In this Storyboard I will be discussing instructional goals and accommodations for students with academic, functional, and self-determining skill disabilities as well as the concepts of continuum of placement and inclusion under IDEA.
Hello! I'm Ms. Hanks. As a teacher, I recognize the importance of all students. The result of this is I have great expectations for ALL of my students! Every student should have the opportunity to meet appropriate instructional goals. For students who have a disability that affects their learning, it is my job to provide accommodations that can help them succeed no matter what obstacle or obstacles they might face. These accommodations can be used to help students reach academic goals, functional goals, and self-determination skills goals. I will work hard to help my students meet these goals because ultimately, I just want each student to find success!
Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017.
Academic and functional goals are specifically worked into a special needs student's IEP. According to IDEA regulations, the two purposes academic and functional goals serve are: one, meet the student's needs that stem from the disability in order to have them involved in and making progress in general education and two, meet all of the student's other educational needs that result from the disability. Naturally, the specific academic and functional goals are going to be different for each student depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the student themselves, the disability, and the school. Specific goals are outlined directly in a student's IEP. The essential purpose, though, is to simply have the student thrive in the general educational setting.
Self Determination. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017.
Setting self-determination goals for students with disabilities is slightly trickier than academic and functional goals. Self-determination is basically the ability to provide a satisfying life for oneself. This is especially important for students with disabilities because they deserve just as great of a life after school as any other individual. Reaching self-determination requires setting goals in many areas of attitude and behavior such as assertiveness, creativity, pride, problem solving, and self-advocacy. Even then, it is difficult to truly measure the progress of these intangible ideals. As a result, self-determination is a process that requires help from educators, mentors, and family alike.
Morin, A. (n.d.). Common Modifications and Accommodations. Retrieved February 02, 2017.
Like aforementioned, in order for me to help my students meet their academic, functional, and self-determination goals I need to adapt my teaching and my classroom to provide accommodations and modifications. It would take pages and pages and pages to list all general modifications and accommodations for intellectual disabilities alone, but here are a few of the more common ones: listen to audio recordings instead of reading, record a lecture instead of taking notes, take a test in a different setting, provide more time for assignments and tests, write shorter papers, provide alternative forms of assessment, learn different material until they are ready to move on, etc. It will be different for each unique student and each unique situation. As a teacher, I need to be flexible!
Archived: Educational Placements of Students with Disabilities. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017.
In addition to goals, the student's IEP also will include placement. A student's placement under IDEA is determined by multiple factors like the educational benefits to the student in a traditional classroom, the non-academic benefits of the disabled student interacting with students that don't have disabilities, and the disruption education of non-disabled students might have on the student with disabilities. Placement is NOT allowed to be determined by the type of disability, the severity of the disability, or the availability of services and aids. All of this being said, there are a few options of where a student can be placed. Regular class means a student is fully integrated into a traditional classroom. Resource room means a student is outside the traditional classroom for 21-60% of the day. Seperate class means a student is outside of the traditional classroom for more than 60% of the day. Separate school means the student is in a special school for their disabilities for at least 50% of the day. Residential facility means the student receives education in a special facility paid by the public. Homebound/hospital environment means the student receives education through a homeschool program. Whatever the placement, those familiar with the student and their situation will decide what is the best option.
NAPSEC: IDEA and Private Specialized Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017. Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017.
Once a student is placed there needs to be an accountability on behalf of whoever is providing their education. As a result, IDEA put in place a "continuum of placement". What this means is that from the ages of 6 to 21, students need to have access to services related to their education. This ensures that students always have access to resources that can help them succeed in school and in life. Along with the continuum, IDEA also states that students should be placed in the least restrictive environment when at all appropriate. Under IDEA the term "inclusion" is never explicitly stated, but the concept of a least restrictive environment is closely related to the desire of wanting students with special needs to be involved in anything and everything a student without special needs is. With both, the main motivation is to blend special needs students with students who do not have special needs. At the end of the day, children are children, and all deserve to experience school to the fullest. Ms. Hanks' classroom is one that encourages all students to shoot for their own star!
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