DLD Shares Evidence-Based Practices in Cuba

Stephanie Al Otaiba

Board member Diane Rodriguez, who chairs the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity subcommittee, invited the DLD board to get involved in Havana at the International Congress on Teacher Training and Education Research Docencia Conference held from the 25th through the 29th of October. Hosted for the first time ever in Cuba, the conference included 29 Americans joining over 400 scholars from across Latin America.  Coincidentally this occurred shortly before Fidel Castro passed away. During our brief visit, Cuba noted anniversary of Columbus’ arrival (October 28), participated in Cuba’s ongoing celebration of Fidel’s 90th birthday, and witnessed the first ever US abstention from a UN vote condemning the Cuba Embargo. This was an international event organized by the Pedagogical Science University Enrique José Varona from Cuba. Then-DLD president Linda Mason was interviewed by the Cuban print media and she highlighted the importance of supporting individuals with disabilities and international collaboration. 

Several of the board presented evidence-based practices. We joined to create and translate into Spanish two presentations and we invited doctoral students and colleagues to help us. One panel presented Self-Regulated Learning for Students with Disabilities(Mason, deBettencourt, Lavin, Faggella-Luby, and Mamlin.) This panel described direct and explicit instruction principles, including the changing responsibilities of teacher and student during mediated learning. The presentation highlighted two evidence-based interventions (Self-Regulated Strategy Development and the Strategic Instruction Model). The panel concluded with handouts for practitioners on the roles of general and special educators during explicit instruction of students with disabilities.

The second explained Data-based Individualization for Reading Intervention for Students with or at Risk for Learning and Intellectual Disabilities (Al Otaiba, Lemons, McMaster, Pappamihiel, & Polanco). This panel described response to intervention, or multi-tiered systems of supports, for struggling readers, characteristics of students who have not adequately responded to intervention, small group or peer-assisted intensive interventions, and what special educators need to know about data-based tertiary intervention, or special education. The panel concluded with a set of 10 evidence-based tips that are helpful for training educators who teach reading to students with disabilities.

As teachers across the US plan for the start of the new school year, we hope you will find information about these and other evidence-based practices on our website. We also hope you will enjoy the DLD session at the CEC in Tampa conference and that you join us in our commitment to improving the lives of all individual with learning disabilities here and across the globe!

PDF Back