Planning For Independence

 Part 2: Suggestions for Specific Program Areas - Introduction

This part of the document offers suggestions for putting into practice the principles outlined in Part 1. The material is organized by program area. For any given area, only a sampling of ideas is presented. Moreover, not all possible program areas are discussed. Teachers are encouraged to explore other program areas in which students might be able to participate meaningfully.

The material for each program area is organized into three main parts:

  1. Overview. This section provides a brief description of the focus of the program area and the area's relevance to student needs.
  2. The Planning Cycle. This section summarizes, for the particular program area, educators' responsibilities at the assessment-development and implementation-evaluation phases of the planning cycle. Publications that teachers can refer to in developing or implementing programs are listed.
  3. Case Studies. Two case studies - one of an elementary-level and one of a secondary-level student - are given for each program area. The programs described are designed to suit the needs, interests, abilities, and personalities of these particular students in their particular educational settings. Thus, without modification they are unlikely to be appropriate for a different student in a different setting. The primary purpose of the case studies is to demonstrate good planning.

Each case study includes a student profile, a description of the student's learning environment, a list of expected learning outcomes, and a student program based on integrative programming principles.

Information in the "Student Profile" subsection is the result of a thorough assessment and includes such characteristics as age, personality traits, skill level, interests, special needs, and specific, program-related needs.

"Learning Environment" describes the school placement that has been selected for the student, as well as any required support systems, facility modifications, and home and community involvement.

The expectations listed in "Expected Learning Outcomes" are established in response to such factors as the student's level of independence; social, physical, communicative, cognitive, and self-help needs; and needs for environmental adaptations.

The program outlined in "Student Program" takes a holistic approach; it is designed to provide meaningful, integrative learning experiences that are age-appropriate, functional, and relevant to the developmental needs of the student. Although the focus is on a specific subject, the learning opportunities have been selected and organized to develop social, communicative, cognitive, personal-life-management, and physical skills.

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