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Enhancing Quality of Life...

Bridge College

Since Bridge's original report, our thinking has developed significantly. Initially we were focussing on two separate areas of further development of current practice with learners with PCLD: Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) and Objects of Reference (OOR). However, after reviewing the literature, visiting other establishments and 'auditing' staff skills and awareness, it became clear that the two were in fact different dimensions of a 'greater' methodology - a methododology we have labelled 'Multi-Sensory Referencing'.

Multi-Sensory Referencing (MSR) is an approach that may be used as a part of a total communication environment to meet the needs of learners at very early cognitive developmental levels. It is aimed at all learners with these skills and not at one particular group of individuals (for example, those with visual, auditory, communication, physical or other sensory impairment(s). It is also supportive of learners with more advanced cognitive abilities (SLD, MLD). MSR seeks to develop greater awareness of space and time leading to enhanced anticipatory, communication and cognitive skills.

Total Communication Environment illustration

This is achieved through a range of consistently applied implementation techniques that includes Objects of Reference. MSR was addressed at Bridge College by a staff audit through a questionnaire and an in-service training day. Multi-Sensory Referencing was explored and ideas for implementation were discussed. Staff feedback on the day was extremely positive and a timetable for implementation has been compiled.

This development has necessitated changes in our stated objectives. We have progressed from two static outcomes to one that is both unified and dynamic. We hope to produce an interactive CD Rom which details:

  • Process (the road travelled)
  • Method (outline of MSR):
    • definition and terminology
    • audits
    • training
    • implementation
    • good practice (new ideas for integration and inclusion)
  • Framework:
    • developmental issues
    • multi-agency approach
    • adaptability for all learners
    • supporting learning and progression
  • Outcomes:
    • recommendations
    • emergent communication skills/development cognitive abilities
    • beyond boundaries (space outside of establishment) and time (life long learning)
    • cross-curricular/multi-agency/multi-cultural approach