The provisions are made to allow a student to access and demonstrate learning. Accommodations do not substantially change the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria, but are made in order to provide a student equal access to learning and equal opportunity to demonstrate what is known. Accommodations do not alter the content of the test or provide inappropriate assistance to the student within the context of the test. Examples include books on tape, content enhancements, and allowing additional time to take a test.
Involves an adjustment to the instructional content or performance expectations of students with disabilities from what is expected or taught to students in general education. Adaptations are usually included as part of a student’s IEP. Adaptations can include decreasing the number of exercises the student is expected to complete, assignment of different reading materials, or use of a calculator instead of working out problems by hand.
Age Appropriate
At the chronological (actual) age of the child/student. The descriptor can be applied to materials, curriculum, modifications for the child, or to the student’s behavior.
Assistive Technology Services
Services to help a child with a disability use an assistive technology device. These services include evaluating the needs of the child; providing the device; and then training the child, the child’s family and the professionals who work with that child in the use of the device
Assistive Technology
“Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT service is directly assisting an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.”

Source: The US technology-related assistance for individuals with disabilities act of 1988, Section 3.1. Public Law 100-407, August 9, 1988 (renewed in 1998 in the Clinton Assistive Technology Act)

Basic Education Circular – The Pennsylvania Bureau of Education provides written policies for clarification and guidelines on specific issues.
Chapter 14
The state law pertaining to the delivery of special education services and programs. It is called a regulation or sometimes called a rule
Circle of Friends
A technique used to enlist the involvement and commitment of peers in developing and supporting effective inclusion (Also called Circle of Support)
An assessment and planning tool designed to help educators identify family-centered priorities for their students, define the educational program components, and address these components in an inclusive setting.
Differentiated Instruction
Recognizing students varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, interests, and reacting responsively. Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process. (by CAST)
Due Process
The procedures that may be used when parents disagree with school officials’ decisions. The due process procedures include the right to written notice, the right to a pre-hearing conference, and the right to a formal hearing and appeals.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
A federal law that regulates the management of student records and disclosure of information from those records.
Free appropriate public education (FAPE)
Special education and related services that (1) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (2) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (3) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (4) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
A problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. FBA relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. It looks beyond the behavior itself focusing on identifying significant, pupil-specific social, affective, cognitive, and/or environmental factors associated with the occurrence (and non-occurrence) of specific behaviors. (Adapted from the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Public Law 108-446 is called the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.” Its “short title” is Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Provisions for LRE appear in IDEA regulations (§§300.114 through 300.120) LRE requires that “To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of
supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)
LTSS are services that help people with disabilities live everyday lives, like help bathing, dressing,  getting out of bed, a job coach, or direct support workers. Medicaid is one of the only programs, private or public, that pays for LTSS.
MAPS (Making Action Plans)
A creative tool that inclusion facilitators can use to help individuals, organizations, and families move into the future
Changes to WHAT a student is expected to learn. They are provided to students with disabilities who are working below grade level and who may require modified expectations within a given activity to meet their individual needs. Alternative Curriculum Goals can be used to make the content more relevant and functional to the individual’s needs. Requirements for a student may be partially adapted, with the student expected to master some, but not of the expectations. Or the level of mastery that is expected for a student may be altered.
Natural Proportions
Ensuring that the proportions or ratios, of students with disabilities in any given class, represent the natural proportions that occur in the community. This would mean there is not overrepresentation in one class and underrepresentation in another, but all classes resemble the naturally occurring proportions of the general population in the community. Typically, no more than 1 to 2% of a school’s population will have significant disabilities and there should be no more than one child with a significant disability in a regular classroom. In general,10 to 15% of children may have some type of disability and so for classes of 30 students for example, there would be 3 to 5 students with disabilities.
PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope)
A creative tool that inclusion facilitators can use to develop long and short-range planning by encouraging people to think “backward.
Person-Centered Planning
Person-centered planning is a process whereby persons with disabilities, with the support of families, direct the planning and allocation of resources to meet their own life vision and goals. This planning process: is based on a person’s preferences, dreams, and needs; understands how a person makes decisions; understands how a person is and can be productive; discovers what the person loves and dislikes; encourages and supports long-term hopes and dreams; is supported by a short-term support plan that is based on reasonable costs given the person’s support needs; includes the individual’s responsibilities; includes a range of supports including funded, community and natural supports; and should be conducted based upon the needs of the individual, but at least annually.
Related services
Related services mean transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training. (does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted) §300.34
Individuals making the choices that allow them to exercise control over their own lives, to achieve the goals to which they aspire, and to acquire the skills and resources necessary to participate fully and meaningfully in society.

The right to self-determination must include individuals with all types of disabilities. Self-Determination has five basic rights and responsibilities: Freedom, Authority, Support, Responsibility, and Confirmation. (Adapted from the Center for Self-Determination)

Supplementary aids and services
Aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with §§300.114 through 300.116.
Transition services
A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that (1) is 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 training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; (2) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and (3) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. (20 U.S.C. §1401)
Universal Design (UD)
A phrase used to describe elements that are usable by everyone across the broad spectrum of life, first used in architecture.

The principles of UD are: Equitable use; Flexible in use; Simple and intuitive; Perceptible information; Tolerance for error; Low physical effort; Size and space for approach and use.

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Information & Resources for People with Disabilities

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