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Outreach

Teacher in Residence

The International Teacher In Residence grant is a philanthropic award presented bi-annually to an individual by The Bridge School. This grant is awarded to promote skill development in using augmentative/alternative forms of communication and assistive technologies in a country where little information or training currently exists. Eligible candidates are solicited who possess the appropriate education and background to currently serve children in special education settings, or to train teachers/therapists to work in these environments. This specialty training opportunity at the Bridge School enables the individual to return to their country and promote the use of AAC for children/adults who are currently being underserved.

The residency is presented in collaboration with the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC). ISAAC is an international non-profit organization made up of professionals, families, manufacturers, researchers and consumers, whose goal is to improve the quality of life for people with complex communication needs. It does this through research, education, networking, and information dissemination.

Madhumita Dasgupta

The Bridge School is pleased to announce the selection of Madhumita Dasgupta as our 2012-13 Teacher in Residence. Madhumita has a Bachelor Degree in Special Education (Locomotor Impairments and Neuromuscular Disorders) and is currently working as a Research Assistant in Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata, India. She will join us at The Bridge School in January 2013 and remain until mid-July.

Her primary area of work is to assist a three-year research project on the use and efficacy of AAC, other assistive devices and software for young children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs, to enhance efficient academic and social participation of the student in a mainstream school.

The Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) has extensive education, outreach and training programs and Madhumita has been significantly involved in supporting children who use AAC as they participate in inclusive classrooms. This is similar to The Bridge School’s transition program and Madhumita will spend much of her time here working with our transition staff and determining which of the strategies they use will be beneficial to her work in Kolkata. When she returns to India, The Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy has plans to support Madhumita in forming a Technical Assistance Team offering consultancy in educational services to facilitate transition of students moving into an inclusive setup in mainstream schools and society, in all community groups.

IICP is a training site for teachers in special education and, upon her return, Madhumita will be joining the training faculty. She will be conducting lectures, workshops and seminars on instructional strategies for transition for a range of groups and will be representing IICP in different academic forum.

The Bridge School staff will have much to learn from Madhumita as we share ideas, strategies and approaches to education across the cultures.