A Professional Development Training for Paraprofessionals

The purpose of this project was to create a professional development series for paraprofessionals that includes teaching strategies and instructional techniques paraprofessionals can implement to educate students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities. Paraprofessionals are essential to the instruction of students with disabilities, yet these staff members are not required to take education-related or college-leveled courses that focus on specific teaching methods. The presentation is intended to provide these staff members with a fundamental understanding of lesson progression, task analysis, and prompting levels. Participants will not only receive introductory information on these topics, but will also experience working with each topic through group and individual activities that allow them to immediately demonstrate the new skills. By the end of the professional development series, participants should be able to independently create simple lessons, use a task analysis procedure to break academic tasks into specific learning opportunities, and incorporate appropriate prompting techniques.