June 2016 VSA Webinar: “Successfully Teaching Students with Disabilities: Supports that Make a Difference”

In “Successfully Teaching Students with Disabilities: Supports that Make a Difference”, Dr. Sharon Malley elaborates on the six guiding principles highlighted in the paper she authored: “Students with Disabilities and the Core Arts Standards: Guiding Principles for Teachers”. Emphasis is be on facilitating a greater understanding of communication techniques, individualized accommodations, and evidence-based practices. Given sets of specific examples/scenarios of implementation of techniques and accommodations, participants have the opportunity to choose the best examples. Examples will cover each of the five arts education disciplines.

Click on the play button below to watch a free recording of the Webinar. (You will be prompted to enter your email address and contact information prior to viewing the Webinar.)

June 2016 Webinar Blog Video



Sharon Malley’s career in the field of disabilities spans over 30 years. She has a BS degree in Art Education, MS in Therapeutic Recreation, and Doctorate of Education with combined studies in therapeutic recreation, special education, and psychology. She holds teaching licenses in K-12 art education and special education. Dr. Malley served as the special education specialist for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is co-editing a book, “The Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education,” under the publisher Routledge, in collaboration with Jean Crockett at the University of Florida. She serves on the professional advisory board of the Catholic Coalition of Special Education. Prior to her work for the Kennedy Center, she worked as a special education teacher in public schools, therapeutic recreation specialist incorporating creative arts therapies, university adjunct professor, researcher, and arts and disabilities non-profit organization founder and director.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

  • Overview and Guiding Principles for Arts Teachers
    • Who are students with disabilities?
    • Categories and Prevalence of Disabilities under the IDEA
    • Arts teachers responsibilities
    • Guiding Principles for Using the Core Arts Standards with Students with Disabilities
      1. Maintain high expectations
      2. Promote communicative competence
      3. Use the principles of Universal Design for Learning
      4. Know how to select and use appropriate accommodations for individual students
      5. Make use of evidence-based practices
      6. Target instruction and use formative indicators of student performance
  • Communicative competence
    • Communication in a Music Lesson
    • Communication in a Visual Art Lesson
  • Individualized accommodations
    • Four Types of Accommodations
      • Presentation – how the student will access information
      • Response – how the student will demonstrate competence
      • Setting – where the student will be instructed and assessed
      • Scheduling – when the student will be instructed and assessed
    • Individualized Accommodations in a Theater Lesson
    • Individualized Accommodations in a Media Arts Lesson
  • Evidence-based practices
    • Evidenced-Based Practice in a Dance Lesson
    • Evidence-Based Practice in a Visual Art Lesson

Links and Resources:

We want to know-what did you learn from this webinar?


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