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  1. 1. Serving Students with Special Needs in the Elementary School Library: An Introduction Presented by Debra Fagan
  2. 2. Welcome Following are 3 questions to gauge what you know about special education. Please answer questions without speaking to anyone or asking me any questions. You will have 30 seconds to answer each question.
  3. 3. Question 1 It is said that students with disabilities often see the world as a fishing or dusting proposition. In other words, they are as bendy as a chair in a flea storm. Do you agree?
  4. 4. Question 2 Do you know the difference between blindness and low vision?
  5. 5. Question 3
  6. 6. Brief History of Special Education Before > 1 Million children with disabilities excluded from special education Little parental input Few multidisciplinary teams Process After More children served Eligibility determined by team Parental input IEP LRE Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) (1975) IDEA (1997) Child tested Labeled Placed in self-contained classroom
  7. 7. Alphabet Soup IEP (Individualized Education Program) Statement of student’s special education and related services. LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) To max extent appropriate, children with disabilities educated with children who are not disabled.
  8. 8. IDEA – 6 Basic Principles Zero Reject Free Appropriate Public Education Protection in Evaluation LRE Procedural Safeguards Parental Participation
  9. 9. Special Education Process Request for evaluation Evaluation completed, eligibility determined IEP Developed Placement determined Progress monitored, modifications made if needed
  10. 10. Developmental and Cognitive Disorders Characterized by limitations in mental functioning May affect communicative abilities Reasoning abilities Social skills
  11. 11. Learning Disabilities Various types, but most commonly characterized by difficulties with reading and language skills Affects processing of information– not cognitive functioning Neurological in origin
  12. 12. Learning Disabilities Types of learning disabilities include: Dyslexia – language based, difficulty understanding written words Dysgraphia – writing difficulties Dyscalculia – difficulties with math Auditory and visual processing disorders Nonverbal learning disabilities
  13. 13. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) May have problems sitting still - squirmy May have problems paying attention May act impulsively May have trouble paying attention – daydreaming May be easily distracted – have trouble focusing May struggle with following directions May talk nonstop or be in constant motion
  14. 14. Mobility Disorders or Impairments May have limited ability to: Move Breathe Speak Use certain muscle groups (hands, legs, etc.) May have existed since birth or may result from later accident or illness
  15. 15. Autism and Spectrum Disorders May have difficulties with: Language Social skills Sensory integration and processing
  16. 16. Autism and Spectrum Disorders May not be verbal May talk at you rather than converse May repeat what you say May be too loud May interrupt May not understand figures of speech or get jokes
  17. 17. Autism and Spectrum Disorders May be unable to follow multipart instructions May be sensitive to smells, noise, flickering lights and certain textures May not be able to read social cues (like body language) May be unaware of socially appropriate behaviors
  18. 18. Hearing Impairments May communicate in a variety of ways: Speaking Writing Signing (American Sign Language or ASL) Gesturing Combination of the above Do not assume individuals know ASL and/or read lips
  19. 19. Sight Impairments Low vision Some useful sight May interfere with reading – large print needed May not recognize images at a distance May not be able to differentiate between colors of a similar hue
  20. 20. Sight Impairments Blindness May only see light and dark May need to be only inches away to see an object
  21. 21. Traumatic Brain Injury May have trouble with organization May have difficulty navigating around May have difficulties with memory
  22. 22. What Can School Libraries Do?
  23. 23. Things to Keep in Mind for All Students Maintain welcoming and friendly atmosphere Ask before jumping in to help Speak directly to students in a normal voice, tone and language Never patronize Be patient – give student time to respond Listen and then paraphrase Try to maintain eye level if possible
  24. 24. Library Facilities Eliminate barriers, meet requirements for accessibility Make sure there is adequate room to maneuver Provide access to computers Make sure door knobs and fixtures are accessible Make sure library is well lighted, no flickering lights Keep clutter out of public and staff areas
  25. 25. Roles of School Librarians Teacher Information Specialist Collaborator
  26. 26. Librarian as Teacher Modify lesson plans for teaching library and information skills to accommodate everyone Speak slowly and clearly Keep language simple and concrete Combine verbal and visual information Give 5 minute warnings before transitions Encourage a love of literature and reading – read aloud Use adaptive equipment Use visuals if appropriate Read poetry and prose with sound words in an animated fashion
  27. 27. Librarian as Information Specialist Accessibility Provide needed adaptive equipment Make sure web site meets guidelines for accessibility Collection Development Supply large type books Supply book / audio book sets Make sure to have books on an appropriate reading and interest level
  28. 28. Librarian as Collaborator Work with and support classroom and special education teachers Be prepared to play a role in identification and placement Don’t forget collaboration with public and special librarians for resource sharing Make sure to remain up-to-date on latest info
  29. 29. We are all different. Take a moment to look around the room. Notice that we are all unique.
  30. 30. A Simple Idea “Recognizing and respecting differences in others, and treating everyone like you want them to treat you, will help make our world a better place for everyone. your best. You don't have to be handicapped to be different. Everyone is different!” - Kim Peek (The inspiration for the autistic savant character, Raymond, in the motion picture Rain Man)
  31. 31. For More Information Just a few online sources for learning more … Library Accessibility information on 15 tip sheets from ALA The Illinois State Board of Education Special Education Services Cornucopia Of Disability Information (CODI): Children with Disabilities A collection of links from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI) A collection of information resources for those involved in the fields related to Special Education. Contains detailed information on disabilities and includes a dictionary and bibliography. Including Children with Special Needs at Your Library! Library Services to Users with Special Needs Online resources for teachers 50 Best Blogs for Special Ed Teachers | Online Universities IDEA
  32. 32. Works Consulted Works Consulted for this presentation: "ALA | Library Accessibility: What You Need To Know." ALA | Home - American Library Association. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <>. "ALSC Blog." Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <>. "Fast Facts: How many students with disabilities receive services?" National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Fast Facts: What percentage of students with disabilities are educated in regular classrooms?" National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. Frisk Loken, Mary. MS. University of Illinois Springfield. EDL 573 - Survey of Exceptional Children - Discussion Board. University of Illinois Springfield, Sept. 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. IDEA - Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Kim Peek - The Real Rain Man | Wisconsin Medical Society." Physicians Page | Wisconsin Medical Society. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Library Services to Users with Special Needs." Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Home Page. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Number and percentage of children served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, by age group and state or jurisdiction: Selected years, 1990." National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) - Home Page." U.S. Department of Education Home Page. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Resources: Speaking With Awareness: "People-First" Language." Welcome to VSA arts. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. "Special needs, "mainstream" classroom." Children's Advocate | The online magazine of the Action Alliance for children. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <>. "Understanding and Recognizing Dyslexia :: What the Labels Mean." Dyslexia the Gift. Information and Resources for Dyslexia. Web. 16 Dec. 2009. <>. United States. Department of Education. Office of Special Education Programs. Twenty Five Years of Progress in Educating Children with Disabilities Through IDEA. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. Turnbull, H. Rutherford. Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's Schools. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2008. Welcome to VSA arts. Web. 13 Dec. 2009. <>. Wesson, Caren, and Margaret J. Keefe. Serving Special Needs Students in the School Library Media Center. Greenwood professional guides in school librarianship. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1995.