The Social Construction of Disability in Children’s Books. Pedagogical Approaches
By Antonio Causarano
This paper presents and discusses the importance of children’s books with characters with disabilities in a Literacy for Special Populations graduate course. The author and instructor of the course claims that children’s literature and disabilities must become a core component of literacy courses where strategies, processes and models for reading and assessing disability find their matrix in rich-text instruction for pre-service and in-service teachers. In addition, the awareness of children’s book and disability as socially constructed helps pre-service and in-service teachers to become aware and understand how to critically assess quality literature to use it with students in K-12 classroom.
The Social Construction of Disability in Children’s Books. Pedagogical Approaches
The literature we read in our schools, what we define as classic, is replete with characters with disabilities. Pennell, Wollak, and & Koppenhaver (2018) claims that it is important to represent individuals with disabilities in children’s books authentically so that children without disabilities can understand disability from a positive and authentic point of view. The scholars maintain that children’s books with disabilities must teach children to appreciate diversity in abilities and that exceptionality is a different way of learning but not less. In turn, children’s books with characters with disabilities should deconstruct, criticize and present a positive representation of individuals with disabilities in our society.
The purpose of this resources and ideas paper is to discuss a syllabus for teaching literacy for special populations in a graduate program in a Liberal Arts College. The instructor of the course developed a mid-term assessment for the analysis of children’s books with disabilities. The syllabus will be first introduce in scope and sequence to give a rationale for the assignment. Then, the author will discuss the mid-term assignment and will present and analyze the rationale of the template the students use in the course to critically assess the quality and content of such an important genres. In doing so, the author hopes to invite other scholars to join an important conversation on social construction of disability in children’s book since students in K-12 schools are exposed to such an important literature.
EDSE 521, Literacy for Special Populations, is a required graduate course in the special education program at the University of Mary Washington. Students take this course to acquire theory and methodology to teach literacy to students with disabilities. The course objectives aligns with the Virginia Department of Education Program Matrix that requires students to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the complex nature of language acquisition and development, including both normal and delayed patterns of language development. (See syllabus page 2). In Addition, students in this course must provide explicit instruction of reading at appropriate developmental grade level in a systematic and cumulative manner to students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum based upon an understanding of the structure and development of the English language at the sound, syllable, word and sentence level, and an understanding the relationship between spoken and written language. (Syllabus page 2).
The rationale for the children’s book with disability analysis is based on the state requirements that students in the course will understand and apply knowledge in the area of assessment and evaluation in the areas of reading, receptive and expressive language, and written language. Assessments will include individual instruments, curriculum based measures, task analysis, observation, portfolio, and environmental, and alternate assessments. Students will use specific reading and language teaching strategies to promote the potential and capacity of individual students to meet high academic expectations.
The Template for the Children’s with Disability Book Analysis
The rationale for the template students use to complete the textual analysis of a children’s book with characters with disability is based upon the rationale that teachers must become aware and understand that the ways our students are schooled has a crucial impact on how they will look at and perceive the world (Saunders, 2000). What students read, the quality of the text, the way educators use books about disability in the classroom will influence students’ opinions regarding disability (Saunders, 2000). Therefore, my ethical and professional responsibility as an instructor is to prepare pre-service and in-service teachers to acquire the conceptual and practical tools to assess quality literature to use in the classroom with students who are diverse in language, culture, and ability (Solis, 2004). As Solis (2004) points out, children’s literature on disability must be of high quality to convey a positive message and perception of disability to our students. In addition, children’s books about disability must visually and narratively represent disability as a positive social construct and not based on the idea that to achieve normalcy, the individual must be made whole and healthy (Solis, 2004).
The template to analyze a children’s book with a character with disability presents three distinct sections (Figure 1): (a) Text; (b) illustration and (c) characterization. The students in the EDSE 521 choose a book with a character with disability and complete the assignment by analyzing these three main component of the text chosen. The students present their analysis as a classroom presentation and discussion to critically assess their analysis and receive feedback from the other students. In doing so, the assignment enhance their ability to see textual analysis and assessment as key to choose quality children’s books to use with students in the classroom.
The presentation and discussion of the analysis of a children’s book with disability in EDSE 521 Literacy for Special Population has the scope to begin a conversation on the social construction of disability in children’s books and how pre-service and in-service teachers can support students literacy development via culturally sustain pedagogy. Children who read picturebooks and are exposed to active reading in classrooms and at home develop and expand their understanding of who they are as individuals and the others around them (Roche, 2015).
In addition, critical thinking is core for children to develop in depth understating of the complex socio-cultural practices that allow them to grow as individuals in a complex literate society (Vasquez, 2010). In turn, exposing children to quality literature with characters with disability give them the opportunity to see disability as an enrichment to their understanding of the complex concept of diversity in our 21st century society.
I hope that this paper can begin a conversation on the central role disability plays in educating our students to the complexity of diversity society. As educators, we must always remember that the way we represent disability via language and illustration mirror larger societal attitudes (Saad, 2004). It is our responsibility as educators to make sure that disability is represented and experienced by our students in a positive and constructive way. As DiYanni (1997) claims “Besides entertaining and enlightening us and engaging our imaginations, stories enlarge our understanding of ourselves and deepen our appreciation of life (p.27).” Let’s the conversation begin!
Dyches, T.T., & M.A. Prater. (2001). Characterization of Mental Retardation and Autism in Children’s Books. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 2001, 36(3), 230-243
Pennell, A. E., Wollak, B., & Koppenhaver, D. A. (2018). Respectful representations of disability in picture books. Reading Teacher, 71(4), 411–419.
Saunders, K. (2000). Happy ever afters: A story-book code to teaching children about disability. Trentham Books Limited.
Solis, S. (2004). The Disability making factory: Manufacturing “Differences” through Children’s Books. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(1) 1-14.
Template for Children’s Book Analysis
|Text||• How is the text organized in the book?
• Is the text organized in a way that makes the comprehension of the narrative/story easy to access for the reader?
• Are rhythm, alliteration, repetition, refrains, onomatopoeia, simile, personification, rhyme, and imagery used to linguistically represent the characters in the story?
|Illustrations|| • What is the style and representation of the characters in the story?
• What visual elements are used to present and represent the characters in the story?
• What is the primary medium (collage, drawings, photographs, etc.) used in the illustrations to give visibility and importance to the characters in the story?
|Characterization||• What is the easily identifiable dominant trait of the story’s main character?
• What is the main problem that the main character faces in the book?
• How is this problem similar or different to a problem that most children have faced before?
• How did the character in the book turn to self-reliance to solve the main conflict of the story?
University of Mary Washington
College of Education
EDSE 521 Mondays 6:00-8:45
Language and Literacy for Special Populations
Office Hours: Phone:
College of Education Mission & Conceptual Framework
Theme: Transformative 21st century educators
The University of Mary Washington’s College of Education is committed to guiding all candidates through a transformative experience by which they become skilled, reflective and responsive practitioners well-prepared to meet 21st century challenges.
The College of Education of the University of Mary Washington prepares educators for the 21st century who are knowledgeable, skilled, collaborative, reflective, and sensitive to diverse learner needs. In upholding the mission of the University, the College of Education is dedicated to providing educational programs to the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. To accomplish this, we:
- Are grounded in a strong liberal arts curriculum.
- Emphasize school-based experiences through which candidates solidify their understanding of the nature of the learner and effective teaching and motivational practices.
- Build a diverse community of practice involving strong partnerships among candidates, faculty, local teachers, and administrators.
- Enhance teacher aptitudes for research and critical decision-making and ensure knowledge of learning theories and research-based pedagogy.
- Challenge educators to respond to the changing nature of learning in the 21st century through an emphasis on multi-literacies.
The College of Education faculty at the University of Mary Washington continually strive to contribute to and disseminate the most up to date knowledge and skills in the field of education. The six components of the framework are emphasized by the faculty in implementing coursework, programs and research. They are strands which are interwoven throughout our programs.
The study of language development provides a context for understanding and diagnosing language and reading problems. Topics include normal and abnormal language development patterns, basic reading skills, explicit phonics instruction, multisensory structured language programs, comprehension, assessment and evaluation, and effective language, reading and writing instructional strategies for students with disabilities.
Course Objectives: (Linked to VADOE Program Matrix)
- Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the complex nature of language acquisition and development, including both normal and delayed patterns of language development. (General: Foundations, a3; Char b4. Adapted: Found. A3; A&M b3)
- Students will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the reading process to include phonemic awareness, sound/symbol relationships, explicit phonics instruction, syllables, phonemes, morphemes, decoding skills, word attack skills, and knowledge of how phonics, syntax, and semantics interact. (General: A&M b3; Adapted: A&M b3)
- Students will demonstrate proficiency in a wide variety of comprehension strategies as well as the ability to foster appreciation of a variety of literature and independent reading according to student age and ability levels. (General: A&M b3)
- Students will develop skills in providing explicit instruction of reading at appropriate developmental grade level in a systematic and cumulative manner to students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum based upon an understanding of the structure and development of the English language at the sound, syllable, word and sentence level, and an understanding the relationship between spoken and written language. (IEPa3c)
- Students will understand and apply knowledge in the area of assessment and evaluation in the areas of reading, receptive and expressive language, and written language. Assessments will include individual instruments, curriculum based measures, task analysis, observation, portfolio, and environmental, and alternate assessments. (General: A&M a4)
- Students will use specific reading and language teaching strategies to promote the potential and capacity of individual students to meet high academic expectations. (IEP a3e)
Learning Outcomes (Linked to Professional Standards)
- Candidates will take into consideration cultural, linguistic, and gender differences when designing coherent instruction and materials based upon knowledge of instruction, the Individualized Education Program, and developmental needs.
- Candidates will be knowledgeable in the use of data as a reflective and instructional decision-making tool when evaluating instruction and monitoring progress of individuals with exceptional learning needs.
- Candidates will differentiate, modify, and adapt instruction to accommodate the learning needs of all students in various educational settings.
- Candidates use a variety of materials, technology, and assistive technology and resources that promote the development of functional, problem solving and performance skills to relate classroom-based instruction to real work experiences.
Relationship of course to Conceptual Framework:
This course is designed to provide the special educator with the tools they need to teach students with significant behavior disorders.
- Changing nature of learning:candidates master the use of current research-based techniques and technological innovations that have proven to be successful in developing language skills and teaching reading and writing to students who have disabilities in these areas.
- Reflective professionals: candidates develop lesson plans with measurable objectives and related assessments specifically for students with reading disabilities and implement them in class and with students. They then reflect on the success of the plans and develop revisions based on their reflections.
- Democratic community: this course emphasizes the fact that all diversity can be sources of richness and creativity. Students learn to capitalize on strengths in areas such as visual and holistic thinking to teach students to comprehend what they read.
- Theory to practice: candidates learn to use research to determine best practices in the area of language, reading and writing instruction. They do this through compiling an annotated bibliography and investigating programs designed to teach reading to students with disabilities.
- Discipline-based knowledge: the development of strategic decoding and comprehension skills in students with disabilities enables them to access the discipline-based materials. The use of visual techniques to organize and recall information is also practiced.
The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
|Application of Content
The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
|Planning for Instruction
The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
|Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
|Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
Archer, A. L. (2011). Explicit Instruction. Effective and Efficient Teaching. Guilford Press. ISBN: 978-1-60918-041-6
Janette, K. Klinger, S. Vaughn, & A. Boardman. (2015). Teaching reading comprehension to students with learning difficulties. Guilford. ISBN: 9781462517374.
Students are required to check Canvas regularly for updates and announcements. Course material will be posted on Canvas and students will be expected to engage with peers and the instructor throughout the semester.
It is essential that you check your UMW email address daily, as all notifications will be sent via email. If you have difficulties with Canvas or email, contact the UMW Help Desk 654-2255. They are not open on nights or weekends.
Class Policies and Procedures:
All graded assignments are outlined in the syllabus and are due on the date indicated. If the due date is changed for any reason, the change will be discussed in class, posted to Canvas, and confirmed in an email to all students.
Students are expected to complete all assignments by the assigned due date. Late assignments will be penalized with a loss of 2 points every day the assignment is late.
APA style is the standard format for any written work in the College of Education. If you are unfamiliar with APA, it would benefit you to purchase the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) or to access one of the internet sites that provides a summary of this information. You are required to use APA guidelines for all course assignments. All work produced outside of class must be typed unless otherwise noted.
All assignments are to be double-spaced, typed, 12 point font, 1” margins, in APA format, and completed on time. Work should be submitted through Canvas and files should be labeled as follows: StudentName_AssignmentName.doc
To maximize credit for assignments, the rubric must be clearly and concisely followed for each assignment. Failure to do so will result in a reduction of points. If at any time you are confused about course material or an assignment, please contact me so we can problem solve together.
Credit MUST be given to material copied or quoted from sources, i.e., books, internet sites, or curriculum material. Failure to do so may be viewed as plagiarism. Take care to give credit to an author when you borrow either exact words or general ideas. Generally, if you use 40 or more words in a row you should use quotation marks and proper APA citation. Direct quotes should be used sparingly and you should aim to synthesize what you read. Evidence of plagiarism or any other form of cheating will result in a zero on the assignment and a violation of the Honor Code.
Guidelines for class participation
Students are expected to attend class and actively participate in all assignments, group activities, class discussions, and online activities. Active participation includes the asking of questions and the presentation of one’s own understanding with regard to the readings and lectures as well as interactive discussion and participation in activities with other class members.
Active participation also includes listening and respectful consideration of the comments of others. This means students should not be texting, browsing the internet, or engaging in sidebar conversations. This also requires all students to complete the required readings, activities, and assignments for that specific class meeting in advance.
Students should email the professor prior to the class meeting if they will not be able to attend. Each student will be given two excused absences participation points that may be used when a student contacts the professor prior to the class meeting about his or her excused absence. If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to acquire notes, work, handouts, etc. It is recommended that students pair with another classmate as a class partner. Since this is a graduate course and the class meets once a week, you are required to attend all the classes. I will allow 2 excused absences. After the two excused absences, 2 points will be deducted from your final grade every time you are absent from the class.
Roles and Responsibilities of Faculty Instructors for Courses with Practica
College of Education faculty are responsible for determining the academic requirements for all courses with practica, for ensuring that the students in their courses understand the purpose and value of the practicum experience, and for fully integrating the practicum experience into the work and expectations of the course as a whole.
Faculty who teach practicum bearing courses will:
Provide instructions and information about the practica on their course syllabi, including the specific requirements, evaluation process, grading, etc. and faculty will review all expectations for the course and the field experience with the students in the course, prior to any placements.
Title IX Statement:
University of Mary Washington faculty are committed to supporting students and upholding the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. Under Title IX and this Policy, discrimination based upon sex or gender is prohibited. If you experience an incident of sex or gender-based discrimination, we encourage you to report it. While you may talk to me, understand that as a “Responsible Employee” of the University, I MUST report to UMW’s Title IX Coordinator what you share. If you wish to speak to someone confidentially, please contact the below confidential resources. They can connect you with support services and help you explore your options. You may also seek assistance from UMW’s Title IX Coordinator. Please visit http://diversity.umw.edu/title-ix/ to view UMW’s Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence and to find further information on support and resources.
Resources On-Campus Tiffany W. Oldfield, J.D.
Title IX Coordinator Office of Title IX Fairfax House 540-654-5656 email@example.com
Myranda Thomson Title IX Deputy for Students Area Coordinator 540-654-1184 firstname.lastname@example.org 540-371-1666
Confidential Resources Talley Center for Counselling Services Lee Hall 106
Student Health Center Lee Hall 112
Off-Campus Empowerhouse 540-373-9373
Policy on Recording Class and Distribution of Course Materials:
Any audio or visual recording by students of class meetings, lectures, discussion, or other class activities is allowed only with the express permission of the instructor or under terms and conditions as approved by UMW’s Office of Disability Resources, which will be communicated to the instructor before any recording occurs. The results of a recording may only be used for personal use, unless the instructor authorizes use by other students in the course. Recordings and course materials (including those provided for online/hybrid courses) may not be reproduced, exchanged, or distributed.
University Emergency Information:
The purpose of the Emergency Information Hotline is to provide information to students, faculty, staff, and others about closings of the university (unplanned) due to weather or other safety hazard.
Developed through successful completion of coursework, clinical experiences, and the demonstration of professional abilities and dispositions that all educators must possess.
The College of Education professional competencies align with the Virginia Department of Education Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers Standard 6: Professionalism: “The candidate maintains a commitment to professional ethics, communicates effectively, and takes responsibility for and participates in ongoing professional growth that results in enhanced pedagogical methods for student learning.” These competencies also align with CAEP Standard 3.3, which requires that, “Educator preparation providers establish and monitor attributes and dispositions beyond academic ability that candidates must demonstrate at admissions and during the program”.
Your grade in this course includes your performance in your practicum placement. The practicum grade is pass/fail. If you fail your practicum, you fail the course, regardless of your performance on other requirements of the course. In addition, if you fail this course, you may not be permitted to continue in the teacher education program. A passing grade for practicum means that you successfully completed all required practicum assignments and achieved a satisfactory professional competencies evaluation from your mentor teacher.
- Provide information on the professional competencies students are expected to develop and how these are developed in the field experience.
- Familiarize themselves with the expectations outlined in this handbook.
- Assist the mentor teachers as needed and work collaboratively with the mentor teachers and other University personnel.
- Be sensitive and responsive to student concerns and questions about their field work.
- Assist and advise the Director of Clinical Experiences as needed placing students.
- Alert the Director of Clinical Experiences with any problems pertaining to a student’s work in the field.
- Ensure that every student has submitted a practicum log of all his/her hours, and make sure that all logs for all students in the course are complete, accurate and signed off by the mentor teacher. These logs must be turned in to the instructor at the end of the semester with the other documentation from the practicum.
Grades are determined by dividing total points earned by total possible.
A 95-100 pts.
A- 90-94 pts.
B+ 87-89 pts.
B 85-86 pts.
B- 80-84 pts.
C 74-79 pts.
C- 70-73 pts.
D 60-69 pts.
F 59 or less
I will post the Rubrics for the Assignments on Canvas. I will go over the Rubrics and their rationale to evaluate your work. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions before beginning to work on the assignments. In doing so, you will complete all the assignments according to their specific requirements. Also, all the extra readings and important information and material will be posted on Canvas. All the assignments will be uploaded on Canvas for a grade.
Attendance and Class Participation (10 Points)
It is extremely important that you keep up with the reading assignments in this course. Attendance will be monitored at each class. To earn the points awarded for attendance and participation, all classes must be attended, active participation must be noted, and all assignments must be satisfactory and completed by the due date.
RTI Iris Module 2. (To be completed as a take home assignment) (20 Points)
Response to Intervention is a paramount aspect of differentiation and support for students with learning disabilities. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a crucial component of literacy planning and intervention in K-12 schools. We will look at the Module from the Peabody School of Education, Vanderbilt University, Module 1 and 2. Module 1 will be done in the classroom to prepare you to complete Module 2 as a take home assignment. This assignment will give you the opportunity to become aware and understand how RTI can be used to identify and support the literacy/learning needs of students with disabilities. http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/rti01-overview/
Children’s Book Analysis (20 Points)
You will analyze a children’s book for this course. The children’s book must contain a character with disability and must address a specific disability among the thirteen categories according to IDEA. The rationale for the analysis is to become aware of the impact of such genres in the literate lives of students with and without disabilities. It is important to see how such books can create a positive or negative perception of disability in young readers and adults readers as well. I will provide a template for the analysis. We will go over the template and the expectations for the assignment in class. I will also provide guidance where to find children’s books with characters with disabilities.
Two Open-ended Tests (10 Points for each test)
You will take two open-ended tests in class during the semester. The test does not contain any multiple choice questions. It is an assessment that will help you reflect on the content we will cover in this course. The questions are designed to help you analyze the content in a more systematic and critical approach. For the reasons presented above, you will be allowed to use your own notes and not the textbook during the text. You will prepare your notes on specific chapter I will put in the course schedule. You can type or handwrite your notes or use any organization you deem effective to answer the questions in the tests. I will go over the expectations for the tests in class.
Note: You all received notices in your UMW email regarding the requirements for those who are being placed in schools: Criminal Background Clearance, Health Clearance (tuberculosis), Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training, and Professional Liability Insurance Coverage. Be sure all those requirements are met.
All practicum assignments will be posted on Canvas.
If you are not currently teaching or working as a paraprofessional, you will receive a placement in a school. Spend at least 20 hours in the placement and document those hours with your mentor teacher. Complete the assignments described below for your endorsement area. If you are a paraprofessional in a general or adapted curriculum special education classroom, you will complete the assignments in your classroom. The teacher you work with will be your supervisor – I will email evaluation questions to him or her. If you are teaching on a provisional license you may complete the assignments in your classroom. If you are working as a licensed teacher seeking a special education endorsement you will need to find a way to complete the practicum assignments in your school (planning time, etc.).
- Observe two students as they work on literacy assignments for 20 to 30 minutes each. Write down your observations, noting such things as the students’ behaviors, word attack methods, frustrations, etc. Discuss the observations with your teacher or with a colleague, reflecting on how what you saw might relate to possible instructional adaptations and/or methods. Write up the results of your observation and your reflections. (10 points)
- Interview a speech therapist or a School Psychologist. Ask for examples of the different language disabilities we discussed in class, find out what types of activities he/she uses to improve language and articulation deficits, and see how he/she views her role in the school. If possible, observe a session with students. Write up a summary of your discussion and talk about what you learned from the interview. (10 points)
- Develop a lesson plan based on the strategy we discussed in class. If this is not appropriate, use a different strategy. Be sure that the lesson includes an assessment of student progress. Implement the strategy with a student or group of students. Turn in your lesson plan and sample work completed by the students during the lesson. Write a reflection on student performance on the assessment, what went well, what went wrong, how you would change things. (10 points)
In order to reaffirm commitment to the Honor System, the student shall write out in full and sign the following pledge on all quizzes, examinations, papers, and other assignments, as appropriate:
“I hereby declare upon my word of honor that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this work.”
Students are expected to comply with the Honor Code. All work is to be pledged and completed by the student without assistance unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Any violations of the code in or outside of class will be brought to the attention of the Honor Council for appropriate action. All members of the UMW community abide by the Honor Code.
A student’s pledge on an exam or written assignment in this course will be a statement of academic honor. Pledging an exam or written assignment will be an indication that he/she has not received or given inappropriate assistance in completing it and that the assigned report, activity, experience or requirement has been completed by the student.
Office of Disability Services: Depending on the student’s needs, the Office of Disability Services coordinates accommodations for students with disabilities, advises and assists in arranging accommodations and acts as a liaison between students and faculty / administration / staff on issues relating to accommodations. Each student may require a different approach in order to achieve equal access to programs and services.
Statement from the Office of Disability:
“The Office of Disability Services has been designated by the University as the primary office to guide, counsel, and assist students with disabilities. If you receive services through the Office of Disability Services and require accommodations for this class, make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss your approved accommodation needs. Bring your accommodation letter with you to the appointment. I will hold any information you share with me in strictest confidence unless you give me permission to do otherwise. If you have not made contact with the Office of Disability Services and need accommodations, (note taking assistance, extended time for tests, etc.), I will be happy to refer you. The office will require appropriate documentation of disability. Their phone number is 540 654 1266.”
Writing Center: The Writing Center offers assistance on all types of writing projects: reports, papers, cover letters and resumes, white papers, and research projects. The Writing Center can also help you prepare for in-class essay exams and for standardized tests that include essays such as the Praxis I writing exam.
Ethics Statement: The Virginia Department of Education’s Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents require, under the performance standard “Professionalism,” that individuals “model professional, moral, and ethical standards as well as personal integrity in all interactions.” A Virginia license can be revoked for “conduct with direct and detrimental effect on the health, welfare, discipline, or morale of students (Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, 2007).” The University of Mary Washington College of Education rigorously upholds an ethical standard that insures the safety and learning of K-12 students. All students in this program must establish appropriate professional relationships with students, colleagues, families, and community groups. They must demonstrate self-control at all times. They must show respect for self and others and always project an image of professionalism and maintain professional boundaries.
During a field placement or a course, if a student’s conduct fails to uphold this standard, the program faculty reserves the right of immediate removal of that student from the field placement or course and dismissal from the program. Due process will be afforded the student, including the opportunity to appeal for reinstatement.