Assistance and support are prerequisites for the regular social participation and activation of most persons with disabilities. The lack of necessary support adapted and tailor-made services can make people with disabilities overly dependent on family members, and social  – and can prevent both the person with disability and the family members from becoming educated, economically active and socially included. Throughout the world people with disabilities have significant unmet needs for support. Within this module, there is a particular focus on education as a personal development tool. It includes a complete approach regarding awareness, research and methodologies that concern the inclusion of persons with disabilities in education. We acknowledge that our learners are not teachers. So, the learners are going to meet and explore different pedagogical approaches (Inclusive Education, Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design for Learning) and they will familiarised to engagement strategies that are specifically intended to support equal rights to the education, regardless the type or severity of disability.

It will be interesting and constructive to transmit this knowledge to the learner, in order to be able to apply these methodologies and information in respective educational or professional context.

 

The learner is able to: 

  • Recognise different pedagogical approaches and concepts for teaching persons with a disability
  • Familiarise themselves with the meaning and the importance of the Universal Design for Learning benefits in the learning and employment process of a person with a disability
  • Distinguish a non-inclusive approach from an inclusive educational approach (distinguish a (non-)inclusive approach)

 

Disability, Inclusive Education, Universal Design for Learning, Engagement Strategies, Differentiation

 

Inclusive Education (IE)

The main objective of IE is the integration and access of learners with disabilities into regular social life, with a view of overcoming social exclusion, while at the same time stemming school failures and early dropouts. The concept of inclusion is not just a set of strategies. Inclusion is about belonging to an educational, professional, or even a general-content community.

IE supports all learners to learn, whatever their abilities or requirements. This means making sure that teaching, the curriculum, buildings, classrooms, play areas, transport and toilets are appropriate for all children at all levels. IE also means all children learn together in the same schools without discrimination. No-one should be excluded. The core message is: “Every learner matters and matters equally” (UNESCO, 2017). 

Why is Inclusive Education so important?

  • It improves learning for all children – both those with and without disabilities- through cooperative learning.
  • It promotes diversity, reduces prejudices and strengthens social integration. 
  • It ensures that children with disabilities are equipped to work and contribute economically and socially to their communities.
  1.  

Many factors can work either to facilitate or to inhibit inclusive and equitable practices within education systems. Some of those factors are educator skills and attitudes (1), pedagogical strategies (3,4) and the curriculum (2). 

  1. Early identification and intervention (assessing cognitive skills)

All types of learners are entitled to receive IE. However, in case of persons with disabilities (PwDs), lack of awareness about their needs, and their abilities as well, often lead to failure of placement in IE.  A fundamental requirement of the successful placement in the inclusive educational process is the early and punctual identification of the special traits and needs (e.g. strengths, weaknesses).

So, it is important for educators to be well informed about the type and the severity of the disabilities and the impact in learner’s performance in order to both identify their strengths, and to decide what special educational support, if any, the learner needs.

  1. Adapted Curriculum- individualized education plan (IEP)

The adapted curriculum is based on the mainstream education curriculum and is designed to meet the learning needs of a PwDs (e.g. the use of extended time on tests). Most educators who teach in an inclusive classroom modify their curricula, because learners progress in different ways and at different paces. 

Personalised learning is a teaching model based on that premise. Each learner gets an IEP based on how they learn, what they know, and what their skills and interests are. The plan is usually created by a team of individuals who know the learner’s strengths and needs; it includes one or more classroom educator, a special educator, and the learner’s parents or guardians. Sometimes the team includes an administrator or other professionals (like a psychologist or physician), depending on the nature of the person’s disability. An IEP sets out yearly goals for the learner and monitors the progress of those goals to ensure that the learner presents a steady progress. It’s the opposite of the “one size fits all” approach used in most education centres. The adaptation and personalization of the educational curriculum according to the learner’s needs, is the key-factor of inclusive education.     

  1. Collaboration of general and special educators (Parallel Support)     

Many countries have introduced support staff into classrooms, working alongside class educators, to give particular support to learners having disabilities/difficulties. 

PS is the Greek name of co-teaching. It involves at least two professionals typically: a general education teacher (GET) and a special education teacher (SET), who share the instruction for a single group of learners with diverse needs in a single classroom setting.  GET and SET work together in order to create an individualized education plan. 

  1. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

In the framework of PS, the intent of LRE is to make sure that children with disabilities are included in the general education classroom as often as possible. There are different types of LRE:

• Mainstream education classroom with support (Push-in model). The learner spends the entire day in a general education class. 

• Partially mainstream/inclusion classroom (Pull-out model). The learner spends part of the day in a general education class.  They receive some individual or small-group instruction in a special education class, or are pulled out of class for some services.

• Special education class. This is a program with specialised instruction for learners with similar learning needs.

 

Principles of Inclusive Education

  1.  

Differentiation is another way of teaching and has its roots in inclusive education. It is effective for learners with disabilities, as well as high-ability learners, providing supports directly within general education classrooms for learners with a full range of exceptionalities.

In many classrooms, the approach to teaching and learning is more unitary than differentiated. Fifth graders may all listen to the same explanation about fractions and complete the same homework assignment. Middle school or high school learners may sit through a lecture and a video to help them understand a topic in science or history. They will all read the same chapter, complete the same lab or end-of-chapter questions, and take the same quiz—all on the same timetable. Such classrooms are largely undifferentiated.

As Carol Ann Tomlinson (2017), an educator who has done some of the most innovative work in this area, has said “differentiation means giving learners multiple options for taking in information”. Educators who use differentiated instruction observe the differences and similarities among learners and use a variety of methods, instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach.  All the learners have the same learning goal, but the teaching approach varies depending on how learners prefer to acquire knowledge. Some learners learn best by reading and writing, others prefer to watch videos or to take part in experiential activities. So, at its most basic level, differentiation consists of the efforts of educators to respond to variance among learners in the classroom (Panteliadou & Filippatou, 2013).

Special educators can differentiate at least four classroom elements based on learner readiness, interest, or learning profile:

1. Content: defining what the learner needs to learn or how the learner will get access to the information. Examples of activities to differentiate the content:

-Match vocabulary words to definitions

-Think of a situation that happened to a character in the story and a different outcome.

-Differentiate fact from opinion in the story.

-Identify an author’s position and provide evidence to support this viewpoint.

-Create a Power Point presentation summarizing the lesson.

2. Process: activities in which the learner engages in order to make sense of or master the content; not all learners require the same amount of support from the educator, and learners could choose to work in pairs, small groups, or individually. Ways for educators to differentiate the process:

-Provide textbooks for visual and word learners.

-Allow auditory learners to listen to audio books.

-Give kinesthetic learners the opportunity to complete an interactive assignment online.

3. Products: the product is what the learner creates at the end of the lesson to demonstrate the mastery of the content. This can be in the form of tests, projects, reports, or other activities. Educators, taking into consideration the needs of the learners, should differentiate the end product by asking:

– Learners who prefer reading and writing to write a book report.

-Visual learners to create a graphic organizer of the story.

-Auditory learners to give an oral report.

-Kinesthetic learners to build a diorama illustrating the story.

4. Learning environment: the way the classroom works and feels. Ways for educators to differentiate the learning environment:

-Break some learners into reading groups to discuss the assignment.

-Allow learners to read individually if preferred.

-Create quiet spaces where there are no distractions.

By differentiating these elements, educators offer different approaches to what learners learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate what they have learned.

Differentiated instruction (DI) is not “individualised instruction”. Differentiated instruction is a blend of whole-class, group, and individual instruction. DI uses several learning approaches, but it does not require an individual approach for each learner. All learners have access to the curriculum in a variety of ways. This makes the whole learning experience more effective, while creating an individual learning plan for each learner in a class can be considered exhausting.

The principles of differentiation, adapted from Tomlinson (2001)

 

Differences between an inclusive and a non-inclusive educational approach

Although a remarkable progress has been made toward creating inclusive schools, a significant number of learners still does not have access to the mainstream education curriculum. Many more are given access to the mainstream education classroom, but do not really receive the support they need in order to participate normally and passionately in that instruction.

  Non-inclusive Inclusive
School climate

Responsibility for learners is divided (e.g. learners are often referred to as “those kids.”).

Educators work in isolation.

Responsibility is shared (e.g. learners are often referred to as “our kids.”). Educators collaborate.
Curriculum, instruction and assessment

Some learners are separated from peers in terms of instruction.

Some can participate in extracurricular activities.

Behaviour management takes place at the classroom level.

In general, each learner receives instruction with grade-mates.

In general, each learner can participate in extracurricular activities.

Behaviour management takes place at the school-wide level.

Staff development The purpose of professional development activities is to address specific problems (e.g. high dropout rates) rather than to target needed skills. The purpose of professional development activities is to build capacity by enhancing skills that promote learners’ access to the general education curriculum.
Support services Clinical staff (e.g. school psychologist, occupational therapist) and support staff are seen as secondary personnel who provide special services. Clinical and support staff are integral members of the school community.
Resources

Resources (e.g. assistive technology) are available only in specialized settings.

School personnel work in isolation and tend not to share their expertise.

Resources are available throughout the school.

School personnel collaborate and serve as know-how resources for each other in order to improve the educational process.

School self-evaluation School personnel do not establish practical self-evaluation activities in order to measure progress of each learner. School personnel measure the progress of the learners using different interactive self-evaluation methods.
Comprehensive educational plan The school’s planning documents and processes do not address the needs of all learners equitably. The school’s planning documents and processes address the personalised needs of all learners.

Based on IRIS CENTER 

 

Common Myths about Inclusion

Actually, there are numbers of misconceptions or myths which continue to hamper the discussion and implementation of inclusive practices in education. However, arguments for inclusive education are well established and deeply rooted in the notions of equity and human rights.

In this session, the most important of them are explain in this activity. Can you think about them?

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Think about the Myths

IE benefits not only learners with disabilities but also learners without disabilities. Inclusive classrooms teach all learners about the importance of diversity and acceptance. Learners with and without disabilities who are educated in inclusive classrooms have better academic outcomes than learners who are educated in non-inclusive classrooms. For example, several studies have shown that learners without disabilities make significantly greater progress in reading and math when taught in an inclusive setting with learners with disabilities (Cole, Waldron, & Majd, 2004; Cosier, Causton-Theoharis, & Theoharis, 2013).

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IE will have a negative impact on learners without disabilities.

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IE is more expensive than educating learners in Special education settings. 

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Inclusion (only) concerns learners with disabilities.

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“ALL MEANS ALL”: How an Inclusive Teaching Experience Changed My Life,

Katherine Lewis

Katherine recently had the opportunity to teach at a school selected by the national SWIFT Center as a model of inclusive education, and it was a life-changing experience for her, both professionally and personally. West Elementary (a pseudonym which is used to protect the privacy of the school) offered fully inclusive school program for students from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. There were 15 to 20 percent of students with disabilities in each classroom. West Elementary valued collaboration, differentiated instruction, family partnerships, and instruction based on constructivist theory.

So why was this experience so life-changing? Although she was willing to try it, she had serious doubts about this full inclusion model. She was concerned about whether or not it was possible to meet the needs of all students in one classroom community. She worried that the students who had special needs may not receive all the services and support they needed. She also worried about the gifted and talented students—would they be appropriately challenged or would they disappear in such an environment? She wanted to be wrong, so she dove right in and tried it out.

The first few months were challenging. She had a new student who previously attended small schools for students with special needs and this was his first time in a general education setting. He struggled a lot at first. He had boundary issues, little socialization, and very little experience communicating with his peers. Sometimes Katherine felt frustrated or at a loss for how to help each student succeed. She was grateful for her special education certified co-teacher and the highly collaborative campus community. They all worked together to meet the needs of the students and she became less frustrated and overwhelmed. Even though she was not a special education teacher, she learned how to support her students with the highest needs. The specialists (i.e. occupational, physical, and speech therapists) were part of classroom community. They would come in to provide services to both students with and without individualised education plans.

In about the third month, she realised:

  • Co-teaching and collaboration are invaluable practices.
  • She was wrong. It is possible for every student to receive the services he or she needs.
  • Students are naturally compassionate and helpful.

Throughout the rest of the academic year, she was amazed at how much each of her students accomplished. In less than six months, her new student had progressed from communicating in a few broken words to sharing his thoughts in several, impassioned, complete sentences.

At the beginning of the year, Katherine had worried so much about her students with physical or mental disabilities. What was most surprising is that all had learned, as a community, how to support one another in the most appropriate ways. The students learned about each other’s unique personalities and strengths, and they spent so much time helping each other learn that many of them seemed to become experts at scaffolding learning and encouraging inquiry among the group.

   
   
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Reflexive Questions

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Do you think inclusive education contributes to future employability of people with disabilities?

What skills do students with disabilities develop in an inclusive classroom?

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3

Pedagogical Approaches

Understanding the concept of Inclusive Education and the factors affecting IE

Answer the questions below to ensure you understand the content of Unit

Push in- push out models. Parallel Support.

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What models can school leaders use to guide the change necessary for creating inclusive school environments?

Push in- push out models. Parallel Support.

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What is inclusion and why is it important?

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Myth or Fact ?

1,2,3,5 – Myths, 4 Fact

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Now you know more about inclusion and inclusive education (IE).

Think about the following stands on inclusion and express your opinion.

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  1. Universal Design Learning (UDL) 

UDL is a specific pedagogical approach created by the US organisation CAST (2018) which can be used to structure and implement an efficient inclusive learning process. Educators that decide to follow this system, belong to a “learning should have no limits” mindset. It contains a set of principles for curricula that provides all individuals, including learners with disabilities, equal opportunities to learn and can be applied to a wide range of educational contexts, especially when it comes to an adult education’s communities. Maybe you can apply some aspects of the UDL-approach in your work or personal life? Let’s find out!

  1. The UDL Guidelines

    UDL promotes flexibility, which has to be adapted by all educators who desire to call themselves successful in their career. As every learner is different, the pedagogical practices should be varying, too. According to UDL, when designing learning experiences (based on research in the field of neuroscience), there are 3 core principles to be followed:

    1. Multiple means of engagement: the ‘Why’ of learning

    Learners are engaged or motivated by personalised, improved activities and assignments, getting feedback, setting goals, and receiving rewards for completing tasks. Support learners to develop their self-regulatory skills and provide opportunities for self-reflection. Demonstrate the cultural and social relevance of course concepts.

    1. Multiple means of representation: the ‘What’ of learning

    Learners understand the content more efficiently, as it will be explained in a variety of ways (e.g. graphics, audio, text) to support understanding, and so they can also make connections between different concepts.

    1. Multiple means of action/expression: the ‘How’ of learning

    Learners should be guided to set goals and monitor their progress, to plan and structure information, to express themselves and communicate their ideas in different ways (e.g. through physical action, assistive technologies, text responses, dialogue, creative media).

    Three UDL principles: motivate students (engagement), present concepts (representation), allow students to demonstrate their learning (action and expression). Adapted from https://udlguidelines.cast.org/

    One tool that demonstrates this idea of engagement is Flipgrid. This free video response tool, recently acquired by Microsoft, allows students to respond to questions through video. Students who may not be comfortable participating in whole-group activities may be more inclined to participate via pre-recorded video. Students can also leave video comments for classmates and engage in deeper discussions. Some no-tech examples of engagement could include using sticky notes as an exit ticket to check for understanding, a daily reflection journal and classroom expectation checklists.

    What is important to remember about engagement is that it is acceptable for a learner to disengage during an activity. Think about it: you do that throughout your day, right? You stop an activity to check e-mail or perform another task. The critical component here is fostering an environment that promotes re-engagement.

 

UDL Examples: Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom

1. Assignment Options

Applying UDL, there are multiple options for a learner to complete an assignment, not just an essay or a worksheet. For instance, learners may be able to create a podcast, a video to show what they know or to draw a comic strip, taking into account that learners meet the lesson goals.

2. Flexible Work Spaces

In a UDL-approved classroom there are flexible work spaces for learners: spaces for quiet individual work, small and large group work, and group instruction. Learners can choose to wear earbuds or headphones while working independently.

3. Regular Feedback

In a UDL classroom, learners often get feedback about their progress. They are encouraged to reflect on the choices they made in class and how they met their personal goals. If they didn’t, they’re encouraged to evaluate themselves and think positively of the possible alternative solutions.

According to the video UDL is a framework to improve and optimise teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Even a building can be “universally designed”. Generally, a Universal Design mindset can affect all aspects of life.

Now think about your own context. What aspects of the Universal Design for Learning might be beneficial in the workplace? 

According to the video UDL is a framework to improve and optimise teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Even a building can be “universally designed”. Generally, a Universal Design mindset can affect all aspects of life.

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Now think about your own context

In the context of the workplace, Universal Design can be applied in three broad areas:

  • Application of Universal Design to the work environment, including the employee workstation as well as the entire work facility or worksite.
  • Application of Universal Design to workplace technologies and tools, for example, computer and communication technologies, manufacturing tools, controls and equipment, furniture, and safety equipment.
  • Application of Universal Design to re-conceptualization of work policies, interaction, communication, safety, and, most important for the accommodation process, the methods used to complete work tasks.

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Now think about your own context.

What aspects of the Universal Design for Learning might be beneficial in the workplace?

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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Technology continues to evolve and transform learning and educational process for learners with disabilities. Technology can be a great equalizer for learners who need a more visual or hands-on approach to learning, and there are several effective and free resources available to assist struggling learners. The key factor here is to provide access to appropriate and inclusive ICTs that support flexible, personalised learning approaches, incorporating support for developing self-accommodation in the use of ICTs.

ICTs for education consist of discrete categories, as mentioned below.

Mainstream technologies: that are readily available in the commercial marketplace to all individuals (computers, web browsers, word processors, whiteboards) to provide equally effective access for learners with and without disabilities/ difficulties.

Assistive Technologies:  designed to assist individuals with disabilities in overcoming barriers in their environment and increasing their opportunities in independent education. AT can be carefully engineered, fitted, and adapted to the specific strengths and weaknesses of each person. In that regard AT is unique, personal, customized and dedicated. AT include any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of PwDs: wheelchairs, prosthetics, screen readers, keyboards.

• Compatibility between assistive technology products and mainstream technologies

Accessible media and formats, such as mainstream publication formats (MSWord, PowerPoint and structured and tagged PDF files).

 

Universal Design Learning, Assistive Technology, Differentiated Instruction

The relationship between UDL and AT

Most traditional training curricula pose significant barriers to such a learner, especially the predominance of text. Most of the content is presented in text, and most of the assessment requires writing. This problem can be viewed and solved in two different ways.

Taking an AT perspective, the problem can be considered an individual problem—it is clearly the individual learner’s reading disability that interferes with his or her ability to master the training content and demonstrate knowledge.

This view fosters solutions that address the individual’s weaknesses such as remedial reading classes, special tutoring, and AT. Of these, AT is particularly valuable because it provides independent means for the learner to overcome his or her limitations by, for example using a spellchecker or audio version of the history book.

The UDL perspective fosters solutions targeting limitations in the curriculum rather than limitations in the learner.

Imagine a multimedia curriculum that provides digital, universally designed media that offer diverse options for viewing and manipulating content and transmitting knowledge.

Within such a flexible curriculum fewer learners face barriers; digital educational resources can speak aloud to reduce decoding barriers for learners with dyslexia; digital images or video provide an alternative representation that reduces barriers in comprehension for learners with language-based disabilities while providing descriptions and captions for learners who are blind or deaf; and keyboard alternatives  may reduce barriers in navigation and control  for learners with physical disabilities.

These UDL solutions have the advantage of enhancing learning for many different kinds of learners (Rose & Meyer, 2002).

The relationship between UDL and DI

Both UDL and DI are education frameworks based on providing educational options to learners. Their goal is to meet individual needs and give all learners access to the same high-quality content. Both of these education approaches create highly supported, engaging learning environments and provide multiple ways to develop and express knowledge and skills. They also promote critical thinking and strategic learning. However, there are some differences.

UDL focuses on fixing the lesson. More specifically, UDL:

  • plans the lesson in anticipation to learner needs.
  • builds the tools and methods of differentiation right into the lesson.
  • occurs prior to instruction.

DI focuses on the learner:

  • modification in response to learner needs or preferences as they are identified during and after instruction.
  • occurs post-instruction.
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What is the main difference between UDL and DI?

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What is the main difference between UDL and DI?

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Understanding Universal Design (for Learning)

Identify the key components of UDL and act accordingly

Based on what you have learned about UDL, answer the following questions.

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Which guidelines and checkpoints are already embedded in your interaction with PwDs and which are unfamiliar?

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Do you think UDL implementation is dependent on technology?

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Do you use multiple media for communication with persons with disabilities? Give examples.

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Engagement Strategies

When teaching people with disabilities, engagement is key to success. Increasing interaction and a deeper understanding of materials can be a unique challenge for each learner, especially when teaching the learners with a wide range of learning disabilities or disorders. Creativity can help and entail fun and success into the classroom, improving outcomes for all learners. The following engagement strategies might help you to keep your learner’s attention:

    1. Question Formulation Technique

Instead of simply teaching learners, the Question Formulation Technique gives learners a prompt to ask questions. They can ask anything, as this technique can be used for any subject matter. When teaching a history lesson, for example, an educator can provide a picture from a time period and simply answer questions the learners ask about that picture.

    1. Transformation of traditional instructions into audiovisual entertaining lessons  

Simple and repetitive phrases can help in developing the language skills. For example, music can be a powerful tool to engage persons with a wide range of learning disorders. Rhythm and melody can also help improve memory and the comprehension of key words. Turning lesson instructions and key information into songs can encourage learners to sing and drum along.

    1. Creativity

Another successful strategy for engagement involves helping a special needs learner create something. The details of such a strategy will vary because the goal is to work with each student’s individual abilities to spur creativity. Whether this is directly connected to a lesson plan, this strategy can help learners engage while improving their self-confidence.

    1. Assessing learners’ interests 

Ask learners what they like to find in the learning possibilities around them. Anything learners enjoy can be used to teach something. Songs, movies, and activities can all be used to teach things such as vocabulary, numbers, history and lead to in depth understanding of a subject. 

    1. Applying active listening

An effective classroom leader or lecture must be an active listener. Good listening skills are necessary for empathy development and understanding of the learners. Listening skills also help in negotiating with learners and defusing any potential classroom conflicts. If you would like to learn more about active listening, you can go to module 2 of this course.

    1. Video games as learning tools

It has already been mentioned the contribution of technology in special education. Video games can play a major role in education process as well. Learning by playing is a way to relieve students from the pressure exercised by the traditional techniques, which make them loose interest towards the subjects. Lack of interest often makes the learning process hard and difficult, especially for students with disabilities. New game technologies have helped creating alternative strategies to increase cognitive skills in the field of Special Education. The main factor in a video game, designed to entertain, is motivation. Thanks to motivation, players are following a series of rules and trying to solve a problem individually, or collaboratively, which means that video games can also boost social skills.

This video is about SWIFT, a centre providing academic and behavioural support to promote the learning and academic achievement of all students, including those with the most extensive needs. Principal and other stuff members describe their working experience in an inclusive school.

SWIFT advances equity and excellence for ALL through the promotion of five core domain areas to support grade level academic and social learning:

  • Administrative Leadership
  • Family and Community Partnership
  • Inclusive Education Framework
  • Inclusive Policy Structure and Practice.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

 

SWIFT Domains and Features at Henderson School

2

Inclusive Classroom

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Do you think -in an inclusive classroom- peers can be teachers of their friends? Would be effective giving the role of teacher to another student? 

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2

Engagement Strategies

Increasing interaction and a deeper understanding of materials can be a unique challenge for each learner

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Which techniques are you going to implement after the course and why? 

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How do you think creativity improves students’ self-confidence?

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How often do you allow people with disabilities make their own choices and express their interests?

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The ” Theotokos” (Greek meaning: Mother of God) Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates smoothly since 1963, in Ilion (a region/ suburb of Athens). It provides special education to children from 2.5-5 years old and adolescents from 14-20 years old, with developmental immaturity, mental developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders. It also provides vocational training and occupational rehabilitation to young adults aged 20-35 and supports their family environment and intervenes when necessary. It has served and supported more than 5,000 people during its 52 years of operation. Today, 370 children and young people attend every day, of which about 60 are destitute or even uninsured and are supported by programs, standards for Greece and Europe. The Foundation has 93 employees (scientific, administrative and support staff).

Its vision is turning foundation into a model Foundation for Assessment, Education and Rehabilitation, in Greece and Europe and playing an essential role in creating a world where people with intellectual developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders will have equal rights in life and work. Its mission is the preparation of children and young people with mental developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders to be able to live, work and participate in daily social life through continuous improvement, innovative approaches and constant adaptation of specialized programs. 

In a collaborative and dedication environment, the Administration, the Management, the staff, the association “Friends of Theotokos”, the parents and the associations of parents and employees, provide together services that respect, integrate and ensure equal participation in the education, community and work of people with mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders.

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Collaboration between parents and PwDs

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Do you consider that the collaboration between parents and PwDs is feasible and fruitful in such a contextual initiative? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

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Ιn education as in life, there are many types of diversity, and that is a fact all educators should learn to embrace. The subject of our first topic is the significance of pedagogical approaches towards achieving the inclusion of learners, persons with disabilities. There are many innovations to be applied in the current global educational systems, in order to step-by-step upgrade the quality of their education and claim equal opportunities. There is an introduction to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, a contemporary and elastic teaching approach based on special guidelines and core principles and methods, designed for learners with different needs, cultural backgrounds, interests and language or learning abilities, studying in the same classroom. 

These pedagogical practices can be applied both to children and adults with disabilities in non-formal learning environments, as well as how inclusive education affects their career path.

 

 

 

 

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(Self-)Assessment Activities

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What is the intent of the Least Restrictive Environment?

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Pull-out model....

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Push-in model:

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Assistive Technology ...

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Adapted curriculum ...

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Circle the correct answer

Inclusive education....

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Circle the correct sentences

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Communicating with PwDs: Active Listening & Empathy

Description
This short presentation briefly presents the necessary skills an educator needs to develop in order to efficiently communicate with PwDs: Communication: defining the field 

  • Communication skills
  • Important counselling skills communicating with PwD: 1. Active Listening 2. Empathy 

DISABILITY AND COMMUNICATION: LISTENING IS NOT ENOUGH

Description

A major issue when discussing ‘disability and communication’ is the development of effective communication. The improvement of life quality of people with disabilities is equated with better conveyance of information and, quintessentially, better listening – improved skills and their use. 

Reimagining Disability & Inclusive Education | Jan Wilson | TEDxUniversityofTulsa

Description

Every single person is unique and has different skills, so why are learners taught the same way? Jan Wilson explores the possibilities of a universal design for learning, and how every individual can benefit.

 

 

 

 

  • Department for Education and skills creating opportunity, releasing potential, achieving excellence (2004) Teaching Strategies and Approaches for Pupils with Special Educational Needs: A Scoping Study. Retrieved from https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/6059/1/RR516.pdf 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Panteliadou, S. & Filippatou, D., (2013) differentiated teaching: theoretical approaches and educational practices. Athens, Pedio

 

 

  • Rose D. & Hasselbring, S. T. (2005) Assistive technology and universal design for learning: two sides of the same coin. Retrieved from

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265116505_Assistive_Technology_and_Universal_Design_for_Learning_Two_Sides_of_the_Same_Coin_Two_Roles_for_Technology_Assistive_Technology_and_Universal_Design_for_Learning (22/11/2020)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 

 

  • Tomlinson, C. A., & Moon, T. R. (2013). Assessment and student success in a differentiated classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. 

 

  • United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2020) Definitions. 

Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-2-definitions.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 5 Examples of Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom (2020) Retrieved from:

 https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/5-examples-of-universal-design-for-learning-in-the-classroom (20/11/2020)

Word

Explanation

Active Listening (AL)

AL is the ability to focus completely on a speaker, understand the message, comprehend the information and respond thoughtfully.

Adapted Curriculum

A curriculum based on the general education curriculum that is designed to meet the learning needs of a child with a disability (e.g. the use of extended time on tests). These changes do not fundamentally alter the goals of the original curriculum.

Assistive Technology (AT)

 AT is any item, equipment, hardware (prosthetics), software (screen readers), product or service which maintains, or improves the functional capabilities of individuals of any age, especially those with disabilities, and facilitates their communication allowing to learn, enjoy and live better and more independent lives (British Assistive Technology Association, BATA, 2011).

Differentiated Instruction

 Means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether educators differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction.

Diversity

 Variety of people which may relate to their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class or immigration status.

Equity

 The assurance that the education of all learners is seen as having equal importance.

Inclusion

 The practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minorities.

Inclusive education (IE)

 The education of children with disabilities in the mainstream education schools alongside children without disabilities. Inclusive education “involves a process embodying changes and modifications in content, approaches, structures and strategies in education, with a common vision that serves to include all learners of the relevant age range” (UN, 2016).

Individualised Education

Plan  (IEP)

 IEP is the process that educators, support personnel, and parents collaborate as a team to trace the needs of individual learners who need specialised instruction and related services. The team develops outcomes or goals based on a learner’s current needs and skills, and writes the plan for the school year in the learner’s IEP. The written plan is called an IEP (Manitoba Education, 2010).

Information and Communication

Technologies (ICTs)

 Although there is no single, universal definition of ICTs, the term refers to all communication technologies, including the internet, wireless networks, cell phones, computers, software, video-conferencing, social networking, and other media applications and services enabling users to access, retrieve, store, transmit, and manipulate information in a digital form.

Mainstream education

The education of learners with learning challenges in regular classes during specific time-periods based on their skills.

Parallel Support (PS)

A co-teaching program designed to deliver education services in inclusive settings in Greece. PS involves at least two professionals typically, a general education teacher (GET) and a special education teacher (SET).

Universal Design Learning (UDL)

UDL is a framework to improve and optimise teaching and learning for all people. It includes the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be of use to all people to the greatest extent possible and recognises that all learners, with and without disabilities, learn information in different ways.

MODULE

Drª Natália
Drª Natália Higher Education Institute
General Manager
Prof Dr Fausto Amaro
Prof Dr Fausto AmaroHigher Education Institute
Bridges Coordinator