Specially Designed Instruction
Specially designed instruction is the instruction provided to a student with a disability who has an IEP in order to help him/her master IEP goals/objectives. Specially designed instruction is not a part of the Response to Intervention (RtI) or Section 504 of the American’s with Disabilities Act processes, but is specific to a student who qualifies for special education services in order to help him/her master IEP goals/objectives and ensure access to and progress in the general curriculum.
Specially designed instruction goes beyond differentiated instruction and addresses the unique needs that exist because of a student’s disability. Specially designed instruction should be implemented in addition to, not in place of, differentiated instruction. While differentiated instruction offers all students the opportunity to experience a rich learning environment and to have multiple viewpoints, being an effective teacher only meets a portion of the needs that students with learning disabilities may have. The differentiation of instruction may assist in meeting legal mandates, but it is not a one size fits all approach for students with learning disabilities and must be customized even further to meet the requirements of IDEA 2004. For more information on Specially Designed Instruction visit: PGC Network: Progress in the General Curriculum
Texas has adopted Project Forum’s Seven Step Process for Standards-Based IEPs. In this process, once a student is determined eligible for special education services (i.e., the student has a disability and, because of the disability, has a need for specially designed instruction), there are seven steps to be followed in developing a standards based IEP.