2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Friday, December 2 • 2:30pm - 3:20pm
The Tales of Four Paraeducators: Inclusion experiences from their perspectives LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Children with complex communication needs (CCN) face many challenges in their daily life and frequently rely on the support of paraeducators. They can struggle academically and socially if their communicative needs are not supported consistently by all those who provide care for them. They frequently use Augmentative or Alternative Communication (AAC) systems or devices to communicate. The purposes of this qualitative case study were to 1) explore the experiences of four paraeducators as they provide daily support to four different children with severe disabilities including CCN as part of their participation on the federally mandated educational team; and 2) to examine how collaborative communicative exchanges transpired among the paraeducators and other stakeholders which could potentially support the child with CCN in inclusive experiences within the four different school settings. This qualitative research design used an instrumental, collective, multiple case study of four paraeducators who provide support for children with CCN within school settings. Methods included individual interviews, follow up interviews, observations in the school, and document analysis of IEP communication goals and objectives. Findings for the four cases showed a wide difference in the inclusive experiences provided for each child. This presentation aligns with the 2016 theme, ???Gateway to Equity,?? because it provides not only the actual stories of four paraeducators in different school settings (rural, urban, and suburban), it also provides suggestions for strengthening future inclusive experiences for children with severe disabilities regardless of setting. By the end of the session, participants will be able to: a) Define best practice in inclusive settings for utilizing paraeducators to support children with severe disabilities and Complex Communication Needs in a variety of settings. b) Identify different inclusive educational settings and experiences. c) Critique strengths and needs from each inclusive educational setting and experience. d) Discuss possible recommendations to support paraeducators and other IEP team members to provide stronger inclusive experiences for children with severe disabilities.

avatar for Gretchen Cole-Lade

Gretchen Cole-Lade

Assistant Professor, Okla
I am an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University. My research interests include supporting the capacity of adults who work with children and adults with disabilities. Other interests include collaboration, assistive technology and best practices for guiding children's behaviors... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 2:30pm - 3:20pm CST
Regency A 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103