2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.
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Thursday, November 29 • 3:20pm - 4:10pm
Peer Supports to Enhance Active and Meaningful Engagement in Inclusive Elementary Classrooms Seating Available

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Limited Capacity seats available

Despite the fact that students with disabilities are increasingly receiving services in inclusive educational settings, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those with autism, multiple disabilities, and deaf-blindness, are most often educated in segregated settings away from their peers who are typically developing. According to the most recent national data, less than one third of students with significant disabilities spend 80% or more time of their school day in general education environments. When these students are included into general education settings, there has been an over-reliance on one-to-one paraprofessional support that has been cited as creating barriers to active participation and interactions with peers and belonging with peer groups. Participation, membership and belonging leads to relationships, which ultimately are one of the keys to quality of life. Children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like all children and youth, benefit from healthy social relationships and friendships. Moreover, there continues to be a significant need to improve the effectiveness and quality of inclusive education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities that promote active engagement with academics and positive peer networks and supports. One resource that has been underutilized in facilitating inclusion of students with disabilities is actually the other students. This presentation will explore the use of evidence-based strategies to implement peer supports and networks to enhance the active and meaningful participation and learning of all students in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse educational settings. The discussion will include how special and general educators can collaborate and be innovative to develop appropriate, natural peer network and support strategies. In particular, focus will be on elementary-age students and classrooms since the majority of current literature on peer networks and supports to promote inclusion has often focused on the secondary level (middle and high school). Possible barriers to implementation of peer supports will be discussed and viable, creative solutions to overcome these barriers will be brainstormed. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to develop plans to return to his/her school to implement strategies shared in this session.

avatar for Jean Gonsier-Gerdin

Jean Gonsier-Gerdin

Professor, Teaching Credentials-Special Education, California State University, Sacramento

Thursday November 29, 2018 3:20pm - 4:10pm PST
Pearl - Second Floor 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201