May 10, 2021
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
Special-education program teaches students work skills
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Special-education teacher Colleen Tendall's students are gaining valuable work and life skills through a partnership with a local grocery store. Students are trained as if they were employees, and also experience working in different store areas.
Full Story: The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (5/10) 
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Students in five Colorado schools are working with the robotics program at Innovation Center to learn how to program and operate robots, a process that is also helping some students engage and communicate. Program coordinator Axel Reitzig notes that students with verbal communication issues and those with autism spectrum disorder particularly benefit from working with the robots.
Full Story: Longmont Leader (Colo.) (5/10) 
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Educational Leadership
Future In Sight, a New Hampshire nonprofit, has partnered with University of Massachusetts Boston's School for Global Inclusion and Social Development to recruit and train teachers of students with visual impairments. The effort is aimed at curbing teacher shortages.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (5/7) 
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Technology Trends
How technology can boost learning for all students
Employing the concept of tech equity can help teachers ensure they're maximizing the use of technology in instructional design to improve learning for every student, associate education professor Stefani Boutelier and fourth-grade teacher Nicole Ludwig write. The educators explain universal design for learning, accessibility, plus other factors associated with tech equity, and outline several uses and resources.
Full Story: Edutopia (5/5) 
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Policy News
The state of New Mexico recently passed a bill to help students with special needs and their families access the assistance they need through the creation of an ombudsman office. Each school district will have its own ombudsman, and the state will work toward having one in each school.
Full Story: KOB-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.) (5/8) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Researchers found that children with a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis had reduced attainment of lower and upper secondary education, compared with the general population, but the link was not present for university education. The findings in JAMA Dermatology also showed no difference in educational attainment when children with atopic dermatitis were compared with their siblings who did not have atopic dermatitis.
Full Story: 2 Minute Medicine (5/7) 
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The way to lose any earthly kingdom is to be inflexible, intolerant and prejudicial.
Queen Lili'uokalani,
first sovereign queen and last monarch of the Hawaiian islands
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
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