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Tuesday's Tip: Smarter Goals- Teachable

Special Education is specially designed instruction (SDI's) and the related services needed by the child to benefit from that instruction according to the US Dept of Education.

Instructional Aids, Services, Supports, and Strategies (SDIs and SAS)

Supplementary Aids and Services (SAS)

SAS means Aids, Services, And Other Supports that are provided in general education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate ...

(34 CFR 300.42)

The purpose is to support students with disabilities as active participants with non-disabled peers and enable access to the general curriculum.

  • Supplementary aids and services include modification to the general curriculum and [a child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modification in the general curriculum]. (34 CFR 300.116 (e))

  • To advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals.

[34 CFR §300.320(a)(4)(i)]

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)

SDI means adapting, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction, as appropriate to meet the individual needs of a child.


  • The fact that some of (these) services may be considered "best teaching practice" or part of the "district's regular education program" does not preclude these services from meeting the definition of special education or related services and being included in the child's IEP.11

  • To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children. 300(A)300.39(b)(3); NC 1500-2.34(b)(3)

  • Specially designed instruction is:

    • Adapted content - what is taught

    • Methodology - research/evidence-based processes/programming used to teach

    • Delivery of the curriculum individualized to the child’s learning needs and to ensure that the child has access to the general curriculum provided to children without disabilities.

    • Intentional, systematic, meaningful, organized and planned instructional activities used to address academic and functional deficits intended to close the academic gap between a student with a disability and peers

    • Different from general education strategies provided to all students

    • Specifically addresses the student's needs

    • Is expressed in the IEP goals and objectives

    • The IEP team determines SDIs defined by location, frequency, projected beginning date, and anticipated duration of each SDI.



  • Changes what a student is taught or expected to learn

  • Include content, not in the general education curriculum (ADLs, social cognition, power mobility, behavior, instructional strategies -(i.e. Orton Gillingham Reading Method)

  • Instruction is delivered differently than what is provided to typical peers. (intensity and frequency of instruction, individual or in small groups, outside of the general education classroom, prompt hierarchy)

  • Individualized alterations to the content and performance expectations in quantity or output with alternate goals


  • Address how a student learns the material

  • Support access to the general curriculum and does not change what is taught,

  • Include strategies used to teach the content, or how instruction is delivered to students. (differentiated instruction in response to learning styles and needs)

  • Adjusts an activity or setting to remove a barrier presented by a disability so that students may have equal access to the same opportunities available to students without disabilities

  • Do not alter the essential purpose of the assignment, but provide an alternate way of teaching or testing.

SDI Development

Program Modifications, Accommodations, Supplementary Aids, and Services / Assistive Technology Devices and Services


“This is why a child receives special education services”

Per the US Department of Education

What SDIs Include

  • Anything specific to a student that will assist them in accessing their education.

  • SDIs are not goals services or placement

  • Don’t include goals in SDIs (no data or monitoring)

  • Don’t leave SDIs unindividualized

  • SDIs are based on an instructional assessment!!!

  • SDIs are effective instructional and learning practices which may not be used by the school CONSISTENTLY ACROSS ALL ENVIRONMENTS

  • SDIs include adaptations for / descriptions of:

  • General educational curriculum

  • Instruction

  • Instructional environments

  • Methods / techniques

  • Material

  • Curriculum

  • Mode of presentation

  • Assessment of progress

  • Frequency

  • Location of instruction

  • Grading

  • Monitoring

  • Inclusion

  • Supplementary aids and supports /AT

  • UNIQUE TEACHING methodology

  • Unique frequency or duration

  • Highly structured approach - defined

  • Multi-sensory approach - defined


(a) General.

(1) Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including—

(i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and

(ii) Instruction in physical education.

(2) Special education includes each of the following, if the services otherwise meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section—

(i) Speech-language pathology services, or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under State standards;

(ii) Travel training; and

(iii) Vocational education.

This is the 6th of 8 blogs addressing the use of Smarter Goals in order to attain better functional outcomes for our children.

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