Guest Author: Linda Snyder MBA, PMP, BCEA
with Marie Lewis, Ph.D., BCEA
Excluding students with disabilities from school safety drills and practices is short-sighted. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that schools consider developing individualized safety plans for students with disabilities. It is critical that students with disabilities be involved in the planning and practice of safety drills. Although no one can predict the unpredictable in an emergency situation, it has been proven that proper planning and practice can mitigate risk for all involved in emergency situations. The safety and preparedness of students with disabilities is fundamentally an issue of equity.
Consider the following when developing an individualized safety plan
KEY AREAS OF A SAFETY PLAN:
(supervision plans, transition plans, transportation plans, unstructured time plans)
WHAT COULD A SAFETY PLAN BE FOR?
HOW DO YOU START THE PROCESS?
“School Safety Drills and Exercises for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Tips and Resources for Educators.” National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/school-safety-drills-and-exercises-for-students-with-autism-spectrum-disorder-(asd)-tips-and-resources-for-educators. Accessed 6 Sept. 2022.
“School Safety Drills for Students with Special Needs.” Campus Safety Magazine, 20 Dec. 2021, www.campussafetymagazine.com/news/school-safety-drills-for-students-with-special-needs/?adlt=strict&toWww=1&redig=4FF33910D4864FA3879DA5EE0E79C54E
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Linda Snyder An Information Technology professional for twenty years, Linda became invested in her journey to become knowledgeable in education advocacy as she traveled the personal journey of advocating for her son within the public school system. Linda has been committed to sharing her knowledge with parents and working to enlighten the parent community on the strategies for effectively advocating for their children. She is particularly passionate about shifting the mindset of how the education community views and responds to challenging behaviors of students with disabilities. In her spare time, Linda enjoys traveling with her family and reading about the latest developments in health and science research.
Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children and a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant. She has assisted in the development of thousands of IEPs nationally and consults on developing appropriately individualized IEPs that are outcome-based vs legally sufficient. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work as well as expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny and she always inspires and informs.
MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher. Honored as the recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate who teaches professional advocates, educators, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.
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