Positioning of Materials

  • Make sure that materials are positioned within the physical and visual range of the student. If the student needs to hold materials close to see, raise the materials on a slant board, wedge, or higher surface so that the student does not have to hold his head down close to see it. If the student is in equipment such as a sidelyer or tilted back in a wheelchair, make sure materials are positioned in his/ her visual field.
  • Materials should be presented to allow the most independent interactions within the student's motor capabilities. For example, placing a toy on the wheelchair tray instead of putting it in his/her hand allows a student to see the toy and actively reach for it.
  • It is often useful to have materials in a confined space such as a work tray or attached to a board (e.g. by elastic) so that the student can always access it easily.

Positioning of Students

  • A "one size fits all" approach does not work! Think about the best position for each student for the current activity e.g. the students' wheelchair, standing frame, or floor sitting/lying.
  • The best position to encourage movement may be different for the best position for the student to use their vision/access communication tools. 
  • Consider the effects of other factors such as the room temperature, illness, fatigue (time of day) and the student's emotional state on how they could best be positioned.
  • Be sure to liaise with the student's physiotherapist and occupational therapist regarding optimal positions for different activities.