Special Needs Lab
The UMHB Special Needs Lab (SNL) was created to serve two purposes. The lab is an opportunity for UMHB pre-service special education teachers to practice the skills they have been taught in class. UMHB students learn to implement the techniques they have learned with children with various disabilities. This learning opportunity is vital and has been shown in research to be critical to the development of quality teachers. Additionally, the SNL offers parents of children with disabilities research-based, high quality, low-cost services for their children. Parents are able to watch their children work with UMHB students on a big screen television via multiple cameras in every classroom. The children play a crucial role in the education of our students. It’s possible that the children and the UMHB students will see each other again in a public school classroom.
Special Education teachers face great challenges upon entering the classroom door. They must be prepared to meet the individual needs of students with a variety of abilities. This challenge can only be overcome through extensive preparation and exposure to children of all ages and disabilities. It is through the UMHB Special Needs Lab that pre-service teachers are able to practice the skills they learned in class. The UMHB student prepares lessons, implements behavior strategies, modifies skills, and communicates with parents. Each moment in the lab is a learning opportunity that prepares the student for a future in education. It is our honor and privilege to interact with so many amazing families who allow the students at UMHB the opportunity to better prepare themselves for being the best teacher possible.
The UMHB SNL collaborates with the Children’s Special Needs Network (CSNN) through referring families to each organization. Participants in the UMHB SNL are provided information about the CSNN, specifically funding opportunities. Parents may choose to complete required paperwork for CSNN and may have their annual lab fee reimbursed.
The UMHB SNL also collaborates with Threads of Hope, a non-profit organization with a mission to end poverty among women in Peru. Our collaboration provides opportunities for participating students to learn skills including inventory, packaging, tagging, and preparing goods for sale.
The UMHB SNL participated in the creation of training videos for teachers and university students in Uganda. The videos included strategies for teaching students with disabilities. As part of the instruction, videos of UMHB students working with children in the lab were included to demonstrate the strategy. Two videos were created, one addressing instruction of students with high incidence disabilities and the other addressing instructional needs of children with low incidence disabilities.
Programs of Service
The UMHB SNL offers two options for participation. One option has a more academic focus. During this time UMHB students work with children on reading, writing, math, communication, behavior, and social skills. Children learn to use visual schedules and navigate a routine. Employing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, students use discrete trials to teach new skills to the children and to generalize those skills to other areas. Children are taught communication strategies including augmentative communication, sign language, and Picture Exchange Communication.
The second option is tailored for young adults with disabilities. The focus of this lab is to obtain skills that could be transferred to an employment setting. The SNL has partnered with Threads of Hope, a non-profit organization with a mission to end poverty among women in Peru. Our collaboration provides opportunities for participating students to learn skills including inventory, packaging, tagging, and preparing goods for sale. Participants are taught a job skill by the UMHB students who collect data regarding production. UMHB students provide support and structure for the participants in an effort to increase fluency and production. Work is structured for the unique needs of each participant and according to personal interest.
The UMHB SNL requires the following information from each participant:
- Updated shot record
- $50 annual fee collected in September or when the child enrolls in the lab.
Participants will be provided with documents from CSNN regarding reimbursement of enrollment fee.
Please complete the forms on the links. You may email the forms to Dr. Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or may bring them on your first day of lab. A Frequently Asked Questions form is available below for your convenience.
Page last updated September 27, 2018