A place for teachers and other providers of special education services to support each other, share information, and discuss topics, including assessment.

Do the Arts have a special role in Special Education?

Deven Black Middle school teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY

What role do the arts play in your classroom, in your school and in the lives of your students?

Do your students have access to music instruction? Visual arts? Theater? Dance?

As school budgets continue to be cut, arts are often among the first programs to go. What will this mean to your students?

My school lost our orchestra instructor and a visual art teacher this year. Not only did this have ab impact on direct instruction, it also drastically cut the number and types of electives available to all students. Special education students were a significant part of the school orchestra and now they have nowhere to learn and perform.

Is this sort of thing happening in your school, in your community?

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Hi All, I just joined the

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Hi All,

I just joined the group and was happy to see this question as I think it is very important .

I'm certified in art and Special Education.. highly qualified in math, social studies.. oh we do it all as special ed teachers don't we?!? My whole philosophy is to integrate the arts into the curriculum. the more hands-on activities the better I think.

Plus many of the electives are where the Special Ed kids can be included and shine. One of our autistic students got in the high school art show this year. I don't believe the selecting committee knew he had special needs. over 800 students tried to get into this art show. ONly 450 made it!

I also help with a non-profit that helps kids and adults with disabilities get involved with the arts. We have a gallery in Denver and this is the state chapter. MOst states have some sort of program. It stems from DC and one of the Kennedy sisters started this group called the Very Special Arts.. and guess what Eunice started?? The Special Olympics. Look for a program in your area by going to the national website..VSA. Many state programs are free and give classes , trainings for teachers, etc. Great stuff!

Hopefully all of us can include the arts into our classrooms.. If the classes don't exist anylonger..start a club, try getting more creative with projects. Give the kids a choice on how to finish an assignment. For Example, kids could select a poem, writing a letter, drawing, painting or a play to show what they have learned. Could be for any class I think.

have a good spring! and good luck to all and may we keep have patience and strength to help our kids.

thanks, Jan

sounds awesome! and good for

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sounds awesome! and good for you for bringing the plays to the school and making it happen.

Your lesson ideas sound really great and so much fun for the kids. I would love to be a student in your class!

thanks, Jan

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