The following resources offer information that may be of use in enhancing the role of paraeducators in preK-12 education settings. For further information about each, contact the sources cited.
Supporting Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Schools: A Curriculum for Job-Embedded Paraprofessional Development. By G. Ghere, J. York-Barr, and J. Sommerness. Published by the Institute on Community Integration, this new curriculum is a tool for special educators to use in training paraeducators who provide direct instructional and social support to students. Topics include instructional strategies in prompting, waiting, and fading; natural cues, consequences and supports; and individualized adaptations. It also addresses behavior as communication, definitions of inclusive education, and student relationships. The facilitator manual includes instructional content as well as master copies of materials to be duplicated for paraprofessionals in the training sessions. Available from the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, 612/624-4512 or http://ici.umn.edu.
Strategies for Paraprofessionals Who Support Individuals with Disabilities Curriculum Series. The six modules in this curriculum series for training paraprofessionals in educational settings address the following topics: The Paraprofessional An Introduction; Providing Cross-Cultural Support Services to Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families; Positive Behavior Strategies for Paraprofessionals; Early Childhood The Role of the Paraprofessional; Transition The Role of the Paraprofessional; and Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The introductory module is designed to precede the others; the remaining five are stand-alones that can be used in any sequence and combination. The series includes facilitator modules and student modules (student modules may be duplicated). Available from the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, 612/624-4512 or http://ici.umn.edu.
National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals. The center offers training events and materials for paraprofessionals, teachers, and administrators; technical assistance to facilitate development of state and local systems and infrastructures that support the work of paraprofessionals; publishes a newsletter and Web site; and sponsors an annual national conference. For more information visit the Web site at http://www.nrcpara.org or call 435/797-7272.
National Clearinghouse for Paraeducator Resources Web Site (http://www.usc.edu/dept/education/CMMR/Clearinghouse.html). This resource operated by the Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research at the University of Southern California offers an extensive collection of full-text articles online addressing various aspects of the paraeducator role in education, abstracts from the ERIC Database on paraeducators, a description of numerous paraeducator-to-teacher career ladder programs, additional paraeducator resources, and an opportunity to subscribe to a listserv electronic discussion forum on paraeducators.
National Clearinghouse for Professions in Special Education Web site (http://www.special-ed-careers.org). The Web site contains information on the nature of paraeducator work, education required, personal qualities, job outlook and advancement, preparation, and additional resources.
Supervising Paraeducators in School Settings: A Team Approach. Edited by A.L. Pickett and K. Gerlach. In this newly-published text is practical information and activities for preparing teachers, speech-language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and administrators to work effectively with paraeducators in educational settings. It includes guidelines and strategies for improving performance, management, staff development, and professional advancement opportunities. Available from Pro-Ed Publishing, Austin, Texas, 800/897-3202 or 512/451-3246.
IDEAPractices Web site (http://www.ideapractices.org). The Web site is designed to answer questions and provide information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and support efforts to help all children learn. A search of the site by the term paraprofessional yields over 50 resources, including IDEA Partnerships Paraprofessional Initiative Report to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs; the SpeNSE Fact Sheet The Role of Paraprofessionals in Special Education; IDEA Practices Knowledge and Skills for Teachers Supervising the Work of Paraprofessionals; and The Paraprofessionals Guide to the Inclusive Classroom.
Students with Disabilities and Paraprofessional Supports: Benefits, Balance, and Band-aids. By M. Giangreco and M.B. Doyle (2002). Published in Focus on Exceptional Children, 34(7). The article, based on review of current paraprofessional literature and issues, addresses five contemporary questions tied to improvement of paraprofessional supports for students with disabilities. For each it offers pertinent information from the literature and implications for practice. It also challenges readers to evaluate whether existing and proposed actions truly accomplish what is intended for students with disabilities.
Citation: Gaylord, V., Wallace, T., Pickett, A. L., and Likins, M. (Eds.). (2002). Impact: Feature Issue on Paraeducators Supporting Students with Disabilities and At-Risk, 15(2) [online]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration. Available from http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/152.
The print design version (PDF, 500 K, 32 pp.) of this issue of Impact is also available for free, complete with the color layout and photographs. This version looks the most like the newsletter as it was printed.
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