Monday, May 19, 2014

Educating Students with Mild Disabilities

Summary of comments for Week 7

I would like to thank my colleagues of the IT&DML Program of the University of New Haven for their thoughts and comments about educating students with mild disabilities. They shared great insight about how to best help students with mild disabilities succeed in the general education classroom. I appreciate the research that was  conducted. It was informative and added to the discussion.  Mild disabilities are referred to as high-incidence disabilities because of the large number of students with type of disability.  According to information from the US Department of Education (2009), at least 78 percent of students with mild disabilities received some education in the general education classroom.  The following is a list of concerns and suggestions about educating students with mild disabilities made by the IT&DML group.

  • Students with mild disabilities cannot be easily identified and therefore may not receive the necessary services to become successful learners.
  • Not knowing what AT is available to meet student's need
  • Cost of AT
  • Providing AT tools or extra support may create stigma for students with mild disabilities.
  • Mindset of teachers (lack of technology knowledge, misunderstanding the benefits of AT)  may hinder student’s success  in the classroom
  • Teacher's may be overwhelmed and shutdown to using AT in the classroom

  • Importance of involving family members in the selection of AT
  • Meeting with parents and families more than just once a year would be beneficial for special education students
  • Co-teaching can be an effective strategy for educating students with mild disabilities and all students
  • Teaching strategies, methods, and AT used with students with mild disabilities can also be beneficial to other students in the classroom.
  • When selecting AT, the AT must align with learning goal
  • Informing and training all stakeholders (policy makers, special education teachers, parents, assistant teachers) about how to educate students with mild disabilities.
  • Availability for technical support at home and in school for AT
  • Using trial periods for AT to monitor usage and effectiveness
  • SRBI model helps identify students for special education
  • Learning models (SIOP, UDL) can help students with mild disabilities and all students
  • Effective strategies include Learning Strategy Instruction, and teacher modeling
  • Engage students in processtype questions such as,  “How is the strategy working? Where else might you apply it?”
  • Chunking down into small pieces, using images, and providing good and quick feedback are effective strategies for students with mild disabilities
  • “Teacher toolbox” for differentiating learning through graphics, alternate assignments, and using presentation software.
  • Technology toolbox” using technology to support teaching & learning
  • Learner productivity toolbox - tools for student use, hand-held devices to assist in reading, math, and writing, and online tools for publishing and presentation.  
  • Using  graphic organizers, calendars, and other organizational tools to help students with mild disabilities
  • Making technology available to all in the classroom reduces the chance of creating stigmas
  • Making system-wide changes to better recognize the benefits and limits of AT, improve the delivery system of AT, and document the effectiveness of AT are needed.

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