June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6
For educators struggling to find activities for children of all abilities,
art provides an accessible way to tap into the cathartic powers of creativity
and learning. An especially valuable tool for disabled children.
Organizations such as Arts & Services for Disabled Inc. in California and Pot a Doodle Do in England offer arts and crafts to the disabled community. According to the mission statement for Arts & Services for the Disabled, “the success of our programs has enabled individuals to advance to greater levels of personal achievement, feel valued as contributing community members and even to become successfully employed.”
Materials and Where to Buy Them
Hands-on projects that use large crayons and brushes, finger paint, fabrics, textured material or clay are the most beneficial because they stimulate nerve endings that, in turn, send a positive response to the brain as well as enhance fine-motor skills.
S&S Worldwide offers specialty catalogs that include craft and therapy kits. The Youth Craft Bulk Pack ($415.99) contains enough materials to create over 1,000 projects out of 15 different craft materials. Or, if you prefer a project-oriented kit, try the Tribal Rainsticks Pack (packs of four, $34.99). For self-hardening clay that air-dries to a hard finish without firing, try Plastirock Air Dry Clay (4.5 lb. tub, $10.99).
For painting, dickblick.com offers the Adaptive Grip Brush ($2.99), whose large wooden ball handle is perfect for those with limited hand movement. For crafts, the Easi-Grip Scissors ($7.49) have a continuous-loop plastic handle that is operated by squeezing gently with the thumb and fingers, or the fingers and the palm of the hand.
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