The Bridge School

Education

The Education Program forms the heart of The Bridge School as it partners with families to provide a curriculum that:

  • Develops educational, social, recreational and life skills
  • Supports students as they work towards developing communication competence
  • Explores academic and social participation in a supportive setting
  • Documents effective instructional and communication intervention strategies
  • Integrates the use of augmentative and alternative communication systems and assistive technology

The Bridge School Model

The Bridge School Curriculum and Course of Study logoThe Bridge School provides high quality academic and social experiences that encompass a broad range of knowledge, skills and abilities across all subject areas with concurrent emphasis on supporting students’ use of assistive technologies, development of communicative competence with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, and attainment of self-determination skills. Using research as a resource to guide our practices, we adapt, customize, implement and document intervention approaches, curricular activities, and instructional supports and strategies that best address the needs of our students in The Bridge School context and beyond.

Access the Curriculum Module.

Communicative Competence imagesAt The Bridge School, we believe that communication is a process of making meaning through shared engagement and interaction. We all have the desire to create meaningful connections with others, to learn and to share new knowledge, to talk and engage authentically with the important people in our lives.

Communicative Competence is “the ability to communicate functionally in the natural environment and to adequately meet daily communication needs” (Light, 1989). In order to develop communicative competence, our students with complex communication needs (CCN) and severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) need specialized instruction to learn skills that enable them to communicate effectively for a broad range of purposes. At The Bridge School, they learn to use mainstream technologies and alternative and augmentative (AAC) systems and strategies to bypass, overcome, or augment their natural speech. Proficiency communicating with these tools and strategies fosters access, participation, motivation, and achievement across all curricular areas and life domains. Instruction in developing communication competencies is infused within the context of ongoing academic and social activities at The Bridge School.

Access the Communication Module.

sdp400x382It is essential for students with complex communication needs (CCN) to develop the skills and attitudes associated with self-determination in order to have direct influence in matters that affect the quality of their lives. The Bridge School Self-Determination Program provides students with the necessary tools and supports to become causal agents in their own lives through informed decision-making, thoughtful planning and persistent action to achieve their goals.

Access the Self-Determination Module.

Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is a major cause of low vision in children in the developed and developing world due to increasing survival in pediatric and neonatal care (Phillip & Dutton, 2014).  CVI is also the most prevalent visual impairment for students at The Bridge School. Our students with CVI and Severe Speech and Physical Impairment (SSPI) have challenges that require specialized and appropriate vision accommodations that support them in meeting their educational potential.

Meeting the educational goals necessary to provide Bridge School students optimal opportunities for participation in areas of communication, education, and literacy, requires assessments and interventions that specifically address the unique needs of our students with CVI.

Access the CVI Module.

News

8/23/2021 —  Employment Opportunity – Instructional Assistants

The Bridge School is looking for a dynamic, positive and energetic individual to serve as an Instructional Assistant (paraprofessional) in our school program and become a part of our interdisciplinary teams. We serve children between the ages of 3 – 12 with severe physical and speech impairments. Duties include assisting in instructional activities, providing physical … – Continue reading

6/8/2021 —  Creating a Path for Systematic Investigation of Children With Cortical Visual Impairment Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

There are significant challenges to face when serving children with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)  who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). One of the challenges is to find evidence-based research and intervention to guide practice. Boster, et. al., conducted a review designed to explore the available evidence on the topic and found that out of over 500 articles, … – Continue reading

5/26/2021 —  CVI Webinar #5 & #6 Archives Available

Our CVI Webinars this semester have been a success!  If you missed the live webinars, don’t worry! The recorded archives for CVI Webinar #5 & #6 are now available and free to view.   CVI Webinar #5 – Implementing CVI Strategies Into AAC Instruction – Panel Discussion with:  Gabriela Berlanga, Diego, and Gabriela (Gaby) Mangino, Diego’s Mother CVI Webinar #6 … – Continue reading

3/3/2021 —  CVI Webinar #4: Implementing CVI Strategies into AAC Instruction – A Case Study Archive available

The star of this webinar is Diego who has complex communication needs and cortical visual impairment. The presenter describes her experiences in learning about CVI and how to implement a program that supports Diego’s use of his vision with particular emphasis on how CVI impacted his access to language and literacy. The presentation illustrates how … – Continue reading

—  Employment Opportunity: Instructional Assistant

The Bridge School is looking for a dynamic, positive and energetic individual to serve as an Instructional Assistant (paraprofessional)  in our school program and become a part of our interdisciplinary teams. We serve children between the ages of 3 – 12 with severe physical and speech impairments. Duties include assisting in instructional activities, providing physical … – Continue reading

2/18/2021 —  Children With Cortical Visual Impairment and Complex Communication Needs: Identifying Gaps Between Needs and Current Practice

Over half of the students at The Bridge School have Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). This impairment impacts EVERY aspect of their lives. Over the years, the staff has reached out for help; however, they often found that little information was available for them or the children’s parents, which prompted us to take a closer look … – Continue reading