2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference
Dena Malarek, Arts Horizons Director of NYC Residencies and Special Populations had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference, A Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The conference brings together a national and international community of educators, administrators, researchers, teaching artists and more interested in improving the arts learning experience for students with disabilities.
Attendees utilized the Guidebook app to stay connected to the most current conference materials, personalize your own schedule, obtain contact cards with other attendees and participate in social media (#vsaintersections ) directly in the guidebook app. The pre-conference workshops and conference workshops were offered along various tracks including: Drama/Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, Music, Research, and Across Art Disciplines. A rich wealth of information was captured in the conference – below are two notable workshops on arts and special education.
An exciting presentation, by the Barber National Institute explored the use of iBooks and other digital art technology to create social stories for students with Autism and intellectual disabilities. This project was a natural integration of digital arts educators, school psychologists, and special educators to develop indivualized social stories for their students. Social stories help a child with autism navigate a situation, where to direct attention and what to expect. The use of integrating digital arts for social stories is a high priority need for students with disabilities, utilizes evidence based practice (social stories and video self-modeling based on Bandura’s theory on Observational Learning, is a direct translation into digial media.
Students with Disabilities and the Core Arts Standards: Guiding Principles for Teachers, Sharon M. Malley, Ed. D.
“The Core Arts Standards are designed to guide US schools’ arts curriculum, instruction, and assessment (NCCAS, n. d.). Standards writers included a review team of arts and special education professionals, led by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ensuring that each standard encompasses a broad range of communication and learning styles.” The guiding inclusion standards for students with disabilities are included as an addendum, or separate guidebook directly on the national core arts standards information page. It’s function mainly is to use inclusive language and make general overarching guidelines for arts instruction for students with disabilities.
- Maintain high expectations
- Promote communicative competence
- Use the principles of Universal Design for Learning
- Know how to select and use appropriate accommodations for individual students
- Make use of evidence-based practices
- Target instruction and use formative indicators of student performance
For More Information, please contact Dena Malarek, Director of NYC Programs and Special Populations firstname.lastname@example.org