(This book cannot be returned.)
The purpose of this manual is to address the need of educational teams to develop appropriate least restrictive environments in general education settings. The manual provides systematic and quantifiable tools which will allow the educational teams to evaluate their own philosophy, environments, individual student needs, as well as, individual staff and peer support.
It is often the lack of "readiness" that results in frustration for administrators, educators, parents, and most of all, the students. Careful planning and preparation is critical when placing a student with a disability in the least restrictive environment or "inclusive" setting. Frequently only observation is used to prepare for the inclusive placement. This manual offers educators informal tools to quantifiably evaluate inclusive settings and supports. Although all these tools were originally developed for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder they have been proven effective with student who have other disabilities.
Chapter 1 provides the reader with a protocol for developing a shared vision between school staff. It is very important that the school community share the same understanding of least restrictive environment or "inclusion" and all that it entails. Activities and suggestions for staff awareness are outlined.
The following five chapters address the acronym R.E.A.D.Y. from the title.
Chapter 2 addresses the R. by providing a checklist to evaluate the "readiness" of the student with disabilities to participate as a student in the inclusive setting. The checklist determines the expectations for an average student and then determines what skills require additional instruction, accommodations, and/or modifications for successful participation. It also offers instructional strategies and curricular suggestions.
Chapter 3 discusses E. which stands for the "environment" for instruction. A checklist called the V.E.S.T. is presented to evaluate the "environment" for instruction. The acronym represents the four areas that are necessary for optimizing learning for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related attention and learning disabilities. General education teachers report that by systematically addressing these ecological factors, students with other learning differences such as ADD and ADHA have demonstrated improvements in their abilities to attend and participate in instruction.
In Chapter 4 A. explains "accommodating" for academic and learning difference. Accommodations and modifications are a required part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP). A simple checklist clarifies questions an IEP team might have. The checklist supports general and special education teacher collaboration and provides a shared understanding of the student's needs.
Chapter 5 covers the D. which in stands for "determining" levels of support for the student who is included. Often the student's increased need for support is interpreted as requiring an additional adult in the classroom or a 1:1 aide. Chapter 5 outlines a 3-step procedure that may be used to determine the specific areas of need and when the support is required.
Chapter 6 addresses the Y. or "your" natural peer supports. As the research reveals, the classroom peers can be a resource and support to students who are included. The research also notes that with specific training and awareness of the student who is included, the typical peer can assist in teaching both social and academic skills. This chapter discusses a strategy to develop awareness and the foundation for friendship.
Each chapter may be used separately or implemented in a linear fashion. It is reccommended that the protocol outlined in Chapter 1 always be facilitated to build the foundation of a shared vision of inclusive education