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A Publication about Visual Impairments and Deafblindness for Families and Professionals

TX SenseAbilities - Summer 2017

By Tammy Martin, Blind Children’s Program Manager

Abstract: Ms. Martin provides highlights of a group skills training at the Meadows Museum

Key Words: Blind Children’s Program, blind, visually impaired, Meadows Museum, Group Skills Training

Group Skills Trainings from HHS’s Blind Children’s Vocational Discovery and Development Program work with parents and community partners to help clients and families learn new skills and work with children who are blind or visually impaired. These trainings expose clients to new activities and help them develop new skills. The trainings are open to family members and help clients build a network of peer support. 

On Feb. 25, the Discovery and Development Program, along with SMU’s Meadows Museum, Delta Gamma sorority and SMU music therapy students hosted an event at the museum with art, movement and music activities, which increase fine motor skills and encourage social skill development. The Meadows Museum provided raised line and tactile representations of art pieces, making them accessible to those with no or low vision. 

Photo of a child in a wheelchair wearing glasses looking into a shallow bowl

Photo of a child in a wheelchair wearing glasses looking into a shallow bowl

"The sensory day at Meadows Museum was a huge hit for both of my sons. Visually impaired or not, every child enjoyed each activity throughout the morning,” said Laura Leavell, whose child is in the program. In one activity, The Feel of Things inspired by Joan Miró's oil painting "Queen Louise of Prussia," children used paint and primary colors to create works of art by painting on raised line shapes. They used a variety of papers and materials to create their own unique texture collage.

Photo of a child with albinism painting while a young woman looks on

Photo of a child with albinism painting while a young woman looks on

In other activities, children created geometric and organic forms using air-dry clay and tools to produce their very own sculpture modeled after those located in and around the museum. Families toured the museum's sculpture garden, where they were permitted to touch the sculptures that were described by docents. 

The Sound of Things was an activity led by SMU music therapy students during which children were exposed to rhythm and music through facilitated, therapeutic music experiences. Families were encouraged to interact and participate in the exploration of various musical instruments. 

Photo of a small child standing with assistance from a woman, touching the strings of a guitar held by a young man

Photo of a small child standing with assistance from a woman, touching the strings of a guitar held by a young man

Thanks to our partnership with the SMU Meadows Museum volunteers and students, the Blind Children's Vocational Discovery and Development Program was able to provide access to an inclusive event that promoted independence and community involvement though the multisensory exploration of art. 

If you are interested in attending a group skills training, please contact your Blind Children's Specialist about upcoming trainings in your area.

Photo of a girl rolling out play clay with a rolling pin, with the assistance of a young woman

Photo of a girl rolling out play clay with a rolling pin, with the assistance of a young woman