Application*to*Students*with*Disabilities

Application*to*Students*with*Disabilities
The Common Core State Standards articulate rigorous grade-level expectations in the areas of mathematics
and English language arts.. These standards identify the knowledge and skills students need in order to be
successful in college and careers
Students with disabilities ―students eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA)―must be challenged to excel within the general curriculum and be prepared for success in their
post-school lives, including college and/or careers. These common standards provide an historic
opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content standards for students with disabilities. The
continued development of understanding about research-based instructional practices and a focus on their
effective implementation will help improve access to mathematics and English language arts (ELA)
standards for all students, including those with disabilities.
Students with disabilities are a heterogeneous group with one common characteristic: the presence of
disabling conditions that significantly hinder their abilities to benefit from general education (IDEA 34 CFR
§300.39, 2004). Therefore, how these high standards are taught and assessed is of the utmost importance in
reaching this diverse group of students.
In order for students with disabilities to meet high academic standards and to fully demonstrate their
conceptual and procedural knowledge and skills in mathematics, reading, writing, speaking and listening
(English language arts), their instruction must incorporate supports and accommodations, including:
• supports and related services designed to meet the unique needs of these students and to enable
their access to the general education curriculum (IDEA 34 CFR §300.34, 2004).
• An Individualized Education Program (IEP)1
which includes annual goals aligned with and chosen to
facilitate their attainment of grade-level academic standards.
• Teachers and specialized instructional support personnel who are prepared and qualified to deliver
high-quality, evidence-based, individualized instruction and support services.
Promoting a culture of high expectations for all students is a fundamental goal of the Common Core State
Standards. In order to participate with success in the general curriculum, students with disabilities, as
appropriate, may be provided additional supports and services, such as:
• Instructional supports for learning― based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning
(UDL)2 ―which foster student engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and
allowing for diverse avenues of action and expression.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 According to IDEA, an IEP includes appropriate accommodations that are necessary to measure the individual achievement and
functional performance of a child
2
UDL is defined as “a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that (a) provides flexibility in the ways
information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are
engaged; and (b) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains • Instructional accommodations (Thompson, Morse, Sharpe & Hall, 2005) ―changes in materials or
procedures― which do not change the standards but allow students to learn within the framework
of the Common Core.
• Assistive technology devices and services to ensure access to the general education curriculum and
the Common Core State Standards.
Some students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will require substantial supports and
accommodations to have meaningful access to certain standards in both instruction and assessment, based on
their communication and academic needs. These supports and accommodations should ensure that students
receive access to multiple means of learning and opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, but retain the
rigor and high expectations of the Common Core State Standards.
References
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.34 (a). (2004).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.39 (b)(3). (2004).
Thompson, Sandra J., Amanda B. Morse, Michael Sharpe, and Sharon Hall. “Accommodations Manual: How to
Select, Administer and Evaluate Use of Accommodations and Assessment for Students with Disabilities,”
2nd Edition. Council for Chief State School Officers, 2005
http://www.ccsso.org/content/pdfs/AccommodationsManual.pdf . (Accessed January, 29, 2010).
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English
proficient.” by Higher Education Opportunity Act (PL 110-135

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