On December 20th, 2018 the Udmurt State University in collaboration with the US Consulate General in Ekaterinburg organized a seminar entitled “Art Therapy as an Instrument in Work with People with Disabilities” aimed primarily atstudents and professors of UdSU Institute of Pedagogy, Psychology and Social Technologies. The topic, however, occurred to be very timely for a wide range of specialists and attracted social workers, art therapists, vocational therapists, speech therapists, volunteers, government representatives of Udmurt Republic. About 150 people participated in the event.
The seminar was presented by Kevin Spencer, a teaching artist, famous illusionist, educational specialist of Special Education Department in Carlow University (Pennsylvania, USA). Mr. Spencer is considered the most competent expert on the educational and therapeutic use of magic tricks in the classroom. His educational project “Hocus-Focus” represents an interdisciplinary educational course based on the focus art. Heisalsoa certifiedspecialistonautism. His research on the benefits of integratingmagic tricks into the educational process for all students including people with intellectual disabilities and puerilism was published in the Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education.
In his seminar Kevin Spencer presented the results of his research in the field and taught the participants a few tricks that he uses in his work. He gave recommendations for each trick how to use it in working with children with special needs and explained the mechanisms how every movement develops their cognitive, social, communicative and motor skills. Everybody was happy to learn a new skill and to get new ideas for their work.