Trabasack: reviewed by Kate Ahern: a teacher of pupils with significant special needs


Trabasack’s reputation is growing and as more and more are sold, the reviews are coming in thick and fast and spreading across the blogosphere. One such review is Kate Ahern who blogs at Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs and as a teacher of pupils with significant needs, she was able to try out the Trabasack in her classroom.

Trabasack used with a light pen to indicate symbols
Trabasack Mini Connect with speech symbols and a V pen as sold by Abilityworld, click the image to see more info


Using a Trabasack in the classroom

 

Affectionately nicknamed a portable lap in Kate Ahern's school, the Trabasack is made use of everyday particularly for lessons such as music therapy which are scheduled away from the the usual classroom tables. Kate explains that the Trabasack makes “it easier to ‘see’ the student instead of the equipment because it is smaller and looks more natural than a tray”. She also notes that the velcro-receptive feature of the Connect surface means switches and communication devices can be easily attached. The pupils also use the Trabasack for leisure, and use the surface to 'stick' their iPods and MP3 players to it, helping to keep them from falling off and handy when required.

 

Trabasacks for field trips


Kate also highlights how useful the Trabasack can be as a tray although explains that the bag function is equally useful. Its “wonderful that is can carry switches, symbols and sensory items while hanging on the back of a wheelchair and then be used as a tray to access those items” she says.  She also remarks how a Trabasack would have been perfect for field trips to the movies which had occurred in the previous year. It could help keep a student calm and comfortable she states. In fact, we have already considered how useful a Trabasack

Trabasack used with a Toby Lightwriter
Trabasack can be used as a mount and bag for communication aids

can be for cinema trips as it provides a tray table area for drinks and snacks.

Kate’s review shows exactly how valuable a Trabasack can be in a school environment and how it can be a great mount for communication aids and for activities away from the school desks. Trabasack is a very useful edition to a teacher of children with special needs equipment, and helps to make more use of the equipment available.