This course will introduce the basic values that underlie supporting students who experience disabilities, and the roles of teacher assistants in supporting those individuals including the value of inclusion in home, education, work and community life; respect for the inherent worth and dignity of each person; and respect for students’ basic rights to affect the conditions of their own existence. Through readings, in-class discussions and on-site visits to schools and classrooms, teachers and teacher assistants will develop strategies on how to facilitate students’ independence, learning, social connections and self-advocacy skills. Curriculum will emphasize the philosophical and practical applications of valuing students’ abilities and diversity, collaborating with educators and families, supporting classroom teachers, curriculum modifications, and problem-solving strategies. Topical issues to be explored include A History of Disability; Civil Rights and Self-Advocacy; Legal Issues and Disability; Growing Up with a Disability; Families of Individuals with Disabilities; Early Intervention and Pre-School Services; Inclusive Education; Free Speech and Communication; Individuals with Challenging Behavior; and Literacy and Students with Disabilities. This course includes field study.