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Public law 94-142 Part B of the Education of the Handicapped Act (1975) states that a free and appropriate public education must be provided for all children with disabilities in the United States( those up to 5 years old may be excluded in some states). (Hardman, & Drew, 2008)
In 1974 amendments to ESEA and EHA were passed (Public law 93-380) in order to increase financial assistance to states to provide services to children with disabilities. This law also included language that informed school districts that federal aid for programs for students with disabilities would be dependent on states developing plans for adequate services for children with disabilities. Finally, in 1975, The Landmark Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHA); Public Law 94-124) was passed. This law requires that all students have access to free and appropriate public education that is provided in the least restrictive environment. Under Public Law 94-142, schools were required to provide service only for children of school age. But In 1986, public law 99-457 was passed. This law mandated special education services for children ages 3-5 and provided financial incentives to states to provide services for children ages birth to 3.
I can only imagine the difficulties that schools had to face before PublicÂ law 94-142 was passed. But even after 1975 children with disabilities who were not yet in schools (ages 3-5) had no rights that support their educational needs either. It took eleven years for the law to be revised.
Hardman, M, & Drew, C. (2008). Human exceptionality scool, community and family. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
- The American with Disabilities Act(ADA)
- Individuals with disabilities education Act(IDEA)
- Agencies for Students in Special Education
- II. Students with Learning Disabilities
- Emotional/behavioral Disorders (EBD)
- Intellectual disability
- Communication disorders
- Physical disabilities
III. The Individualized Education program (IEP)
The purpose of IEP
Who is involved?
Developing the individualized education program
Developmentally appropriate practice is instructional approach that uses curriculum and learning environments consistent with the child's development level. It uses more child-initiated learning by encouraging children to explore their interests through play. It also encourages family involvement. Age appropriate placement on the other hand is the placement of choice for all students with or without special needs that are within chronologically age appropriate regular classrooms. Students with handicaps have the same environment as non-handicapped peers of similar age in order to improve the quality of interactions in those environments. Inclusive preschool classrooms are designed to meet the needs of each child. Classrooms are staffed by highly trained professionals in both child care and special education. In addition, the classroom physical environment supports all of the users. The children have all of their daily activities together and the children are seen as individuals and it is recognized that all children are on a continuum of development. I believe the "Best Program" depends upon the specific needs of the child. Developmentally appropriate curriculum should provide for all areas of a child's development; physical, emotional, social, linguistic, and cognitive .The curriculum should also build upon what children already know and are able to do to consolidate their learning and to foster their acquisition of new concepts and skills. Integrated settings have, in fact, been found to produce higher proportions, rates, and levels of social, cognitive, and linguistic skills in children with disabilities than segregated settings.
IV. Teacher's Roles in the Classroom
Special education teachers compile, organize and maintain good accurate records on each student and work directly with the student's parents to ensure that they are familiar with what is being taught. Since the special education teacher needs to know whom to depend on for role- specific advice, he or she has the responsibility to coordinate the student's individualized education program by keeping the line of communication open with each team member. The General education teacher's role is critical; he or she provides support for students by restating or elaborating on the student's verbal contributions. The teacher assesses the general curriculum and assists in determining appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies for the student and provides services and programs modifications. Professionals who collaborate trust one another but collaboration and consultation will work in a school if, and only if, the people involved are prepared for the roles. Understand their specific roles, and know the goals for the process
Working with Children with Special Needs
VII. Transition to adult life
Transition Services are designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. It is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests. The law is very clear in stating that every attempt must be made to ensure that students participate meaningfully in their own transition planning. IDEA regulations require schools to involve the student in the planning process to the maximum extent possible, as well as to ensure that the student's preferences and interests are considered in writing the goals and objectives.
The transition from school to adult life is a complex and dynamic process. Transition planning should end with the transfer of support from the school to an adult service agency, access to postsecondary education, or life as an independent adult. (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2008) Planning for student's future requires the perspective of multiple people who are vested in the student's life. IDEA 2004 requires that the planning team include the parents; at least one general education teacher; the special educator who works with the student; a representative of the school district; the school must also invite the student to attend the IEP/transition team meeting and assist the students in reaching his or her goals.
What opportunities are available for students with disabilities after they complete secondary school? Teachers, parents, families, and schools should continue to look for available community resources to help students with disabilities become more independent and transition from high school to the community. Many times there are government funded agencies that have programs and services available for individuals with transitional barriers. One of the agencies that found to be helpful is The Job Accommodation Network (JAN). It has an international toll-free consulting service that provides information about job accommodations and the employability of people with disabilities. JAN also provides information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Another agency is The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD-Y). It offers technical assistance programs to help the workforce development community with issues that affect the employment of youth with disabilities. The NCWD-Y also seeks the help of experts in disability, education, employment and workforce development issues to ensure that youth with disabilities are provide full access to high quality services.
Institutions of higher learning also have different opportunities on their campuses for students with disabilities. Postsecondary academies are one-day conferences-type events for high school juniors and seniors with a wide range of disabilities. Parents, teachers, transition specialists, and other high school staff are also encouraged to attend.
To fully prepare for the transition from school, students and parents must be educated about critical components of adult services systems; Self determination and social skills also play a critical role in the successful transition from school to adult life. Students with disabilities in the secondary school years need access to social activities in order to be successful in the community and the workplace. Competence in using social skills will lead to positive perceptions of persons with disabilities in extended community settings such as postsecondary education.