Collaboration in Action – Supporting Liam Together
Liam is a grade two student at Nanoose Bay Elementary in School District 69 (Qualicum). He is an enthusiastic and determined child who is nonverbal.
Liam has had SET-BC services since 2021, which initially included a Tobii EyeMobile Plus with various communication software. When his District put him forward for additional services this year, the team consulted together. They felt that Liam’s EyeMobile Plus system would eventually need to change as Tobii Dynavox had discontinued it. They thought to introduce him to the PCEye 5, Tobii’s new eye gaze system. He also required a dual mounting system on his wheelchair for his iPad and eye gaze system. A SET-BC Occupational Therapist (OT) has worked very hard with the school district OT to find the best solution to this mounting challenge.
During our initial visit, we observed Liam in his classroom environment. He has multiple ways of communicating including making sounds and gestures. Liam has been using an iPad Pro that the district received as part of the retired inventory program (RIP) with SET-BC. He also has a designated iPad provided by the district for communication when he is not using his eye gaze. The team also explored switches for him to use in a variety of classroom settings.
Liam’s eye gaze skills have improved immensely since 2021! One factor that has contributed to this is how the school team has been working with our SET-BC team. SET-BC believes that a collaborative team approach is important for students to receive optimal services. Researchers have demonstrated that:
When individuals from various agencies collaborate, the blending of the diverse viewpoints, skills, and understandings:
- Contribute to creative ways for accomplishing goals,
- Offer comprehensive services, and
- Strengthen relationships with the broader community (Weiss et al., 2002).
How teams work together can have a great impact on how a student receives services and as a result their access to the curriculum. The video that follows will show just one example of how the SET-BC and School District 69 teams have collaborated to ensure Liam receives the very best support.
Weiss, E. S., Anderson, R. M., & Lasker, R. D. (2002). Making the most of collaboration: Exploring the relationship between partnership synergy and partnership functioning. Health Education & Behavior, 29(6), 683–698. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019802237938