The conversation about IEPS and 504s in education is a very important one. I think that oftentimes teachers do not understand how high stakes these classifications are, but instead view them as a nuisance. What we need to stress to educators is that adherence to a student’s IEP or 504 is required by law. Period. In order for a student to receive an IEP, he/she has had to qualify under one of thirteen identifiable disabilities. They have been tested and vested as one who needs special education to make progress in school. Below are some resources for teachers to understand the nuances of accommodations and modifications for students with special needs.
IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This act requires schools to find and evaluate students with special needs and to follow procedural safeguards when interacting with the student and his/her parents/guardians.
I myself have not spent nearly enough time studying each student’s paperwork and coming up with strategies. I will make a change in that area this school year.
Universal Design is a term that relates to 7 principles that should help teachers to create more inclusive classroom environments. The University of Missouri website provides a good synopsis.