MULTIPLE DISABILITIES PROGRAM
Trumbull County Educational Service Center's (TCESC) multiple disabilities education program serves students with simultaneous impairments, the combination of which causes severe educational needs that cannot be addressed or accommodated in a special education program for one specific disability. This includes a severe or profound deficit in communication or adaptive behavior documented through the use of individually administered standardized instruments validated for the specific purpose of measuring communication or adaptive behavior.
The program is a cooperative effort of school districts throughout Trumbull County. It serves more than 250 students in 28 different classrooms throughout the county. This includes students with specific accommodations and a classroom at TCTC.
There are approximately eight to ten students in each classroom. Two or three adults - an intervention specialist and 1 or 2 classroom assistants - are assigned to every class. The intervention specialist possesses a certificate to teach children with mild/moderate to moderate/intense needs. The assistants do not design or teach lessons but assist in implementing lessons, collecting data, and keeping students focused on learning. The assistants also attend to the physical and medical needs of the students.
Conducting this program within the public school setting provides students with multiple disabilities opportunities to develop and generalize social skills as they are integrated with children in traditional classrooms and other school settings, such as the cafeteria or playground.
Transportation is provided to classrooms via Community Busing Services or the school district if attending a classroom within their district of residence.
TCESC provides the students with therapies as determined by the IEP team, including speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision services, orientation and mobility, and adaptive physical education.
An Evaluation Team Report determines the disability category and needs of each student. Every student receives an individual assessment, and an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written based on the ETR results, which serves as a roadmap for individualized, specially designed instruction. Although students may attend school in a classroom outside the home school district, the home school district remains involved in the student's education.
TCESC staff conducts caretaking tasks, such as tube feeding and seizure care, that a physician allows to be performed by a layperson—the parents and school nurse train staff individually for each child. In many cases, TCESC staff members visit a child's home to learn caretaking responsibilities in a comfortable environment.