Panel: How to improve special ed

 

About 6.6 million students with disabilities are learning alongside their peers at a neighborhood school, up from 1.7 million in 1975.

 

As the push for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) increases, leaders in the field of special education recently debated whether the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) should be reworked to further align with ESEA, and how else the law might be improved to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.…Read More

Conference: Technology is helping to ‘redefine … disability’

Assistive technology can expand opportunities for students with disabilities.

Assistive technology devices enable students with disabilities to express what they know, and rapid advancements in technology are helping to “redefine ability and disability,” says Milton Chen, senior fellow and director emeritus at the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Chen was an opening keynote speaker at the National Center for Technology Innovation’s 2010 Technology Innovators Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15-16. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and housed at the American Institutes for Research, NCTI advances learning opportunities for students with disabilities by fostering assistive technology innovation.

Chen said he hopes that in the near future, observers will be able to peer into a classroom of students and will not be able to identify students with disabilities.…Read More

Feds: Make eReaders accessible to all students

Some colleges have agreed to abandon Kindle pilot programs because of accessibility issues.
Some colleges have agreed to abandon Kindle pilot programs because of accessibility issues.

The federal government will help schools and colleges using eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle to comply with laws giving students with disabilities equal access to emerging education technologies, officials announced.

The Departments of Education and Justice stressed the responsibility of colleges and universities to use accessible eReaders in a letter published June 29, after more than a year of complaints from low-sighted and blind students attending colleges that have piloted eReader programs.

Many eReaders have a text-to-speech function that reads words aloud, but the devices lack menus that people who are blind or have low vision can navigate.…Read More