IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Devices- “Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.”
Services- “Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.”
BCIU provides assistive technology support services to districts of Berks County through the Training and Consultative (TaC) provisions.  These services include:

  • Support to district teams conducting assistive technology assessment
  • Loans of equipment for trials with assistive technology
  • Information on borrowing, acquiring and implementing assistive technology systems
  • Staff training on assistive technology systems
  • Consultation with school teams

When requesting Assistive Technology, please submit the following form TOGETHER with the Request for Professional Development form.  Both forms must be submitted for service.

>> Click here for an “Assistive Technology Request” form (updated 12/2015).
>> Click here for a printable “Request for Professional Development” form (updated 12/2015).

 LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

Students with low incidence disabilities include those with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism and Multiple Disabilities. The Berks County Intermediate Unit offers teachers of students with Low Incidence Disabilities individual student consultation and classroom consultation services. Trainings developed for teachers, related service providers and paraprofessionals specific to the instruction in functional and academic needs for this population are offered three to four times annually. One tool and training series focuses on “The Continuum of Skills for Students with MDS/LSS/AS”. This was developed through a partnership between the BCIU and Exeter School District and is used to assist student teams with planning and implementing programs that meet the unique needs of Low Incidence students.

PARAPROFESSIONALS

Paraprofessionals working in special education and Title I are being held to higher standards than ever before. To meet these requirements, the Berks County Intermediate Unit offers comprehensive training for newly hired Paraprofessionals as well as Paraprofessionals who have been in the field for a while. Many training opportunities are available to meet Paraprofessionals’ diverse needs. Working as a Paraprofessional is an 8-day intensive learning experience for newly hired paraprofessionals to meet the highly qualified requirements of IDEA and Chapter 14 regulations. The Paraprofessional Advanced three-year strand series allows Paraprofessionals to specialize in one of four different areas, including Low Incidence Disabilities, Inclusion, Behavior, and Reading. Additionally, many one day training events are also offered on a variety of subjects including instruction, functional skills, transition, etc.

PARAPROFESSIONAL TRAINING

This is an eight-day series that will prepare paras to meet the rigorous federal and state standards and the Pennsylvania Paraeducator credential. Once the eight days have been completed in their entirety, individual assessments are complete, and supervisory approval has been given, the paraprofessional will be able to apply for the PA Paraeducator credential. Participants must attend every one of the eight sessions to meet the requirements.

SAFETY CARE

Safety-Care training is intended to prepare staff to safely prevent and manage dangerous behavior.  Staff learn to intervene professionally and therapeutically using a safe, effective approach designed to prevent or reverse escalation of problem behavior and avoid the use of restraint.  Safety-Care de-escalation skills work with individuals who can communicate verbally and those who cannot.  Safety-Care is based on an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) model and focuses on removing/reducing environmental consequences that reinforce problem behavior.

TRANSITION ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING/INDICATOR 13

Transition Assessment
PA Chapter 14 regulations require that the IEP of all students 14 years of age and older include “appropriate measurable post-secondary goals related to training, education, employment, and when appropriate independent living.”  These post-secondary goals must be “based upon age-appropriate transition assessments.”

Indicator 13
Indicator 13 is one of the 20 State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators, and focuses on the development of IEPs that meet transition requirements, including coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals that will reasonably enable students to meet post-secondary outcomes. In order to assist local education agencies (LEAs), and comprehensive career and technical education centers (CTCs) with meeting these accountability requirements, Intermediate Unit Transition Consultants provide targeted and sustained training and technical assistance in developing and implementing effective secondary transition plans.



contact: Sherry Milchick – 610-987-8648 – shemil@berksiu.org