Beverly School featured on Sixty Minutes

I thought families would find this interesting – a powerful use of technology for special students.  from Beth

A TDSB school is receiving international attention for its work with special needs students. Lesley Stahl from CBS News’ 60 Minutes visited Beverley School last May to see how staff there are using new technologies like tablets to help students communicate and interact with others. Stahl spoke to teachers Ian Stuart, Sabrina Morey, and Stacie Carroll as well as students at the school for a piece that will air on the CBS News flagship program on Sunday, October 23.

Part of the story focuses on a ten-year-old child with autism who does not speak and was believed to be functioning at the level of a two-year old and how, with the help of an iPad, his teacher learned of his love of opera and classical music. Teacher Ian Stuart was also surprised to learn about the range of the boy’s vocabulary after using an app to show the student images that the child could identify by name.

In a story on the 60 Minutes web site, program producers note that the Beverley student “and others whose autism prevents normal speech have made these breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time.”

Beverley School is a jewel of the TDSB. Principal Alana Grossman said her staff believe in a team approach as the most effective way to support the educational needs of students who have developmental and/or physical disabilities. “We always want to encourage collaboration and explore creative ways to reach our students,” she said. The downtown school has been supporting Toronto students since the 1950s.

The segment airs on CBS on Sunday, October 23 at 7:00 pm. You can watch a preview of the program here.