Full Discussion: Learning Disabilities and Ohio: Policies and Professional Development January 9-11, 2008

Messages Posted During the Discussion

[Learning Disabilities 1610] Day 1-Guest Discussion of FOB Article on Ohio's LD Policy & Professional Dev.

Hello,

I welcome you to the first day of our guest discussion on the Focus on Basics article entitled Learning Disabilities and Ohio: Policies and Professional Development. Your speakers for this 3-day event are Sharon Reynolds and Katrina Seymour.

I encourage everyone with an interest in this topic to actively participate. Feel free to ask questions and comment. I will be posting their introduction next. Other messages will follow
throughout the day. Let's begin...............~ !

Rochelle Kenyon, Moderator

NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List

Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee


[Learning Disabilities 1611] Re: Day 1-Guest Discussion of FOB Article on Ohio's LD Policy & Professional Dev.

Hello--

I work contract for my county's adult education programs, but I attended a Ph.D. program based in Cincinnati, Ohio with a site in Washington D.C. (the site now closed).

How do Ohio policies affect learning disabled, adult students in general, including college students who might be transferring from Adult Ed. programs?

I look forward to this discussion and thank you for offering it.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Online ESOL Instructor

Prince William County Public Schools, Adult Education

Manassas, VA


[Learning Disabilities 1612] Introduction

Hello LD Discussion List members!

Katrina and I are honored to be guest speakers. I have been a lurker for several years and have found the discussions on this list very thought provoking and educational. I have to admit it is a bit strange to talk to so many people without any kind of immediate feedback - but I am looking forward to the conversations that I hope will follow.

Katrina and I were also excited to see our article "Learning Disabilities and Ohio: Policies and Professional Development," published in the most recent issue of Focus on Basics.
http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/fob/2007/fob_8d.pdf . For professionals who job involves working with students with learning disabilities that issue of FOB was very relevant and informative.

Ohio Department of Education's Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) office has been aware of the need for professional development related to serving adults with learning disabilities. The ABLE state office has provided funding for the development of professional learning activities and resources to support the professional earning of ABLE instructors and administrators. To ensure accountability, ten policies related to serving adults with learning disabilities were put in place. Programs are reviewed by the state ABLE consultants annually. To support the development and compliance with the policies, an online planning guide was developed. The result is, in fact, a customized LD Policy Manual for each program which is consistent with all state policies.

Over the next few days, we are hoping to start a conversation about the topics discussed in the FOB article. This is the outline that will guide us:

Day 1: Policies Relating to Serving Adults with Learning Disabilities in Ohio ABLE.

Questions for You:

  • What policies have other states adopted?
  • What changes have you seen as a result?

Day 2: Challenges with LD Screening and Diagnosis

  • LD Screening Instruments Used in Ohio ABLE
  • Challenges and Recent Successes in Accessing Diagnostic Services for Students in Ohio ABLE Programs

Questions for You:

  • What have other programs serving adults with learning disabilities done to increase access to diagnostic services?
  • What more can be done?

Day 3: Professional Development and Peer Coaching

  • Professional Development: The LD Series in Ohio ABLE
  • Peer Coaching - A Discussion of the Philosophy of Coaching

Question for You:

  • What professional development is needed for staff serving adults with learning disabilities?

Focus on Basics Issue, Volume 8, Issue D. November 2007

Pages 37-40, World Education

Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio


[Learning Disabilities 1612] Re: Question for Guest Discussion

Hi Bonnita ~

Let's use this as a jumping off point to talk about the LD policies in Ohio ABLE. Ohio ABLE does not have a print manual of the LD policies per se. The good news is - nothing to buy or print! We have integrated the policies into an online guide that helps programs understand the policies and how to apply them in their programs. You can access this online Guide as a guest and view the Ohio LD policies at http://tinyurl.com/3b8t79 .

There are 17 steps that users work through. Each step includes information on a different aspect of learning disabilities. The steps in the Guide are:

  • Step 1 - Program Information
  • Step 2 - Special Needs Areas
  • Step 3 - Rationale
  • Step 4 - Statistics Related to Learning Disabilities
  • Step 5 - Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
  • Step 6 - Types of Learning Disabilities
  • Step 7 - Laws and Legal Implications
  • Step 8 - Screening
  • Step 9 - Referral and Diagnosis
  • Step 10 - Planning for Instruction
  • Step 11 - Classroom Adaptations and Accommodations
  • Step 12 - Classroom Resources
  • Step 13 - Getting Accommodations on the GED Test
  • Step 14 - Professional Development
  • Step 15 - Data Tracking
  • Step 16 - Print Options
  • Step 17 - Print

Programs can use the Guide in several ways.

First, compliance. The state ABLE office requires all ABLE programs to address each of the 10 policies through submissions using the online guide and to make updates as needed on an annual basis. There is a text box following each policy that allows the administrator to explain how they are addressing the policy in their program. The input information is saved. The state ABLE office can access the online Guides for any program and read how each program has responded.

Patti's question about non-compliance: Programs' responses to the LD Policies are reviewed by Ohio's State Regional Consultants. Programs would be required to correct any areas of non-compliance noted by the plan review. In addition, during onsite program visits, State consultants review practices and procedures related to services to students with special needs. Any areas of non-compliance would be noted in the site visit report and the program would need to develop and implement a corrective action plan.

Second, the programs can print the entire online text (Step 17), including their policy responses. This can be used as a local policy manual, as it is customized with the programs responses.

Lastly - I think the most important use - is as a professional learning tool or reference. I hope you enjoy browsing the guide. I also invite your feedback on the guide.

Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio


[Learning Disabilities 1613] Assistive Technologies

As many adult education practitioners are aware, ABLE programs' capacity to provide costly assistive technologies is lacking. However, we have been successful in incorporating some assistive technologies into the classroom and many adaptations and accommodations. Assistive technologies used in my own classroom include:

  1. Microsoft Word - the speech to text feature that allows students to train the program for their own voice and it types as they read or compose;
  2. Inspiration Software - for those not familiar, it offers a variety of options for creating graphic organizers to brainstorm information or collect thoughts on an assignment, among other things; http://www.inspiration.com
  3. We use a scanner to manipulate the font size and type on some assignments - I personally like Century Gothic because it is sans serif and uses traditional forms of the lower case letters "a" and "g;"
  4. We have a television with headphones and headphones for the student computers;
  5. Our ABLE program procured a chair from a bariatric clinic to support the weight of a student whose disability was obesity; and
  6. Large print versions of tests and workbooks.

WYNN software http://www.freedomscientific.com/LSG/index.asp has garnered a great deal of attention from what I hear from other ABLE administrators across Ohio, though my program does not have it and I am not familiar enough with it to elaborate. The list above is by no means representative of all the assistive technology being used in classrooms across the state, but it is a sample from my own program of the most frequently utilized AT offerings with my students.

Katrina Seymour


[Learning Disabilities 1614] Re: Day 1 - Guest Discussion of FOB Article on Ohio's LD Policy & Professional Development

Katherine ~

That is a very interesting question. Our policies are developed with the ultimate goal of enhancing the student's educational experience in ABLE. We hope through our instructional approach to empower students with adaptive techniques that they can use in any educational setting.

Professional development in the area of learning disabilities can have positive implications for students. If teachers understand learning and learning disabilities, they can talk with students about these issues. We have developed a brochure (attached) to assist with this conversation.

Skilled and knowledgeable teachers use appropriate instructional methods. For example - many students come to ABLE feeling "stupid," because that is what they have been told by teachers throughout their lives. They have failed over and over again. Once students learn more about their learning styles, strengths and challenges they are better able to function in varied educational settings. Self-confidence is such an important factor in learning and ultimately succeeding in education.

Futhermore - if students go through the LD screening process, they understand learning and what learning disabilities are and are not. They learn - perhaps for the first time that they can be successful in educational settings if they make some adaptations and use resources available to them. Understanding and knowledge is power. Self-knowledge is the pre-requisite for self-advocacy. We all know how important that is in a college setting.

Lastly - if students choose to continue on and access diagnostic services, they can potentially access resources at work and in educational settings that they may not have had access to without a diagnosis. Many students with learning disabilities choose not to self-disclose. Also - the services and resources that are available vary widely.

Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio


[Learning Disabilities 1616] Screenings for LD Used in Ohio ABLE

Good Morning!

This is the second day of discussion and the topic today is screening and diagnosis for learning disabilities. I want to talk about the screenings that Ohio uses with their ABLE students. A separate email will address the challenges we have faced helping our students to access costly diagnostic services. I hope to learn from the discussion list what is being used in other programs across the country.

Day 2: Challenges with LD Screening and Diagnosis

  • LD Screening Instruments Used in Ohio ABLE
  • Challenges and Recent Successes in Accessing Diagnostic Services for Students in Ohio ABLE Programs

Questions for You:

  • What LD screenings are other states using?
  • What have other programs serving adults with learning disabilities done to increase access to diagnostic services?
  • What more can be done?

The screening used in Ohio ABLE are:

  1. Washington 13
  • Developed from Payne Inventory
  • Used and normed on adult female TANF population
  • 13 questions with weighted answers if score is 12+, refer for further assessment
  • Quick scoring
  • Interview styles is good for generating additional conversation with learner
  • Free
  • Explanation of the 13 questions
  • 1998 Washington State TANF Study
  • Cooper Screening of Information Processing (CSIP)
    • Interview style
    • Some skills testing
    • Long and short forms (approximately 45 minutes and 1.5 hours)
    • Developed and normed for adults (high reliability)
    • Available from:

      Richard Cooper

      Learning Disabilities Resources
      http://www.learningdifferences.com

  • STALD - Screening Test for Adults with Learning Difficulties
    • Reading Inventory
    • Somewhat lengthy to administer
    • Originally developed for children; revised for adults (not reliability tested for adults)
    • Free (public domain)
    • Provides information on:
      • Alphabet skills
      • Near copying
      • Basic phonetic knowledge
      • Visual memory for words
      • Auditory discrimination
      • Spelling
      • Word recognition
      • Reading levels
      • Frustration
      • Instructional
      • Independent
    • Available from:

      Dorothy Montgomery, M.Ed.

      Region IX Education Service Center, Wichita Falls, Texas

  • Adult Learning Disabilities Screening Battery (ALDS), 1999
    • Students read and answer questions independently
    • Requires a 6th grade reading level
    • Carbonless, color-coded pages (consumable cost to program)
    • Teacher scores
    • Weighted answers determine need for further assessment
    • Developed and normed for adults (high reliability)
    • Three parts for student:
    1. Self-rating scales (25 questions) - Strongly agree to strongly disagree
    • Self-Attribution
    • Spelling skills
    • Reading skills
    • Social skills
    • Efficiency
    • Sense of Direction
    • Organizational Skills
  • Self-Administered Inventory (19 questions) - Yes/No
    • Learning Influences
    • Learning Problems
    • Educational Experience
    • Mental Health
    • Fraction Skills
    • Math Operations
  • Interview
    • Based on previous responses - requests further information
    • Additional questions for administrator: 11 questions on student's rapport and participation
  • Available from:

    Kaw Valley Resources
    https://able-ohiou2.ssllink.com
  • Destination Literacy: Identifying and Teaching Adults with Learning Disabilities, 1999
    • Interview style
    • Subject assessments: Reading, Writing, Math - performance based
    • Can be used in pieces
    • Guidelines for using materials
    • Inexpensive
    • Available from:

      Learning Disabilities Association of Canada

      323 Chapel Street, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7Z2

      613.238.5721

  • PowerPath to Basic Learning
    • Developed by Dr. Laura Weisel, an adult education professional
    • Components:
      • Information Processing Screening
        • Vision Function
        • Auditory Function
        • Visual Processing
        • Auditory Processing
        • Reading Encoding and Decoding
      • Attention Difficulties Screening
      • Visual Stress Syndrome Screening
      • Takes about 1.5 hour for full screening.
      • Data is input into a software program from which an individualized report is generated.
      • Report is shared with teacher and student and a plan for using that knowledge is written.
      • Extensive in-depth training is required.
      • Equipment must be purchased - some is consumable.
    • Available from the TLP Group
      http://www.powerpath.com
  • Payne Inventory
    • Developed by Nancie Payne - for adults
    • Requires multi-day training

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1617] Mandated Screening for LD

    Hello List Members,

    Screening for LD in Ohio ABLE is mandated. Programs can either screen all ABLE students or screen some. If they choose to screen certain individuals, they must have a written plan explaining how they determine whom they screen. The criteria could be based on time in the program and lack of progress for example. It has to be clear and very specific.

    I would like to know from you ..........

    • How many subscribers are in states that mandate screening?
    • How has the use of screening increased services provided to adult students?
    • Which screening tools are being used in other states?
    • Who administers screening tools and how soon after a student enrolls?

    Thank you.

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1618] Fwd: Mandated Screening for LD

    Hi Sharon,

    I am interested in seeing your written plan explaining how they determine who is screened. Could you share such a plan that is already completed with us, please? If you can copy and paste it directly into your response, that would be perfect. That works better for archival purposes.

    Thanks,

    Rochelle Kenyon

    Moderator, NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List

    Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee


    [Learning Disabilities 1619] Challenges and Successes - LD Diagnosis

    Hello ~

    Ohio ABLE has been struggling with providing access to costly diagnostic services to our adult students. Several years ago, we wrote letters to all of the psychologists in Ohio asking them to participate in a network of qualified professionals who offer LD diagnostic services at reduced cost or on a sliding scale.

    Currently 52 providers are in the network. We have placed their information into an online database that can be accessed by anyone. Users click on their county and they can see which psychologists or school counselors are willing to provide low-cost LD diagnostic services in their county. Click here to see the online network (click a county). It is up to the individual to contact the provider to arrange for an appointment and pay for services. The costs range from $10.00 (yes - ten dollars) to $300.00.

    We are grateful to the four Universities with doctoral programs in clinical psychology across the state that have stepped up to the challenge and decided to participate in the network and offer services at reduced cost or on a sliding scale. We hope to expand this to even more schools by the end of the year.

    So - that's the success part. As you may know, there are many challenges. First is access. We do not have providers in each county willing to provide low-cost services. My county included. Next, of course, are the financial concerns. $300 is a reduced fee - but that is prohibitive for many people. Transportation is also problematic. I have heard that students are willing to travel across the state to get to the psychologist at Wright State in Dayton who offers these services based on ability to pay. The gas money alone is a financial burden. Also - we hear that some psychologists do not understand our population and fail to communicate in an appropriate manner. On and on..

    So - as you can see many barriers exist. My questions to the List:

    • What else can we be doing to reduce the barriers and increase access to diagnostic services?
    • What successful strategies have other states initiated?

    Can't wait to hear your ideas.

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1620] Professional Development in the Area of Learning Disabilities - Ohio

    Hello LD Discussion list members ~

    This is Day 3 and the topic is Professional Development in the area of Learning Disabilities. I can talk a bit about the LD training series we have offered and the new Peer Coaching initiative. I hope that if you are interested in this topic that you refer to the article in Focus on Basics. In that article, we shared some Ohio statistics related to screenings for LD over the past 2 years.

    The LD Training series is required by all ABLE administrators, instructors and support staff. When we started the initiative there were 2 face-to-face workshops - we call them LD 201 and LD 202 - that all instructors had to attend. The administrators and support staff only had to attend a one-day workshop.

    The first several years of this mandate were challenging. I was the lead trainer at that point and traveled all over the state offering workshops for sometimes up to 50 people at a time. There was little time for anything else. We decided that it was so costly for us and for the ABLE staff to attend these workshops, that we should put something online. We did develop the first workshop into an online training module and now that is the prerequisite to the second face-to-face workshop for instructors. To date, over 430 individuals have accessed the online training. You can access the online LD videos at http://able-ohiou.org/ld_training_vide .

    Lately, the number of people signing up for the face-to-face workshops has decreased significantly. It is much more manageable. We offer the face-to-face workshops twice yearly now.

    I will talk about the Peer Coaching program in the next post.

    My questions for the list:

    • What professional development in the area of learning disabilities is required in your state?
    • What formats have been used to deliver the professional development for learning disabilities?
    • What would teachers like to see offered?
    • What is needed?

    Hope there is someone out there with some ideas!

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1621] Re: Fwd: Mandated Screening for LD

    Hello Rochelle ~

    Here is a sample plan for screening students that was submitted by Eastland Fairfield CTC - ABLE Program Policy 2.0: ABLE programs will have a documented learning disabilities screening process in place, which will include the following elements: (programs should respond to each item 1-7)

    1. At what point(s) in the Student Experience Model (SEM) is screening for learning disabilities screening offered?

      The Washington 13 screening assessment will be provided for all incoming students at Orientation. We will also give the VLSS and AD screenings to all students at orientation
    2. Briefly describe how the LD Screening is offered and name the instrument(s) used.
      Basic Literacy and GED preparation students who complete the Orientation process will complete the Washington 13 assessment. Students scoring higher than an eleven on the assessment will be offered further assessment with PowerPath.
    3. What consistent criteria determine who is offered a learning disabilities screening?
      Students who have an outcome of 12 or more on the Washington 13 with a 5th grade or less score on TABE reading will be referred for a PowerPath screening if there is also a high incidence of need in their VLSS and AD screening results.



      Students with a 12 or more on the Washington 13 who have greater than 5th grade reading will be monitored by the classroom instructor for progress at least every 90 days. If a student is not making significant progress, the instructor may refer the student for a PowerPath assessment
    4. Name the individuals who conduct(s) the learning disabilities screening and provide assurances about his/her qualifications for administering the screening instrument.
      Mary Hartman and Roger Jozwiak are certified in PowerPath assessment and administer this assessment to our students.
    5. How will the program train or arrange for training of other staff if needed?
      All staff, except for staff hired after January 2006, has completed both parts of the required LD training. All staff hired after January 2006 is required to complete both parts of the LD training within the first two years of employment.
    6. How are the results of the learning disabilities screening shared with students? Provide assurances that the results are shared in private.
      The trained screener for PowerPath is always required to discuss student strengths during a private follow-up of the PowerPath results during the educational or employment plan process.



      The screener will discuss implications for a follow-up diagnosis and handout a list of professionals who are able to screen and diagnosis specific learning disabilities when appropriate.



      Classroom instructors will monitor students monthly to determine the effectiveness of adaptations and/or modifications the student is using has had a positive impact on the student's ability to learn and progress. Notes of this feedback will be recorded on the comments section of the Special Needs Form and kept in the student file.
    7. How will screening information be used to modify and adapt instruction for the students?
      Classroom instructors will monitor students monthly to determine the effectiveness of adaptations and/or modifications the student is using has had a positive impact on the student's ability to learn and progress. Notes of this feedback will be recorded on the comments section of the Special Needs Form and kept in the student file.




      Adaptation tools for student learning will be readily available to students at all times so that students may use them during class time.



      Students will be encouraged to try out different adaptations if/when the student feels he/she is not being successful with the tools that have been suggested.



      The classroom instructor will include suggested adaptations in the students' ILP and revise as necessary.

    8. Describe your process for inputting screening information into ABLElink.
      All information on screening, referrals and accommodations will be recorded on each student's Special Needs Form. This form will be stored in the students' personal file in a locked file cabinet. Any updates on screenings, referrals, adaptations, and/or accommodations will be completed as needed and submitted with monthly reports to the ABLELink secretary for input into the database.



      Classroom instructors are responsible for updating information on the students' "Special Needs Forms." This includes referral, diagnosis, and suggested accommodations for testing. This information is sent to the ABLELink secretary once a student has completed 12 hours of class.

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1622] Coaching - As Follow-Up Professional Development

    Hello LD List ~

    Peer coaching is offered as a follow-up option for teachers who have completed the LD Training Series. Teachers, support staff and program administrators have the option of requesting a coach to assist them in working through issues related to providing service to adults with learning disabilities. Coaches are not mentors. They are sounding boards - professional colleagues, peers - who can help individuals find the answers for themselves.

    You can read more about the history of the program in the FOB article.

    Patti White asked earlier ---

    1. The peer coaching idea sounds effective, but in your discussion, please address the procedure you follow for teacher compensation during the coaching period.

    I want to respond to Patti's question. In Ohio, ABLE staff members are offered stipends to attend professional development activities. You can read the full professional development policy at http://tinyurl.com/3abszt . Peer coaching counts as a professional development activity - so teachers can apply for a stipend for it based on the number of hours they spend in coaching. Coaches are also supported financially for travel and for their time by our Resource Center. I hope that answers your question, Patti.

    Question for the List:

    • Where else is coaching being used successfully?

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1623] Q/A Responses from Arkansas

    Thanks so much to Sharon for taking so much time to comprehensively address so many issues that states must consider when addressing the needs of adult students with learning disabilities. She is providing listserv members with a ton of information that they can use to improve their own statewide services, and I appreciate her clarity and focus. The following is a summary of what we're doing in Arkansas, as requested in the "Questions for You" sections of the postings.

    The primary screening tools used in Arkansas adult education and literacy programs are the Washington State 13-Question tool, the Payne Learning Inventory (training required), and the Vision Therapy Assessment (a software program to screen for developmental/functional vision problems; available from http://www.homevisiontherapy.com . There are other screeners that some programs/individuals also use, but the point I always try to underscore in training is that screening should include more than just one tool. To my knowledge, none of the screening tools currently available are panaceas for the screening process, which can and should vary according to the individual's background and needs. Many programs include a test/retest with and w/o accommodations as part of their screening process to determine the effectiveness of applied accommodations.

    Programs vary re: who administers the screening. Some have central intake staff who administers the 13-question screening to everyone who comes through the door, which - by the way - is not my preferred approach. Others begin the screening process when they determine that the student is not making timely progress in the program, or if the student expresses a suspicion that they may have a learning disability (or AD/HD or whatever) and their classroom performance bears that up. Another "red flag" is any student who is reading below the 4th grade level. This is not always due to a reading disability, of course, but is usually enough cause for concern that a screening process is instigated. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Education, Adult Education Section, requires that programs screen 50% of their students. The obvious question is, "Which 50%?" Hence the practice of just running those 13 questions by everyone. That will occasionally work as a springboard for continuing the screening process, but it works much better if the person administering the tool has had a good deal of education about adults with learning disabilities. I think the key to effective screening is using appropriate, reliable tools and procedures coupled with knowledge about adults with LD.

    Arkansas began its LD training in 1994 with Nancie Payne, and we continue to provide LD training throughout the year each year. The focus for the last year has been to provide LD training in local programs instead of statewide workshops. The local approach works well. There are fewer participants and everything is geared to their students, their program, their procedures, supplies, etc. More follow-up training would assuredly be a good thing. Workshops include information about LD adult students regarding definition, characteristics, screening, policy, and instructional and testing strategies/accommodations. There are more complete descriptions of our LD workshops online at http://aalrc.org/resources/ld/ld_workshops.pdf . Our state department provides a portion of leadership funds to pay for LD diagnosis for students who are not eligible for a referral to Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS). We don't get a ton of requests for funding - maybe 20 a year. We contracted with local mental health centers, psychological clinics, and individual psychologists to provide the WAIS-III for $150. We also trained a number of our GED examiners to conduct the Woodcock Johnson III in-house first, so when the student goes for their WAIS-III assessment, they take the GED Request for Accommodations form with the WJ scores already completed. The psychologist uses these along with the WAIS results to determine the presence (or not) of a learning disability, and they complete Section 3 of the form.

    Most of our students are eligible for an ARS referral or they have pre-existing documentation from school. The state's willingness to put some money out there for diagnosis was incredibly effective in removing our biggest barrier; i.e., the prevalent attitude that no student could afford to get the diagnosis, so why bother trying? Once that barrier went away, we had a big increase in the number of students referred....but again, we didn't end up paying for very many at all.

    There is a complete description of our process for referrals at http://aalrc.org/resources/ld/referralProcess.aspx if you want more information.

    Last, Arkansas Adult Education also has a policy manual for serving adults with LD & AD/HD. It is available online at http://aalrc.org/resources/ld/policyManual/index.aspx .

    Patti White, M.Ed., Disabilities Project Manager

    Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center

    Huntsville, AR
    http://aalrc.org/resourf/ces/ld/index.aspx


    [Learning Disabilities 1624] Re: Professional Development in the Area of Learning Disabilities - Ohio

    Sharon & Katrina,

    Thanks for a great discussion of LD! Your comments have been detailed, clear and well written.

    I'd like to invite all the participants on this listserv to visit and comment on our LD blog: http://adultlearningdisabilities.blogspot.com . As part of our professional development, this blog was designed create a learning community among educators and administrators who participate in the Learning Disabilities 102/202 classes offered in Ohio.

    I've also taken the liberty of attaching our quarterly LD Newsletter. If you'd like to receive copies in the future, please contact me at totten@ohio.edu .

    Thanks,

    Mary Barbara Totten, M. Ed., Curriculum and Training Specialist
    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center


    [Learning Disabilities 1625] Re: Fwd: Mandated Screening for LD

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing the example. I haven't seen one quite like it before. Very useful. For students in Ohio that have been screened and then diagnosed as LD, are 504 Plans completed for them as a part of your state policy?

    Rochelle Kenyon, Moderator

    NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List

    Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee


    [Learning Disabilities 1631] Re: Fwd: Mandated Screening for LD

    Rochelle -

    I don't believe so - but I am looking into it.

    Sharon Reynolds, Coordinator

    Central/Southeast ABLE Resource Center

    Ohio University

    Athens, Ohio


    [Learning Disabilities 1626] Follow Up from the Discussion

    Hi all,

    I want to thank Sharon Reynolds and Katrina Seymour for sharing information on Ohio's LD Policy and Professional Development. Also, thanks to Patti White from the Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center for sharing the system used in Arkansas.

    I am disappointed that subscribers did not share information about other states and their LD Policy, Screening, and Professional Development. I would like to extend the discussion by asking those that are willing to share - to do so. If you are proud of the services that your state provides to identify, provide services, or deliver staff development, p l e a s e share it by posting a message.

    I know there is much to be learned by sharing and I look forward to hearing from members of this online community.

    Thanks,

    Rochelle Kenyon, Moderator

    NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List

    Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee


    [Learning Disabilities 1627] Re: Follow Up from the Discussion

    I am belatedly reviewing the helpful discussion and wanted to share some information from Massachusetts that relates to the issue of ways to obtain diagnostic assessments.

    Several years ago, I filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services alleging that our state TANF agency (the Department of Transitional Assistance or DTA) was failing to accommodate the needs of persons with learning disabilities in its Employment Services Program for TANF recipients. In 2001, OCR ruled that TANF agencies have an obligation to assess whether recipients have disabilities that may interfere with their ability to participate equally in TANF-funded programs. In late 2006, OCR and DTA entered into a Resolution Agreement under which participants in DTA's ESP system, which can include those participating in adult education courses, can be screened for learning disabilities using the Washington State screening instrument. If the recipients screen positively, then DTA pays for a diagnostic assessment performed by qualified individuals under contract with the University of Massachusetts' Disability Evaluation Service.

    This provides an important avenue for TANF recipients to obtain a diagnostic assessment that can then form the basis for education and training providers affording the kinds of accommodations necessary to help their participants succeed. Attached is a DTA memo very generally describing the process.

    (TANF recipients who are not participating in ESP activities can also be screened by DTA and, if screened positively, they are referred to our vocational rehabilitation agency with a possibility of obtaining an assessment there, although I think that there are long waiting lists.)

    Ruth A. Bourquin

    Mass. Law Reform Institute

    Boston, MA


    [Learning Disabilities 1628] Summary of Resources from the Ohio LD Discussion

    Hello,

    I went back through the discussion from last week on Ohio's LD Policy and Professional Development. I have listed the resources that were suggested. They are as follows:

    "Learning Disabilities and Ohio: Policies and Professional Development," published in the most recent issue of Focus on Basics.
    Focus on Basics Issue, Volume 8, Issue D. November 2007
    Pages 37-40, World Education

    Online Guide that helps Ohio's adult education programs to understand and apply the LD policies. You can access this Online Guide as a guest at http://tinyurl.com/3b8t79 . There are 17 steps that users work through. Each step includes information on a different aspect of learning disabilities. The steps in the Guide are:

    • Step 1 - Program Information
    • Step 2 - Special Needs Areas
    • Step 3 - Rationale
    • Step 4 - Statistics Related to Learning Disabilities
    • Step 5 - Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
    • Step 6 - Types of Learning Disabilities
    • Step 7 - Laws and Legal Implications
    • Step 8 - Screening
    • Step 9 - Referral and Diagnosis
    • Step 10 - Planning for Instruction
    • Step 11 - Classroom Adaptations and Accommodations
    • Step 12 - Classroom Resources
    • Step 13 - Getting Accommodations on the GED Test
    • Step 14 - Professional Development
    • Step 15 - Data Tracking
    • Step 16 - Print Options
    • Step 17 - Print

    Ohio has an online database of 52 psychologists/diagnosticians willing to provide LD diagnostic services at reduced cost or on a sliding scale. You can view that network at http://tinyurl.com/ywkhr2 . It is up to the individual to contact the provider to arrange for an appointment and pay for services. Costs range from $10.00 to $300.00.

    Online LD videos for professional training can be accessed at:
    http://able-ohiou.org/ld_training_vide

    Ohio's full professional development policy can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/3abszt .

    To subscribe to Ohio's quarterly LD Newsletter, please contact me Mary Barbara Totten at totten@ohio.edu

    Rochelle Kenyon, Moderator

    NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List

    Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee
    http://lincs.ed.gov/mailman/listinfo/learningdisabilities




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