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Visual Impairment

Posted by: Christina Escalante | March 21, 2011 | No Comment |

The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 10 million people in the United States are visually impaired.  Visual Impairment is a term experts use to describe any kind of vision loss, whether it’s someone who cannot see at all or someone who has partial vision loss.  Some people are completely blind, but many others have what is called legal blindness  (taken from TeensHealth.org).

For more information see the following websites:

www.nfb.org (National Federation for the Blind)

www.afb.org (American Foundation for the Blind)

www.seeingeye.org; www.guidedogsofamerica; www.guidedogs.org; www.guidedogs.com – (Guide Dogs)

www.afb.org/braillebug (Encourages blind children to learn Braille)

www.nbp.org/alph.html (Braille alphabet translator)

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Posted by: Christina Escalante | February 15, 2011 | No Comment |

 Taken from  http://www.nichcy.org/EducateChildren/IEP/Pages/overview.aspx?PrintMode=true

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. That’s why the process of developing this vital document is of great interest and importance to educators, administrators, and families alike. Here’s a crash course on the IEP.

What’s the IEP’s purpose?

The IEP has two general purposes: to set reasonable learning goals for a child, and to state the services that the school district will provide for the child. The IEP is developed jointly by the school system, the parents of the child, and the student (when appropriate).

Who develops the IEP?

The IEP is developed by a team of individuals that includes key school staff and the child’s parents. The team meets, reviews the assessment information available about the child, and designs an educational program to address the child’s educational needs that result from his or her disability. Want the specifics of who you’ll find on an IEP team? Read the detailed IEP Team page.

When is the IEP developed?

An IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days after it is determined, through a full and individual evaluation, that a child has one of the disabilities listed in IDEA and needs special education and related services. A child’s IEP must also be reviewed at least annually thereafter to determine whether the annual goals are being achieved and must be revised as appropriate.

What’s in an IEP?

Each child’s IEP must contain specific information, as listed within IDEA, our nation’s special education law. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, describing how the child is currently doing in school and how the child’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum
  • annual goals for the child, meaning what parents and the school team think he or she can reasonably accomplish in a year
  • the special education and related services to be provided to the child, including supplementary aids and services (such as a communication device) and changes to the program or supports for school personnel
  • how much of the school day the child will be educated separately from nondisabled children or not participate in extracurricular or other nonacademic activities such as lunch or clubs
  • how (and if) the child is to participate in state and district-wide assessments, including what modifications to tests the child needs
  • when services and modifications will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last
  • how school personnel will measure the child’s progress toward the annual goals.

For all the details about what the law requires be included in an IEP, dive into NICHCY’s IEP Contents page.

Can students be involved in developing their own IEPs?

Yes, they certainly can be! IDEA actually requires that the student be invited to any IEP meeting where transition services will be discussed. These are services designed to help the student plan for his or her transition to adulthood and life after high school. Lots of information about transition services is available on NICHCY’s Transition to Adulthood page, including how to involve students in their own IEP development.

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People First Language

Posted by: Christina Escalante | January 13, 2011 | No Comment |

“People First Language” describes what a person HAS, not what a person IS!  “People First Language” puts the person before the disability. 

SAY                                                                         INSTEAD OF

people with disabilities                                   the handicapped or disabled

he has a cognitive disability                         he’s mentally retarded

she has autism                                                   she’s autistic

he has Down Syndrome                                 he’s Downs

she has a learning disability                        she’s learning disabled

she’s of short stature                                      she’s a dwarf or midget

he has an emotional disability                   he’s emotionally disturbed

he receives special ed services                  he’s in special ed

For further information about “People First Language”  visit www.disabilityisnatural.com.

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Ability Awareness!

Posted by: Christina Escalante | November 18, 2010 | No Comment |

Take a few minutes to watch a YouTube video to see that people with disabilities—intellectual or physical—are people first. A great example is Tom Willis, who, in less than 4 minutes, demonstrates that having no hands and no arms is no problem, whether he’s doing laundry or putting on a hat-

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaPHcX5jrBE

Be sure to view the American Sign Language Version of this popular song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKnF9CCYQPQ

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