SUNY New Paltz special education program receives grant
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz School of Education, in collaboration with The Children's Annex day school (with centers in Kingston and Ellenville), has been awarded $25,000 to develop a course titled "Effective Instructional Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)."
The grant was awarded by the New York State Education Department, and represents the first phase of a potential three-year grant that could total $75,000.
Robin M. Smith, assistant professor of special education at SUNY New Paltz, is the project director and is collaborating with Jamey Wolff, the Children's Annex Project director, on course development and delivery.
"I am very excited to be working with the staff at The Children's Annex," said Smith. "This collaboration will help spread the best practices and support for children with ASD leading to full inclusion as participants in their neighborhood activities, schools and community. It will also help our pre-service teachers be better equipped to include children with disabilities in their general education classes while meeting their particular needs."
During the first year, a three-credit course will be developed and available for teachers, paraprofessionals, support service providers, family and community members that will enable them to effectively teach and advocate for students with autism spectrum disorders.
Continued funding would enable the class to be taught at The Children's Annex at least one semester a year. The Children's Annex provides services to more than 150 students each year, most of whom are on the autism spectrum.
Course content specialists at The Children's Annex are developing course modules on key topics ranging from strategies and techniques for teaching children with ASD to assistIng family and friends in supporting young people with ASD.
"It is very important for people to know how to support people with disabilities, how to help them learn the necessary skills to interact socially with their peers and to hold a job," said Smith. "People with disabilities have the highest segregation of any group and the lowest school completion and job hiring of any group. And they want in."
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.