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Presuming Competence

The Ups and Downs of Halloween

October is Halloween month. This time of play and fancy can be a great chance for kids to participate with others in their neighborhood as they dress up and imagine themselves as new beings. When my kids were little, Halloween was a holiday I looked forward to and dreaded. My friends’ kids had playful, imaginative, amazing costumes which they planned for weeks, if not months, in advance. This mother, who doesn’t sew, struggled to find fun costumes especially for myRead more

Shift Transition Project

The purpose of the Shift Transition Project (Shift) is to serve youth with disabilities and their families to realize new transition possibilities! Shift provides resources, training, and support to families and to youth with disabilities on transition to college, post-secondary opportunities, how to plan for positive futures, and how to access supports and services after leaving school. Shift:

Teaching Real Life Functional Skills

By Guest Author Mary Schuh Close your eyes for a moment and think about the most important skills you use to navigate through your day. What comes to mind? Is it the way you neatly make your bed? Cross the street? Provide the correct change when you purchase your morning coffee? Answer "yes" or "no" to basic questions asked of you? Or perhaps getting yourself dressed or using the microwave to heat up your lunch? I'm doubtful these are theRead more
By Guest Authors Amanda Bock, PhD and Karen Erickson, PhD Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill For years, students with significant support needs (SSN) received little or no literacy instruction as their education programs focused on life skills, social skills, and vocational training. The little literacy instruction they did receive relied on teaching methods that we now know helped them learn simple component skills in isolation. For example, students matched upper and lowerRead more
By Emily A. Nusbaum, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Julie Maier, San Francisco State University, and Jeanne M. Rodriguez, California State University, East Bay Note: This article has been adapted from its original version. The design and implementation of an effective and meaningful educational program depends on which lens team members use to a view a student. If a deficit lens is used, the team will likely design a program and goals that limit a student's learning opportunities, accessRead more

A New Generation is Ready to Lead

Editorial Column from Guest Author Michael Bailey PEAK Parent Center has, for a generation, empowered families to participate fully in special education advocacy. The lessons of family integration and full inclusion have not been lost on the children who have benefited from the advocacy of those families. A new generation of people with disability pride and high expectations is the result. "Nothing about us without us," is far more to these young people than just a slogan. It is aRead more