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You are in: Home > Articles > Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

 

Learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) (orMDVI - multiple disability and visually impaired) are likely to have more than one severe disability.

In some cases the major disability will be stressed in the name. People in this group usually attend special schools and units, only very occasionally attending a mainstream school.

Because of their range of disabilities and needs, medical and therapy staff are frequently required. A range of specialist seating and care equipment, such as lifting devices, also need to be on hand.

Because of their multiple disabilities it is often difficult to properly assess a leaner with PMLD. In a small but significant number of cases the severity of disability results in a learner being unable to demonstrate or achieve even a fraction of their potential. Technology can sometimes provide the key by being the mechanism for communication and learning.

The majority of information communication technology applications will involve using special input devices; sometimes alongside special software. In most cases the standard mouse or keyboard will be unsuitable and control and input will have to be provided by special switches and other devices. In some instances standard software can be used provided the content is suitable. Specialised software with suitable images and sound is often needed, especially when someone is learning to use ICT.

Other electrical and electronic equipment is valuable to provide visual and auditory stimulation and can usually be controlled by similar switches and input equipment.

Specially equipped sensory rooms are sometimes set up to create an environment where external stimuli can be reduced, allowing the learner to concentrate on the desired stimulation.

Special communication technology and techniques can be explored to provide alternatives to spoken communication.

The major benefit of information technology for this group can be to allow them to access experiences that would otherwise be impossible or meaningless because of their degree of disability.

 

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