REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS & EVALUATION
DESIGNING REASONABLE ADUSTMENTS FOR JAMAL
Carly is designing reasonable adjustments that will enable Jamal to be included in this learning activity. She has access to the support of Jamal’s team, who she can call on to assist in various ways (including commenting on the reasonable adjustments and assisting her to implement them).
In the next section, a list of reasonable adjustments that Carly may design are presented. You are asked to choose the ones that you think best align with the Social Model of Disability in supporting Jamal’s educational inclusion by considering;
Is the task is a genuine learning activity, or will it just keep Jamal busy while the other students are working?
Real learning potential
In terms of the information provided about Jamal, it is likely to help Jamal to learn about nature or address any of his ILP goals?
Will Jamal have any choice or control in the activity, or is someone else making all the decisions and directing his actions?
Do the tasks and adjustments take account of his strengths to address his learning needs?
Support for inclusion
Will Jamal be learning alongside his peers to achieve within this curriculum learning area, even if his expected level of achievement may not be the same as others in the class.
You are asked to consider the reasonable adjustments presented below in sets of 3. Your task is to decide which is the best in terms of meeting the criteria for enhancing inclusive education. In choosing the reasonable adjustment you think is the best, you may decide that some criteria may need to be sacrificed for others. For example, you may decide that in order to meet Jamal’s learning needs, aspects of inclusion may need to be sacrificed. Still, the aim of the activity is to consider which of three options in each set would be the best by being the best fit with the Social Model of Disability while also addressing Jamal’s learning needs.
Although this exercise appears as a multiple choice quiz, your responses are not being recorded. Rather, when you make a choice, you will receive feedback based on the above principles.
REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS THAT MAY BE DESIGNED
(Select which adjustment you think is best for each. Click either A, B or C)
A. Gen, the teacher assistant, will individually describe to Jamal what his peers will be doing whilst he sits to the side of the playground and awaits their return from a separate planning activity.
This one-way interaction depowers Jamal and focuses on the transmission of information rather than his
participation in the activity. He is being told things and not given the opportunity to make choices, so he has little agency. He is separated from his peers, so there is little inclusion. There is no indication of how Gen will respond to Jamal or check if he has understood her descriptions, so the potential for real learning is diminished. There is no attempt to use his strengths as Jamal plays a very passive role.
B. Carly (teacher) will ensure Jamal is teamed with two of his classroom peers who she has previously supported to learn how to give Jamal opportunities to turn-take in a conversation by watching for and responding to his smiles and sounds. Carly asks the group to prepare by discussing the goal of the playground collection activity as part of the larger art activity, and for the peers to involve and respond to Jamal when they are gathering the artefacts in the playground.
The best adjustment as this is the most inclusive scenario. It adds agency to the situation with peer interactions that value Jamal’s contributions and allow his active engagement, thereby improving his chance to learn. Authentic learning is maximised here, although it is not clear how Jamal’s strengths in responding to sensory information is being used.
C. Jamal is seated next to two peers, who tell him about some samples they have found and place them in his hands, as they describe the textures.
This adjustment has some inclusive value in that Jamal’s peers are including him but his ‘voice’ is absent and there is room to improve his active engagement in the activity. There seems to be some attempt to build on his strength in responding to textures, but it is not clear how his peers will do this, so the potential for real learning and authenticity is questionable.
A. Carly will first conduct a whole class role play to demonstrate the planned learning activity ensuring that each student, including Jamal, acts out a task, in their own way, to prepare for the learning activity in the playground. Support is provided by Carly and Gen, as needed by any student.
The best adjustment. An open-ended role play that is not verbally dependent has the potential to be inclusive of all learners and adds agency to the activity and a strengths approach. Help is available if needed for all students, with both Carly and Gen stepping in as needed. The reasonable adjustment is related to the task, so has authenticity, and the potential to result in real learning for Jamal and others in the class.
B. Gen or Carly will verbally and separately outline in detail to Jamal the planned activity and the specific role he will play before he joins his group.
This is the least inclusive adjustment as Jamal is the only one receiving this additional help, which could assist others. Although it may support Jamal’s need to have information clearly and carefully presented at his level, there is little agency or use of his strengths. As a result, the reasonable adjustment lacks authenticity; the potential to result in real learning is unknown, as it is unclear if this strategy would be helpful to Jamal, who is known to have communication difficulties.
C. Gen, the teacher assistant, will develop and use a social spoken narrative that includes Jamal and his class peers. Gen will clarify what will be happening and each student’s specific roles when the class moves to the playground to collect materials.
This adjustment has a lot of potential in that everyone is involved in this activity, so the adjustment is inclusive of all. However the focus on verbal skills effectively reduces the potential for Jamal to learn and make a valued contribution, so it is not strengths-based. It is possible that Jamal will be carried along rather than actively engaged in this activity, thus reducing the opportunity for real learning, although it does appear authentic in being related to the learning activity.
A. Gen, the teacher assistant, will provide Jamal with physical examples by placing in his hand items his peers are likely to show him as they move about the playground – e.g., feathers, bark, leaves, and rocks. She will ask him to put these items in a basket on his lap during the activity, and the other members of the group will write down the names of the items as they collect them.
Jamal certainly has a defined role here but his participation is still heavily guided and managed by the teaching assistant Gen, so lacks agency. Her constant presence in the group reduces his experience of inclusion. The reasonable adjustment is relevant to the learning activity, so has authenticity. There is potential for Jamal to be passive in this activity, which although using his strength in relation to tactile exploration, may limit his opportunity for real learning.
B. Carly instructs Jamal’s group peers to move Jamal around the playground and directly share with him each and every artefact as they collect them. She further instructs Jamal’s peers to watch for his smile or frown to indicate if he likes the feel of an item, and to tell him what they think he is “saying” such as by responding with “oh, you like the feather.”
This is the best adjustment. It is the most inclusive approach and allows reciprocal and personalised peer interactions to occur. Jamal has some agency and input into the information collected about the various samples for the ensuing artwork, which in being directly related to the learning activity has authenticity. Jamal’s active involvement and responses from peers enhances the potential for real learning.
C. Gen will move Jamal around the playground to be close to the peer learning groups who are collecting samples for the artwork. She make sure that Jamal is close enough to various peer groups to easily hear their conversations.
This strategy is the least inclusive and could actually frustrate Jamal because he is distinctly separate from the peers he loves to engage with – hence it lacks inclusion and agency. There is no attempt to build on his strengths, and there is little opportunity for real learning with the authenticity of the task diminished because of his passive involvement, which in turn, is unlikely to result in real learning.
A. In the classroom, Gen, the teacher assistant collects items from outside and brings them in to work with Jamal in the classroom by asking him to select the ones she names by handling each one. This is in preparation for the activity with his peers outside.
This reasonable adjustment targets one of Jamal’s ILP goals and builds on one of his strengths, so could assist his learning, but it lacks authenticity as Jamal is not involved as part of a group activity. It reduces his inclusion with peers and his self-determined contribution to learning, and therefore lacks agency. Social inclusion is further diminished if he is the only student given additional assistance that may be useful to others.
B. Jamal is provided with all the samples that have been collected and asked to group them via touch into different texture groups. Peers then have a conversation with him to determine his reasons for the various groupings. These reasons are then used to develop the class collage.
The best adjustment as this approach provides Jamal with some empowerment, especially when it builds on his decisions, and subsequent conversations with peers. This reasonable adjustment adds agency and authenticity to his participation and provides the opportunity for real learning. The reasonable adjustment appears to be inclusive in terms encouraging his engagement with all classmates, but the description suggests that he has been separate from his peers for at least part of the activity, and has a role that is different to others.
C. Gen, the teacher assistant, works with Jamal individually during the classroom activity of making the collage. She asks Jamal to indicate yes or no when a label for a sample group (e.g., flowers) and its function (has pollen for bees) are provided along with examples of those items for him to feel.
Although this adjustment is also consistent with his goals, the interaction with Gen only, devoid of peers, is not inclusive and has the potential to be adult-directed with respect to the extent of the contributions Jamal is able to make. Therefore it lacks agency. Asking yes/no questions may not support his learning of the labels, but the adjustment is using his strength in responding to tactile information.
A. Carly, the teacher, will have Jamal work with two class mates and give them roles, such that Jamal has the responsibility of carrying the collected items in a small basket on his lap. The teacher shows his classmates how to place each item found in Jamal’s hand, name it, and help him to place it in the basket.
This adjustment includes Jamal in the learning activity but has the potential to be depowering of him in that the teacher leads and makes all the decisions – hence, Jamal has little agency. The reasonable adjustment seems to build on his strengths in using tactile information and listening and responding to peers, but it is not clear how they might respond to him, so the potential for real learning is questionable. There is some inclusion, in that Jamal is working with his peers, and the task is authentic in being directly related to the learning activity.
B. Gen, the teacher assistant, accompanies Jamal and his two classmates. Gen takes items collected by the classmates, placing each in Jamal’s hand and at the same time naming them, then helps Jamal to drop them into a basket of items collected by his group.
Jamal is not given any choices so lacks agency in the activity. It does seem to build on his strength in learning from tactile exploration, but his passivity in the task reduces the chance for real learning. He is accompanying his classmates, so there may be opportunity for peer interaction in an authentic task in that it is related directly to the learning activity. Having Gen with the group the whole time can act to segregate Jamal, and perhaps even his two peers – hence the reasonable adjustment is unlikely to enhance social inclusion.
C. Carly, the teacher, has directed all students to negotiate their various roles in collecting and organising their collected items within their groups. Each of the students is to tell the other what he or she plans to do as his part of the task and they help each other clarify roles. The teacher and teacher assistant monitor all groups, providing each with assistance as needed, including stepping in to help Jamal’s peers read and respond to his communication.
This is the most inclusive and enabling approach. Jamal participates authentically and peers value what he has to contribute, with staff intervening only as needed. Jamal has agency and his involvement is both authentic and empowering. The adjustment calls for Jamal to use his strengths in non-verbal communication in order to connect meaningfully with his peers, but assistance is available to ensure Jamal’s inclusion in peer interaction through helping his peers read and respond to his communication.
A. Gen, the teaching assistant, moves Jamal in his chair from group to group to hear what they are doing in organising their samples for the following activity. She then moves him into the classroom for the group activity.
Jamal is actively participating in the outside component of the activity but his authentic learning is minimised by his dependence on Gen to move him and his superficial engagement through hearing the interactions of others but not contributing. As a result, Jamal has no agency, and his passive involvement reduces the chance for real learning. It does not directly build on his strength in enjoying listening to others as there is no real interaction with others. Jamal is doing something different to others for both components, to the reasonable adjustment is not inclusive.
B. Gen, the teacher assistant will work with Jamal, taking him around the playground, helping to identify and collect items, and place them in Jamal’s hand and name each item.
This reasonable adjustment may have some degree of authenticity and offer potential for learning as Jamal is engaged in a similar task to the other students. However, he will miss out on opportunities to interact with his peers, and is segregated from them, so it does not support inclusion. It does work to his strength in terms of his awareness of touch. Jamal has no choice in the activity or who he is with, so the reasonable adjustment lacks agency.
C. Jamal is placed in a group with 2 classroom peers he often interacts with. Carly (teacher) tells the class to talk in their groups about features of the artefact they select, including touch, smell, and sounds they make, such as underfoot. When the students go out, both Carly, the teacher, and Gen, the teacher assistant move between the groups and provide encouragement, including to Jamal’s group peers to place items in his hand, make noises and see if Jamal notices (such as crushing leaves, banging stones together) and to name them.
This is the best adjustment. It has agency – although Jamal doesn’t choose the group he is in, the teacher has chosen peers she knows he likes and perhaps prefers. Jamal is engaged in the same activity as others, so it is authentic, and he has opportunity for real learning in terms of the names of the artefacts, but also in social interactions with his peers. Further, both Carly and Gen are on hand for all students, to step in and provide help as needed, thereby addressing not only Jamal’s learning needs, but those of other students. He is involved alongside his peers, and all students have been encouraged to use their senses, thereby incorporating Jamal’s strengths into the activity for all students.