Research in the field of neuroscience and education related to developmental disabilities has been exploding over the past few years. The general public, including parents and special educators, may not be aware of some of this myth-busting research, as decisions related to this research impacts the future of young people with disabilities as well as the future of our communities, educational institutions, and the workplace.
Today's NPR's Morning Edition featured a story about the changing expectations for young people with intellectual disabilities and the efforts of a young man to level the playing field at Oakland University in Michigan. The young man was enrolled in a special college program for students with disabilities.
"Like many kids with intellectual disabilities these days, Micah Fialka-Feldman went to his neighborhood high school in Michigan and graduated. Then he wanted to try college. Nearby Oakland University is one of many schools and community colleges that are setting up programs for students with intellectual disabilities. But it wouldn't let Fialka-Feldman live on campus so he sued, and a judge has ruled that he was discriminated against." For more details, listen to the audio version on the NPR website.
- offered by an institution of higher education;
- designed to support students with [intellectual disabilities] who are seeking to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction at an IHE in order to prepare for gainful employment;
- includes an advising and curriculum structure; and
- requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate on not less than a half-time basis, as determined by the institution, with such participation focusing on academic components.
- with mental retardation or a cognitive impairment, characterized by significant limitations in intellectual and cognitive functioning; and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; and
- who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
If you are tutoring or teaching math/algebra to a young adult with disabilities, here are some resources:
Katherine Trela, Bree Jimenz, Dian M. Browder: Teaching to the Standards: A Literacy-Based Approach for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
2009 UNC Charlotte Curriculum Summit Materials
High School Task Analysis Math Story-Based Lessons (pdf)
Math Conceptual Model Brochure
Quadratic Equation Math Rubric
Interactive Applications and Games
DimensionM is a 3D immersive game that aligns with many algebra content standards across the U.S. It is multi-player enabled. If you have access to a large-screen monitor, it is helpful to model the concepts in the game along with the student(s) to introduce, review, and reinforce the concepts. Non-disabled students, with guidance, can also use this game for peer tutoring sessions. The software provides automatic progress tracking for students.
For more information:
DimensionM - How It Works
DimensionM Game Room Creation Option (Video explains how this can customization of the student's experience playing DimensionM according to level, topic, and skills, in order for students of varying abilities to compete/cooperate with each other.)
Students and teachers happy about DimensionM
-DimensionU YouTube Channel
UPDATE: A reader left a comment with a link to an article regarding the effectiveness of Tabula Digita's math games in improving the math achievement among students with disabilities:
Georgia Math Project Adds Tabula Digita's DimensionM Educational Video Games to Increase Math Achievement for Students with Disabilities Business Wire, December 7, 2009