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Course Syllabus
EDSP 302: Characteristics of Individuals with Severe Disabilities
3 Credits -
1 credit = 15 contact hours
 Instructor: Ginny IversonTimes and Dates : July 1 to August 9 , 2013 Location: Blackboard
Course Description: 
EDSP 302 will benefit general and special educators, related services providers, administrators,paraeducators and others involved with educating students with Intensive Special Education needsfrom preschool through high school. This course offers conceptual and practical information andskills to facilitate the education of students with severe disabilities in inclusive classrooms based onbest practices in intensive special education. Historical and current perspectives will be exploredalong with conceptual frameworks for educating children with severe disabilities. Characteristics,including intellectual, physical, sensory, health and behavioral, will be explored through numerousexemplars of severe and multiple disabilities (e.g., autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome,deafblindness). The emphasis is on understanding how these characteristics affect learning and theselection of educational interventions. Students will participate in simulations, and learn to conductresearch, record reviews, interviews and observations, and document information about a studentand implications for the educational program. Students will become familiar with state of the art toolsfor providing exemplary services for children with severe disabilities. The overall emphasis of thecourse is valuing people with severe disabilities by promoting opportunities, participation, learning,and support that result in valued life outcomes
Students will learn conceptual and practical information and skills to facilitate the education ofstudents with severe disabilities in inclusive classrooms based on best practices in intensive specialeducation.
Learning Outcomes: 
Demonstrate knowledge about the: (a) intellectual, (b) physical, (c) sensory, (d) health,and (e) behavioral characteristics of students with ISE needs and correspondingterminology.
Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of disability-related characteristics on educationalaccess and programming (e.g., adaptations, physical management) for students withISE needs.
Articulate a conceptualization of how and why students with severe disabilities can bemeaningfully included in the least restrictive environment, including chronologically age-appropriate, general education classes.
Demonstrate knowledge of the roles of related services providers (e.g., physicaltherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists) to work effectivelywith them as team members and be knowledgeable consumers of related services forstudents with ISE needs.
Demonstrate knowledge of inclusive practices for teaching students with intensivespecial education needs in general education classes.
Demonstrate knowledge of partial participation strategies, universal design and assistivetechnology to enable students with severe disabilities to participate meaningfully in allaspects of school and community life.
- 2 -
General Course Information
Course Policies/Expectations:
Students should expect to devote twelve to eighteen hours per week in reviewing online lessons andresources, reading required texts and articles offline, listening to audio materials, creating and completingassignments, and participating in weekly discussion groups.
Online participation in Blackboard each week to complete assignments and post discussion messages.Students are expected to visit the Blackboard site at least three times per week.
Complete weekly readings and assignments and participate in weekly discussions related to readings andassignments. Discussion questions will be provided each class based on the readings and class activitiesfor that week. You will be expected to read and comment on at least two of your classmates’ discussionposts each week.
Complete weekly reflections on course materials and class discussions relative to your work in schools.Your reflections are your opportunity to think about class reading and activities and to share with yourclassmates how those ideas relate to your work with children and youth in schools. Each reflection shouldbe no more than one typed page. You will be expected to read and comment on at least two of yourclassmates’ reflections each week. You will post your reflections and comments on our class blog site.
Attendance Expectations:
Students are expected to visit the Blackboard site at least three times per week and to take part in groupactivities and on-line discussions.
The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.
Contributions in Class:
 Students are expected to take part in all group activities, discussion boards, chat room discussions and e-maildiscussions.
Academic Honesty & Professionalism: 
All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineatedin the most recent edition of “The Cat’s Tale”. (http://www.uvm.edu/~dosa/handbook/ 
Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letterfrom the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations willbe necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website athttp://www.uvm.edu/accessto learnmore about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont,Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-656-0739, Email:access@uvm.edu, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday throughFriday. Call to make an appointment.
Required and/or recommended readings:
Required Reading:
Orelove, F., Sobsey, D., & Silberman, R. (2004).
Educating Children with Multiple Disabilities: A Collaborative Approach.
Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
- 3 -
Donnellan, A. M. and M. R. Leary (1995).
Movement Differences and Diversity in Autism/Mental Retardation: Appreciating and Accommodating People with Communication and Behavior Challenges.
Madison, WI, DRI Press.Giangreco, M. and Doyle, M.B. (2007). Quick-Guides to Inclusion: Ideas for Educating Students withDisabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Supplemental readings will be provided during the course, including:
Wilson, Allan. Augmentative Communication in Practice. Copyright © The individual authors, CALLCenter & Scottish Executive Education Dept. PDF.Burkhart, L. Developing visual skills for children who face cortical visual impairments. PDFMiles, Barbara. Overview on deaf-blindness. PDFIntroduction to sensory processing concepts.http://classes.kumc.edu/sah/resources/sensory_processing/learning_opportunities/concepts/sp_concepts_main.htm#low 
Pollock, (2006). Keeping current in sensory integration. CanChild Center for ChildhoodDisability Research: McMaster University. Retrieved athttp://www.canchild.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=1237
Edelman, S.W., Lashbrook, P., Carey, A., Kelly, D., King, R.A., Roman-Lantzy, & Cloninger,C.J. (2006). Cortical visual impairment: Guidelines and educational considerations.
Deaf- Blind Perspectives, 13 
(3), 1-4.www.tr.wou.edu/tr/dbp/pdf/may06.pdf
Electronic Submissions/Internet Use: 
All course assignments will be submitted electronically.
Student Evaluation/AssessmentGrading: 
Final Grades will be determined based on the following percentage breakdowns,provided all course requirements are met to minimum satisfaction:
Class Participation/Discussion Board 20Weekly Reflection Journal 20Philosophy Statement 10Selected Disability Summary 20Mini Manuals 30TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE 100
The University of Vermont grading system will be applied:
Assignments are numerically weighted so that a total score of 100 points is possible.A = 90 – 100; B = 80 – 89; C = 70 – 79; D = 60 – 69; F = anything below 60.
Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: Class Participation/Discussion Board – 20 points

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