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Fall 2003 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Join PBS KIDS' ARTHUR® on a Communication Adventure

at www.pbskids.org/arthur

Abstract: An announcement about interactive games on the ARTHUR® website designed to help children understand their peers with communication differences.

Keywords: disability, children, inclusion, interactive games

In May the ARTHUR Web team at WGBH/Boston announced a series of interactive games designed to help children understand their peers with communication differences. A children's series based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, ARTHUR is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston and CINAR Corporation and is currently in its seventh season. It remains one of the most watched children's television programs among two- to five- and two- to eleven-year-olds.

In the first game About Face -  http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/aboutface - Arthur tells a story, and viewers choose the facial expression that best describes how the characters would feel. "The game is designed to enforce the idea that facial expressions communicate information., a concept [that] is especially important when communicating with people who are deaf or hard of hearing." In You've Got Braille, children can type a message and have it translated into Braille. By clicking on the link, Marina's Guide to Braille and More, children can learn "five fun facts" about communication for the blind.

In The Effective Detective http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/effectivedetective/index.html kids will hone their observation skills and learn the benefits of using descriptive language, both of which are important, especially when communicating with someone who is blind or visually impaired. Another feature, Sign Design http://pbskids.org/arthur/print/signdesign/, teaches basic finger spelling and signing skills through demonstration and provides information on sign language around the world.

"The season focus on communication differences is an extension of some of the original goals of the series," says WGBH executive producer Carol Greenwald. "Since its 1996 premiere, it has been a priority that ARTHUR be accessible to all children. In addition, we have always strived to help children have positive attitudes and to accept and include others, in spite of their differences. The new Web features are a fun way to help kids do this." Since its premiere in 1996, the series has been closed-captioned for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. In 1997 ARTHUR became the first daily program described for viewers who are blind or visually impaired.

The ARTHUR website also provides teacher and parent guides for a variety of relevant topics, including safety, peer relationships, sibling relationships, dealing with feelings, and health information. Go to http://pbskids.org/arthur/grownups/index.html for a list of these resources and ideas. For the complete guide to ARTHUR's Communication Adventure, go to http://pbskids.org/arthur/grownups/teacherguides/communication/index.html.

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