Hello, I'm Sue Zake, director of the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education. I'm pleased to introduce these online learning modules on Ohio’s Academic Content Standards - Extended.
This is an exciting time of change in education for our students with significant cognitive disabilities who participate in the alternate assessment. However, these changes will not come with out some challenges.
Historically, general education content standards were considered “inaccessible” for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Today, teachers’ expectations have increased as these students demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills as a result of their educational program. The 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) introduced this important change in the education for students with significant cognitive disabilities; that all students with disabilities must have access to the general curriculum, be involved in the general curriculum, and progress in the general curriculum.
Through these modules, you will be able to identify the purpose and structure of the Ohio Academic Content Standards-Extended (OACS-E). The OACS-E’s will be applied to a standards-based instructional program that is applicable to the education of students with significant cognitive disabilities. As you advance through the modules, you will be introduced to appropriate methods, tools, and strategies specific to academic content areas.
Knowledge of the general education content standards, as well as extensions to these standards, provides the foundation for successful educational planning for all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities. Each module is designed to provide training and information to participants wanting to meet the educational needs of these students.
Thank you for your interest in improving instructional practices for students with significant cognitive disabilities, and in your commitment to children with disabilities in general.