Institute on Disability


Beyond Communication Access: Promoting Learning of the General Education Curriculum by Students With Significant Disabilities


Some in the field of special education hold that students with significant disabilities should pursue the same learner outcomes as students without disabilities. However, educational teams often lack the knowledge and skills necessary to support a student's membership and participation in general education classrooms and learning of the general education curriculum. The Beyond Access (BA) model encourages team members to think about how to move beyond creating opportunities for access to a broader focus on membership, participation, and learning. The authors describe the Comprehensive Assessment of Student and Team Supports (CASTS). This article reports the perceptions of 35 participants from 5 educational teams working with 5 students with significant disabilities regarding impact from the assessment after 6 months of model activities. Qualitative analysis of survey question responses, along with analysis of Likert-scale ratings, revealed perceived improvements in teaming practices, expectations for student learning, and student performance when using the model. The results are discussed for their educational, professional development, and research implications.

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Topics in Language Disorders


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins