Inclusion of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Supports in the General Education Classroom
Take some time now to answer the following questions. Please note that the IRIS Center does not collect your Assessment responses. If this is a course assignment, you should turn them in to your professor using whatever method he or she requires. If you have trouble answering any of the questions, go back and review the Perspectives & Resources pages in this module.
- Describe three potential benefits of including students with significant cognitive disabilities in general education classrooms.
- Using your own words, explain the concepts of free appropriate public education (FAPE) and least restrictive environment (LRE) as they relate to students with significant cognitive disabilities.
- Explain the relationship between grade-level content standards and alternate achievement standards.
- Mrs. Burgess is a sixth-grade language arts teacher whose class includes Renata, a student with a significant cognitive disability. Mrs. Burgess is planning a unit in which her students will read and compare texts on similar topics in different genres (e.g., drama, fiction, biography, poetry). Renata enjoys the class, is engaged when the class is reading texts aloud and discussing different topics, and loves to share her thoughts about the topics. However, Renata reads only a few dozen sight words and is unable to read the grade-level texts. Although Renata has physical disabilities that affect her fine motor skills, she is able to communicate verbally.
- Identify one type of service or support that may benefit Renata. Explain how this service or support would support her in Mrs. Burgess’ language arts class.
- Mrs. Burgess wants to use UDL to design accessible lessons for all her students. For each of the three ULD principles (engagement, representation, action and expression), identify one strategy Mrs. Burgess might use when designing her unit. Explain how this could benefit Renata as well as other students in the class.
- Eight-year-old Angelo has a significant cognitive disability. He has a spoken vocabulary of about 50 words and uses one- and two-word utterances (cup, more, go out) and gestures (e.g., pointing) to express his needs.
- Do you think Angelo’s IEP team should consider the use of AAC for him? If so, justify your answer.
- AAC can serve two purposes. Which of the two would be useful for Angelo? Justify your answer.