When missions are aligned to uplift others in the community, a powerful ripple from one local nonprofit to another can be achieved to create a better learning experience for everyone involved!

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are some of the most joyous people you can find anywhere. A recent investment in new technology has captured the curiosity and delight of the Day Training For Adults (DTA) participants. Empowerment of these participants is being achieved through daily lesson plans, including life, social, functional skill, and language skill building.

Smiles, attention, and increased involvement of participants from an enhanced learning experience are a direct result of a grant that was generously awarded and funded in 2021 by The Charro Foundation. We were able to facilitate the purchase of six Sharp 75” smartboards for the Cholla campus DTA classrooms with one being installed in each of five classrooms and a sixth smart board was installed on a rolling cart to provide portability. The smartboards provide a continuous platform for daily lesson plan delivery, interactivity, and engagement through collaboration with program management and utilizing Google Classroom.

In addition to physical fitness, music movement, and DIY projects, participants experience virtual travel around the world to landmarks, museums, zoos, and aquariums through vivid and engaging imagery that attracts attention. Families of participants who visit the program have been impressed by the scope of the curriculum and the abundance of resources available to positively impact daily experiences.

When asked what impact the smartboards have had on the participants, DTA Program Manager Jakie Walker expressed, “Just today one participant came to me and signed ‘happy valentine’s day’ in ASL. When I signed it back, they went on to say it in Spanish to me. When I praised them for a great job, they said they learned it from the smartboard.”

The visual impact from the smartboards has expanded beyond traditional methods by enhancing an experience for participants who were previously receiving information that may not have always aligned with their abilities. Previously curriculum delivery was dependent on the ability of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to provide the information while maintaining the attention of participants throughout the day. This integration of new technology empowers both participants and DSPs with a far reach and meaningful methods of instruction while ensuring services are supportive, enjoyable, and beneficial.