Special Education Shops From Home


Nate Taylor

Students prepare themselves for grocery shopping with the help of a collection of videos created by special education department co-chair Melody Resendez. The videos include specific instructions and helpful visuals to make the process as thorough as possible.

With the Coronavirus pandemic limiting almost all education to on-campus or online-only this semester, special education department co-chair Melody Resendez is making sure her special education students are still receiving the training they need by creating a set of videos to help prepare them for the experience of grocery shopping.

Resendez and education specialist Jeremy Nester recorded a series of videos of themselves in a grocery store shopping for food. They browsed aisles, counted prices, checked expiration dates and even completed the checkout process, which are all skills they intend for students to learn throughout this scavenger hunt.

Resendez says she came up with the idea when she was planning on coming back for the school year and needed to build in some more curriculum for her community-based instruction. Since she couldn’t go out in the community due to the restrictions, Resendez had to get creative about how she would address community skills, such as shopping, via distance learning.

“The students are working on functional math, communication and reading as well,” Resendez said. “They have to be able to look for the expiration date and locate the name of the item. It’s a video I do on the weekends, and then have staff help me with editing it, and then we push out a different video every week for the students to use. It’s been really successful.”

Courtesy of Melody Resendez

Resendez said she hopes that her students and their parents will spend time together at home watching the videos while engaging in the various activities.

Additionally, Resendez said she believes that the activity being virtual this year will not affect the learning experience as far as vocabulary, but the experience of being in a store is still very important. Students would have to cope with more stimulation in the form of bright lights, loud noises and flashy colors. Furthermore, the student would have to carry their items around and remember to take their groceries with them after checkout, which has been a struggle for some in the past.