HISD sensory cart design featured in TAHPERD Journal

HISD sensory cart design featured in TAHPERD Journal
Posted on 12/01/2017

A special education sensory cart designed by Harlandale ISD teachers was recently featured in the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) Journal.

Designed by Special Education Teacher William McGinnis, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant Mary Camman and Visual Impairment Teacher Tim Poynter, the sensory cart started off as a small project almost a year ago as a way to provide special needs students with a sensory rich environment that is mobile and accessible.

“We see how our autistic kids need more sensory input, especially in the gym,” McGinnis said. “So we decided to take an AV cart and turn it into an entire sensory room on wheels that was mobile enough to be brought between a gym and a classroom.”

The published article offers a step-by-step guide on how the cart was built, and McGinnis hopes it will inspire other schools to build their own. The cost to assemble the cart can range between $200 to $500 depending on the sensory items chosen to accessorize the cart.

Harlandale’s project, made possible through various donations, was completed in March and features four panels with different themes: fine motor manipulation, shapes and sound, music exploration, and prewriting and object manipulation. All the panels are replaceable and exchangeable as the needs of the students change.

“In the music side, the kids are able to explore different musical instruments, including a xylophone and a tambourine, which were donated by Gillette Elementary Choir Teacher Leonardo Zepeda,” McGinnis explained. “And in the prewriting side, they can start figuring out how to move items through a pattern so that they can start developing prewriting skills as well.”

McGinnis presented the sensory cart design at the TAHPERD Summer Convention in San Marcos, Texas in July, which led for the project to be featured in the journal.

“They really liked the idea and what we are doing for the kids,” McGinnis said. “This is a great thing that we can share with people all over Texas.”

More educators will have the opportunity to learn more about this design as McGinnis will also be presenting it this Friday during TAHPERD’s 94th Annual Convention in Ft. Worth, Texas.

“I hope they feel inspired because they can meet more of their kids' sensory needs. And, anytime we can help more than just our kids, it’s exciting for us,” McGinnis added.

The sensory cart is currently being used at Bellaire Elementary School; however, McGinnis is already thinking of building a second one.

“We would love to have one in all of the Pre-K units for life skills and autism. The kids are having fun with it; and when you see them playing and interacting, it’s great because that’s what we were going for and what we wanted to see,” McGinnis concluded. 

Site Powered by: SharpSchool © 2004-2017 Education Web Hosting & Content Management Solutions