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Description: Ready is a National public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. Ready asks that individuals: stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses make a family emergency plan and build an emergency supply kit, and get involved in your...
Description: The Guidance for the Provision of Specialized Student Support Positions in Virginia Public Schools (PDF) was developed in response to Senate Bill 1257 to amend and reenact 22.1-253.13:2 and 22.1-274 of the Code of Virginia. It will assist school divisions in meeting this legislation, including defining Specialized Student Support positions, what constitutes “other licensed health and behavioral positions,” and information about funding for the...
Description: Developed by Dr. Catherine Crowley, this self study course for speech-language pathologists was developed after identifying gaps between current clinical approaches to disability evaluations and evidence-based practice as well as the federal law. The course focuses on clinician skill-building of evidence-based approaches to elicit and analyze language samples through videos of children/students using the School-age Language Assessment Measures (SLAM), both in person and via telepractice. To...
Description: This document is intended for use by all teachers of English Learners with Disabilities (ELWD). The purpose of this document is to support effective collaboration within Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) and processes and instructional programs that serve to meet the language and learning needs of ELWD. The information included is recommended based on research and evidence for best practices for ELWD. Refer to relevant federal, state, and local policy when making decisions about programs...
Description: The professional development opportunities provided are provided for use by SLPs to increase knowledge and skills. These offerings were developed by the Virginia Department of Education and may be used to satisfy continuing education requirements for Virginia SLPs and meet ASHA certification maintenance hour (CMH) requirements for those seeking to renew their ASHA CCC-SLP. Individuals are responsible for maintaining all documentation of professional development activities. Individuals may...
Description: The High Leverage Practices (HLP) Highlight Tools were developed to acquaint educators with the key components of each HLP in order to begin implementation into their instruction and strengthen inclusive practices with students. Each Highlight Tool contains a brief description, video clips, suggested activities and a Plan of Action activity teachers can implement with students to help get them started. As teachers become more acquainted with HLPs, additional resources are provided to help extend...
Description: The Reading-Free Vocational Interest Inventory–Third Edition (RFVII-3) is a nonverbal measure of vocational interests of users from Grade 5 through adult. It uses illustrations of individuals engaged in different occupations to measure the vocational likes and dislikes of students and adults who have intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities, are struggling readers, or anyone who prefers a pictorial display. No reading or writing is required. The RFVII-3 is easy to administer...
Description: Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum The Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum is a comprehensive professional development training tool that prepares secondary school teachers to serve the autism population. This page includes two presentations: Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum Characteristics and Practices for Challenging Behavior Strategies for Classroom Success and Effective Use of Teacher Supports Understanding Autism: A...
Description: Navigating EdEquityVA - Virginia’s Road Map to Equity, establishes the Commonwealth’s shared education equity priorities, advances tools and resources to support local school divisions, and affirms the Virginia Department of Education’s commitment to dismantle any and all forms of inequity in Virginia’s public education system. Education Equity is achieved when we eliminate the predictability of student outcomes based on race, gender, zip code, ability, socioeconomic...
Description: In every classroom, every home with every kid, helping to manage hard-to-have feelings and challenging behaviors; resulting in happier, better-adjusted people everywhere.
Description: In response to COVID-19, many people are wearing masks and/or standing six feet apart while in the community. This presents some new challenges for everyone, but especially people with hearing loss or communication problems.   Masks   Wearing masks can sometimes make communication more difficult, especially for people who have trouble speaking or hearing.    
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced educators worldwide to adjust their methods of teaching, moving from direct classroom instruction to virtual teaching. While these adjustments have proved challenging, teachers everywhere are providing instruction in reading, math, writing and more, through remote learning techniques. They are being creative so that various curricula can be used to meet the needs of the students. Those serving students who are deaf and hard of hearing learning listening and...
Description: The purpose of this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is to provide updated guidance for school divisions as they reopen schools for instruction during the 2020-2021 academic year. In this unprecedented situation, there are no “general rules,” other than the regulatory requirements, which can be applied to fit all of the individual situations and expectations. Special education has always been meant to address student-specific needs in the provision of a free appropriate...
Description: Project Core is a stepping-up technology implementation grant directed by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill. The primary goals of Project Core are two-fold: Empower teachers and classroom professionals to deliver access to a Universal Core vocabulary and communication instruction during the naturally occurring academic and daily routines of the school day. Improve the academic achievement of students with significant...
Description: Speech and Language Therapy Ideas and Materials
Description: An Introduction for SLPs – Topics covered in Module 1 include: review of normal swallow anatomy and development, “red flags” for dysphagia, and defining the role of the school-based SLP in dysphagia management.   Module 1 Knowledge Check (Coming Soon) Screening and Evaluation by Speech-Language Pathologists (Part 2) – Topics covered in Module 2 include: a team approach to dysphagia assessment, goals and components of a swallow evaluation in the school...
Description: ATIM is designed to provide high-quality information and professional development on assistive technology (AT) for educators, professionals, families, persons with disabilities, and others. Each module guides you through case studies, instructional videos, pre- and post-assessments, a glossary, and much more. ATIM modules are available at no cost.
Description: Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes SBS as a subset of AHT with injuries having the potential to result in death or permanent neurologic disability. Can Tossing My Baby in the Air or Rough Play Cause SBS? SBS is a form of child abuse that happens when an infant or small...
Description: Each school division shall develop policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in students that address the academic needs and gradual reintroduction of cognitive demands for students who have been determined to have a concussion. Concussion symptoms may have a significant impact on learning and academic achievement. A concussion may interfere with a student’s ability to focus, concentrate, memorize, and process information. School personnel...
Description: This site is for individuals interested in beginning or enhancing literacy instruction for children with combined vision and hearing loss. Its content is also designed to improve literacy instruction for children with multiple disabilities and other complex learning challenges. Our contributors include State Deaf Blind Project staff as well as teachers who want to give back to the field and help more families play a role in educating children with complex learning challenges. The...
Description: The purpose of this discussion guide is to help IEP teams make informed decisions about whether intervener services are appropriate for a particular student.    Why Intervener Services May Be Needed Students who are deaf-blind have absent, partial, or distorted vision and hearing. Deaf-blindness severely limits access to visual and auditory information that forms the basis for learning and communication and creates challenges for educational systems mandated to provide a free and...
Description: Bus drivers and transportation staff work directly with students with autism and are responsible for their and others' safety during the routes. Drivers and assistants are the first faces students see in the morning and the last ones in the afternoon. They are critical liaisons between home and school and often have more interaction with parents than other school staff. Beyond simply driving, transportation staff are in charge of managing behavior, implementing accommodations, and collaborating...
Description: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
Description: Families are the enduring presence in the lives of young children with disabilities. This volume contains activities to support early care and education staff and families in developing positive relationships that support collaboration and family leadership. Session 1: Creating Bright Futures (Building Relationships with Families) Session 2: Listening to Families Session 3: When Concerns Arise: Learning from Families' Experiences Session 4: Getting...
Description: Google Maps has launched a new feature that shows the wheelchair accessible routes around public transit in major cities around the world. To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will...
Description: In any family, each sibling is unique, important, and special. So are the relationships they have with each other. Brothers and sisters influence each other and play important roles in each other’s lives. Indeed, sibling relationships make up a child’s first social network and are the basis for his or her interactions with people outside the family. Brothers and sisters are playmates first; as they mature, they take on new roles with each other. Over the years, they may be many...
Description: Wherever you work, children come to you with gifts, curiosity, challenges, and needs.  They are small wonders, to be sure, and as full of diversity as society itself. And because disability is a natural part of life, it’s also likely that some of your little ones may have a disability or a developmental delay that can impact their learning and growth. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you may even be among the first to notice a child’s difficulties or...
Description: In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and...
Description: Giving a child a home is a remarkable gift. This page is written for the families who’ve adopted children with disabilities (and without!) and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. It’s also written for those who work in state agencies or in private organizations who find foster homes and adoptive families for so many children.
Description: Talks on Tuesdays are professional development opportunities that will be held the first Tuesday of each month. These one-hour webinars are designed to provide free online training opportunities related to important topics in early intervention. Topics chosen for the Talks on Tuesdays webinar series are based on feedback from EI practitioners about what they need to know more about! Delivering EI Services in Child Care Settings (February 2017) Unpacking Our Biases in Early Intervention (March...
Description: Being a parent is the most wonderful—and hardest—job in the world. If you have a child with special needs, your job is no less wonderful, but it can be more complicated. Your child’s education is most likely an area of great interest to you. As a child with a disability, he or she may be eligible for special education services in school. If so, then it will be important for you to learn: more about special education; how special education services can support your child; and...
Description: Here are a few things to know about American Sign Language from five people who use it every day. “One thing is, daily, we see that hearing people think that ASL isn’t a language,” D.T. Bruno said in an interview for this video,” but the brain doesn’t discriminate against ASL as a language. ASL has all of the features of any other language in the world.”This video was filmed at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and was published on April 14, 2017.
Description: The primary goals of Project Core are two-fold: Empower teachers and classroom professionals to deliver access to a Universal Core vocabulary and communication instruction during the naturally occurring academic and daily routines of the school day. Improve the academic achievement of students with significant cognitive disabilities as evidenced by gains in their communication and literacy skills, and ultimately in their end-of-year assessments. This site includes: Universal Core Vocabulary...
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: The POWER (Parent Organizer With Educational Resources) web app provides parents and families with online resources to answer questions about child development, disabilities, community services, Special Education, diploma options in Virginia and transition to life after high school.  The questions and potential resources are separated into age levels: Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School and High School. This project is a collaborative effort between the Parent Resource...
Description: Play is more than enjoyment; it encompasses active engagement in learning and is an important part of children’s development. Play gives children the opportunity to practice new skills needed in real life. Play can happen anytime, anywhere, and with anyone – peers and adults. Through play, children are motivated to discover the world! Fred Rogers, a children’s television legend, succinctly stated, “Play is really the work of childhood.” In this issue, over 100...
Description: Ready-made handouts and checklists are just some of the types of materials will be posted to the Teacher Tools membership site for access only by members. Materials will be added throughout the school year. ALL of the materials available on the Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss website are now available on Teacher Tools too, plus materials that are ONLY for members. Materials are provided within these categories: Describing the Impact of Hearing Loss Early Childhood:...
Description: Social communication and social skill difficulties are core characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Deficits in social skills often have negative consequences that impact individuals’ outcomes in inclusive learning opportunities in schools and inclusive engagement in the communities. Though this social component is a widely known hallmark of ASD, intervention to support individuals’ mastery of these skills is still emerging in classroom and community environments across...
Description: We have developed Communication Guidelines and Resources to support educational team members in enhancing the communication abilities of students with ASD and to create lifelong learners. The Communication Guidelines and Resources are designed to: Enhance understanding of what communication is, Enhance understanding of why communication is important, and Advance expectations, knowledge, and skills related to communication based assessments, strategies, and supports. The Communication Guidelines...
Description: This is not an ‘all inclusive’ manual for assistive technology. It is a starting point to introduce what assistive technology is and how it can help. Each section of the booklet will give examples of devices for specific tasks or activities. For additional details and resources please see the “Where to go from here” section in the back of this booklet. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may cause many different problems: physical, sensory (sight, hearing or touch), cognitive...
Description: These materials are available for Professionals Who Work with Birth – 6 Year-Olds with Deafness/Hearing Loss, Blindness/Visual, or Deaf-Blindnes. They are provided by Outreach Services, VSDB to the TTAC Lending Libraries and the VA Hearing Aid Loan Bank. (Funding provided by the Virginia Department of Education)
Description: The Center on Technology and Disability (CTD) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The Center is designed to increase the capacity of families and providers to advocate for, acquire, and implement effective assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) practices, devices, and services.  Research-based technologies, used appropriately, have great potential to help infants, toddlers, children, and youth with...
Description: VSDB has expanded its webpages to include links to great resources and tools that can be used by families of and professionals serving children from birth to 22 years who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deaf-blind.
Description: The days after an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit helps families of children between the ages of five and 13 make the best possible use of the 100 days following the diagnosis. This kit will help you learn more about autism and how to access the services that your child needs. It contains information and advice collected from trusted experts on autism and parents like you.  About Autism, Diagnosis, Causes and Symptoms  You, Your...
Description: The Virginia Autism Council is a group comprised of self-advocates, professionals and family members. This Council works to advance knowledge and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by defining skill competencies needed to effectively support a person with ASD and to advance higher education, training and educational opportunities for personnel and caregivers who provide support. The VAC website is Virginia’s clearinghouse on education and training opportunities taking place...
Description: MASI is a comprehensive, fee-based program that provides additional intensive support services to students on the Autism Spectrum beyond typical higher education accommodations. MASI uses a team-based approach to assist students in achieving their goals in college.
Description: Our mission is to educate, guide and inspire parents of children with learning disabilities or ADHD. Our aim is to help parents realize their children’s significant gifts and talents, and to show that with their love, guidance, and the right support, their children can live happy and productive lives.
Description: These include: Universal Design for Learning: From Theory to Practice, Design and Deliver: Planning and Teaching Using Universal Design for Learning, UDL Myths & Misconceptions, CAST and Project OPEN Present UDL On Campus, UDL Now!, A Discussion on UDL and Learner Variability, Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice, A Book Discussion, UDL Implementation: Are You Ready?
Description: This graduate certificate is ideal for educators, interventionists, psychologists, pathologists, behavior analysts, or family members who want to enhance their preparation for working with children and adults affected with autism spectrum disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate with MEd Option Curriculum provides training in topic areas required to implement instructional programs for individuals with autism across their lifespan. The curriculum is appropriate for special...
Description:     Introduction to AAC What is AAC? How do I get started? AAC Assessment Process Information Gathering Decision Making Trial Implementation AAC Implementation & Use Setting up AAC Vocabulary Selection Training Student, Staff & Family Transitions with AAC Evidence Based Practice Research Resources Professional Development