October 2012 | News You Can Use

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Inclusion and Access to the General Curriculum



There are many ways to provide access to the general education curriculum for a child with a disability, and as Joanne Karger of the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) explained the provision clearly in her 2004 article Access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities: the role of the IEP, the IEP team is the appropriate authority to determine how individual students will be included in the general education classroom.  
Some students will start out by addressing social and/or behavioral goals within the environment of a general education classroom for limited parts of the school day. Others will participate more fully in some general education classes with behavioral or medical supports. Still others will spend a large portion of the day in general education classrooms along with their typical peers. This may be referred to as “Least Restrictive Environment” or inclusion; each school district uses its own terms to describe the ways in which students with disabilities are served. All IEP team members need to know the strategies and benefits of inclusion within general education environments in order to make informed decisions.
This month we’re bringing you resources and information on serving students with disabilities in general education settings. As students with disabilities gain more and more access to the general education curriculum, there may be students you’ve never served before appearing in your classes. We hope these resources are useful for supporting and including children with disabilities in all general education settings. 

As always, we welcome your feedback in all forms. Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@fhi360.org.

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities


 NICHCY offers an array of resources to help educators improve access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities. Here’s a list of what to consult first.

Addressing the general education curriculum.
We’ve devoted an entire page of resources to the subject! Find resources to help teach students with disabilities reading, math, science, history, the arts, and more.

Supports, modifications, and accommodations for students.

What’s effective for students with specific disabilities?
Connect with educator guides for educating students with AD/HD, autism, behavioral/emotional disorders, hearing impairment, deafness, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment (including blindness). http://nichcy.org/schoolage/effective-practices/speced

Tips for teachers in our disability fact sheets.
Many of our fact sheets offer a section called “Tips for Teachers”- AD/HD, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, speech-language impairments, and traumatic brain injury. Access the fact sheets of your choice at:

Also, remember to look on the sidebars of each of these pages for additional resources. That’s where we list valuable Related Information.

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

Response to Intervention: Fundamentals for Educators.
This great resource is intended for school personnel with very limited knowledge about Response to Intervention (RTI); the presentation provides opportunities to learn basic RTI terminology and foundations for developing a framework to support all students.
Response to Intervention: Fundamentals for Educators–PowerPoint.

Response to Intervention: Fundamentals for Educators–Presenter Guide.



Parents’ Guide to Student Success. 

On parent-teacher communication.
Two resources from Eduguide to help parents establish a good working relationship with their child’s teacher.

Nine questions to guide parent-teacher communication.
These 9 questions will help you get ready to meet with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year or any time!

Parent-teacher communication: What teachers wish parents knew.

Advocating for your child with a disability: 9 rules of thumb.
It can be very difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need. Here are a few rules of thumb from Wrightslaw. http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.9rules.crabtree.htm

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A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Indicators of “quality” in early childhood programs.
This publication from NECTAC, Quality Indicators of Inclusive Early Childhood Programs/Practices, is a compilation of selected resources.

Tiered instruction module now available in Spanish.
This CONNECT module focuses on the purpose, use, and potential benefits of tiered instruction when working with young children. Now there’s a Spanish version of the module, too!

The brain science of early childhood.
The neuroscientific research on the early brain is one of the most compelling bodies of evidence for investing in young children. Conveying this message broadly is critical to building support for early childhood policies and programs. Here’s a range of tools (PowerPoint, videos, and one-page information briefs) to help non-scientists present information on early brain development and the importance of investing in early childhood programs.

5-minute video | How the brain develops executive functions.
In the brain, executive functioning refers to a group of skills that helps us focus on multiple streams of information at the same time, and revise plans as necessary. Acquiring the early building blocks of these skills is one of the most important and challenging tasks of the early childhood years.

Pre-3 CONNECT: An Evidence-Based Practice Approach to Professional Development.
Early Childhood Educators, join CONNECT for a full-day pre-conference workshop at the DEC Annual Conference on October 28 2012 in Minneapolis. The workshop will include evidence-based practice resources, ways to organize professional development opportunities around early childhood inclusion, and much more.

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Instructing Students With High-Incidence Disabilities in the General Education Classroom.
An online handbook from ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
Access to the general curriculum: Two online curricula.
Check out the materials for educators at the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC), especially the two multi-part curricula available on (1) effective classroom practices and (2) curriculum enhancements.
Accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities.
Accommodations in the classroom are essential for supporting student access to the general curriculum. Here are resources to consult for what accommodations to make for students with different disabilities.
From AD/HD to visual impairments. 
We mentioned this NICHCY resource above, but it’s worthy mentioning again. Connect with educator guides and tips for teachers for educating students with AD/HD, autism, behavioral/emotional disorders, hearing impairment, deafness, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment (including blindness).

Visit PEPNet, the central resource on educating students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This page gives you access to a mighty list of accommodation publications, including: speech-to-text services, test equity for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and serving students who have a cochlear implant.

Learning disabilities.
An incredible wealth of information is available online to he
lp teachers understand LD and support the learning needs of students with LD. Find out the best sources at:
Visual impairment.
Find a great list of accommodations and modifications to help students with visual impairments access the general curriculum in the broad areas of: instruction, materials, assignments, classroom testing, assistive technology, and the environment.
Adaptations and accommodations in different SUBJECTS of the school curriculum.
These resources will help teacher adapti instruction in math, reading, science, and other courses of the core academic curriculum and beyond.
Math in middle school.  
Check out Accessibility Strategies in Mathematics — Middle School: Online Guides, where you’ll find materials to help teachers make middle school mathematics more accessible to a wide range of students, including those with special needs.
Physical education. 
This resource discusses common adaptations in P.E. class, modifications for selected activities, rules of thumb for communication, and helpful hints about teaching materials.
Visit Reading Rockets, the national multimedia project focused exclusively on teaching children to read, especially those who struggle with this complicated but essential skill.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Here’s a hefty book to consult to find out what accommodations to offer to students with disabilities in STEM classes from middle school to the university.

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What does “reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction” mean?
New from the AIM Center, this policy brief discusses the meaning and implications for LEAs and SEAs of the term “reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction,” one of the four disability categories that determine a student’s eligibility for accessible instructional materials under IDEA.
Meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities in short-term detention facilities | CD-ROM.
This CD-ROM provides an overview of the issues and strategies involved in the delivery of special education and related services in jails and detention centers.
The National Indian Education Study: 2011. 
Interested in the education experience of American Indian/Alaskan Native students? The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the United States.
Need guidance on how to make communications accessible to people with disabilities?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed an Accessibility Clearinghouse with descriptions of a variety of products and services designed to improve accessibility of communications for people with disabilities. The website includes fact sheets on a wide range of topics such as computer access, housing accommodations, emergency systems, assistive technology funding, and more. Resources can be found by type of disability or communications topic.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N080003 between FHI 360 and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@fhi360.org. We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.