Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Disability is something a lot of people learn to live with. However a lot many are unable to take proper education with a disability. There are a substantial number of ailments, diseases, problems and in general, several different disabilities which make a person quiet handicapped, preventing him or her from taking education as normal student. Learning disability, mental and even physical disability needs to be addressed with sufficient measures as it can potentially be substantially harmful for the person, especially preventing him/her from learning properly. The chief motive of this act is to remove the barriers of disability that hinder the children from enjoying the joy of learning.

Now the following provisions have been explained in a kind of summarized manner, and leads and procedures with regards to this law have been included in appropriate places.

The provisions of the act start with the definition of student who qualifies to benefit from protection and services as under this act. The jurisdiction of the act extends to almost all the schools and educational institutes, and to any student who is in between the ages 3-21. An interpretation of the act states that any student whose disability prevents him/her from taking education in a proper manner or a person who needs additional, different, specialized services or any sort of help to do so, qualifies to receive benefits under the provisions of the act. Now of course, the disability would include, physical disability such as hearing ailments, psychological disability such as autism and learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

1. Individualized Education Program
The basic and also probably the best provision of the act is the Individualized Education Program (IEP). As per the act, public schools are to design an independent Individualized Education Program, which is to be implemented in the Least Restrictive Environment for the benefit of the child. The program in itself is unique and is written down so as to provide qualifying children/students with the services that they would need to overcome hindrances while learning. The program is a very detailed one and it consists of a substantial number of provisions, services and learning aids and in short, all possible help that the student would need to learn. In order to design and oversee the proper execution of the entire program, an IEP team is put together upon the detection of the disability in a student. This team consists of several people who include, the parents of the student, teachers, school counselors and psychologists, administrator or a representative of the CSE (Committee of Special Education) and any other person or expert who would be able to help the student.

The act provides a detailed definition of the term services, it would conventionally include anything such as help, therapy, counseling, technological aid and health services.

2. Free Appropriate Public Education
Proving to be a highly useful provision of the act, the Free Appropriate Public Education is chiefly a right of a qualifying student, which is granted by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This right and empowerment has ensured that the qualifying student not only gets the IEP, but the services, help and aids as specified in the IEP. As per the act, the right also extends to the point that a student or parents can ensure whether the said program is proving to be beneficial for the student.

3. Imposition of Discipline and Rules and Regulations
A school or educational institution functions in accordance with some discipline to ensure successful educational procedural. The act instructs public schools and said educational institutes to dispense discipline and impose rules that ensure that the disability is accommodated within it. This ensures that no disable child falls victim to rules which may intrude upon his/her disability.

4. Find Child
The Child Find is a part of the program where in the public schools of the districts maintain records of the all children and students qualifying for the provisions of the program.

There are of course a lot of different administrative, appeal and appellate provisions as under the program. However it must noted that any child who depicts any sort qualifying disability, becomes a protected and qualified beneficiary as under the act. The parents also have a lot of rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, in accordance of which they can demand services and benefits and also act within their capacity and rights as parents, which may also include the power to veto certain changes or procedures.

 

Assistive Technology in the Classroom

What is assistive technology and what are the devices that are used in the classroom? This technology, in the simplest of terms, consists of those tools, devices, and strategies that help lower and break down the barriers that can be created by disabilities. The use of this technology can help liberate students with disabilities and compensate for their learning problems. In most public schools, this form of technology is used in order to better physical, social, and communicative abilities of the student. Educational reforms have brought about a change in the way classrooms function. In order to make the classroom more inclusive, it is important that children who are challenged physically be provided with assistance to make the learning process simpler.

Assistive Technology in Classrooms

This is one of those technologies that are known by several different names which include rehabilitation devices, adaptive materials, assistive devices, and adaptive technologies. As mentioned earlier, it is used to help children with disabilities cope with the technologies and materials that are an integral part of the classroom today. Assistive technologies are used for different purposes. There are specific devices that are designed for students who are either visually impaired or have a vision problem. There are also devices for the hearing impaired and for those children who have learning disabilities and find it difficult to learn things. For such students, assistive technologies help by improving their learning, behavioral, and cognitive abilities. There are some students who may have a problem in communication or in understanding the information that is being supplied. There are specific devices for such students as well.

While using assistive technologies one uses both access technologies and adaptive technologies. When one talks about access technologies, the reference is to those technologies that are used in order to provide students with technologies better access to the instructional and educational material that they need to use. With such technologies, you try and adapt those technologies that students use normally. Access technologies help by making up for the limitations that are faced by those students who are disabled. Adaptive technologies help students with disabilities to move about and communicate better with others in the classroom. These technologies are specifically developed for people with disabilities. They may not have been created only for educational purposes and can be used outside of the classroom as well.

For children who have learning problems, the use of computer devices for the physically challenged and tools such as bigger pencils, foot pedals instead of the mouse for a computer, voice recognition software, large pad keyboards are all an integral part of this type of technological devices. For children who have a problem communicating due to limited verbal abilities or skills, there are devices such as voice output devices, text to voice translation software, and pictorial software that are used. With assistive technology, as is true for any other type of technology proper training is important. In order to make the use of this type of technology a success, it is important that the children and the teachers both learn how to use the devices properly and effectively. Without proper training, these devices could end up being a waste of time and energy.

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

I totally agreed with Scott Hamilton when he said that the only disability in life is a wrong attitude. I strongly believe that disability is not a curse or punishment from God for some wrongdoings. No, I feel these people can live a normal life just like any normal person. In fact, people with disabilities are more determined to overcome this barrier and do not want to gain sympathy from people. I remember watching a video clip of a differently abled person who didn’t have hands but was writing with the pen held in his mouth. These people really inspire us to work harder and convert the weaknesses into strengths.

While choosing a college there are certain points which a differently abled person should evaluate before applying to the desired college.

Easily accessible campus and 24×7 buses available with special needs.
Offices having full-time staff for answering the queries of differently abled persons.
Help available in form of attendants or nurses for people with severe disabilities.
Course curriculum and extra tutoring for those who lag behind in class.
Extra curricular activities designed for people with disabilities and coaching for these people who are capable of entering into paralympic Olympics.

After considering these factors the next step is choosing from the list of best colleges which have great programs for differently abled persons.

University of Arizona,Tucson

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center popularly known as SALT has been the oldest in rendering best programs for people suffering from ADHD and other learning disabilities. This institute offers world-class workshops with well equipped computer labs. The tutors in this program are well experienced and many hold doctorates in their respective fields. The tutors are CRLA (college reading and learning association) certified and render expert services in Maths, Science and other courses. The fee structure for undergraduate lower division and upper division varies from $1000 to $2500 per semester. The tutoring fees is extra $20-25 per hour.

Wayne State University, Detroit

This University located at Detroit offers best facilities in off campus programs, pre – enrollment counseling, ASL interpretors and volunteer note takers. The average tuition fee for undergraduate lower and upper division ranges from $450 to $6000. Known programs like business administration and fine arts are rendered through the campus. The institute also offers excellent placement opportunities and has efficient staff in tutoring and career counseling.

University of Connecticut, Storrs

One of the top ranked public university this institute offers world-class program B.O.L.D (Building Opportunities for students with Learning Disabilities). This program is specifically designed for psychiatric, ADHD and LD disabled students. Through this program students are encouraged to improve their skills in order to gain employment. The average tuition fees for first semester is $1600 and for rest of semesters it is around $1100. The tutoring fees are extra $45 to $51 for a course. The college also provides SEAD program specially designed for autistic students. Through this program the student is encouraged to make transition to college level courses and instill positive attitude among students to achieve their goals.

Curry College, Massachusetts

Located in Milton, a 135 acre campus which is seven miles from Boston offers a suburban setting. The course is designed for students suffering from learning disabilities. The tutors prepare students to participate in group level discussions and provides $10,000 worth of scholarship to a high school senior student who has been successful in overcoming the disability barrier. The average tuition fees for first year per semester is approximately $3300. The curriculum includes using strategies to develop the thinking, reading, writing and listening abilities in students.

Augsburg College, Minneapolis

The CLASS (Center for learning and adaptive student services) provides normal classes and also helps the students by assisting them with scanned exams,extended time exams and recorded textbooks. Assistive technology caters to the students’ needs and the tutors encourage students to excel in their field with working on the underlying weaknesses. The tuition fees are nominal and students are accepted with a grade point average of 2.6. The institute has full-time staff assisting students with disabilities to learn. Individual tutoring is being promoted by the CLASS program.

University of Iowa, Iowa City

This university offers two year program for students suffering from multiple cognitive disabilities. The program termed as REACH (realizing educational and career hopes) helps students to be independent and educate them to fulfill their future dreams. It has community based internships, accessible campus and prepare students for employment. The average tuition fees for one year is approximately $14,100 and need based scholarships are available to the students.

Florida State University, Tallahassee

The Student Disability Resource Center has programs designed for ADHD students. It also helps these students’ transition to college level courses and provides services such as extra exam time, specially designed Math and Reading programs.

Beacon College, Florida

The courses are specially offered for learning disabilities, gifted LD and ADHD students. The average tuition fee for a year is around $14,500 and it also offers full student support in form of extra curricular activities. It also has Travel Abroad Program where students can experience rich cultural diversity.

Landmark College, Vermont

Located in Putney this college is voted the best in offering programs catering to students with learning disabilities. The courses are language intensive and focused on developing intellectual abilities in students. The attractive point about this college is it considers students as partners in learning and strives to achieve excellence through technology based curriculum. The average tuition fees is around $48,000 for the academic year and financial aid is available for need-based students. The college also offers a full-time disability resource office with best career counseling activities.

Northeastern University, Marino Center

This University has been voted as having the best learning disability programs. The college has intensive programs in reading and writing specifically catering to attention deficit disorder. The average costs range from $1200 to $2600 per semester for the program. The USP of this college is individual attention by experienced tutors.

Most of these colleges prepare students to live independently and instill workplace skills. Many colleges also offer many services like mentoring, providing transportation services within campus and providing tutoring services. These institutes with help of the families of students encourage them to be self motivated to achieve their career goals. Disability has not and will never be a hindrance, this motto is what these best institutes endorse.