This book was developed to support the Students with Disabilities course. Chapters 1-11 are developed to align with the disability summary assignments. Each of these concise chapters explains the corresponding section of the disability summary template. This eBook is a work in progress and will evolve as high quality open resources become available.
chapters provide an introduction to each of the 14 IDEA disabilities. Some chapters are more comprehensive than others, depending on the availability of open resources. These disability specific chapters are a good resource for anyone who needs a review or a deeper understanding of these disabilities and how to support these students in the classroom with research based learning strategies.

The Disability Summary Project is one of the key artifacts that you will develop in the “Students with Disabilities” course. It consists of 10 disability summaries, which focus on the 14 IDEA categorized disabilities.
You will develop a disability summary for each of the following disabilities.
  1. Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  2. Intellectual Disability and Developmental Delay (ID and DD)
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  4. Emotional Disturbance (ED or EBD)
  5. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  6. Orthopedic Impairments (OI)
  7. Other Health Impaired (OHI)
  8. Sensory Impairments (SI) includes: Visual Impairment/Blindness, Deafness, Hearing Impaired, and Deaf-Blind
  9. Multiple Disabilities (MD)
  10. Speech and Language Impairments (SLI)

Note that many of these disability categories include subcategories of the disability. Each disability includes a wide spectrum of variance within the main category. Students often present with overlapping or co-existing/ co-morbid disabilities. For this project you will focus on the main disability and follow instructions for each disability regarding addressing sub-categories of the disability.

In the course resource documents folder you will find the disability summary template for each summary. Download and save these documents.

Rules of thumbRules of Thumb

As you research and develop your summaries each week, keep these basic rules of thumb in mind.

Rule of Thumb #1: Do not define the category terms in each section. It is assumed we all know what the category terms mean.

Rule of Thumb #2: The information in each summary needs to be specific to that disability category.

Rule of Thumb #3: Always read, summarize and reference the course readings and resources in your summaries.

Rule of Thumb #4: If you didn’t write it then you need to cite it. Summarize, paraphrase, quote (sparingly)  list,.. And include APA references at the end of the summary and in text citations within each section of the summary. Do not copy and paste information from the internet or verbatim from the text. Use appropriate APA summarizing and/or block quoting. (small sections).

Rule of Thumb #5. Each section of the summary needs to be addressed for each disability category. If you skip sections, points will be lost on the evaluation rubric.

Disability Summary Research Project Overview

I am going to deconstruct the 11 sections of the summary into 4 main categories and explain how these categories fit into a comprehensive review of the 14 IDEA disability categories and provide you with a foundation of important information and a toolbox of teaching strategies. Each of these section of the summary will be further explained in this eBook.

IDEA Disability related facts

The first four sections of the summary address factual information the special educator must know. These sections will be very straight forward and from specific predetermined resources.

The first three of those four sections have links in the template to bring you to the resource. The four factual/data section is Etiology and this information will be found in the module readings.

  1.      Federal Definition from IDEA 2004:
  2.      Identification/ Diagnosis (who are the qualified examiners)
  3.      Prevalence (% of students K-12)
  4.      Etiology (causes)

The special educator needs to know the definitions of each of the 14 IDEA disability categories and who the qualified examiners are that will determine if the student is eligible for special education services. Identification of disability is a team approach and the knowledge of the required examiners is critical of IDEA compliance.

Characteristics of the Disability

Look at different areas of “characteristic” of the student with X disability

  •     Characteristics and impact on learning
  •     Adaptive Behavior (everyday behavior: independent living skills, and social skills implications)

Intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior may not be specifically labeled in the readings. You will need to use your knowledge of about intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior to identify that information in the readings. (see readings in module 1)

These three “lenses” of the disability will provide you with a profile and starting point for selecting appropriate instructional strategies and classroom supports.

Strategic teaching and learning strategies

This section is perhaps the most important section of the summary

  •   Universal Design for Learning- UDL: to support Access to the General Curriculum
  •   Interventions, Research Based Teaching/Learning Strategies/Methodologies/Accommodations
  •  Assistive technologies and Educational Technologies

The interventions and strategies will support the students’ learning and access to the curriculum based on the characteristics of the learner with X disability (sections 5-7).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) addresses the strategies the general education teacher can use in his/her classroom to support diverse learners. These strategies are more ubiquitous or universal and very well may benefit other “typical” students. These strategies enable the student to access the learning environment by providing:

  1.       Provide multiple means of representation
  2.       Provide multiple means of action and expression
  3.       Provide multiple means of engagement

The interventions and strategies are more specific to the needs of the student with X disability and include differentiated instruction, specific learning strategies, accommodation and modification.

Assistive and educational technologies provide physical access (assistive technology) and personalized curriculum (educational technology).

Systems of Support

These are the collaborative networks, resources, organizations and specialized support professionals involved in providing support to persons with X disability throughout the person’s lifespan. You will identify local, state, national and web-based resources for people with disabilities.

updated 6/7/23





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