Parker, C. E. & Christensen, L. L. (2018, September). Individualized Education Programs for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities. (ALTELLA Brief No. 4). University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Alternate English Language Learning Assessment project.
English learners who have significant cognitive disabilities are a small but important subgroup of students in U.S. schools. These students may have language- and disability-related needs that teams of educators and family members should address when developing those students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Identifying the appropriate instructional supports for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities can be challenging. This brief highlights some key elements to remember, including the importance of the student’s home language in identification, assessment, and instruction, and the need to build cultural responsiveness among all educators. Educators and family members who participate in IEP meetings for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities can use this brief to plan for quality meetings and successful school experiences for their students and children.