AUCD Network Projects Promote Education for Students with Disabilities

goal EDUCATION, student with down syndrome playing on tabletAcross the country, AUCD members are working to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.

In Minnesota, the Institute on Community Integration’s developed the Check & Connect program, an evidence-based intervention to increase student engagement at school and prevent dropout among K-12 students.

Now, Check & Connect has launched an expanded suite of training and consultation options, its staff are conducting new large-scale research studies on its efficacy, and its new Web site has been unveiled. Since its inception, the Check & Connect model has been implemented in 27 states and internationally. Ongoing studies have demonstrated a number of positive results for participating students. Read more…

In the U.S., 80 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) go to public schools, at least 50 percent of them are in general education classes throughout the school day, more than 60 percent have average IQs and are not affected by intellectual disabilities, yet they have the worst graduation rates of any group. In California, UC Davis autism researcher and education specialist Peter Mundy has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to apply virtual-reality technology to evaluate social attention and its relation to academic achievement among school children with autism. He also is launching Educational Interventions for Students with Autism, a book for elementary and secondary school teachers that shares current research and evidence-based approaches to training. Read more…

Dan Habib, filmmaker in residence at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability and creator of Including Samuel has followed up Including Samuel with new documentary about older students with disabilities. Who Cares About Kelsey? documents Kelsey Carroll’s struggles with emotional and behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help students like her to succeed–while improving the overall school culture and climate. When Kelsey Carroll entered high school, she was a more likely candidate for the juvenile justice system than graduation. During Kelsey’s sophomore year, a new school leadership team implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, the youth-directed planning process RENEW, along with other educational reforms. Through intensive self-directed planning and wraparound supports at Somersworth High, Kelsey began the transformation from a struggling, defiant student to a motivated, self-confident young woman. Read More…