Supporting Students with Disabilities through Personalized Learning

Supporting Students with Disabilities through Personalized Learning
Supporting Students with Disabilities through Personalized Learning

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Webinar Materials

Presentation Slideshow
Transcript of Webinar Video


This is part three of a three-part webinar series on different facets of personalized learning. Click here for part one and part two.

Many educators and leaders are aware of the multiple benefits of personalized learning, including increased student agency, improved student learning, and more intentional planning for college and careers. Personalized learning has inherent benefits for students with disabilities, but there are also inherent challenges. For example, conversations about students with disabilities and personalized learning remain generic and often students’ unique needs and learning styles are not adequately considered at the outset of implementation. To successfully implement personalized learning specifically for students with disabilities, educators and leaders need a clear understanding of what these approaches look like in practice, what policy and practice changes they require, and what supports need to be in place. This webinar covers emerging efforts to use personalized learning approaches to better serve students with disabilities, tools that are designed to help policymakers and practitioners, and strategies to help build the capacity of schools to use this approach.

Additional Resources

How ESSA and IDEA Can Support College and Career Readiness for Students With Disabilities: Considerations for States

National Center for Learning Disabilities


Presenter Biographies

George M. Batsche, Ed.D., is professor and co-director of the Institute for School Reform at the University of South Florida. He is co-director of the Florida Statewide Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention Project for the Florida Department of Education. In addition, Batsche co-directs the Student Support Services, Shared Services Network and Coordinated Student Health Projects for the Florida Department of Education.

In the past 15 years, Batsche has received more than $30 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Florida Department of Education and private foundations. The majority of his work has focused on systems of implementing academic and behavior interventions for at-risk students.

Batsche’s experience includes work as a university professor and researcher, school psychologist, district-level administrator, building principal and consultant to school districts and state agencies regarding implementation of problem-solving/response to intervention. He is a co-author of the book Response to Intervention: Policy Considerations and Implementation (2005), “Response to Intervention: Competing Views” in the journal Assessment for Effective Intervention (2006), and “Statewide Implementation of Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention: The Florida Initiative” in The Handbook of Response to Intervention: The Science and Practice of Assessment and Intervention (2007).

Lindsey Hayes, researcher at American Institutes for Research (AIR), provides technical assistance for projects related to special education, educator effectiveness, and educator preparation. Hayes works with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center to coordinate intensive technical assistance activities that promote aligned teacher and leader preparation and development policies in the states of Colorado, Florida, and Illinois. Hayes also works with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders to guide states in the creation of aligned professional learning systems for educators of students with disabilities. Hayes has developed and delivered professional development series for schools, districts, and states on topics including implementation of multi-tiered systems of support, differentiated instruction, Universal Design for Learning, and co-teaching models. Hayes previously worked as a special education coordinator for Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. She has special education teaching experience in two public charter high schools, both in the District of Columbia. Hayes earned her M.Ed. in special education from George Mason University.

Catherine Jacques is a Researcher in the Education Quality group at American Institutes for Research. Her work focuses on systems and supports for educator effectiveness and development and for college- and career-readiness. Jacques provides technical assistance to states and districts and develops resources for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and the College and Career Readiness and Success Center, supports the implementation of educator evaluation and development systems in several states, and leads work on Career and Technical Education at AIR through the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. Jacques also conducts qualitative research on educator effectiveness, student learning objectives, and teaching and learning standards. Previous to her work at AIR, Jacques has conducted research on classroom quality and curriculum in multiple urban and suburban school districts.

Jacques earned a master’s degree in education policy from the School of Education at the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in English from Guilford College in North Carolina.

Ace Parsi is the Personalized Learning Partnership Manager at NCLD where he works to ensure students with disabilities fully benefit from initiatives aiming to personalize learning for all students. Prior to joining NCLD, Mr. Parsi served as the Deeper Learning Project Director at the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) where he worked with state boards of education nationally on a variety of topics—including assessments, accountability, high school graduation requirements, educator capacity and other issues—related to ensuring students have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for college, career, and civic success. Prior to joining NASBE, Mr. Parsi held a number of policy, research, and school-based positions at the Alliance for Excellent Education, the National Service-Learning Partnership, Policy Analysis for California Education, and Fair Oaks Community School in Redwood City, California.

Mr. Parsi and his family immigrated to the US when he was eight. His own experience as an English language learner and free and reduced price lunch student led him towards a passion for utilizing education as a driver for greater equity. Mr. Parsi holds a Masters in Public Policy Degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife, Clare, and daughter, Ella.

Jenna Tomasello joined AYPF in June 2015. Her role as Policy Associate involves the development of learning events and products, including forums, study tours, webinars, discussion groups, and publications, and the dissemination of policy and practice guidance to multiple audiences.

Jenna has a background in philosophy and legal studies, and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Policy from the University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.