Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that secures special education services for children with disabilities from the time they are born until they graduate from high school. The law was reauthorized by Congress in 2004, prompting a series of changes in the way special education services are implemented. These changes are continuing today and they affect the delivery of special education and related services in your state. The IDEA Partnership can help you keep up with the changes and possibly influence future decisions.
The law itself is detailed and complex, but here are some key components:
The Importance of Audiobooks
By Barbara A. Wilson, the founder of the Orton-Gillingham Academy and the author of Wilson Reading System
Checklist: What to Consider When Looking at Assistive Technology
By, Amanda Morin (Understood)
Does the student need an Assistive Technology Evaluation?
Does this tool address your child’s specific needs and challenges?
Is there a simpler tool that would work as effectively?
Will it be easy to incorporate into everyday life
Is it portable?
Is your child willing to use it?
Is your child able to use it? (Have her try a demo.)
How easy is it to learn to use the tool?
Will you have support or training in how it works, even if it’s only used at school?
Will all the students teachers have support or training in how it works?
Will other teachers in the school understand the technology and implement it in the classroom?
Is the tool compatible with the existing technology your child uses? (For example, will the software work on your child’s mobile device or a school computer?)
How reliable is the device?
What technical support is available?
If the tool is purchased for school use only, do you have access to a comparable tool that your child can use at home?
What is Assistive Technology?
The goal of assistive technology is to facilitate success and independence for students with disabilities while they work toward their academic, social, communication, occupational, and recreational goals. By addressing the students’ unique needs, assistive technology can reduce barriers to learning; assist students in progressing in their educational program; provide equitable access to the State’s learning standards; and provide students with independence as they participate and progress along with their peers while in school and during post-school living, learning and working. Additionally, assistive technology supports increased social and environmental access, completion of everyday tasks and can enhance an individual’s overall quality of life.
New York State Department of Education
Is Assistive Technology Cheating?
By Jamie Martin, AT specialist (Understood)
My third grader still struggles with decoding and isn’t reading at grade level. Will listening to audiobooks make it harder for her to improve her reading skills?
You’ll be happy to hear that the answer is “no.” Listening to audiobooks won’t slow down the development of your child’s reading skills. In fact, many experts will tell you it can help make her a better reader.
The first thing to know is that listening to audiobooks isn’t “cheating.” The main purpose of reading is to get information. It doesn’t matter what path that information takes to reach the brain.
It’s actually a good thing for your child to read with both her eyes and her ears at the same time. That kind of multisensory reading can help with two main aspects of reading. It can improve both her decoding skills and her comprehension.
Decoding involves learning what sounds each letter makes (phonics). Hearing words while seeing them helps her make those sound-symbol relationships.
But reading involves more than just decoding. Your child also needs to understand the meaning of what she’s reading.
Right now, since decoding is hard for her, she may be putting all of her effort into sounding out the words. She may not be able to put them together in her mind to understand what they’re saying. Audiobooks can remove the need for decoding so she can focus on the meaning.
One of the greatest benefits of audiobooks is that they can motivate struggling readers. Since your third grader isn’t reading at grade level, she may not be able to read the same books as her classmates and friends. She may be frustrated.
If she listens to those books, it can increase her engagement and motivation and keep that frustration from taking over. At her age, it’s important to develop a love of books. She needs to be willing to become a better reader in order for her skills to improve.
It’s important to find books that will draw her in and hold her interest. Check out suggestions for kids her age. Explore tips for motivating reluctant readers. You may also want to look into where to find free audiobooks.
Incredible audio books (every school should have LA)
Great tips and information
The 1 in 5 Initiative - Learning Ally