Students with special needs:Enhancing the educational experience Presented by: Patricia Washpon February 26, 2012
Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) What is an IEP? Children with delayed skills or other disabilities might be eligible for special services that provide individualized education programs in public schools, free of charge to families. The IEP describes the goals the evaluation team sets for a child during the school year, as well as any special support needed to help achieve them.
Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) Who Needs an IEP? A child who has difficulty learning and functioning and has been identified as a special needs student is the perfect candidate for an IEP. Kids struggling in school may qualify for support services, allowing them to be taught in a special way, for reasons such as: – Learning disabilities – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Emotional disorders – Cognitive challenges – Autism – Hearing Impairment – Visual Impairment – Speech or Language Impairment – Developmental delay
Academic and Learning Aids• Many students with disabilities use assistive technology to enhance their participation and achievement in their educational programs.• There are a range of assistive technology solutions to address student needs in all academic areas including reading, writing and spelling, math, study, and organizational skills• Many assistive technology devices are beneficial for students who have difficulty completing their academic assignments.• These devices can range from something as simple as a pencil grip that provides the support needed to appropriately hold a pencil.• Electronic and non-electronic aids such as adapted paper, calculators, word identification aids, portable word processors, and computer-based software solutions are used by students who have difficulty achieving in the educational curriculum.
Assistive Technology (AT)• The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act) was designed to enhance the availability and quality of assistive technology (AT) devices and services to all individuals and their families throughout the United States.• The Tech Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) define an AT device as any item, piece of equipment, or product system (whether acquired off the shelf, modified, or customized) that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. AT devices may be categorized as no technology, low technology, or high technology.• There are several areas of instruction in which AT can assist students. Six of these are: – organization – note taking – writing – academic productivity – access to reference and general educational materials – cognitive assistance
Assistive Technology (AT)• "No-technology" or "no-tech" refers to any assistive device that is not electronic. No-tech items range from a piece of foam glued onto the corners of book pages to make turning easier to a study carrel to reduce distraction.• "Low-technology" or "low-tech" devices are electronic but do not include highly sophisticated computer components, such as an electronic voice-recording device.• "High-technology" or "high-tech" devices utilize complex, multifunction technology and usually include a computer and associated software.
AT for hearing impaired students• Students who are hard of hearing or deaf often need assistive technology to access information that is typically presented verbally and accessed through the auditory modality.• A variety of technology solutions are available that amplify speech and other auditory signals or that provide an alternative to the auditory modality. These include assistive listening devices that amplify sound and speech both in the classroom and home environment, closed captioning devices, and real time captioning. Assistive Device• Sound Field System - This is a wireless system of two parts: the teacher’s wireless microphone and the speakers (usually four of these) that are placed strategically inside the classroom. The microphone transmits the voice of the teacher to the speakers, which amplify the sound. The sound field system, which is sometimes called the phonic ear, is also useful for students who suffer from ADHD.
How Are Services Delivered?• In most cases, the services and goals outlined in an IEP can be provided in a standard school environment. This can be done in the regular classroom or in a special resource room in the regular school.• Because the goal of IDEA is to ensure that each child is educated in the least restrictive environment possible, effort is made to help kids stay in a regular classroom. However, when needs are best met in a special class, then students might be placed in one.
InclusionMainstreamingHas been used to refer to the selective placement of special education students inone or more "regular" education classes. Proponents of mainstreaming generallyassume that a student must "earn" his or her opportunity to be placed in regularclasses by demonstrating an ability to "keep up" with the work assigned by theregular classroom teacher.InclusionInvolves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child tothe services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class(rather than having to keep up with the other students).Full InclusionMeans that all students, regardless of handicapping condition or severity, will be ina regular classroom/program full time. All services must be taken to the child inthat setting.
Benefits of InclusionInclusion improves learning for both classified and non-classified students. Ateacher is more apt to break instruction into finer parts or repeat directions if there is astudent in the room who deals with deafness, blindness, or a developmental disability.Children learn to accept individual differences. The best way to help childrenovercome their misconceptions about kids who have disabilities is to bring themtogether in integrated settings.Children develop new friendships. Children with disabilities who are included inregular education develop friendships in their home communities.Parent participation improves. When children with disabilities are integrated intolocal schools, parents have more opportunity to participate in that school and in thecommunity where the school is located.Its a matter of civil rights. Students with disabilities have a legal right to attendregular classes and receive an appropriate education in the least restrictiveenvironment.