Disability Awareness and Universal Design

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How Disability Impacts
Learning…and what we can do
about it!
Ellen J. Stoltz, Ph.D.
Acting Senior Director,
Special Education Department
Three P’s

Purpose: To provide new teachers with
background knowledge to promote effective
instruction by presenting observable traits of
students with disabilities;

Presentation: Power Point, large- and smallgroupwork, hands-on activity;

Pay-off: Increase understanding of the
challenges of specific disabilities; Develop the
concept of Universal Design;
•Setting the Scene…
Neurodevelopmental Constructs..
Disrupt the Deficit Paradigm…
Person First….
Instructional Connectivity
Neurodevelopmental Constructs
Across the Grades
Temporal-Sequential Ordering: time,
seriation, problem-solving
 Spatial Ordering: patterns,geometric
imaging, whole-to-part, spatial
concepts, nonverbal thinking
 Memory: Abstract, symbolic information,
procedural recall, rapid recall of facts,

Disability Categories
ID=
HI=
LSH=
VI=
Intellectual
Disability
Hearing
Impairment
Speech and Visual
Language
Impairment
Emotional
Disturbance
OHI=
SLD=
OI=
MD=
Other
Health
Impaired
Specific
Learning
Disability
Orthopedic
Impairment
AUT=
TBI=
DD=
Autism
Traumatic
Brain Injury
Developmental
Delay
DeafBlind
ED=
Multiple
Disabilities
Incidence in Hartford
Total Students with Disabilities=3658
60
50
40
30
Percent
20
10
0
LD
ID
ED
SLI
AUT
Characteristics of Students with
Learning Disabilities





Achievement below
ability;
60-80% of students with
LD are males;
Comprise 4-10% of
population,
Familial pattern;
Inconsistent
performance;




Short- and long-term
memory deficits;
Disorganized in
thought, action, and
materials;
Poor spatial awareness
and sequencing in time
and space;
Socially immature;
misinterpret social cues;
What will students with LD struggle
with?

Numerical Proportional Reasoning

Geometry and Measurement

Algebraic reasoning: Patterns and
Functions
What will students with LD struggle
with? (or how does the student’s disability interfere with benefit
from participating in and benefiting from the general education
curriculum?)
Relational and
positional concepts
Fractions and
decimals
One more
Skip counting
Place value
Patterns
Multi-step word
problems
Money
Subtraction and
division
Calendar and time
Estimation
Operational signs
Strategies for Students with LD
Increase Memory: Multisensory
Presentation and Response…seeing
(V),hearing (A), saying (A), doing (K),
writing (V,K,T), acting (VAKT);
 Increase Organization: Provide routines,
graphic organizers for math concepts,
visual symbols for math-problem-solving

FACT FAMILIES and
UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Visual:

Auditory:

Kinesthetic:

Tactile:
Objective
Procedure
Student
Products
Accom/
Mod
(VAKT)
Materials Classroom
Management
Characteristics of Students with
Intellectual Disabilities



Below average intellect
AND adaptive skills, IQ=70
or below;
Adaptive functioning=
communication, social,
self-help skills;
No specific personality
and behavioral features:
may be placid, dependent,
aggressive, impulsive;

Strategy: 80-100
repetitions with drill,
concrete examples,
personalized
experience, realia,
manipulatives,
VAKT
Characteristics of Students with
Speech and Language Impairment



Impaired articulation,
expressive language,
receptive language;
May occur with
spoken or sign
language;
Limited vocabulary,
simple grammar and
sentences, unusual
word order; slow
speech;
circumlocutions;

Poor language
comprehension;
misarticulations;

Strategy: Ask students
to retell directions in
own words utilizing
peers as language
models;
Characteristics of Students with
Other Health Impairments


limited strength,
vitality or alertness,
including a
heightened alertness
with respect to the
educational
environment,
attention deficit
with/without
hyperactivity
disorder;



tuberculosis,
rheumatic fever,
nephritis, asthma,
sickle cell anemia,
hemophilia, epilepsy,
lead poisoning,
leukemia, or diabetes,
adversely affects a
learner’s performance
Strategy: breaks, hiprotein snacks, visual
schedule, 3:1 praise
ratio
Characteristics of Students with
Other Health Impairments


ADD/ADHD:
Distracted by sound
and movement,
impulsive,
inconsistent across
settings, taskdependent; hyperalert;
Moves from one
activity to the next;
incomplete work;

Winded, easily fatigued,
little interest in
activities, low
motivation;

Lethargic, low energy,
disorganized thinking;
Did you know that…

ADHD occurs in
different lobes of the
brain?
Strategies for Students with OHI







Scheduled breaks
Hi-protein or complex carb snacks
Visual schedule
3:1 praise ratio
Elapsed timer
Fidget toy
Differential Reinforcement of Other
Behavior (DRO)
Characteristics of Students with
Autism


Impaired development
in social interaction and
communication;
Restricted repertoire of
activity and interests;




Lack of
social/emotional
reciprocity;
Lacks awareness of
others, prefers
solitary interests;
Delayed language
comprehension;
Triggers: gym floor,
florescent lights,
noise, movement,
inconsistency
Strategies for Students with Autism
Visual supports (icons, pictures,
photo album of school locations)
 Elapsed timer
 Numbered turn takers
 Transition warnings, such as bells,
claps, lights
 Routines

Characteristics of Students with
Emotional Disturbance



Inability to learn due
to poor peer and adult
relationships;
Abnormal feelings and
behaviors under
normal
circumstances;
Physical symptoms
or fears associated
with school;



Emotional/Social
behaviors that are of a
marked degree and
have lasted for longer
than six months AND
affect learning;
2-16% of population;
Bright, easily bored,
distracted;
Characteristics of Students with
Emotional Disturbance



Argumentative,
defiant, blames
others, loses temper
easily; mood swings;
Verbal and/or physical
aggression; agitated;
Passive, socially
reclusive;



Low self-esteem; poor
memory and decisionmaking;
Acting out; poor social
relationships;
Strategy: anticipate
behaviors, be proactive,
use preferred activity for
leverage, stay calm;
puzzle reinforcer,
preferred activities,
hands-on
What Can You Do To
Help?...Universal Design







Understand your own Knowing-Doing gap when you present
your lessons!
Build lessons with the product in mind.
Know there are better ways of doing things…tap your internal
experts in your classroom!
PLAN grouping, traffic flow, multi-sensory tasks, environmental
triggers, choices
Don’t Assume! Refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy to guide lessonplanning, i.e. knowledge vs. application;
Embed accommodations and modifications into the lesson for all
students to access; Think VAKT.
Repetition: similar (drill) and diverse (multiple ways) to learn the
same material;
Additional Ideas…





Measure and Display Successes for Learning and Behavior;
Link to BIP;
Increase Student’s Awareness of How Disability Affects
Learning and Behavior; Link to IEP;
Utilize an Array of Consistently Applied Strategies to Ensure
Success, i.e. highlighting verbs, restating directions in student
language;
Focus on Student Strengths and Interests for Preferred Activities
(leverage);
Utilize Visual Supports for Learning and Behavior, such as
authentic pictures of student working, daily schedule; point
system (individual and group) with puzzle reinforcer and
preferred activity; elapsed timer
Questions?
[email protected];
Kindergartensigns.com
Environments.com
www.4teachers.org
www.help4teachers.com
www.tandl.leon.k12.fl.us/lang/Ellessonspage.html
www.borenson.com
http://.timetimer.com
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