Abstract

In the current climate of universal accessibility, it is not surprising that more students with disabilities are being served in inclusive contexts. Although the reported increase in inclusion rates are promising, the rate of increase of students with moderate to severe disabilities is thought to be much lower and inclusion is still a struggle for the students with the highest needs. Questions emerge regarding the effectiveness of teaching practices in relation to progress towards specific curricular goals, at least in part because of concerns about dependence on sophisticated teacher skills for meaningful inclusion to occur. General consensus in the field is that professional development may provide support to teachers to adequately serve students with disabilities. We sought to implement a model of professional development which first explored the unique strengths and needs of an individual student or small group of students with a moderate or severe disability who were already being served in the general education classroom. We were able to tailor the learner-centered professional development package based on the needs of the team as they work directly with this population to implement embedded instruction and team collaboration to address the content areas.

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