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Improving Opportunities to Enhance “Membership” within the General Education Setting. Meredith Penner & Shannon McMahon Program & Training Specialists BCIU #22. Outcomes:. Identify the 3 areas of “access” Develop strategies within each area to improve inclusive opportunities for students

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improving opportunities to enhance membership within the general education setting

Improving Opportunities to Enhance “Membership” within the General Education Setting

Meredith Penner & Shannon McMahon

Program & Training Specialists

BCIU #22


Identify the 3 areas of “access”

Develop strategies within each area to improve inclusive opportunities for students

Improve instructional opportunities for students with complex support needs within the general education curriculum

Increase awareness of resources available to facilitate participation and learning



I count






I belong

Social &





Adapted from Michael McSheehan, Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire, 2009

why is there such a push for inclusion
Why is there such a push for inclusion?

Legal Reasons

Other Reasons

  • Gaskin v. Pennsylvania
  • Least Restrictive Environment
  • Supplemental Aids and Services
  • Chapter 14 regulations
  • Fair doesn’t mean equal
  • Social gains
  • Generalization
  • Access to same opportunities
  • Special Education is a service NOT a place

Historical Perspective: Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (SCD)

  • Before the 1970s
  • Keep children with SCD in institutions
  • Early 1970s
  • Bring students with SCD into public schools
  • Teach all students with SCD the early childhood (preschool and kindergartencurriculum
  • 1980s
  • Teach functional and life skills 1990s
  • Ensure social inclusion, self-determination, and assistive technology 2000 – present
  • Provide access to general academic curriculum as well as functional skills, social skills, self determination, and assistive technology

Washington Alternate Assessment System: Portfolio Assessment

least restrictive environment
Least Restrictive Environment
  • Child must be educated in the general education setting to the greatest extent possible considering all of the possible supplemental aids and services
  • Inclusion does not mean that the student’s progress must be measured by mastery of general education curriculum, but could be measured by progress made toward IEP goals and objectives
  • The levels of supports and accommodations needed are to provide students the opportunity to participate with their non-disabled peers in a general education setting NOT to be used as a basis for placing them in an alternate (more restrictive) setting
      • Burns,Edward. (2003) A Handbook for Supplementary Aids and Services. Springfield Ill: Charles C. Thomas
approximate state targets 2010
Approximate State Targets (2010)

% of special education students placed in:

General Ed >80% 65%

General Ed 40-79% 24%

General Ed < 40 8.7%

Alternate Placements 3.3%

100 schools were identified over the last 5 years in PA for improvement plans in these various categories as a result of the Gaskins Settlement

what are supplementary a ids and services
What are supplementary aids and services?

Aids, services and other supports

Provided in regular education classes or other related settings

Enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate

IDEA 2004 Section 602(33)


What is the SaS Toolkit?The Supplementary Aids and Services Toolkit guides teams through steps that lead to the identification of services and supports to enable a student with a disability to learn and succeed within general education classroom settings.

A multi-step student specific collaborative process

Identifies potential barriers that exist in the general education if nothing is changed

Identifies support options to increase student learning & participation in general education classrooms

Focuses on changing the student, you develop ways of adapting and modifying the environment.

considering the full range of sas
Considering the Full Range of SaS
  • SaS should be:
    • Available to all students who need them
    • Designed to provide meaningful educational benefit
    • Provided in a manner that avoids stigmatizing students
potential support strategies collaborative examples
Potential Support Strategies: Collaborative Examples

Scheduled team meetings


Friendship facilitation

Ongoing consultation

Weekly/daily communication

Staff training

Mentor teachers

potential support strategies instructional examples
Potential Support Strategies: Instructional Examples

Using keyboard/portable device; instruction in keyboarding skills; use of scribe

Reading directions aloud

Using special paper or writing tools

Simplifying directions

Providing visual cues

Increasing individualized assistance

Presenting instruction differently

Allowing students to respond in a different manner

Modifying curricular goals

potential support strategies social behavioral examples
Potential Support Strategies: Social-Behavioral Examples

Behavioral support plan

Social skill training

Scheduled breaks

Friendship facilitation or Circle of Friends

Changing the “rules” (e.g. allowing gum or water bottle to address sensory needs)

potential support strategies physical examples
Potential Support Strategies: Physical Examples

Arrange furniture differently

Allow testing in a separate room

Allow extended time or multiple sessions to complete tests

Provide student requested breaks in pre-set area out of the classroom

Allow water bottle or sensory toy at desk

Make available an adapted chair

determination of sas what it is not
Determination of SaS:What it is NOT

Listing every accommodation available on the IEP form, hoping “something” will work

Using a standard set of accommodations for each student who has a similar disability label

Making modifications without assessing and discussing thoroughly what the student may need

what sas is not cont
What SaS is NOT (Cont.)

Developing an IEP without an analysis of potential general education environments

Limiting consideration of SAS to those that the team has experience in implementing

Beginning the IEP development process with a predetermined placement already in mind, based on whether the student currently is placed and/or his/her disability



Change in rules or expectations

Use of a calculator

Social Skill Instruction

Adapted seating


Visual schedule

Visual prompts to stay on task

Advance notice for change in routine

Textured bulletin board

Fidget seat

Teacher Training

Extra time to take tests

Provide for Sensory Breaks

Ability Awareness training

Modified Curriculum

Collaboration time for teachers to talk

Seating to allow visual access from the right


Air conditioned Classroom

Private Duty Nurse

Chunky crayons

Teacher Aide Assistance

who completes the sas tool kit
Who Completes the SaS Tool Kit?


Special Ed Teacher

General Ed Teacher


OT and PT

Special Ed Supervisor

Other Support Staff

component a
Component A

COMPONENT A- provides an overview of the SaS consideration process, describing who is responsible for actions at each step of the process.

component b
Component B

Student Profile: Summary of Strengths,

Needs, and Learning Characteristics

COMPONENT B- assists teams in organizing student specific information in a format designated to facilitate instructional planning and problem-solving to support inclusive practices.

component c
Component C

COMPONENT C - the tool that guides IEP team members through a four-step process and results in the identification of student-specific, environmentally-referenced supplementary aids and services.

Step 1: Environmental Scan of General Education Classroom

* To be completed by the general education teacher (with input from the special education teacher as needed) prior to the team meeting


Supplementary Aids and Services (SAS) Consideration Tool1



Identify classroom(s) used as a reference point for Step 1:

Completed By:

Step 1: Environmental Scan of General Education Classroom

Step 2: Identify Barriers to Learning and Participation

Step 3: Identify Support Strategies

Use, as a reference point, the general classroom(s) this student would attend if he or she did not have a disability. In collaboration with the general education teacher(s), create a profile of the instructional environment(s) by circling the number that best describes the frequency of use of identified materials and instructional practices.

Given what you know about this student, identify any difficulties you can anticipate in this setting, based on his/her current skills, needs, and learning style.

Identify supplementary aids and services that could support this student’s participation and learning in this class. Consider all possibilities, consulting available resources and support personnel.

1.1 Instructional Method/ Materials

Frequency of Use2

  • Printed Materials
  • Textbook
  • Workbook
  • Trade book
  • Worksheets
  • Newspapers/magazines
  • Other ____________________
  • Other ____________________

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3

2Coding Key:

1 = never; 2 = occasionally; 3 = frequently

component d
Component D

Self-Check for Teams

COMPONENT D is a self-assessment tool for teams to use as they move through the SaS Consideration Toolkit to ensure fidelity in the development of an IEP that is focused on maximizing student participation in the LRE and meaningful access to the general education curriculum.


Determine which SaS will be implemented:

  • Identify the most appropriate supplementary aids and services needed to support this student’s learning in general education settings
sas includes supports for adults too
SaS Includes Supports for Adults, too!!

Adults need supports to do things in ways that they have not had previous experience

Identify training, technical assistance, administrative support needs, and other resources that are needed to deliver supplementary aids and services in ways that are new to instructional personnel


Whether students’ needs have been met is reflected not only by whether they have attained certain objectives, but by the impact the educational experiences have had on their lives.Michael Giangreco, 1994