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English Learners with Disabilities: Challenges, Strategies, and Tools for Inclusive Schools

Develop and implement academic instruction in the inclusive classroom that addresses the unique needs of English learners with disabilities and other learning difficulties. Participate in our customized professional learning for research-based strategies.

Contact Us About This Service

What You Will Learn

You will gain the knowledge and practical skills to implement doable, daily, research-based instructional strategies to tailor academic instruction for dually identified students — and connect your new knowledge and skills with other improvement initiatives and prior professional learning. You will learn:

  • The stages of language acquisition of English learners at different developmental levels, with an emphasis on how they learn and communicate what they are learning
  • The learning characteristics of students with learning difficulties
  • How to integrate research-based instructional strategies (Universal Design for Learning) to scaffold content learning for the variety of learners in the inclusive classroom
  • How to provide structured opportunities for students to engage in academic discussion and discourse
  • How to assess content learning in the classroom for all diverse learners
  • How to “put it all together” as a doable, daily approach to teaching in an inclusive classroom

Who Will Benefit

  • General Education Teachers, Special Education Teachers, and English Language Development Teachers who provide academic instruction to English learners with disabilities
  • Support Staff such as staff developers, specialists, paraeducators, and coaches
  • School/District Teams of Teachers and Administrators who want to work collaboratively to meet the needs of English learners with disabilities

Service Details

On-site Professional Development

On-site one-day workshop at your school or district: Provides an overview of the research, introduces the principles of Universal Design for Learning, and offers strategies to address the needs of English learners with disabilities.

On-site two-day workshop at your school or district: Offers more intensive exploration and application of the strategies to provide deeper understanding and practice. In addition, team planning time is provided to address and plan for implementation and capacity building across your site or district. Designed for use with district and school site teams to develop plans for supporting the use of strategies across the site or district.

Customized workshops and coaching support: Can be designed to address your specific needs and ongoing coaching support.

Online Professional Development

WestEd offers engaging online professional development focused on addressing the unique needs of English Learners with Disabilities. Virtual trainings for K-12 educators include synchronous and asynchronous learning activities for deep, generative learning. Duration of the trainings range from two-day institutes to online series that take place over several weeks.

English Learners with Disabilities Virtual Summit

This online professional development learning series is designed to help educators support English Learners with Disabilities. Over this 12-hour experience, participants gain an understanding of how to implement evidence-based instructional strategies using supportive frameworks appropriate for online and site-based learning environments. Drawing on WestEd’s longstanding expertise in this interdisciplinary area of work, participants will learn how to apply knowledge and skills needed to improve student outcomes.

What Makes This Service Unique

Our experts have a deep understanding of the current research and evidence-based practices that lead to improved teaching and learning for English learners with disabilities and other learning difficulties.

We design each professional learning workshop to meet the needs of your district and school site, with a focus on providing educators the knowledge and practical tools needed to improve teaching and learning outcomes for English learners with disabilities.


Customized workshops, coaching, and ongoing in-class support: Price varies per type of support requested. Costs are inclusive of all presenter’s costs (fees and travel where applicable) and materials for the session.

Learn More

To learn more, contact Dona Meinders by email or at 916.492.4013.

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