The Louisiana Special School District (SSD) hosted a day of professional development focused on curriculum accessibility and support for students with low-incidence disabilities, like blindness, deafness, autism, and those with limited communication access due to multiple disabilities, brought together about 140 educators from across Louisiana state.
The event, called “Click or Treat: Content Needs Accessibility”, included Halloween-themed activities and was the first event like this to be hosted by the SSD, an organization that hopes to establish itself as a statewide resource for students with low-incidence disabilities. The Louisiana School for the deaf and the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge hosted the event.
“By launching this trendsetting professional development opportunity, the SSD wishes to signal that we take very seriously our strategic commitment to creating and sustaining unifying systems of support for all SSD schools and programs. This event is therefore aligned with the SSD’s long term goal of expanding support to students with disabilities across the state through outreach and educational offerings. We are pleased at the level of interest and engagement surrounding this effort and expect to have more such opportunities in the months and years ahead,” said SSD Superintendent Ernest E. Garrett III.
The event lasted a day, and participants were able to attend a range of sessions to help learn new, instructional strategies and experience new technologies to aid in student learning. The session topics covered how educators can engineer their environments for learners who benefit from visual support to how educators can use tactile graphics to support STEM instruction to how schools can create comprehensive plans to help support diverse learners.
Participants of the event were also given information about cost-effective resources available to them year-round through the Louisiana Accessible Education Materials Center. Overseen by the SSD, this statewide resource center provides expertise and tools designed to aid in the advancement of the education of students with low incidence disabilities. It hosts professional development opportunities for educators and members of the community, has a resource library with nearly 3,000 educational materials and assistive devices, and one-on-one training and consultation.
The LA-AEM serves school-aged children with visual impairments and provides specialized paper for Braille and large print users, educational kits and learning tools for the visually impaired, and professional publications and guides for teachers of the visually impaired.
Louisiana Accessible Education Materials Center Director, Robin King, says “LA-AEM is a little-known but invaluable resource for stakeholders across Louisiana. If educators or families need access to devices to enhance listening or to have everyday classroom materials translated to braille, for example, it’s just a phone call away.”
During the regular school-year, LA-AEM is open from seven am until four pm, Monday through Friday. During the summer, LA-AEM is closed on Fridays and open from six am until four thirty pm, Monday through Thursday.
You can request a service from the Louisiana Accessible Education Materials Center here.
For more education related information, click here.