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  • Supporting the AAC User in the Classroom

    How can we effectively include learners with complex communication needs in general education with their classroom peers? What does it look like to support emerging communication skills embedded into school and classroom routines? Cross-disciplinary team (e.g. general education teachers, special education teachers, related service providers, family members) collaboration is key for planning and supporting success. Learn how an Ohio team collaborated to support a student who uses AAC in general education and how they included his voice in the process.

  • TIP #30: Behavior is Communication

    Behavior is often an attempt to communicate. Behaviors that are challenging often result from communication failure. Reframing what is viewed as an interfering behavior to be a student’s attempt to communicate, provides more positive options for intervening by teaching the student more effective means to communicate their wants and needs. This TIP includes an animated short video that demonstrates this concept.

  • TIP #28: Social Support for AAC Users

    Students with complex communication needs who are using or are beginning to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) benefit from social support from peers and adults. This TIP describes circles of social support and the many communication strategies that the AAC communicator might use with partners who know them best. It also describes strategies that the AAC communicator may use with less familiar communication partners. Being able to use a variety of strategies helps the student communicate in many types of situations for different purposes.

  • TIP #24: Learners with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC)

    Students with Cerebral/Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) may have difficulty processing the images their eyes see, which can affect many areas of basic visual functions. This TIP focuses on students with CVI and how it relates to learners with significant cognitive disabilities who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication or AAC, with a particular focus on inclusive environments.

  • TIP #25: Preparing the AAC User for the Next Grade

    For students who are non-speaking and communicate using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), it is important to support their communication needs during grade level transitions to ensure that the academic, social, and communication gains continue into the next grade. This TIP provides concrete ideas to plan for successful grade level transitions for ACC Users.

  • Standards-Based Instruction for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities video cover

    Standards-Based Instruction for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

    What are alternate achievement standards and general education academic standards? How do they align and differ? What should instruction look like for students with significant cognitive disabilities? This short video provides key information that clearly illustrates these concepts and their uses in instruction.  

  • Communication Supports for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: What Parents Need to Know (TIES Center Brief #9)

    This Brief describes how families and other members of Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams can help students get the supports they need to build their communicative competence in inclusive classrooms.

  • Debunking Myths about Inclusive Education for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (TIES Center Brief #8)

    There are many myths about including students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in general education classrooms. This Brief debunks six of them. 

  • PI #4: Providing Specially Designed Instruction with Considerations from Distance Learning

    Through distance, hybrid and in-person learning, collaboration has remained a vital part of providing Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). This article provides key strategies for consideration when planning SDI.

  • The Power of Peers: Peer Engagement Implementation Guides

    We invited leading experts to share their expertise on implementing these nine educational interventions to promote meaningful engagement and relationships among students with and without disabilities. They created short, practical implementation guides based on their extensive experience working with local schools.

  • PI #3: A Collaborative Start to Behavioral Supports When Returning to the School Building

    Positive and consistent behavioral supports are needed by all students, and for some students, they are absolutely vital for meaningful engagement to be achieved. During distance learning it was important to know what behaviors could be supported through collaborating with families. When returning to school, it remains important to intentionally identify, collaboratively communicate, and consistently follow through on the identified supports for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

  • Understanding the Role of Paraprofessionals in Your Child’s Education in Inclusive Classrooms (TIES Center Brief #7)

    It is important for parents to know what paraprofessionals should be expected to do in inclusive classrooms. Parents should also know what qualities paraprofessionals should have, and what supports and training they need to be successful in their role. The purpose of this Brief is to address these points. It also pro-vides examples of appropriate use of paraprofessionals in inclusive classrooms and some red flags that might indicate a need to adjust paraprofessional support or training.

  • PI #2: 5 Back to School Positive Behavior Strategies

    Now that we are back to school, it is important to remember how to positively support behavior. It is especially important to consider those students who might need more support after being away from the school building last year. 

  • belonging wheel with the dimensions of belonging: present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, involved, supported, heard, befriended, needed

    Creating Communities of Belonging for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

    Everyone wants to be valued and have a sense of belonging in their community.  The need for valued belonging is true for students in a school community as well.  Although belonging is equally important for all students, students with significant cognitive disabilities are less likely to experience a deep sense of belonging.

  • PI #1: Planning for Students Transitioning Back to School - Three Important Components

    As teams manage various scenarios for when and how-to students will return to schools, proactive thinking about what needs to be considered to successfully transition students back to school is of utmost importance. This article will  facilitate this transition for school teams, students, and their families.

  • Pivot to In-Person Instruction: An Overview Framework

    The TIES Distance Learning Series provides multiple strategies for supporting students with significant cognitive disabilities during distance and hybrid learning. The Pivot to In-Person Instruction Series applies the same principles, as most students are returning to in-person instruction. However, we expect that some schools will need to pivot between the various instruction models given the changing nature of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Comprehensive Inclusive Education: General Education and the Inclusive IEP

    This resource is intended to guide IEP teams in a comprehensive inclusive education planning process based on the expectation that each student can actively participate, belong, contribute, and learn in the school and larger community. 

  • Helping Your Child by Checking Progress at Home

    This video describes easy ways for parents to check on their child's progress in academics and behavior while learning at home

  • TIP #17: What is Communicative Competence for and with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Users?

    This TIP provides information about what competence in communication means for all students, but also the additional competencies required of students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.