You are on page 1of 26

Chapter

2: The Personnel and Procedures of Special


Education
Monday, September 7, 2 015

The Professionals Who Work in Special Education


Special Education Teachers

Professionals who provide day-to-day instruction and other support for


students with disabilities
May work with students with one type of disability or students with varying
disabilities depending on specific state teacher legislature
Types of instruction:
Remedial ( re-teaching)
Developmental ( teaching based on student's functional learning level)
Strategic ( teaching tool skills to help student succeed)
Prepare materials adapted to meet students' special needs
Assess and report progress
Consult with general education teacher
May work in:
General education classroom for part of day
Resource rooms
Self-contained classrooms
Separate schools
Itinerant special education teacher: special educator who travels from school to
school

Bilingual Special Educator

Knowledgeable about both bilingual education and special education


Special training in:
Knowledge of language proficiency
Appropriate assessment tools and techniques
Cultural and linguistic diversity
Effective delivery of instruction
Professionalism for working with colleagues, families, and community
members

Early Childhood Special Educator

Birth to 5 years
Knowledge in wide range of disabilities
Speech-language

members

Early Childhood Special Educator

Birth to 5 years
Knowledge in wide range of disabilities
Speech-language
Intellectual
Behaviour concerns
Work in:
Children's homes
Separate classrooms
General education classes

Adapted Physical Educator

Adapt exercises, games, and other activities


Works in:
General physical education class
Separate special class
Work with other physical educators

Related Services Professionals


Speech-Language Pathologist

Assist students having difficulty:


Making certain sounds
Forming sentences
Also may assist students who:
Are deaf or hard of hearing
American Sign Language
Do not have the ability to speak
Pictures
Computer
Have significant disabilities
Swallowing
Controlling tongue movements

School Psychologist

Can determine whether student is eligible to receive special education services


Communicate this information to parents

School Counselor

Work with all students


Problem solvers
Individual students or entire class to resolve peer relationship issues
Career counseling

School Social Worker

Coordinate efforts of educators, families, and outside agency personnel to


ensure students receive all supports they need
Help all students

Individual students or entire class to resolve peer relationship issues


Career counseling

School Social Worker

Coordinate efforts of educators, families, and outside agency personnel to


ensure students receive all supports they need
Help all students

School Nurse

Help all students


Screens in areas of vision and hearing
Immunization records
Health education
Distribution of medications
Interpret medical information

Educational Interpreter

Listens to words being spoken and translates into sign language

Occupational Therapist

Teaches functional and other living skills such as:


Grasping pencil
Cutting with scissors
Buttoning and zipping clothes
Tying shoelaces
Feeding
Wash face
Use computer
Cook
Problem-solving
Decision-making
Determine whether students need adapted equipment
Instruct students on how to use adapted equipment

Physical Therapist

Provide services when student's disability affects ability to move


Help with:
Muscle strength and flexibility
Mobility
Posture
Positioning
Maintaining or improving large muscle use
Balance and coordination
Decisions about type of equipment best for students' needs

Others Who Work in Special Education


General Education Teacher

Students with disabilities receive part or all instruction in typical classroom


Collaboration with special education teachers

Decisions about type of equipment best for students' needs

Others Who Work in Special Education


General Education Teacher

Students with disabilities receive part or all instruction in typical classroom


Collaboration with special education teachers

Paraeducator

Work under direction of teacher to help in delivery of services for students with
disabilities
Wide variety of tasks
Tutor reading
Accompany student with emotional disability from class to class
Personal assistant

Parents

Most important
Inform you of students' life outside school
Listen without judgment and account for their perspectives

Additional Service Providers

When student has particularly unique need

Rehabilitation Counsellor

Help students find and keep appropriate employment after high school
completion
Community agency setting

Art or Music Therapist

Help students who better understand or cope through use of art or music

Orientation and Mobility Specialist

Help students with visual impairments gain independence by teaching how to


confidently move around in classroom, school, and community

Audiologist

Expert in diagnosing problems related to hearing and the ear


Determine whether hearing aid or other device or strategies would benefit

Inclusion Facilitator

Ensures students with disabilities receive supports and services needed to


succeed in general education

Language Interpreter

Help facilitate communication with student and family whose native language is
not English

Special Education Administrator

Responsibility of ensuring all policies and practices related to special education


are carried out properly

Technology Specialist

Evaluates whether student with disability needs technology support and what
type

Responsibility of ensuring all policies and practices related to special education


are carried out properly

Technology Specialist

Evaluates whether student with disability needs technology support and what
type
New school position

Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

Work through community agency or hospital


Help student and family use recreational activities to improve student's
functioning and independence

Psychometrist or Educational Diagnostician

Completes individual assessment of students for special education


Specifically trained to administer and interpret tests
Does not have broad set of skills of school psychologist

Determining Student Eligibility for Special Education


Services
Small percentage with disabilities identified at very young age
Most identified as having disabilities only after experiencing extraordinary
difficulties in school

Initial Consideration of Student Problems

General education teachers most likely to express initial concern


Tries several strategies to address problem
Discuss informally with other teachers and administrators
Contact parents for their view
Gather data
Samples of student's work
Log of behaviour incidents

General Education Interventions

Next step for teacher is to request case be reviewed by team of professionals


Can use portion of special education funding to provide extra support to reduce
special education referrals

Response to Intervention (RTI) and Tiered Approaches

Two main purposes:


Ensure student receives research-proven remediation and other supports
as soon as being identified as having academic difficulties
Ensure professionals gather high-quality data to guide decision
Continuous progress monitoring: ongoing use of data to determine whether
student is responding to interventions
RTI based on three-tiered approach to intervention:
Tier 1:
Used with reading, math, and behaviour concerns
Research-based approaches

Continuous progress monitoring: ongoing use of data to determine whether


student is responding to interventions
RTI based on three-tiered approach to intervention:
Tier 1:
Used with reading, math, and behaviour concerns
Research-based approaches
All students
Tier 2:
Small-group instruction several times/week
Remedial instruction
Tier 3:
Daily one-on-one instruction or small-group instruction
Outside classroom
Decide if student needs special education

Screening

When states do not have mandated intervention or RTI process


School psychologist, counselor, principal, etc. meet with general education
teacher to discuss student
Skip this step if parent formally requests assessment

Special Education Referral and Assessment

Consensus that student's difficulties are serious enough to consider special


education
Full assessment required by IDEA before any services can be provided
Multidisciplinary team:
School psychologist
General education teacher
Parents
Data gathered on academic performance

Parents' Rights

Request and give permission for testing


Can seek independent evaluation
Be meaningfully informed in writing about procedures
Have child tested in language child knows best
Native language
Sign language
Braille
Be full members of team
Withdraw consent at any time
Have child receive free appropriate public education
Have child educated in least restricted environment
Notified in writing whenever school proposes:
Reevaluation
Change in placement
Decision not to evaluate child

Have child receive free appropriate public education


Have child educated in least restricted environment
Notified in writing whenever school proposes:
Reevaluation
Change in placement
Decision not to evaluate child
Decision not to change disputed placement
When disagreement occurs ( within 2 years):
Informal dispute resolution
Mediation
Impartial hearing
Have access to child's education records within 45 days of formal request,
request changes in inaccurate information, give permission to others working
with child to access records
Be kept informed of child's progress

Assessment Components

Vision and hearing screening


Intellectual ability ( capacity to learn)
Achievement ( present level of learning)
Social and behavioural functioning
Developmental history ( developmental delays, illnesses, injuries)
Other areas as needed

Assessment Procedures

Assessment instrument must:


Be valid ( measure what it is supposed to measure)
Be reliable ( consistent)
Be free of racial or cultural bias
Be administered by trained professional
Take into account possible impact of suspected disability
Be completed in language student feels most comfortable with
Use multiple measures

Decision Making for Special Education

Multidisciplinary team meets after assessment has been completed to make 3


decisions:
Whether student has disability
Whether disability adversely affects educational performance
Whether student would benefit from special education
Parent participation

Preparing the Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Summarizes all information gathered about student


Sets expectations of what student will learn over the year
Prescribes all special services student will receive

Deciding About Placement

Parent participation

Preparing the Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Summarizes all information gathered about student


Sets expectations of what student will learn over the year
Prescribes all special services student will receive

Deciding About Placement

Setting in which student will be educated


Full-time general education
Combination of general education and special education settings
Full-time special setting

Monitoring for Students with Disabilities


Annual Review

Professionals working with student meet at least once a year with parents to
review IEP
Update information
Review progress
Set new goals
Can be amended rather than rewritten during year

Three-Year Reevaluation

Reassessed using many of same procedures as initial assessment


Determine whether student's program and services remain appropriate or need
to change
May decide no use in completing new assessment
School can complete reevaluation and prepare new IEP even if parents choose
not to participate

Understanding the Individualized Education Program (IEP)


Required for student receiving special education services
Reviewed and updated annually ( or every 3 years)

Members of the IEP Team

Parents
Special education teacher
General education teacher
School district representative ( e.g. principal, school psychologist, special
education coordinator)
Individual who can interpret results of any evaluations ( e.g. school psychologist,
psychometrist)
Representatives from outside agencies providing transition services ( for children
16+ years)
Student ( unless very young)
Other individuals with knowledge or expertise related to the student ( e.g.
paraeducators)
Exceptions to IEP composition:
Team member submits information in writing if attendance is not

16+ years)
Student ( unless very young)
Other individuals with knowledge or expertise related to the student ( e.g.
paraeducators)
Exceptions to IEP composition:
Team member submits information in writing if attendance is not
necessary

Required Components of the IEP


Present Level of Performance

About any domain of concern:


Academic achievement
Social functioning
Behaviour
Communication skills
Physical skills
Vocational skills
Must address how student's disability affects involvement and progress in
general education curriculum

Annual Goals

May address academics as well as social and behaviour domains and self-help
skills
Only required in areas of education affected by disability

Short-Term Objectives or Benchmarks

For students with most significant needs


Short-term objectives:
Intermediate steps that lead toward accomplishment of goal
Benchmarks:
Major milestones
Used when specific skills cannot be specified, such as grade level reading
performance

Special Education and Related Services

Goals lead team to decide which special education and related services student
needs

Supplementary Aids and Services

E.g. permitting student to use calculator in math class, dictate answers to


assignments instead of writing, modified assignments ( e.g. 10 questions instead
of 20)

Assistive Technology
E.g. Smartboard

Participation with Peers Who Do Not Have Disabilities

State and justify extent to which student will not be in general education

Accommodations for State and District Testing

E.g. student takes test in small group instead of with entire class

E.g. Smartboard

Participation with Peers Who Do Not Have Disabilities

State and justify extent to which student will not be in general education

Accommodations for State and District Testing

E.g. student takes test in small group instead of with entire class
E.g. extra time
Or if testing not appropriate, statement why and outlining alternate assessment
E.g. portfolio of work gathered across school year

Dates and Places

Date on which it becomes effective


How long it lasts
How often services are to be provided
Where services are to occur

Transition Service Needs and Transition Services to Be Provided


For students 16+ years old
Specify measurable postsecondary goals
Services:
Career exploration
Participation in vocational preparation program
Training in life skills
Experience in work setting

Age of Majority

Usually 18
Rights parents have transfer to child
Student informed >1 year before transfer of rights and what the rights are

Measurement of Progress

How progress will be measured


Communication with parents

Other Considerations

E.g. if student has limited English proficiency, language needs must be


incorporated into IEP
Also visually impaired, hearing impaired, significant behaviour difficulties

Placement Options for Students with Disabilities


The Continuum of Special Education Placements

General education > resource class > separate class > separate school >
residential facility > home or hospital

General Education

In general education class >80% of day


60.5% of students with disabilities

Resource Class

In general education 40-79% of day


20.1% of students with disabilities

Separate Class

In general education class <40% of day


14.2% of students with disabilities
Being called into question by more and more professionals

Separate School

3% of students with disabilities

Separate Class

In general education class <40% of day


14.2% of students with disabilities
Being called into question by more and more professionals

Separate School

3% of students with disabilities


Highly specialized training for students with vision impairments or severe
hearing loss
Students with very serious emotional disabilities
Students with very complex disabilities who require many services
Very serious decision

Residential Facility

0.36% of students with disabilities


Students with vision impairments or who are deaf or hard of hearing
Students with very complex needs ( multiple disabilities including difficult
behaviour)
Students with emotional disabilities who need safety and structure of full-time
supervision

Other Placement Settings

1.15% of students attend private school based on parental decision


0.32% of students educated in correctional facilities
0.42% of students receive services in home or hospital setting
Suspended or expelled
Receiving extensive medical treatment
Medically fragile
Teacher visits

Resolving Disagreements Regarding Special Education


Between professionals and parents regarding:
What special education programs and services should include
How much should be provided
Where it should take place
Positive communication strategies

Dispute Resolution

Resolution session held within 15 days of notice of complain received by school


district
Attended by school district representative with decision-making authority
Resolve issue without any further steps
Sign agreement describing resolution

Mediation

No cost to parents
Impartial professional meets with each party to try to find resolution
Does not make decision but helps find workable solution
Legally binding document specifying resolution signed by all parties

Sign agreement describing resolution

Mediation

No cost to parents
Impartial professional meets with each party to try to find resolution
Does not make decision but helps find workable solution
Legally binding document specifying resolution signed by all parties

Due Process Hearing

Due process: clear set of procedures for making all critical decisions part of
special education
Parents make formal complaint against school district
Impartial hearing officer appointed by state special education official
Eventually issues written decision based on evidence provided and
testimony of witnesses
If either party disagrees with decision it can be appealed to state-level review
hearing officer
Either agrees with initial decision or overturns it
After that either party can still take the issue to court

Issues Related to Special Education Professionals and


Procedures

Special Education Teacher Changing Roles and Responsibilities

Provide direct instruction to students with disabilities across variety of grade


levels and subject matter (academic and non-academic)
Develop positive working relationships with peers
Consult and/or co-teach with general education teachers
Supervise paraeducators
Collaborate with parents
Keep up with paperwork
Complete leadership responsibilities
Participate in larger school initiatives
Contribute to implementation of RTI procedures
Responsible for many of same activities as other teachers
Must ensure roles and responsibilities do not become so diverse that they lose
primary focus

Response to Intervention: Issues in Implementation

Balancing desire to assist colleagues and students who struggle ( but who have
not been identified as having disabilities) with their other responsibilities
Making sure RTI does not inadvertently lead students with limited English
proficiency to being identified as having disability