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K9: Understanding the paraprofessionalís role regarding communication with students, studentsí families, and the community that supports learning and well-being for student with Other Health Disabilities.
K10: Understanding the paraprofessionalís role within the educational roles and responsibilities of teachers and support personnel in providing educational services to students with OHD.
S4: Demonstrating the understanding to utilize opportunities for students with OHD to participate, interact, and learn with all students.
Inclusion and Support Strategies
As you may recall from Core Competency Area 5: Supporting the Teaching and Learning Environment, students with disabilities are increasingly receiving supports and services in general education settings. This type of setting is called inclusive education, as compared to a model of segregated special needs education.
Inclusive education means:
Not only is it important that all students have access to a free and appropriate education, it is also important that students with disabilities have the same opportunities as other students. This means access to both educational programs and extracurricular activities. Schools cannot automatically exclude a child from any school program solely because the child is receiving special education services. Based on the same notion that separate programs for racial minorities were inherently unequal, the courts have said separate programs for students with disabilities may provide reduced opportunities and cause extra hardships for families. Regular education programs should serve special education students if possible, and the school should provide access to the same programs provided to other students.
Here is a list of strategies and techniques that promote inclusive classrooms and will benefit students with OHD:
Services and physical accommodations
It is increasingly challenging to meet the complex medical and support needs of students with OHD. However, several programs around the country that include students with significant health-related disabilities in activities with other students demonstrate that it can be done successfully. Review the resources listed below to learn about these thriving social, educational, and community inclusion programs.
Information for this unit was used with permission from:
Institute on Community Integration. (n.d.). Para eLink Core Competency Area 5: Supporting the Teaching and Learning Environment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Retrieved June 30, 2006, from http://ici2.umn.edu/elink/5k3b/c5k3b_intro.html