This page provides resources designed to help educators provide access to a wide range of learning opportunities, activities, settings, and environments. Specifically linked below are resources related to the topics of Assistive Technology, Environmental Adaptations, and Universal Design for Learning.
- Assistive Technology - This page provides resources for support related to assistive technology in early childhood.
- Environmental Adaptations - This page provides resources related to creating an inclusive environment, including the physical and social components of those classrooms.
- Universal Design for Learning - This page provides resources to understand and support the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in early childhood. UDL includes intentionally designed environments and opportunities to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways as determined by the child’s strengths and needs.
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Description: Young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays/disabilities learn, play, and engage with adults and peers within a multitude of environments such as home, school, child care, and the neighborhood. Environmental practices refer to aspects of the space, materials (toys, books, etc.), equipment, routines, and activities that practitioners and families can intentionally alter to support each child's learning across developmental domains. This page include Practice Checklists,...
Description: Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) are free modules developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers. The modules support the implementation of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. In Module 3 on Environment, you will learn the components of a child’s natural and inclusive environment and why attending to the environment is crucial for children with...
Description: This module will help you: Describe assistive technology interventions to promote children’s access to and participation in inclusive settings. Use a decision-making process to help integrate various sources of evidence and determine whether assistive technology interventions are appropriate for use within a specific context.
Description: This module, a DEC-recommended resource, offers information on how to set up effective inclusive early childhood classroom environments for young children. It also provides details about the interrelated physical, social, and temporal components of those environments, as well as adaptations to help teachers meet the needs of children with disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).
Description: From the ECLKC site: It is important to create a supportive environment for all learners, including children with developmental disabilities or suspected delays. To do so requires adapting practices and environments to ensure that all children from birth to age 5 feel valued and included in your program. In this webinar, explore how to support education staff in implementing effective, evidence-based teaching practices and creating inclusive environments where every child feels safe and has a...
Description: This article provides a brief overview of evidence-based UDL practices, with a specific focus on the use of engagement strategies for young children.
Description: UDL offers a framework that integrates what we know about the learning brain to inform the design of environments that support all learners. Discover the connections between UDL and the brain in this article.
Description: This chapter from the DEC Recommended Practices Monograph on Environments describes how to promote access and participation by using universal design strategies and making individualized modifications.
Description: This checklist ensures that Early Childhood programs design environments to be responsive to all children’s needs and provide opportunities for growth and development. Equipment, materials, and tools must be selected that are useful to a wide range of abilities and interests, and caters to an ever-diversifying population of children.
Description: This clearly written article provides a great introduction to what UDL is and how it works. It can be a good way to start learning about UDL for teachers and families.
Description: Laura Taylor has been teaching Kindergarten for ages. When she first learned about UDL, she was skeptical that it was anything different than good teaching. Once she dug in, though, she realized she could reach her students in ways she never had before. Listen to the examples of how UDL enabled her to engage her students in new ways and to offer them choices for showing what they know and can do.
Description: The UDL Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning, a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. The UDL Guidelines can be used by educators, curriculum developers, researchers, parents, and anyone else who wants to implement the UDL framework in a learning environment. These guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure...
Description: The VCU-ACE How To Series demonstrates evidence-based practices for students with ASD. These short videos are approximately five minutes and are intended to provide a quick look at implementing a particular strategy. The How To videos provide a short description of the topic with real life video examples of how to implement the evidence-based practice in the classroom with students with ASD. More How To videos will continue to be added so please check back often! (Videos on Prompting,...
Description: Introduction to AAC What is AAC? How do I get started? AAC Assessment Process Information Gathering Decision Making Trial Implementation AAC Implementation & Use Setting up AAC Vocabulary Selection Training Student, Staff & Family Transitions with AAC Evidence Based Practice Research Resources Professional Development
Description: VDOE's Assistive Technology Network of Virginia addresses priorities of VDOE with centralized coordination, implementation, and dissemination of information about the laws which define AT devices and services, the process of consideration of AT by Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams, and AT assessment and resources. It includes a section on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). In support of these priorities, the network has several initiatives which include:...