Friday, November 06, 2015

Learning and Helping Quality Matters

If you've been following this blog you know I was doing one of the concurrent sessions at the 7th annual Quality Matters conference in San Antonio.   And, you may have also noticed that early registrations showed there was a lot of interest in my session.  And, when the webcast registrations came in there were some 130 folks registered. The recording of my session can be downloaded here.)  My session was Tuesday morning (second day of conference) directly after the general session.  On the schedule there was no time between the two sessions, and the fact that the general session ran over by 5 minutes meant I had less time.  But, I had not planned to talk for the full session, and wanted time to interact, so though I don't like to start late, it seemed the prudent thing to do.

I did have a standing room only crowd.  I enjoyed it and got some very positive feedback.

Here's one comment:
"These Resources slides are worth the time expended for the entire conference. Thank you.
One issue I've had with QM got resolved in part at the conference.  QM has a set of standards -- which you can only get by paying a membership fee.  Standard 8 is their Accessibility Standard.  I had looked at it when I was doing the iNACOL publication.  I knew it was inadequate in relationship to meeting Section 504/508 requirements and communicated that with the QM folks.  Their first reaction was: 
Given the widespread lack of compliance with Sections 504 and 508, and recent court cases involving prominent institutions such as Harvard and MIT, this is still an area of law that is in dispute...
I pointed out it was not in dispute and pointed to the iNACOL publication.  (I suspect that's why I was greeted by all the QM folks so nicely at the conference.  

BUT, most importantly, shortly before the conference QM put out a disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Meeting QM's accessibility Standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country/federal/state/local accessibility regulations are met. Please consult with an accessibility specialist to ensure that accessibility regulations are met.
I take that as a win.

Here are the slides from my session.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Opportunity To See My QM Presentation Free

If you will look at the sessions available on Tuesday you'll find my session is the first listed.  Participation is FREE.  I understand there are already over 100 folks registered.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

iNACOL Leadership Webinar

One of the things I realized as I was planning this presentation, is that I had assumed that by now school leaders would know they shouldn't create a policy to specifically exclude students with disabilities (special needs students).  It wasn't something I've really included in the most recent set of presentations.   There is brief mention of this in my iNACOL publication but basically I felt it was something that was obvious.   But then a while ago I saw a report on a state (to be nameless) where two cyber charter schools were approved for operation by the state education agency (SEA) even though those charters submitted policies as part of the state approval process where they specifically said that they would not enroll special needs students.

Not very bright, in my opinion, but even more frustrating, the schools were approved by the SEA.  Since I learned of this in a report that was done by a state legislative oversight committee after the fact I don't have more detail, but it's enough to say that some folks, be they school administrators or state department of education staff, need to be doing a little more thinking about educational access for students with special needs.

So, doing the Leadership Webinar I have made sure that I will be clear in my presentation that preventing students with disabilities from enrolling in an online school (aka cyber school. cyber charter, virtual school) is a no-no!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Realizing the Promise: Making Blended and Online Learning Accessible to All Learners -- a Leadership Webinar from iNACOL

Here's an opportunity to hear some information about accessibility in a free webinar from iNACOL September 9

Blended and online learning can provide the least restrictive, most tailored educational environment for students with disabilities. However, new learning models must be designed with all learners in mind to realize that promise. Join iNACOL for a conversation with national experts on making blended and online learning accessible to students with disabilities. From course access quality reviews, to assessment policies, to new learning model design and implementation, this webinar will be of value to both policymakers and educators.

Raymond Rose, author of the iNACOL report Access and Equity for All Learners in Blended and Online Education and Lindsay Jones, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, and Meghan Casey, Policy Research & Advocacy Associate at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, will share recommendations on meeting the needs of students with disabilities in personalized learning and in blended and online education. Maria Worthen, Vice President for Federal and State Policy at iNACOL will moderate the webinar.
  • Raymond Rose, Chair, Rose & Smith Associates
  • Lindsay Jones, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Meghan Casey, Policy Research & Advocacy Associate, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Maria Worthen, Vice President for Federal and State Policy, iNACOL

September 9, 2015, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST 
 Webinar registration: