Tag Archives: death and dying

March 20th Meeting in Cherokee County

About the meeting:

Dr. Kathryn Heller will be presenting her findings from her recent research regarding issues surrounding students with terminal illnesses. We were able to complete surveys for her for the purpose of her research, as well as many other OI teachers and related service providers around the country. The article has valuable information regarding issues related to students with terminal illnesses and how we can effectively handle these situations. This is such a huge part of our roles as OI teachers, so the information will be really helpful. If you have a chance to read the article before the meeting, that would be great!

Here is the link to the article:


You can download the article if you scroll to the bottom of the screen.

A couple of notes:

If you would like for me to add an OI teacher to this e-mail list that may benefit from our meetings, please send me their e-mail address. I am trying to keep the e-mail list as updated as possible.

The meeting will be held from 1:00-3:45 p.m.

There is another meeting that is going to be held in that room at 4:00, so we just need to make sure we exit the room by 3:45.

I hope that as many as people as possible can make the meeting!

I am working on finding a more central location for everyone for next year’s meetings. Our next meeting is at the Tools for Life Facility at Georgia Tech. We will be touring the facility so that we can become more familiar with the services that are offered there.


Meeting Minutes from January 19, 2012

Hello Everyone!

We were so happy to have Jennifer Arroncena from Georgia Gwinnett College present information on transition to college for Students with Disabilities. Her Power Point Presentation is below:

Transition Information for Students With Disabilities

***Also, please do not forget to share Dr. Heller’s Death and Dying Survey with any professional that has worked with students with terminal illnesses. She is in the process of gathering information regarding this sensitive topic in order to provide greater resources to educators and health care providers in the school setting. Here is the link to the survey:


Please contact Dr. Heller with any questions at: kheller@gsu.edu

The following are the notes from the 1/19/12 meeting:

OI Consortium

January 19, 2012

Presenters:  Ms. Jennifer Arrocena, – College Disability Services

Dr. Kathy Heller – Georgia State University

Next meeting date:  March 15th – Gwinnett Instructional Center

504 vs. Special Education

Recommendation for a future meeting is to have a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor talk with the Consortium.

During the presentation by Ms. Arrocena, differences between disability services K-12 and Postsecondary were outlined.

She encouraged candidates to:

  • Visit the college’s website for information
  • Come up with a list of questions
  • Be prepared to answer questions about yourself
  • Visit the campus ahead of time
  • Disability Services
  • Campus tour
  • Classrooms
  • Individual visit
  • Open house/orientation
  • Register wit Vocational rehabilitation
  • Utilize Disability Services as a resource
  • Find out about other services available to you at the college and how that service can assist you in succeeding – Tutoring center, career services, counseling center etc.

Documentation requirements may vary according to the school:

  • Typically current documentation needed (usually in the last 3 years and/or after the age of 18)
  • You only need to provide documentation if you are requesting accommodations or services through the school
  • Board of Regents Criteria – on their website search disability documentation and will describe documentation guidelines
  • For medical conditions, most colleges will have a form for the appropriate professional


  • Should be individualized
  • Documentation must warrant the accommodations
  • Accommodations should be a collaborative process
  • The accommodations may not be the student’s preferred accommodation but it must provide equal access
  • Accommodations may vary depending on the course
  • There are no fees for accommodations

Most of the evaluations done in the high school will not be accepted.  Sometimes provisional services will be provided at the school while a full psychological evaluation is being done.

The Regents Center for learning disorders will usually provide testing at a reduced rate if the student goes to a Regents’ school.  Typically it is $500 for the testing under these circumstances.

It was noted that students who have only physical disabilities and need accommodations, a psychological is not needed.  Instead a medical form is required, such as for OI, VI, D/HH, etc.

Examples of Accommodations:

Extended time on exams, etc.  (see handout)

College Students’ Rights as well as the College’s Rights were outlined – see handout

A video was shown “You Can Do It” regarding college disability services for students with disabilities.  Video is on YouTube.  Some schools offer assistance such as advocacy training, etc.

Note:  teach your students how to explain their disability to their professors, and develop a rapport with them individually.  They should have an awareness of needs, look closely at the environment and determine barriers that must be resolved.   Students should develop leadership experiences while in high school.  Students should think about what they like to do and assess their qualifications to get an understanding of preferences and limitations.  Socialization skills are also important to develop in high school.

Video – See powerpoint for access

College:  You Can Do It

Georgia Gwinnett College:  offers mini-coaching on organization, stress management, developing a calendar, tutoring lab with 3 different kinds of tutors (professors, peers and paid tutors).  Test anxiety, organization, and relaxation techniques are also taught.

www.ACT.org/compass to help prepare for the compass exam

SAT, ACT of Compass are now required for admissions for Board of Regents School

Voc. Rehab. Provides some assistance and the college provides some services.

Most disability services work closely with Voc. Rehab. Counselors

Recommendation:  Always encourage your students to appeal

There is a scholarship students can apply for to pay for the psychological assessment – disability services will often work with students to help find moneys available.

On the handout regarding testing, the BOR criteria website can give the school psychologist the information and criteria required for the college to accept for testing.

Jennifer will come to schools for IEPs or to transition forums

Kathy Heller:

Points to remember –

  • Safety:  what is the procedure in the event of a fire
  • Disability Services may not be open when all classes meet
  • Make sure students have a chance to walk/wheel around
  • Seizure policy
  • Assistive Technology is always something to consider
  • Professors are required to accommodate – if the student is having difficulties they should go back to disability services

Dr. Heller is sending the group a list of websites for Transition to College and Work


Students do have to be such advocates for themselves – Start early (see Transition Checklist Dr. Heller provided)

The more the teacher pulls back and enables the student to state the needs to teachers, the better.

Example:  Have the student write a letter regarding the accommodations needed in class and hand them to the teacher, once edited by you

AAC users – program all kinds of things that say what the student needs

Handout with transition resources included:

  • Person Centered Planning
  • Customized Employment
  • Checklist for Preparing a Student with a Disability for a Postsecondary Education, which emphasizes students and parents as well


The Transition Handbook – Strategies High School Teachers Use that Work!

Carolyn Hughes & Erik W. Carter (Foreward by Paul Wehman)

Preparing Students with Disabilities for College Success – A Practical Guide to Transition Planning

Stan F. Shaw

Joseph W. Madaus

Lyman L. Dukes, III

Dare to Dream for Adults – 2004

Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services

Florida Dept. of Education  2004;  Reprinted 2007

Also has workbook

A Guide for Students Who are Deaf-Blind Considering College

Developed by:  JoAnn Enos, Beth Jordan

College Bound – A Guide for Students with Visual Impairments

Ellen Trief and Raquel Feeney

Kathy’s program:  Focus on Transition – A Guide for Parents & Teachers, 2nd Edition

Georgia Sensory Assistance Project EPSE

Georgia State University  404-413-8043

Planning Ahead – A Hand book for Parents, Family Members and Guardians of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities & the Fla. Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.

Person-Centered Planning with MAPS and PATH – A Workbook for Facilitators –

John O’Brien & Jack Pearpoint

Pepnet – an entire portfolio that takes students through all the steps of transition

Kathy’s current project:

  • Death of students and supports needed
  • Pain
  • Hospice

Survey will be forwarded – feel free to send to other teachers of students who are dying –

Goal is to determine supports that are needed and what can be done to help teachers