EDU101W
3
3

Introduction to Exceptionalities introduces the basic values that underlie supporting students who experience disabilities and the roles of teacher assistants in supporting these students, 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, students in the course develop strategies on ways to promote independence, learning, social connections, and self-advocacy skills in elementary-school children. The curriculum emphasizes the philosophical and practical applications of valuing students’ abilities and diversity; collaborating with educators and families; and supporting classroom teachers, curriculum modifications, and problem-solving strategies. Topics 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 for students with disabilities. This course also entails field study.