at 12 noon.

Commissioned by The Ark in 1999, Zoe’s Play toured nationally before playing at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to great acclaim. The new 2013 production is presented in celebration of The Ark’s 18th birthday.

This is an inspiring production for 8-12 year olds that children will find deeply engaging. The play is centred on the character of Zoe who is a lively imaginative child with a gift for daydreaming. Written by John McArdle, primary school curriculum drama consultant, ‘Zoe’s Play’ explores that transitional period between childhood and adulthood when a child struggles to be heard. A time when the consequences of grown-up actions clash fiercely with the desire to retain the idealism of childhood.

Autism-friendly performances are relaxed performances for the whole family, where the performance is tailored for the comfort of your child. An Autism Friendly Pack which includes photographs and a synopsis of the play will be available to download from our website at which will assist and prepare your child for their visit to the ark and for the theatre performance.

Though the recommended age for this performance is 8-12yrs, if you feel it may be suitable for your older child by all means do come along!

Ticket prices: €10/ €8 concessions. Family ticket €45 for 5 tickets

Information and booking is available on 01 6707788

Please feel free to phone us if you have any queries,

Kind Regards,

Kathy Conlan,

Programming Intern,

The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children

11a Eustace Street,

Temple Bar,

Dublin 2

+353 1 8994094

Vacancy – July Provision- Teacher Wanted

March 9th, 2012

Vacancy in North County Dublin for home teaching position for July ( The July Provision).

Applicants must have a Primary Degree ( discipline not relevant) – Please contact

Our Worlds United –

January 14th, 2012


Hi All

I have not being posting on this site for quite some time! The reason being that myself and Audrey are planning a new and exciting event to be held in the Phoenix Park on Saturday 8th September 2012.

This will be a festival and grand
celebration of disability in Ireland and the World. The venue is already booked
for that day.

We will host this event in conjunction with all of the
organisations in Ireland that act as advocates for people with disabilities and
the event is called
Our Worlds United. Over 40
organisations have already
‘signed up’ to be part of this event
including Down Syndrome Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland and Fragile X.

The Dublin
event will  cater for
people in the Phoenix Park

The objectives of
the event are many with the key objectives being:

1. To raise Awareness of Disabilities and their issues.

2.       To
all the Disability  representative bodies for 1 day with one voice.

3.       To ‘
Normalise’ or ‘mainstream’ disability i.e.  people’s special needs should
not define them

We expect
that it will be a day to remember and a defining moment in the history of Disabilities Advocacy.

The afternoon will  host live bands (we hope to get some or all of the
following: Boyzone, Westlife, Jedward, U2) , funfairs, face painting, music,
dance and games. It will also feature Speakers and contributors from around the
globe , and celebrity actor Colin Farrell
has already agreed to be our Keynote Speaker.

Fingal Community TV (FCTV) are making a documentary about the making of the
event – and filming has already begun.

But it gets even
– we have spoken with Vicki Graff and Gregory
Ruzzin-both of whom are professors at Loyola Marymount University in Los
Angeles –and they suggested that we run simultaneous events in LA, South
Africa, Hong Kong, UK and Finland. Vicki has already said it will happen in LA
and is confident that South Africa will also happen. It will be truly a Global Event.

Although there is a time difference we can synchronise a huge fire works
display simultaneously around the globe at a certain time – albeit it will be
the middle of the night for some venue/venues.

The event will be the culmination of a massive media campaign across all media
channels over the next 8 months.

We have already recruited a ‘small army’ of volunteers to help make this event
happen and we have an experienced  professional event management company
in place to deliver the day in conjunction with ourselves.

Please visit our website for further details.

We are currently securing financial backing for the event – and once this has been secured we can go public with the event- hopefully in the next few weeks.

If you or your organisation would like to get involved in any way with this initiative – we would be delighted to hear from you – as this is a huge undertaking and we will need as much input as possible from volunteers.

We hope that you will all attend the event – as ticket prices will be affordable – and it is not a fund raiser – but an AWARENESS raiser!

Midweek: Give us back our SNAs, Wednesday at 10.00 p.m. on TV3

September 13th, 2011


This weeks show will be covering the issue of cuts to SNA posts on our show tomorrow night. We’ll be attending the protest at 4pm tomorrow to hear the views of parents who will be in attendance. Our report on the issue will feature Pat Goff, principal of Scoil Mhuire in Coolcotts, Wexford, Brenda Kelly, an SNA from Scoil Mhuire, parents Jane & Rod Johnstone who have two sons with autism and Nicci McConnell who also has a son with autism. In studio, we’ll be joined by parent Aisling McNiffe and spokesperson for the Special Needs Parents Association, Lorraine Dempsey.

Well worth a look!