Ohio Association of Special Needs Professionals

Featured

OADDP has changed its name to OASNP.  We have expanded our scope to advocate for the needs of Pre-K-12 Special Educators and Support Staff as they provide services for students with special needs in our local schools.

OEA members in all settings, especially the roughly 15% that identify as working in special education, report they face critical challenges obtaining and providing additional supports and accommodations for students with special needs to be successful.

The overwhelming concern is for more professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff—especially in the areas of appropriate IEPs and classroom/behavior management.

Critically important are the issues of staffing, case load, and planning time. Members state that they are stretched too thinly to adequately meet the needs of their students. Local contract language needs to be reviewed. Sample contract language is needed.

Now with the challenges of dealing with Covid-19, the health and safety of staff and students is the immediate consideration.

Furthermore, the OEA Resolutions and Legislative Policies should be reviewed to assure that they adequately address the needs of members involved with special education.

The Mission of the OASNP is to advance the growth of the education and habilitation of individuals with special needs and to provide a collective voice for the professional, paraprofessional, and support staff working with persons with special needs.  OASNP Strategic Goals promote high standards for staff, provider organizations, and services provided while assuring the viability of County Boards of DD as a service option.  The OASNP will reach out to OEA Special Educators and Support Staff in Pre-K-12 Locals who serve students with special needs.

As a department of the Ohio Education Association, OASNP provides the following services to members:

  • Advocacy for OEA members serving individuals with special needs.
  • OASNP appoints members to each of the OEA Standing Committees to assure that the voice of special needs educators are heard.
  • Annual Conference with current topics, professional, and legal updates.
  • A Public Relations Grant program of up to $250 for locals
  • Delegate Luncheon at the OEA Representative Assemblies
  • A quarterly newsletter – The OASNP Newsline.
  • Monitoring of legislation that affects OASNP members.
  • Executive committee meetings six times per year
  • A comprehensive committee structure
  • Facebook group for OASNP members
    facebook.com/groups/OASNP/

Download:

NEA Caucus for Educators of Exceptional Children

Links from NEA CEEC:

About NEA CEEC

OASNP Issues Report, July 2020

The OASNP Executive Board is pleased to present their OASNP Issues Report, July 2020.  It is the culmination of work begun in April by the OASNP Executive Board and OASNP members serving on OEA Standing Committees. OASNP has prepared this report to inform the OEA Officers and Board of Directors of issues identified by OEA members associated with our group. Concerns fell into four broad areas: Classroom/Worksite Issues, Workload/Caseload, Professional Development, and Student/Adult Client Behavior.

The report is the result of concerns expressed at our annual special education conferences, surveys of the attendees and other members, and surveys of delegates at OEA and District Representative Assemblies in Spring 2016, Fall 2016, and Spring 2017.  Those concerns lead to the Fall 2017 OEA RA passing a NBI to ”Create an OEA Special Education Work Group to develop recommendations for professional development programs, sample contract language, OEA Resolutions, and OEA Legislative Policies that would address the needs of OEA members involved in or supporting education programs for students with special needs.” 

The issues identified in this report are perennial concerns of OEA members working with students and adults with special needs.  They were expressed by members working at county boards of DD as far back as 1983 when the forerunner of OASNP was formed.  Now with county board programs being eliminated or downsized, students served by those programs have been transferred to their local school districts.  However, the problems of appropriately serving those students have followed them to their local schools, but without the funding.  Estimates are that some 15% of OEA members are directly involved in serving students with special needs.  Virtually every staff member of every local district is indirectly affected.  Additionally, significant numbers of OEA members continue to do the work of serving Children and adults with special needs in county boards of developmental disabilities facilities and in the community.

Please share with your colleagues and submit any questions or comments to OASNP on our Contact Us page or at oasnp@oasnp.org

Download OASNP Issues Report July 2020

Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities Children’s Services

Early Intervention

Early Intervention staff have continued to carry out home visits virtually, starting from the beginning of the COVID crisis.  We were able to move pretty smoothly into this method of delivering services, after coping with a few technology glitches in the beginning!  Families have made the adjustment and we have found that the majority of families have chosen to continue to participate in this new situation.   Our model of Early Intervention services is based on coaching families and caregivers so they can provide interventions for their child, so though we are not there personally, we are still able to carry out our mission, which is to support families and provide them with the tools they need to help their child develop in all areas.  Team members continue to support each other and provide consultations via virtual joint visits, and we continue to meet with school districts and help children transition into the services they will need after age three.    We are anxious to get back out into homes, but at this point we don’t know when that will happen!  Until then, we will continue to do the best we can to support the families and children in our program from birth to age 3.

Wood Lane School Students

Teachers, specialists, and classroom staff all worked hard to put together lesson plans and activities for each of our students to see them through the end of the year, and these have been sent home to families along with supplies and many suggestions for ways to work on the goals and objectives of their IEP.  Teachers and specialists are in regular phone and/or email contact with families and caregivers to provide support, check on progress, and to share in the problems and successes involved in trying to provide distance learning to children with special needs.  We have also continued to work on assisting families to obtain needed equipment, and problem-solve about a multitude of issues.

All staff are available to families if they need support or are just looking for new ideas.  Classrooms have been working on ways to remain connected with their students, including reading stories via YouTube video and setting up class meetings that all students can join so they can see their peers.

We love it when families send photos of students working on the lessons we have sent home!  Caregivers and families of many students have sent in photos of their students doing things like counting, sorting, painting, using switch toys, language skills, and working on cooking skills at home.   With communication through virtual meetings, pictures, and videos, families are supported in many areas in addition to educational activities by teachers and specialists, such as positioning and activities of daily living.

As part of getting ready to transition to life after school, our older students have been participating in virtual meetings with their classroom staff at least weekly, and in some cases more depending on the student’s preferences and needs. One student is participating in a cooking project alongside her teacher via video.  They are also reading stories, counting, sorting laundry and talking about different vocational tasks that can be done at home that are related to daily living skills as well.   All of our staff are working hard to help students adjust to their “new normal, and help them understand that their peers and classroom staff are all at home too as they work on their school activities.  In addition, Wood Lane School has also supported families by delivering meals and other needed items like masks, books, and classroom materials on a regular basis.

 

Random Acts of Kindness

This school year, the Happy Day School elementary aged students in Room 14 have been doing random acts of kindness.  Prior to COVID19, Room 14 had partnered with one of Ravenna Public School’s elementary classroom.  Our students would visit Ravenna’s school monthly to socialize and experience what a public-school classroom was like through reading, music and art.  One of the random acts of kindness activity we did with our Ravenna friends was making heart shaped bird food feeders to hang outside at our homes and schools.  Since COVID19 has closed the schools, our classes have not been able to socialize, but the students in Room 14 through a ZOOM meeting, created thank-you cards to send to nurses and doctors.  Our next random act of kindness, again through a ZOOM meeting, will be making dog biscuits for our own dogs and our neighbors’ dogs, since the dogs have been sharing their daytime space with us.  Room 14 students and staff are planning to continue our random acts of kindness even when we cannot physically be together.  Their teacher’s motto is to do a random act of kindness daily.

Portage DD Update

From John Avouris, OEA LRC:

Here is what’s happening at the Portage DD in terms of what our PCEADD-Unit A members are doing:

Here are the things that the Community Provider Relations Department is doing;

  • Calling providers to see if they need assistance and providing PPE and cleaning supplies to providers and DSP’s (Direct Service Providers).
  • Highlighting athletes on our facebook page.
  • Holding zoom meetings with providers.
  • Holding advocacy zoom meetings.
  • Providing COVID19 information to providers.
  • Weekly virtual exercise and fitness tips for clients.
  • DSP of the month, we have an application on our website for anyone to nominate a DSP of the month. They are recognized during the monthly Board Meeting.

In the early intervention department, we have provided a seamless transition for our families from home based to virtual services. Though some families have chooses to put services on hold, most of our families are continuing services with technology. Using the zoom platform, we are providing coaching to parents to help them improve their child’s development and interactions, as well as provide new play activities with their child within their home. We continue to receive new referrals, complete evaluations, and Individual Family Service Plans. We also continue to help families access needed community services related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our school age program will have 3 graduates this year. PCEADD Unit A is sending a graduation sign for the family to display, and union member are planning a drive parade to honor the graduates. Though we miss being in person with our children and families, we continue to provide quality service. We feel our union membership is the key factor in helping us to continue service in this pandemic.

OASNP Constitution & Bylaws Amendments

UPDATED!

  • The OASNP Annual Meeting is open to all OASNP members and was be held Saturday February 29, 2020 at 2:30 PM at the conclusion of the 2020 OASNP Conference at Mohican State Park Resort and Conference Center, 4700 Goon Road, Perrysville, OH 4486.
  • Constitution and Bylaws Amendments were considered to change the composition of the OASNP Executive Committee to six (6) At-Large Representatives to the OASNP Executive Committee.  The portion of the original proposal to apportion the six seats between local school district membership (2 reps) and CBDD membership (4 reps); was rejected.  The full text of the current Constitution and Bylaws as amended is here:
  • Constitution & Bylaws (2020-02-29) – OASNP Constitution and Bylaws (2020-02-29)
  • C & B Amendments (2020-02-29) – C & B Amendments
  • OASNP Proposed Bylaws Amendment – Committees  – under development
  • Members Only Area – Previous OASNP Constitution and Bylaws

2020 OASNP Annual Conference

OASNP 2020 Annual Special Education Conference
and General Membership Meeting

This year’s theme: “Leaping Into the Future”

The Ohio Association of Special Needs Professionals Annual Special Education Conference will be Friday and Saturday, February 28-29, 2020, at the

Mohican State Park Resort and Conference Center,
4700 Goon Road, Perrysville, OH 44864.
Directions: http://www.mohicanstateparklodge.com/.

For more information visit our OADDP 2020 Annual Conference page.

The content of the conference will appeal to Special Education staff in Pre-K-12 Districts as well as County Boards of DD.

 

OASNP – OEA RA Delegate Luncheon

OASNP – OEA RA Delegate Luncheon

All OASNP members are invited.

Agenda:

  • Update on Spring Conference
  • Discussion of OEA Special Education Work Group report
  • Possible OASNP C&B amendments:
    • Executive Committee
    • Committees

December 6, 2019, during the lunch break

  • Ohio Expo, Kasich Hall (formerly Cardinal Hall)
  • 717 E. 17th Ave.
  • Columbus, OH 43211