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LEAD: Preparing Students with Disabilities to Self-Advocate for Classroom Accommodations and Modifications

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Title: LEAD: Preparing Students with Disabilities to Self-Advocate for Classroom Accommodations and Modifications


1
LEAD Preparing Students with Disabilities to
Self-Advocate for Classroom Accommodations and
Modifications
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Interest-based Technical Assistance
  • Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D.

2
Introduction
  • Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D.
  • Related history
  • IBTA
  • Educational Strategist Consultant
  • Transition Coach Transition Specialist
  • Conflict Mediation Coach
  • Speaker and writer

3
Outline
  • Self-advocacy and self-determination
  • Changing roles for parents and professionals
  • IDEA, Section 504, ADA
  • Obstacles to acquire self-advocacy skills
  • Steps to the self-advocacy process
  • Student-directed IEP and 504 plan meetings
  • Asserting the need for accommodations and
    modifications

4
Self-advocacy and Self-determination
  • Self-advocacy focuses on the ability to stand up
    for one-self and to help other people with
    disabilities stand up for themselves by speaking
    up, speaking out, and speaking loud.
  • Self-determination is a call for shifting power
    from the system to the individual, allowing
    people to choose how they live and to be
    supported in ways that facilitate their
    preferences.
  • (from Self-determination and Self-advocacy
    Shifting the Power, Rebekah L Pennell,
    UNC at Chapel Hill)

5
Historical Perspective
  • Historically abused, mistreated, ignored
  • 1848 developed special schools and training
    programs, institutions, belief served better if
    separate
  • More than 100 years later shift to normalization
    and in the 1980s inclusion
  • 1980s person-centered planning, concentrate on
    each persons life as an individual
  • (from Self-determination and Self-advocacy
    Shifting the Power, Rebekah L Pennell,
    UNC at Chapel Hill)

6
Historical Perspective
  • 1990s self-determination movement
  • 1997 Amendments to IDEA provide more direction
    and clarity on transition planning
  • 1990s LEAD program in Colorado
  • student-led IEP meetings
  • 2000s community-based LEAD program
  • 2000s student-directed IEP and 504 plan meetings

7
Changing Roles for Parents and Professionals
  • Parents from parent advocate to partner advocate
  • For professionals not as an advocate but as a
    supporter, mentor, guide

8
IDEA 1997
  • special education law, is
  • to ensure that all children with disabilities
    have
  • available to them a free appropriate education
  • that emphasizes special education and related
  • services designed to meet their unique needs and
  • prepare them for employment and independent
  • living, and to ensure the rights of children with
  • disabilities and parents of such children are
    protected.

9
Section 504
  • is to empower individuals with
  • disabilities to maximize
  • employment, economic self-sufficiency,
    independence, and
  • inclusion and integration into
  • society through comprehensive
  • and coordinated state-of-the-art
  • programs of vocational
  • rehabilitation, independent
  • living centers and services,
  • research, training, demonstration
  • projects, and the guarantee
  • of equal opportunity.

10
ADA
  • The philosophy of independent living includes
    self-help and individual advocacy.
    Transitioning students with disabilities may
    receive instruction in self-advocacy so that they
    understand their rights and can advocate for
    themselves in the employment process. Such
    instruction may include information about the
    employment provisions of the Americans with
    Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • (from Transition Services Under the IDEA, Leonard
    Garfinkel, LRP Publications)

11
1997 Amendments
  • Congress required greater state and local
    accountability for improving graduation rates and
    postsecondary results for youth with
    disabilities. The law directed state education
    agencies to include youth with disabilities in
    statewide achievement assessments, and to begin
    including a statement of the transition service
    needs in IEPs at age 14, in addition to age 16.
  • (from GAO Report, Federal Actions Can Assist
    States in Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for
    Youth, July 2003)

12
Transition
  • As defined by IDEA a coordinated set of
    activities for a student with a disability that
    is designed within an outcome-oriented process,
    which promotes movement from school to
    post-school activities is based upon the
    individual students needs, taking into account
    the students preferences and interests
  • For purpose of developing self-advocacy and
    self-determination must be an ongoing process
    that starts well before the age of 14

13
GAO Report
  • Research shows that many youth with disabilities
    have difficulties developing the necessary
    attributes and skills to prepare for their lives
    after graduation, but suggests that youth who
    obtain self-determination skills are more likely
    to achieve positive education and employment
    outcomes.

14
GAO Report
  • State Directors of Special Education in 24 states
    reported that less than half of IDEA students
    received self-advocacy training while in high
    school.
  • Youth cited problems identifying and learning how
    to ask for specific accommodations needed to
    succeed in school and the workplace. They also
    reported problems obtaining knowledge about their
    rights under laws like IDEA and the ADA.

15
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-three factors that may limit IDEA
    youth participation in federal transition
    services include limitations in program capacity
    to serve the eligible population, youth and
    family fears that employment income may
    jeopardize access to other public assistance, and
    a lack of awareness about availability of the
    transition resources.

16
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-teachers reported that in the area of
    IDEA youth transition, more than half rarely, if
    ever, coordinate referrals to adult service
    providers.
  • GAO Report-lack of vocational training
  • GAO Report-poor linkages between schools and
    service providers
  • GAO Report-insufficient VR and WIA programs to
    serve eligible populations requesting services
    and a general lack of awareness about these
    programs

17
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-lack of community work experience
    while in high school
  • GAO Report-sped teachers do not have the time and
    training to develop linkages with community
    service providers
  • GAO Report-transportation problems
  • GAO Report-not all IDEA youth eligible for VR,
    WIA, and Ticket Programs and many have waiting
    lists
  • GAO Report-workforce centers often do not have
    the expertise to serve youth with disabilities

18
Obstacles
  • Higher rates of dropping out, 2000-01 school year
    70 of IDEA youth completed high school with a
    standard diploma or alternative credential
  • GAO Report-transition problems affecting IDEA
    youth include those related to self-advocacy
    training and insufficient information about the
    transition process
  • GAO Report-youth reported problems identifying
    and learning how to ask for specific
    accommodations they need to succeed in school and
    the workplace

19
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-youth with disabilities have
    difficulties developing the necessary attitudes
    and skills to prepare for their lives after
    graduation, but suggest that youth who obtain
    self-determination skills are more likely to
    achieve positive education and employment
    outcomes State Directors of Special Education in
    24 states reported less than half of IDEA
    students received self-advocacy training while in
    high school

20
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-parents reported problems helping
    their child navigate the transition process as
    students prepared to leave high school for the
    adult world
  • GAO Report-parents said they did not have the
    necessary information to adequately participate
    in their childs transition from high school
  • GAO Report-parents said they did not have
    information about where to go for assistance
    after high school, the spectrum of education and
    employment service providers that were available,
    and the type and level of support that may be
    offered by providers

21
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-parents were unaware of the ADA or
    other laws protecting their childrens rights,
    and family support available to them in the
    community
  • GAO Report-21 State Directors of Special
    Education reported that many local school systems
    do not designate intermediaries to establish
    linkages, and 18 Directors said that their agency
    also had difficulty coordinating with other state
    agencies outside of the school system
  • GAO Report-parents reported that private
    providers of transportation were often unreliable
    and their services were not coordinated with
    pubic transportation systems

22
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-State and Regional Resource Center
    officials attributed the inconsistent quality of
    service technical assistance to variation in
    the expertise available at each center in regards
    to transition issues
  • GAO Report-some transition challenges are likely
    to remain unless federal assistance is
    strengthened and used to help states take a more
    holistic approach to dealing with transition
    issues usefulness of assistance may be
    compromised by delays and inconsistent quality of
    services

23
Obstacles
  • GAO Report-school districts have difficulties
    offering an appropriate mix of vocational
    programs that reflect the job market demands as
    well as meet the students career interests
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity

24
Obstacles
  • Students unaware of
  • How to set goals and achieve them
  • Their strengths and weaknesses
  • How to leverage their strengths
  • Accommodations and modifications that will help
    them access the curriculum
  • How they learn

25
Obstacles
  • Students unaware of
  • Good, effective communication skills
  • Self-advocacy
  • Informed decision-making
  • How to establish and maintain a support system
  • How to ask for help

26
Obstacles
  • Lack of preparation in advance for high school
    and developing goals for high school
  • Lack of knowledge and understanding about IEP and
    504 meetings
  • Lack of understanding about behavior and how it
    impacts learning and socialization
  • Lack of knowledge and understanding of rights
    under IDEA, Section 504, and ADA

27
Obstacles
  • Self-advocacy obstacles
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of experience
  • Lack of positive response to their efforts
  • Lack of support from parents, school, community
  • Lack of peer mentoring

28
Strategies to overcome obstacles
  • GAO Report-research shows that when parents
    participate in their childs education, their
    child improves academically and has higher
    aspirations for school and career development
  • GAO Report-parents and family support groups said
    that parents need the necessary information to
    adequately participate in their childs
    transition from high school

29
Strategies to overcome obstacles
  • GAO Report-parents need information on where to
    go for assistance after high school, the spectrum
    of education and employment service providers
    that were available, and the type and level of
    support that may be offered by providers
  • GAO Report-parents need to be aware of the ADA
    and other laws protecting their childrens rights
    and family support resources available in the
    community

30
Strategies to overcome obstacles
  • GAO Report-past research has shown that IDEA
    youth who received vocational services and paid
    work experience experienced higher rates of
    successful transition less likely to drop out of
    school and achieved greater success in obtaining
    employment with higher earnings

31
Strategies to overcome obstacles
  • Establish individual, community, and school-based
    LEAD programs parents and community will have to
    fill in the gaps rather than wait and rely on
    schools and districts to take immediate and
    effective action
    www.ldcan.com

32
The self-advocacy process
  • Ability to disclose the disability and its
    limitations
  • Ability to identify and use accommodations,
    modifications, assistive technology, related
    services (educational provisions)
  • Ability for student to control and determine the
    use of educational provisions
  • Ability to explain how and why educational
    provisions are useful and helpful

33
The self-advocacy process
  • Ability to use good and effective communication
    skills
  • Ability to leverage strengths
  • Ability to be proactive and to act on their
    rights under IDEA, Section 504, and ADA
  • Ability to be assertive rather than aggressive
    and to know the difference
  • Ability to use alternative learning and behavior
    strategies

34
The self-advocacy process
  • Ability to initiate requests for assistance,
    adaptations, accommodations, and modifications
  • Ability to describe how their limitations and
    strengths impact their performance in school and
    on the job
  • Ability to follow up on their self-advocacy
    efforts
  • Ability to read social cues and respond
    appropriately

35
LEAD Target behaviors and strategies
  • In LEAD provided by Educational Strategist and/or
    Educational Strategist and Consultant
  • Gives choice and provides advocacy training and
    assistance so students can make informed
    decisions that are age and disability appropriate
    based on leadership options, knowledge of
    community, and developing support systems

36
LEAD Target behaviors and strategies
  • Provide an understanding of accommodations,
    modifications, related services, assistive
    technology, and effective strategies to implement
    their rights under IDEA, Section 504, and ADA
  • Acknowledging and dealing with institutional
    resistance, bias, differences of opinion, and
    lack of knowledge and understanding
  • Myth-busting- not lazy, belligerent, enabled,
    unmotivated, discipline problem

37
LEAD Target behaviors and strategies
  • Advocacy of others
  • Developing and sharing strategies
  • Practicing learned skills
  • Im okay, youre okay environment
  • Self-advocacy is the best tool
  • Student-directed IEP and 504 plans

38
One model of addressing Target Behaviors
  • Mr/Ms/Professor Smith. My name is Bee Brown and
    I am enrolled in your class. I have ADHD and
    have had a 504 plan/IEP since 4th grade. I
    especially need and benefit from assistance with
    specific study skills, time management, goal
    setting, and organizational skills. The
    accommodations and services that have helped me
    are having a tutor, breaking down my assignments
    into smaller pieces and turning them in right
    away for immediate feedback, and having
    communication with the instructor by e-mail.
    Disability services/private tutor has been
    helpful so

39
One model of addressing Target Behaviors
(cont)
  • I can be successful and maintain a level of
    independence. I need to make use of educational
    provisions in the form accommodations and
    modifications in your class. I have prepared a
    written copy for your reference that Id like to
    give to you right now. I will be responsible for
    following through. Sometimes disability services
    has a conflict and will not be available to
    assist me in a timely manner. If I notify you as
    soon as that happens would you be willing to
    advise me on how we can work

40
One model of addressing Target Behaviors
(cont)
  • together so I can continue to be successful
  • and independent in your class? Is there anything
    else you need to know from me? I welcome
    questions at any time.
  • Follow up with a thank you note outlining the
    discussion and requests.
  • If there is a conflict or challenge it is okay to
    politely end the conversation with a request to
    make an appointment to talk with the instructor
    in more detail.

41
Student involvement in IEP and 504 meetings
  • Within the context of obstacles
  • Disability and age appropriate
  • Skill building in a supportive environment
  • Patience, creativity, flexibility
  • Acknowledging and leveraging strengths
  • Start today with caution

42
Accommodations and Modifications
  • Not as simple as it seems unless there already
    exists a receptive and accepting audience
  • First feel confident talking about educational
    provisions and then move to making the request to
    have them
  • Requests should be detailed and specific as to
    W,W,W,W,H,W
  • Avoid itemized lists
  • Have back up plans and alternate strategies so
    student is not penalized

43
Websites
  • www.section504online.com
  • www.talconline.net
  • www.ClaudiaLoweJD.com
  • www.myleadgroup.com
  • www.ldcan.com
  • http//cactechassistance.tripod. com
  • www.findingcommonground.teach-nology.com

44
Contact
  • Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D.
  • e-mail ourorhskids_at_yahoo.com

45
Educational Strategist Consultant
  • Counsels students and their families on
    educational strategies and provisions for an
    appropriate IEP or 504 plan and Transition plan
    based on the students unique needs, individual
    learning and work styles, strengths, abilities,
    talents, and potential.

46
Favorite Quotes
  • If you wouldnt do it to an adult, dont do it
    to a child. Rick LaVoie
  • Children do well if they can. Ross
    Greene
  • I am not your response. Claudia Lowe

47
Workshops
  • K-12 CAMS for Students
  • A one-day workshop that can be presented to
    students, teachers, or parents on how to
    effectively use K-12 CAMS for school work, home
    work, and to make educational progress.
  • Presenters Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D. and
    Cathy Manus, E.S.
  • "If You Don't Teach Me the Way I Learn, You Are
    Not Teaching Me" A one-day workshop with
    facilitated discussion and simulations to acquire
    skills and strategies to educate and engage
    students with disabilities that impact learning.
  • Presenters Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D. and
    Cathy Manus, E.S.

48
K-12 CAMS
  • K-12 CAMS Fact Sheets
  • Attention/Concentration
  • Reasoning/Processing
  • Memory
  • Executive Function
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Emotional Maturity
  • Coordination/Motor Function
  • Communication
  • Reading
  • Writing/Spelling
  • Math Calculation/Application
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