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Teachers and Learners in Inclusive Schools Special Education Law Spring, 2005 Special Ed . Law Terms Evolution of the law Elements of IDEA Special Education is….

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teachers and learners in inclusive schools

Teachers and Learners in Inclusive Schools

Special Education Law

Spring, 2005

special ed law
Special Ed. Law
  • Terms
  • Evolution of the law
  • Elements of IDEA
Special Education is….

“…specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings…”

(34 Code of Federal 17 [a] [1])

alphabet soup
Alphabet Soup!
  • EHA= Education for All Handicapped Act
  • IDEA= Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • FAPE= Free Appropriate Public Education
  • IEP= Individualized Education Program
  • IFSP= Individualized Family Service Plan
  • ITP= Individual Transition Plan
  • LRE= Least Restrictive Environment
evolution of a law
Evolution of a Law
  • PL 94-142 The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA)
    • Passed in 1975
    • Enacted in 1977
    • Five elements of the law
        • FAPE
        • IEP
        • LRE
        • Non-discriminatory assessment
        • Due process
  • Free and appropriate education for all children regardless of amount of need or cost
  • Access to education for all children is guaranteed at no cost to the parent
  • Zero reject policy
  • Individualized Education Program (Plan)
  • Requirements
    • Statement of present levels of performance
    • Measurable annual goals
    • Statement of educational and related services
    • Date of initiation of services and duration
    • Criteria for annual reassessment

- The amount of time the student will not

spend with same-age typical peers

iep cont
IEP cont.
  • Members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT)
    • Student’s parent(s) or guardian
    • Student if older
    • At least one special education teacher
    • Representative of the local agency who authorizes funding for services
    • Someone to interpret evaluation results (school psychologist)
    • Other individuals with special expertise

or knowledge (advocate, OT, Speech

therapist, etc)


“States must have procedures to ensure that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including those in public/private institutions, are educated with non-disabled children and that removal from the regular education environment only occurs when education in that setting, with supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

(Public Law 94-142, 1975,

Sec. 612, 5, B)

non discriminatory assessment
Non-Discriminatory Assessment
  • Assessment cannot be culturally discriminatory
  • Students must be tested in their dominant language
  • Nonverbal IQ scores can be used if tested in non-native language
  • No single procedure can be used to

determine educational placement

due process
Due Process
  • Written notification is required before initial evaluations and placements
  • Parents must be invited to an IEP meeting three times before it is held without them
  • Parents have the right to challenge school district findings
  • Parents may get an independent educational evaluation
  • Parents have the right to an impartial due process hearing
  • Parents have the right to appeal the findings and decisions of a hearing
  • A student may not be placed in special

education without due process

evolution of a law cont
Evolution of a Law cont.
  • PL 99-457 First reauthorization of EHA
    • 1986
    • Added infants and toddlers
    • Required IFSP for young children
  • Individual Family Service Plan
    • Child’s present levels of functioning
    • Family resources, priorities, concerns
    • Major outcomes for child and family
    • Early intervention services to be offered to family
    • Natural environments they will be offered in
    • Dates of initiation and duration
    • Family service coordinator
    • Child’s transition plan to IEP
evolution of a law cont14
Evolution of a Law cont.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Act or IDEA
    • 1990
    • Changed the language of the law to persons with disabilities
    • Added autism and traumatic brain injury as categories
    • Required transition services no later than age 16
transition plan requirements
Transition Plan Requirements
  • Beginning at age 16 and each year after, statement of student’s needs as related to transition from school to life
  • Beginning at age 16, a statement of transition needs and needed linkages to community and post-school agencies
  • Statement of rights under IDEA that will transfer to student at age 18
  • How progress on transition goals and

objectives will be measured

people first language
People First Language
  • Instead of handicapped or disabled,


person with a disability

students with learning disabilities

children with autism

individuals with cerebral palsy

developmentally delayed students


deaf people, child, adult…

blind person, students…

the blind the deaf

evolution of a law cont17
Evolution of a Law cont.
  • Reauthorization of IDEA
    • 1997
    • General education teachers now required at IEP meetings—IEP team must have at least one
    • Support for teachers’ professional development
    • IDEA funds may be used to pay for services even non-disabled students may benefit from
    • Charter schools must serve students with disabilities
    • Discipline changes
    • IEP must include access to general education


    • Students with disabilities must be included in

state and district assessments

evolution of law continued
Evolution of Law Continued

2004 reauthorization of IDEA, PL108-466

- Discipline placement requires evaluation if behavior is result of disability or poor IEP implementation

- States submit performance plans plans addressing improvement in racial and ethnic representation

- Alignment with NCLB to include alternate assessments, and reporting of graduation rates and dropout rates

- IEP benchmarks and short term objectives required only for students with alternative assessments/standards

specific learning disabilities
Specific learning Disabilities
  • Aptitude achievement discrepancy model modified in order to speed up identification before failure :

- Districts may use data from a scientific, research based intervention as part of evaluation

highly qualified special ed teachers
Highly QualifiedSpecial Ed.Teachers
  • New standards aligned with NCLB :

- Bachelors degree

- Full state special ed. certification( includes alternative certification)

- Special ed. teachers teaching 2 or more academic subjects also required to meet both grade level and subject area competence