Episode 38: Special Education with Kathleen Kyzar

In episode 38, Dan and Michael chat with Kathleen Kyzar who provides an overview of special education.

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Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources

Note: Beyond just what was mentioned in the podcast, Dr. Kyzar shared a number of additional special education resources that educators may find useful. 

  1. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the flagship professional organization for special educators focused on practice-related issues: https://www.cec.sped.org/
  2. CEC has a number of special interest divisions and Dr. Kyzar referenced transition services (ages 16+ nationally, ages 14+ in Texas). Learn more here on the CEC division dedicated to transition issues in the field of special education: http://community.cec.sped.org/dcdt/home
  3. CAST (comprehensive resource on UDL): http://www.cast.org/
  4. The IRIS Center (http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/) out of Vanderbilt Peabody College & Claremont Graduate University: free, online modules and case activities on a number of special education topics including 60 modules on accommodations and an additional 63 on differentiated instruction. This link takes you directly to the resource locator for the modules: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/iris-resource-locator/
  5. The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/) includes user-friendly summaries on a wide variety of topics in the field of special education, including topics Dr. Kyzar discussed on the podcast. Here is the link directly to the resources: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources/
  6. CPIR assumed all the old NICHCY resources, which were created under a grant-funded project (that ran to the end of its funding course as of Oct 2013) designed to provide information about special education to stakeholders in an accessible way; here is the link to the NICHCY warehouse and since IDEA has not yet been re-authorized, the resources here are still relatively current: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/nichcy-resources/
  7.  Christmas in Purgatory is aa well-known book in the intellectual disability community by Burton Blatt and Fred Kaplan. Here is a link to the photographic essay: http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/dhm/lib/catcard.html?id=1782
  8. Norman Kunc, who has cerebral palsy and speaks publicly on his experiences with a physical disability, has a powerful video in which he reflects on what his life could have been like if he had been sent to an institution as his parents were advised to do:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2OxpzPybT4
  9. On inclusion: Including Samuel is an engaging documentary: http://www.includingsamuel.com/film
  10. Lois Barrett’s 2013 article, “Seamless teaching: Navigating the inclusion spectrum” from Teaching Tolerance offers a good review of key special education ideas.
  11. Want to learn more about IDEA? Check out this video, “Celebrating 35 Years of IDEA” from the U.S. Department of Education:


Dr. Kathleen Kyzar is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in the College of Education at Texas Christian University. She teaches courses on early childhood programming, family-school partnerships, and pedagogy for the young child and her research interests include family-professional partnerships and family support, family quality of life, and inclusive early childhood programming. You can view her scholarship on Google Scholar, ResearchGate, or contact her @KathleenKyzar.

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