[ Browse by Service Category : Topics Related to Special Education (44) ]

Vocational Education

Secondary or postsecondary education programs available in regular or trade high schools or through separate vocational centres or programs that provide formal preparation for semiskilled, skilled, technical or professional occupations for high-school-aged students and, in some cases, adults who have opted to develop or expand their employment opportunities, often in lieu of preparing for college entry. Vocational education programs help participants prepare for full-time employment upon graduation, part-time employment while in school or for more advanced vocational training at the postsecondary level.

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Special Education Assessment

Programs offered by the schools or available through public or private agencies that assess children who have been referred for the presence of a disability in order to determine their eligibility for special education and related services, and to make an informed decision about their educational placement and instruction. Information about a student's skills and needs is drawn from many sources including parents, teachers and specialists, and by using a variety of assessment approaches such as observations, interviews and testing, and methods such as dynamic assessment or ecological assessment. Included are evaluations which measure the student's social-emotional growth; independent living skills; sensorimotor, language and intellectual functioning; hearing and visual acuity; articulation and fluency; and other factors which have an effect on the student's ability to learn.

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Educational Therapy

Programs that provide diagnostic and treatment services which combine psychotherapeutic and tutorial techniques for individuals who have learning disabilities, dyslexia, perceptual problems, emotional problems or other difficulties that are interfering with their ability to learn.

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Student Disability Services

Programs that provide special assistance and accommodations that support the ability of students with visual, hearing, physical, emotional, learning or other disabilities to achieve their academic goals and participate in, contribute to and benefit from the institution's programs, services and activities.

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Independent Living Skills Instruction

Programs that assist people who have disabilities to learn the basic skills of daily living through individual and group counselling and instruction, experience and practice in coping with real or simulated life situational demands; or through the use of assistive devices, special equipment and specialized assistants. Services include but are not limited to training in the ability to travel about the community alone; to live independently in a private residence; to maintain health through self-care and use of medical services; to live within personal income; to maintain acceptable grooming and appearance; to deal with legal, family or social problems; and to cope with other requirements for successful independent living.

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Orientation and Mobility Training

Programs that help people who are blind or who have visual impairments develop the fundamental spatial concepts and skills that are necessary for maximum mobility and independent living. Instruction focuses on moving safely and purposefully in the school, home or community environment; and usually includes procedures for street crossings, travel in unfamiliar areas, utilization of public transportation, and appropriate use of aids such as sighted guides or canes. Training for persons who want to acquire the skills to be a sighted guide may also be provided.

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Physical Therapy

Programs that evaluate joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, heart and lung function and the ability of people to perform activities of daily living; and utilize the therapeutic properties of exercise, heat, cold, electricity, ultraviolet, water, manipulation and massage to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, reduce pain and restore mobility to people who have been disabled by a stroke, arthritis, back or spinal cord injuries or other debilitating conditions. Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, private offices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centres, developmental centres, home health agencies, schools and pediatric centres.

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Speech and Hearing

Programs that provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for individuals who have speech and/or language problems, neurological disorders or diseases or disorders of the middle, inner and outer ear; larynx; tongue; mouth; or other structures whose coordination and appropriate functioning are necessary for speech and/or hearing.

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Supported Employment

Programs that find paid, meaningful work in a variety of community-based settings for people who have disabilities and which assign a "job coach" to work side-by-side with each client to interface with the employer and other employees, training in basic job skills and work-related behaviours, assistance with specific tasks as needed and whatever other initial or ongoing support is required to ensure that the individual retains competitive employment. Included are individual placement models in which a job coach works on-the-job with a single individual and group models such as enclaves (which are self-contained work units of people needing support) and mobile work crews, in which a group of workers with disabilities receives continuous support and supervision from supported employment personnel. In the enclave model, groups of people with disabilities are trained to work as a team alongside employees in the host business supported by a specially trained on-site supervisor, who may work either for the host company or the placement agency. A variation of the enclave approach is called the "dispersed enclave" and is used in service industries (e.g., restaurants and hotels). Each person works on a separate job, and the group is dispersed throughout the company. In the mobile work crew model, a small team of people with disabilities works as a self-contained business and undertakes contract work such as landscaping and gardening projects. The crew works at various locations in a variety of settings within the community under the supervision of a job coach.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.