Register for UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak, Ed.D.

Katie Novak!

The internationally renowned educator and author of the best-selling book* UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms,

is coming to Region 13!

July 27th, 2018

Join us as we explore the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and discover how to use the guidelines to plan lessons, choose materials, assess learning, and be proactively strategic in addressing learner variability.

Watch Katie Novak’s video to learn more about UDL and how using this framework can transform teaching and learning!

Click to register now for face-to-face workshop

Click to register now for online workshop

*Participants who attend face-to-face workshop will receive a copy of UDL Now!

Access to General Curriculum Statewide Guidance Documents

The new year is upon us and you may have questions about Special Education.  Don’t fret, guidance is at your fingertips!


AGC Resources are statewide guidance documents covering important topics such as co-teaching, LRE, IEP, paraprofessionals, and grading.   Quick access to all of these documents can be found at The website has been up-dated with short informative videos that provide a brief explanation of each of the resources.

In addition, Education Specialists at Region 13 are available to answer questions you may have regarding Special Education.

Wishing every teacher a great start to the new school year!


Math for All workshop coming up





Are you a math teacher? Do you have students with disabilities in your math class? Are you looking for strategies for how to address accommodations and modifications in your math class? Are you wondering about this new STAAR A assessment and what impact that will have on students in your math class? Are you looking for a workshop where you will have fun, learn practical strategies, and get a free book all in one day?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, come join us for Math for All: AGC in Math workshop on Wednesday, October 29th from 9 am to 4 pm.

To register visit

Search Math for All and we will see you there!


STAAR A Update

Region 13 attended TEA’s STAAR A training on Wednesday, September 24th. The training covered STAAR A, the computer based assessment with accommodations. We learned of the embedded accommodations and accessibility features that STAAR A will provide to students with disabilities. We also learned of the eligibility requirements and timeline for release of more information.

We have attached a one page overview with the most current STAAR A information. We are currently working on a FAQ document for STAAR A and will post that as soon as it is finalized.

STAAR A handout-new

To find the most current information from TEA about STAAR A visit

We will continue to post updates through our blog. If you have specific questions, please call JC Sanders at 512-919-5420 or email at

Does He Really Need an FM? – Part IV

Yes! He really does need an FM!  Now what?  Before purchasing that FM system, you may want to complete a trial with the student.  ESC Region 13’s Assistive Technology Preview Center is here to help.  Our motto is “Try before you buy”.  We have a limited number of FM systems available for short term loan (6 weeks). These are checked out under our Assistive Listening Devices Loan Process.

  1. As these systems are not appropriate to every student, we follow a particular process to evaluate the appropriateness of the loan of this equipment.
  2. Please follow our process and submit the correct documentation. Here’s a link to information on our loan process:
  3. As a part of the process, the requestor must complete the Special Education Director’s Approval form.  Here’s a link to that document:
  4. These systems are checked out through our Assistive Technology Preview Center (ATPC)/Library at ESC Region 13.  The requestor must have a patron account for the library.  They are free and easy to set up.  Here’s the link for our patron application:
  5. Our Assistive Listening Devices must be picked up from and returned to ESC Region 13.  We do not ship these items. Robin Reimund from the Assistive Technology Preview center will contact the requestor to arrange for checkout.

Questions? Contact:

Does He Really Need an FM? – Part III

In addition to being able to hear speech in a classroom, the added critical component of course is being able to understand that speech.  Speech recognition in noise is a skill that is developed by about 6th grade.  Adults with normal hearing score better on speech understanding in noise than children with normal hearing.  Children with normal hearing score better on speech recognitions tasks than children with a hearing loss.  Anyone with a hearing loss has difficulty understanding speech in noise. The greater the degree of hearing loss, the more difficult it is to understand speech in noise.  Also, children with other disabilities struggle with listening in noise.  These include students with Central Auditory Processing Disorder or difficulty, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, Auditory Memory challenges, and English Language Learners.

If you decide to provide an FM system, please remember that “you get what you pay for”. Not all FM systems are created equal.  Make sure an audiologist recommends a system that is compatible with the student’s personal amplification and is also adequate for your needs.  You want to make sure you are purchasing a system that has been designed for classroom use.

Download a summary document of Does He Need an FM? Parts I-III

Does He Really Need an FM? – Part II

As previously stated, the three common obstacles to a clear speech signal reading the person with hearing loss are: Distance, Reverberation and Noise.  Let’s take a quick look at each of these and how FM systems mitigate these effects.

Distance. By wearing a microphone (transmitter), the teacher’s voice is made to sound as if it were only 6 inches from the student’s ear – instead of 10 feet away.  The teacher’s voice is then ‘closer’ to the student’s hearing device and ear than the other noise around that student (such as coughing, chairs moving, noise from a heating unit, noise in the hallway, talking, etc.) and therefore the teacher’s voice sounds louder than the ambient or background noise. New technology also has the ability to automatically raise the level of the teacher’s voice over any increase in the background noise in the classroom.  This has been a huge advancement in FM systems.

Reverberation. Another issue to combat in any listening environment is reverberation.  Reverberation is caused when a sound is produced in an enclosed space and bounces off the walls and other hard spaces until it is absorbed.  These ‘echoes’ of the teacher’s speech and the ambient noise in a classroom interfere with a single direct delivery of the message.  When using an FM system, the teacher’s voice is delivered directly to the personal hearing device and is not subject to reverberation.

Noise. Even though state of the art personal amplification devices (such as digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, and BAHS) deliver high quality sound to a person in an ideal listening situation, classrooms are not ideal.  The average ambient noise level in classrooms has been measured as 61dB!  This is louder than the sounds of speech.  Students with hearing loss need a signal-to-noise ratio (e.g. speech louder than the background noise) of 15-20 dB – again, the average classroom teacher speaks only 1 to 5 dB louder than the ambient noise in her classroom.

Math for All – AGC in Math





STAAR – Modified is going away. What does that mean for my students in math next year?

In this workshop you will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the math classroom. Develop a plan for preparing all your students for higher expectations.

Hands-on experiences will be provided to show you how to meet the needs of a diverse population. Various resources and tools will be shared at this training.  Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and network with other math and special education teachers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9 – 4pm

Register at

Workshop ID # SP1426974 – Math for All

2014 STAAR Supplemental Aids Update – webinar

TEA has released an updated version of the Supplemental Aids guidance document, which you may access here Acc-Allowable-Supp-Aids_kb_ppt or here:

Region 13 will be hosting a free webinar on December 5 at 11:30 to go over these updates and introduce suggestions for classroom implementation. Register for that webinar here: . As always, the webinar will be recorded and available for access on the Region 13 webinars page:

Inclusion Support for Science Teachers

Students who receive special education services are very commonly included in general education Science classes. This population of students needs Specially Designed Instruction that serves their unique educational needs. Remember that teachers who work primarily outside of special education need to have professional development towards special education if they are working with those students (Texas Education Code (TEC) §21.451 (e).

This workshop will introduce concepts including:

  • brain-based approaches to differentiation
  • instructional strategies for accommodations
  • modification of grade-level content

To register, visit E-Campus and search for FA1326408 — or follow this link:

Title: Accessing the General Curriculum in Science
Date: 12/3/13
Cost: $75
Presenters: Jennifer Jordan-Kaszuba & Matt Holloway