Thursday, October 16, 2008

Teaching Every Student with UDL Tools: A Process and Strategy for Implementation

I am at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis today. I will be collecting information and ideas to share with you. I am attending some sesssions on UDL and accessibility, so I will be giving you a summary of what I hear and some thoughts on it based on applications for AT in classrooms - especially as it fits within the parameters of what I do.
For today, I would encourage you to take a look at The E Text Version of "Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning" by David H. Rose & Anne Meyer.
This book is presented online by CAST: Teaching Every Student
There is so much to do to provide our students equal access. They are in desperate need of it. As I sat in a regional special ed administrators meeting this past week, I heard them talk about the RTI model and the issues surrounding the identifying of students for special education services. They were acknowledging that there were students that didn't qualify, but still had needs.
Sadly, I didn't feel at that moment that my sharing some UDL principles and getting them to see the idea of accessibility for ALL students as very productive.
Last month I showed them the Premier Literacy Grant and tools as well as some free print disability tools. One director is already on board and has applied and we are preparing for implementation. Next month I will be sharing our AT model and flow chart for identification, assessment and team implementation with these directors. We will also have an AAC company rep there to share. I think I am presenting them with some good tools, but it is obvious that they have too much pressing on them to focus on this issue and so it is up to me (and those of you that do what I do) to "roll up sleeves" and start going out and doing it. This will help expand the practice - not sitting in meetings and preaching about it.
I have said this before and I will say it again - I am all over going out and showing, supporting and modeling the components of print accessibility and UDL with teachers, getting them to use it and help students be able to do it. I am excited when I see the light come on and folks "get it". That is when I feel that my efforts pay off.
I think we have been able to esatablish that a need is there. Now we need to offer the answer and implement it effectively. If the results are effective, then we have a platform to expand.

All the best to you!


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