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Active Learning

Instead of focusing on all the things the child with multiple disabilities is unable to do, we should see him/her as an individual who is just as eager to learn as is any child without disabilities. (Nielsen, n.d.)

One of the ways to encourage children with multiple disabilities, including those with deafblindness, to engage in learning is through independent exploration and active participation. Without these opportunities, children can become passive and overly reliant on others. Active learning involves a range of strategies to create developmentally appropriate and enriched environments that promote independent learning. The first resource listed to the right, “Active Learning Space,” provides comprehensive information on this topic.

Active learning is based on the work of Lilli Nielsen, from Denmark. The philosophy behind it is that when given opportunities to learn from their own exploration and examination, children will become as independent as possible and gain skills that enable them to fulfill their own needs, interact with others, and gradually become ready to respond to instructions and education (Nielsen, 1993, p. 19).

Learn More

Exploration and Responsive Environments (from OHOA Module - Concept Development)

Forms for Documenting Resources (External Resource)

Jack's Progression (External Resource) - Video of a boy progressing over 4 years from lying prone on resonance board to sitting up independently. 



Nielsen, L. (n.d.). The philosophy of the approach of active learning. Active Learning Space.

Nielsen, L. (1993). Early learning, step by step in children with vision impairment and multiple disabilities. SIKON.

What is active learning? (n.d.). Active Learning Space.


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