Sensory-Friendly Design Enters The Classroom
by Blythe Bernhard | October 4, 2018
As more students with special needs enter school systems nationwide, educators are increasingly designing their classrooms to boost behavior and academic performance.
Sensory-friendly design focuses on controlling the sights, sounds and smells that can be under- or overstimulating to students with autism or other developmental disabilities. A few schools have been built for this purpose, but any classroom can be retrofitted to improve its sensory environment, experts say.
“Surprisingly, you don’t need an elaborately designed, high-tech building to support a child’s sensory needs,” said Nicole Eredics, a California-based educator and author of “Inclusion in Action,” a book about creating welcoming classrooms for all students.
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Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of Datto, Inc. in Downtown Rochester and Creation of New Venture Capital Fund With Excell Partners
September 26, Albany, NY
The Governor today also announced the establishment of the Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund (FLX Fund). The $25 million targeted investment fund will provide early-venture stage capital investments ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million for startup companies in key high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing, life and material sciences, optics, photonics & imaging and others. The fund will be managed by Excell Technology Ventures, an offshoot of Excell Partners, and was a priority project identified to help increase access to capital for growing companies in the FLREDC's Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative strategic plan.
Excell Partners CEO Theresa Mazzullo said, "The Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund is yet another example of how Governor Cuomo is making upstate NY more competitive. This Fund will help to close the capital gap by providing funding that will help high tech startups expand and grow. Excell's 12-year track record shows a direct correlation with investment and job creation. The FLX Fund is guaranteed to bring more new jobs to the Finger Lakes Region. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Governor for his ongoing support for innovation in upstate."
To be eligible for an investment from the FLX Fund, a company will be required to be located somewhere within the nine-county Finger Lakes region, and maintain either its headquarters in the area or ensure that at least 75 percent of its employees are working in the region for a period of no less than three years after that initial investment. The targeted investments will require a 2:1 private to public match over the life of the fund, with a minimum 1:1 match for any individual investment. Empire State Development will receive 80 percent of the fund profits or gains from the investment; Excell Technology Ventures will retain 20 percent to be reinvested in the fund.
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An ambitious study of 153 classrooms in the United Kingdom provides the best evidence that flexible spaces can boost academic performance.
By Stephen Merrill
June 14, 2018There are plenty of studies that isolate the effects of light, acoustics, or air quality on learning. But the research on flexible classrooms is frustratingly scarce.
There are good reasons for the apparent lack of interest. Variables like natural light and acoustics lend themselves to single-factor experiments that can be conducted in a laboratory setting. Give subjects a task to complete in a room with ample windows, for example, and then administer the same test in a room without them.
But flexible classrooms are complex, living systems. One flexible space looks nothing like the next, and often dozens of children and one or more teachers operate within them, pushing and pulling furniture into novel configurations, dimming or turning up lights, and otherwise reshuffling things to suit an almost infinite variety of personal preferences. Studying flexible classrooms, it would seem, means circulating among real children.
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The Construct is helping with the 2018 Capstone Design Conference and we welcome CEO Sandra Turner #RIT graduate @viggistoryteller to talk to student from around the country about her Capstone experience and how it turned into a business! #rit #makers #makerspaces #entrepreneur @rittigers
Made in USA News: Viggi Corp. invited to meet with Toy Buyer at Walmart Open Call Event in June. Viggi invents innovative products targeted towards inclusive education and wellness.
ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 24, 2018 – Viggi Corp. is one of hundreds of US Companies invited to present to buyers at the upcoming Walmart Open-Call Event for US made products in Arkansas. Viggi is a WBE Certified growing business located in Rochester,
BIFMA is the trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMA has been the voice of the commercial furniture industry.
Kerri Murphy, Assistant Nurse Manager of University of Virginia Health System found Vidgets while searching online for Sibling Chairs.
Kerri states that "In our unit, we refer to the Vidget as Sibling Chairs. The bright colors help create a fun and kid-friendly atmosphere the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that can be overwhelming and intimidating for new big brothers and sisters. They clean easy between use and are light enough to move easily around the unit. We love having new chairs for families."
We are so humbled with how the Vidgets continue to help children and adults in so many different ways. Thanks Kerri for sharing your feedback!
Make your Vidget® glow in the dark by adding a light! Vidgets are hollow which make it perfect for lighting up in darker spaces like sensory rooms or calming areas. We are currently using a stick on light that we purchased from Amazon (product used for underneath bottles to light up liquid). Sometime this year, we hope to come out with a customized lighting fixture but for now, you can use sticker lights to make your Vidget® glow!
The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has announced the winners of the 2017 EDspaces Innovation Awards. This competition recognizes manufacturers for excellence in product design for the learning environment.
Awards were announced at EDspaces tradeshow and conference in Kansas City, Missouri, with this year's Best of Competition honors awarded to CEF-Custom Educational Furnishings for The Edison Table. "Design exists to improve the experience of end-users, and this year's winners exemplify outstanding educational products that are elevating the learning environment," said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. "We are so pleased to once again see form, function, and innovation on display at EDspaces."
Products were evaluated by a panel of distinguished jurors that included: Elizabeth Bird, Affiliate IIDA, interior designer, Incite Design Studio; Mary Maloney, IIDA, RID LEED AP, senior interior designer, PGAL; and Erika Moody, IIDA, principal, Helix Architecture + Design. "This year's best of competition, The Edison Table, and all of the winners illustrate the type of versatile, multi-use products that present much-needed solutions in educational environments," said Moody on behalf of the jury.
Read more: https://www.dexigner.com/news/30468
Research Reports Vidget® Improves Attention & Focus!
The results are in! We are excited to share new research on the Vidget® conducted in kindergarten class which resulted in a 90% reduction in observable disruptive behaviors and 74% reduction in the number times the teacher had to redirect a student to help him or her refocus on work!
Kindergarten Teacher Feedback"Girl A", who struggled with output of class work has TAKEN OFF in her ability to attend to written tasks. Before Vidgets, she consistently wrote just a word or two during a writing task. After a week of using the Vidget she was writing using 1-2 sentences and is now sitting down for extended periods of time to write 5-6 sentence paragraphs! She often sits to write of her own accord now. I'm so grateful to have the Vidgets to give her the sensory input she needs so that the output matches her ability level. Vidgets are an amazing seating option for early education students! I think every Kindergarten class should have them!
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What's the buzz?
"Since incorporating the Vidget in our classroom, I have noticed an improvement in attention span, participation, and regulation in my students"
Tara, Occupational Therapist
"The little girl I used it with sat down and ate lunch which she usually does not do - she tends to stand or sit and wiggle in her seat."
Melanie, Director of Occupational Therapy
"When Pearl is in a Vidget, her behavior is 100 times better than when she’d in a normal chair. She’s still has difficulty sitting for that long, but it makes a HUGE difference! Without it, she’s everywhere."
Lara, Pre-K Teacher
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