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Are we considering online education for Special Needs Children

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Everyone keeps talking about how this temporary lock-down is going to change our lives forever so we already have realized the importance of online meetings and potential for working at home and it will become a norm once our life stabilizes.

As an Educator, we have the responsibility of ensuring our students have enough helping hand to learn, grow and prosper in their education field.

Do we ever think of the importance of education for SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN in a normal or emergency situation? 

In India, there are approximately 5 million children with special needs. They often have trouble accessing education. According to the Census, only 61% of children with special needs (CWSN) aged between 5 – 19 managed to attend educational institutions averagely.

What is a great concern for being an educator and parents of special needs children?

The prolonged closure of schools has caused confusion within the special education community. Not only our educators worry about supplying acceptable and appropriate services to meet the needs of each student, however, in addition, they worry about falling out of consent with the kid’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Without access to the school building, the process of holding IEP meetings has become a concern for educators and parents alike so far we have observed that the various worldwide Department of Education encouraging the use of technology to provide services to students by using digital platforms.

What is IEP? Why is it important for a special child?

An IEP is an Individualized Education Program developed for students with disabilities to ensure their educational goals are achieved. It creates an opportunity for teachers, parents and school administrators to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone ofa  quality education for each child with a disability. It is incredibly useful for special needs students.

Looking at the current scenario, when everyone is providing online education to all craters of students why don’t conduct IEP meetings online rather than waiting for in-person. Let’s get it done now while others are still thinking about their child and IEP. Here are some tips for conducting virtual IEP meetings.

How is an educator supposed to deliver IEP online?

All we required is participants of team members including parents. Below are tips for educators on hosting effective and efficient virtual IEP meetings.

  1. Share a meeting agenda, norms and all standard rules need to be followed during the meeting prior a day before
  2. Send a meeting invitation and inform them about the software they are using ahead of time. Confirm the attendance of participation.
  3. Begin with an introduction and keep focused on the student’s needs. Make use of appropriate video and ppt. Encourage participants to give suggestions and feedback before moving to the next topic.
  4. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications and repetition of information throughout the IEP meeting.
  5. Once the meeting winds up, all the important discussion, agreement and feedback need to be taken into consideration.
  6. Confirm the method (e-mail) for delivering a copy of the student’s IEP.
  7. Conduct a follow-up call with parents to answer any queries or concerns and ask for the feedback.
  8.  Provide parents with periodic reports of student progress.

In this way, you can conduct  the IEP meeting by connecting the parent and school staff in “real-time.” It is an excellent opportunity to build rapport by using reliable resources.

What do you think?