Special Education News

Chapter news | October 14, 2015

Minutes of the Oct. 14, 2015 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Chapter news | October 1, 2015

Minutes of the Oct. 1, 2015 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Feature stories | September 10, 2015

The workshop at PS 721, a District 75 school in Gravesend, Brooklyn is humming with activity: Students are focused on hammering, painting and gluing at different work stations. They’re building furniture for their new school library: a couch, stools, footrests, even iPad holders and bookstands. Their materials: sturdy cardboard, brown paper bags, grocery store boxes and plastic. 


Chapter news | July 30, 2015

Minutes of the July 30, 2015 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education.

Linking to learning | July 10, 2015

With adaptive technology, customization, and voice and touch controls, iPads have become mainstays in the special education classroom. Here are apps to explore if you are working with students with disabilities.

Around the UFT | June 4, 2015

More than 200 UFT members, their family members and friends gathered at the Astoria Manor in Queens on May 14 for the 10th annual Friends of District 75 awards ceremony.

News stories | June 4, 2015

At the top of the agenda of this 2015 NYSUT assembly was the union’s response to Gov. Cuo-mo’s attack on public education and educators. Four UFT leaders were honored

Feature stories | May 7, 2015

Music teacher Adam Goldberg has created a technology band at PS 177, a District 75 school in Fresh Meadows, where some students play traditional instruments and others play the iPad. Playing music on the iPad provides a unique form of self-expression for special needs students.

News stories | December 4, 2014

Literacy rates for students with disabilities are abysmal and better teacher training and evidence-based reading instruction are crucial to improve outcomes, say advocates for students with special needs, who sounded the alarm at an Oct. 28 City Council Committee hearing devoted to special education instruction.


What I do | December 4, 2014

For 10 years, Orcutt has taught students from around the city who are blind or visually impaired strategies for learning and independence. "I tell them my job is to put myself out of a job," she says.


Chapter news | November 25, 2014

We are writing to share important information about changes in the way you will add and remove students from your caseloads and record your "first attend" dates.

Vperspective | November 6, 2014

Our new contract provides welcome time for professional development, parent engagement and other professional work. Now how best to use it? The ASD Nest program offers a valuable model.

Chapter news | November 5, 2014

Minutes of the Nov. 5, 2014 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education

Testimony | October 28, 2014

Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education and Sub-Committee on Non-Public Schools about the Int. 0435 bill mandating special education services reporting.

Chapter news | October 1, 2014

Minutes of the Oct. 1, 2014 consultation meeting of the UFT and NYC Department of Education

Chapter news | September 18, 2014

The UFT identified a number of ways to reduce the time spent on SESIS. The union also pressed for standards in the area of progress reports and questioned the need for members to provide a variety of other information that is already available in SESIS.

Inside my classroom | September 4, 2014

One of my goals as a new teacher was to create an organized, color-coded library system in my class to increase student independence in selecting and returning books to the library.

News stories | June 26, 2014

In the wake of the death of Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who disappeared from his Long Island City school in October, city and education officials are grappling with how to prevent students with a tendency to run off from leaving school buildings unattended.

Testimony | June 12, 2014

UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez testified that placing alarms on the exit doors of all elementary schools and all buildings that house District 75 programs, as Int. 0131 calls for, may help in alerting school staff once a child has left the building. But that should just be one piece of an overall plan to protect children who have a tendency to run.

New teacher profiles | June 5, 2014

Karen Lew, a second-year social studies teacher at IS 125 in Woodside, has created a hands-on curriculum that meets the needs of her self-contained classes.

Vperspective | May 15, 2014

In this column, Vice President for Education Carmen Alvarez share her thoughts on how the chancellor’s vision can be operationalized in the realm of special education.

Union resolutions | April 9, 2014

The UFT calls upon the New York State Department of Education to ensure that the NYSAA is revised so that it better accounts for the cognitive and functional level of students and ensure that the challenges of the NYSAA assessment do not unfairly penalize teachers through the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) process.

Around the UFT | January 16, 2014

Students at PS 123 in Brooklyn were not happy about the conditions in the basement of their 100-year-old building, where they spend their recess and lunch time.

News stories | January 16, 2014

Special education teachers have raised alarms about changes this year to the alternate assessment.One big concern is that the test, administered in stages throughout the year, can eat up more than 100 hours of class time.

News stories | December 19, 2013

The DOE will be paying nearly $4 million to 12,465 UFT members in their Nov. 30 paychecks in the second round of payments to compensate them for the hundreds of hours beyond the normal school day they spent logging data onto the Special Education Student Information System.

News stories | November 14, 2013

The UFT has called on the DOE to fix its flawed special education reform. Union officials say the reform has failed to prepare teachers to meet the needs of students with special needs and has resulted in many students with disabilities not receiving the resources or services outlined in their IEPs.

Vperspective | November 14, 2013

With the encouragement and full support of President Mulgrew, I approached the Department of Education and Cornell University with a proposal to create a consortium to provide schools with a systemic and research-based approach to understanding, assessing and supporting positive student behavior.

Feature stories | November 14, 2013

It could be a scene from any one of countless neighborhood delis or lunch counters across the city, but the employees here are 12 students in the culinary arts program located at PS 177 in Fresh Meadows, Queens, a K-12 school in District 75 for special-needs students.

What I do | November 14, 2013

Danielle O’Connell has been a Hearing Education Services teacher for eight years, the last seven in a self-contained classroom of 12 children in grades 3-5 at P4 at PS 109 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Testimony | October 25, 2013

UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez testified before the New York City Council Education Committee about the DOE's special education reform.

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