Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes

I have just completed the training on Accommodations in the Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Section. I was aware of some of the accommodations through personals experience with my oldest child when he was in middle and high school. From my past experiences, instructional accommodations were implemented with medical or psychological documentation. The experiences that I am familiar with, the instructors were often hindered from using their best judgement to use instructional accommodations in their classroom. Also, I had viewed Instructional accommodations and Testing accommodations as being same. I did not realize that some of the general accommodations could be implemented that help all learners. Also, I think that self-determination for some students will need coaching and encouragement. A lot of students have negative school experiences, that years later they still to overcome. I find that some of the adults that I have worked with, have difficulty in knowing enough about themselves resulting in them not being able to express their needs or goals so that they can achieve success in their educational goals.

Comments

Hi, Felicia -

Thanks for your post.  It sounds like you learned more about accommodations from this course, and were also able to draw on your own past experience with learners.  As someone coming from a background in K-12 special education, I had a lot of training around the importance of developing students' self-advocacy and self-determination skills.  For a lot of adult learners, they are still working on developing these skills.  Like many topics, these lesson can be harder to learn and internalize as we get older, but I agree that many of our learners need coaching and encouragement to really develop these skills and put them into practice, in the classroom, on their jobs, and other areas of their lives.  

I'd be interested to hear what you, and other members, use in working with learners to acquire these valuable skills for life.

Best,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Universal Design for Learning is something that should be the approach for all learners, No two people are alike, even though the majority may be able to learn similarly, not everyone can benefit to the same degree. I think it is imperative to get to know learners, their goals, their learning styles and learning history. As learning facilitators, we may be limited by time and opportunity to assist, so we have to make the best of what we learn from learners in order to make the most flexible, engaging, encouraging and supportive environment possible.

I plan to incorporate ideas to provide flexible opportunities for assessment that allow students to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways. For example, learners can participate in a social studies lesson by a written assessment, oral presentation, making a chart , graph or a drawing to demonstrate learning.

  

Several students come to mind that had significant intra-individual differences. One student that I worked with was an avid reader with an extensive vocabulary, but could not do basic math. She was referred for testing and diagnosed with dyscalculia. Another student was unable to read. He was a truck driver and relied on universal signs, but could not read city signs. However he could take a motor apart and repair it.