Department of Defense Education Activity

Disabilities Awareness Month for Students with Disabilities

2021 Disabilities Awareness Month Banner


March is Disabilities Awareness month! DoDEA is committed to increasing awareness and promoting independence, integration, and inclusion of all students with disabilities. DoDEA provides a range of support to students with disabilities – from accommodations to specialized instruction in the classroom.

Students with disabilities are caring individuals who work hard every day. Many grow up to become academic scholars, athletes, poets, musicians, and artists. We appreciate and are proud of the positive contributions each student makes to our school’s productive and meaningful learning environment.  

DoDEA also proudly recognizes the special education teachers who work hard to make a difference for students with disabilities. We appreciate everything they do to support and encourage our students with special disabilities.

Throughout Disabilities Awareness Month, DoDEA will:

  • Highlight the positive impact students with disabilities make in our schools/communities
  • Promote a message of inclusion and acceptance for everyone
  • Be more mindful as to how a disability can impact a student and their family
  • Reflect on the significant achievements that students with disabilities have made
  • Renew our commitment to creating a stronger future for students with disabilities

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR STUDENTS

Dr. Aaron Masters, Assistive Technology Specialist with DoDEA Europe East District, talks about how Assistive Technology is empowering students to not only overcome their challenges, but keep up with maintaining DoDEA standards.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

2021-SDM-GavinGavin embodies the definition of a well-rounded student. He is currently in 10th grade at Camp Lejeune High School, where he has remained involved throughout remote learning during the past year. During classes, Gavin is always one of the first to greet others and ask about them and their families, which is a perfect example of his thoughtfulness. He not only participates in his core studies and curriculum; he has also continued his work with the JROTC. This is Gavin’s second year participating in this program. He is remotely integrated into the classroom by school staff, Megan Thornton, and completes both the academic pieces and physical training elements along with the other students. Gavin has worked hard in all of his Focus classes but has shown excellence in the area of reading during this school year. He has not only made significant improvements; he also authored a children’s book! Gavin’s schedule is among one of the fullest I have ever observed and he continues to demonstrate endurance physically and mentally every single day, along with the help from his family at home.

2021-SDM-Andrew1Aviano Elementary has a unique 3rd grade student named Andrew. Andrew first came to Aviano in preschool and has a severe visual impairment but has heartily embraced the use of assistive technology.

2021-SDM-Andrew2

Some of the assistive technology he uses includes a portable closed-circuit television for work in all the general education classes, a flatscreen computer with wireless keyboard and mouse, dome and handheld magnifiers, large calculator, raised line paper, bold print writing utensils, a large print edition for standardized testing, Read & Write for Google Chrome to assist with Text to Speech (TTS) and Clicker 8 for writing assistance. He uses this technology throughout the school day to help access the general educational curriculum.

2021-SDM-ReagleRm-RockstarsCamp Lejeune has continued to provide the option of remote learning for Learning Impaired Moderate Severe (LIMS) students, fondly referred to as the Reagle Room Rockstars.

Through remote learning, students have been able to receive Focus Math, ELA, Social Leisure, Pre-Vocational and Daily Living assignments as well as morning Team Time meetings and goal work sessions. Teachers have also made time for students to have one-to-one sessions throughout the week to work specifically on their IEP goals. Students have learned through themed scavenger hunts, a pet parade, a talent show, yoga, a live and personal tour of Disney World, a live tour with the nearby town mayor, a LEGO challenge, cookie decorating contest and more! 

In Focus Pre-Vocational, students are exposed to different careers paths. They have learned about being an educator, baker, chiropractor, construction driller, choreographer, camera operator, carpenter, biologist, air traffic controller and many others. 

The Daily Living class requires students to complete a multitude of activities in the home and then report back on their accomplishments or challenges. Some of the student’s favorite projects so far have included watching how plants get water using food coloring and celery, velocity and speed using a ramp and different model cars, the effect of shape on bounce using a tic tac and round ball. 

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

Autism Society
Since 1965, the Autism Society has been providing information for individuals on the spectrum, family members, and professionals.
 
Book list of titles with female characters with a variety of disabilities
Every child wants to see herself represented in the pages of her books — but if your Mighty Girl has a disability or special need, books featuring characters like her are few and far between.
 
Center for Parent Information and Resources
Supporting the Parent Centers Who Serve Families of Children with disabilities.
 
Council for Exceptional Children
The Council for Exceptional Children provides information and resources about Special Education.
 
Easter Seals
For almost 100 years, Easter Seals has been providing services to those with special needs and disabilities.
 
Family Hope Center
When children or adults have special needs, the Family Hope Center provides support to the entire family.
 
Family Resource Center on Disabilities
Training, assistance, and information are given to parents of children with disabilities by the Family Resource Center on Disabilities.
 
Family Voices
Children and youth with special health care needs can benefit from Family Voices.
 
Federation for Children with Special Needs
The focus of the Federation for Children with Special Needs is on the parents and providing support for them, which in turn benefits the child with special needs.
 
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Information on understanding learning disabilities, negotiating the special education process, and helping your child and yourself.
 
National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE)
Parents of Special Education students can learn how to be their child’s best advocate.
 
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Children and adults with learning disabilities will benefit from the information and resources available from the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
 
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
NCWD for Youth provides strategies and development systems for youth with disabilities to join the workforce.
 
National Council on Independent Living
NCIL promotes social change and strives to do away with disability driven discrimination.
 
National Down Syndrome Society
The NDSS supports people with Down syndrome by providing resources such as wellness, education, and research.
 
Pacer Center
The Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights utilizes the idea of parents helping parents and provides support and resources for children and youth with disabilities and their families.
 
Parent to Parent USA
Parent to Parent USA offers support to parents of children with special needs.
 
Playground Inclusion Video
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
 
Resource for Learning and Attentional Issues
Chat with experts, connect with parents and get tips on parenting kids with reading, writing, math, organization, attention issues and more.
 
Resource on Myths
If special education is something you’re exploring for your child, you may hear all kinds of things that give you pause.
 
The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education
Assists with mediation services to resolve special needs education problems.