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Specialized Competency

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Area Introduction

This specialized area of Para eLink is focused on Other Health Disabilities (OHD). Today, many children come to school with a variety of different chronic or acute health care conditions. These health conditions impact their school lives in many different ways. However, when the health conditions are well managed and the educational team understands the needs of the student, it is possible for the student to experience success at school with or without special education supports.

Supporting students with OHD in the educational setting is a unique and challenging situation for many paraprofessionals. This Para eLink area is designed to help you learn about and understand your role in supporting students with OHD.

This area includes five units:

  1. Other Health Disabilities (addresses competencies K9, K10, and S4)
  2. Understanding Other Health Disabilities (addresses competencies K1 and K2)
  3. Health Conditions: Their Impact on Student Learning (addresses competencies K5, K6, and K8)
  4. Serving Students with Other Health Disabilities: The IEP, Assistive and Health Technology, and Modifying Environments and Instruction for Learning (addresses competencies K4, K7, S2, and S3)
  5. Legal, Advocacy, and Data Collection Issues Related to Students with Other Health Disabilities (addresses competencies K3 and S1)

Each unit presents important information that will help you support students who qualify for special education under the OHD category. You will learn about the role you play in supporting both the medical and educational needs of these students, including how to identify, advocate for, and use unique learning opportunities to include them in activities and events with other students. You will also learn about how students with OHD become eligible for special education services, about the Individual Education Program (IEP) process, how to identify appropriate assistive technology, and how modify and adapt the classroom and instruction to meet students’ needs. Finally, key legal issues that affect students with an OHD are included to help you advocate for students with OHD and their families.

Each unit is an important part of working in an education setting. Other Health Disabilities is a complex subject and for this reason it is best to start with the first unit in the list (Other Health Disabilities) and work through each unit in consecutive order. You will find that what you have learned in one unit will inform your understanding in the next. It is our hope that when you complete the eLink training you will have a perspective and set of skills that will enable you to work more effectively with children and be able to more effectively collaborate with your supervisor and other staff.

(Clicking the hyperlinked competency code, e.g., OHD-K1, will take you to the associated training unit.)

Other Health Disabilities (Knowledge-Based)
OHD-K1 Awareness of the historical origins, parameters, and current issues related to the classification of Other Health Disabilities (OHD).
OHD-K2 Awareness of the definitions and characteristics of the primary disabilities included in the OHD category.

OHD-K3 Understanding of the advocacy and legal issues related to services for students with OHD, including issues pertaining to specialized health care in educational settings.
OHD-K4 Awareness of the pre-referral, referral, and placement process used for identifying and serving students with OHD.
OHD-K5 Understanding of general medical terminology and the effects of medical treatments and medications as they relate to students involvement in the education setting.
OHD-K6 Understanding of how OHD (including terminal illness and emergency or life-threatening situations) impact learning development (including behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional development).
OHD-K7 Understanding of basic assistive and health technology used to support students with OHD.
OHD-K8 Understanding of steps involved in responding to emergency situations related to students with OHD within the education setting.
OHD-K9 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role regarding communication with students, students’ families, and the community that supports learning and well-being for student with OHD.
OHD-K10 Understanding of the paraprofessional’s role within the educational roles and responsibilities of teachers and support personnel in providing educational services to students with OHD.
Other Health Disabilities (Skill-Based)
OHD-S1 Demonstrating the ability to accurately collect data for documenting learner outcomes and reports to teacher when a strategy is or is not producing the planned effect.
OHD-S2 Demonstrating the ability to adapt, modify, or structure the environment to accommodate the diverse needs of students with OHD.
OHD-S3 Demonstrating the ability to modify instructional methods as needed by students with OHD (including selecting, adapting, and using specialized materials and instructional strategies to maximize learning) in accordance with the Individualized Education Program.
OHD-S4 Demonstrating the understanding to utilize opportunities for students with OHD to participate, interact, and learn with all students.


pdf iconpdf     text iconrtf

Your facilitator may ask you to turn in a written copy of the area review, in which case you can use either the pdf or rtf file. If your facilitator wants you to submit an electronic file, download the rtf file and open it in a Word Processor.

Area Evaluation


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