The Pace Centre has received a grant from the Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) for £3,980, enabling them to buy materials to construct a set of bespoke Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) books for 10 of its students
PODD books take 24 man-hours to compile and are used by children with complex communication needs, consisting of selected and organised sets of symbols.
Many of the students at the Pace Centre have movement problems in addition to their communication difficulties (such as cerebral palsy) and can select the symbols by eye movement allowing communication with their communication partner.
The advantage of this low-tech system is that it is portable and can be with the student at all times, allowing their essential needs to be understood as well as allowing communication with teachers, parents and peers. This can alleviate discomfort, frustration and unhappiness both in the school environment and in and out of the home.
They recently received a visit from two Buckinghamshire Freemasons, Phil Blacklaw, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, and Andrew Hough, Secretary of the BMCF. Phil and Andrew were keen to see how the donation was helping children at the school.
The Pace Centre has two sites in the Aylesbury area and serves children from the whole of Buckinghamshire as well as some from adjoining counties. The school has 34 students on the roll, but supports over 300 children.
The centre commented that the books will have very heavy use and will need to be expanded as each child’s vocabulary increases allowing them to maintain academic progress.