Go to METRO ECSU home

Free Digital Paraprofessional Development Resources


For MN Paraprofessionals working with students who have low incidence disabilities. Compiled by the Region 11 - MN Low Incidence Projects. These statewide resources can also be accessed by using the top navigation tabs drop-down menu.

  • The Kids We Lose
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 1.5 hours
    From Maine Public Radio. A feature-length Ross Greene documentary about what happens to children who are behaviorally-challenged when they enter schools where educators are not able to mitigate the nonconforming behaviors. The film’s investigative focus is on how the system uses discipline rather than effective measures, leading to a school-to-prison pipeline for many disadvantaged students.
  • Willowbrook
    Available on Youtube, 30 minutes, Video Presentation, No sign in required
    Investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera's 1972 exposé of Willowbrook State School, Staten Island, New York. A shocking look into our near history and how our country dealt with people who now would have labels of OHD, ASD, DCD.  Puts into perspective the force of parent and educational psychology advocacy that led to IDEA.
  • Including Samuel Then and Now: An Online Reunion and Screening Event
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 75 minutes
    From Dan Habib. 12-minute film trailer and post-film discussion on Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel. The film chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles, as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion.
  • “Who Cares About Kelsey?”: An Online Reunion & Screening Event
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 2 hours 10 minutes
    From Dan Habib "Who Cares About Kelsey?" focuses on Kelsey Carroll, who lived with homelessness, abuse, and ADHD. She was a likely high school dropout – until she encountered an education revolution that’s about empowering, not overpowering, teens with emotional and behavioral disabilities.
    Watch this screening of "Who Cares About Kelsey?," followed by an engaging discussion with the film "stars," recorded on May 7, 2020. Note: On June 1, 2020, the link will remain the same, but the video will only contain the "Who Cares About Kelsey?" 6-minute trailer and the discussion.
  • 7 Ways to Get Paraprofessionals Involved in Distance Learning
    Podcast, No sign in required, 15 minutes
    From Autism Classroom Resources. In this episode, the presenters have gathered up 7 ways that paras can get involved in the distance education effort.
  • Through Your Child’s Eyes
    Simulations, Videos, No sign in required, 5 simulations each ranging in length

    From Understood.org. It’s one thing to read about learning and thinking differences. It’s another thing to see them through your child’s eyes. Experience firsthand how frustrating it is when your hand won’t write what your brain is telling it to. Or how hard it is to complete a simple task when you have trouble focusing. Use these unique simulations and videos to better understand your child’s world.
  • Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparatio
    Modules, No sign in required, 4 modules each ranging in length
    From Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation. The online learning materials help school district personnel, professional development providers, and regional service providers improve the quality and consistency of training available to instructional paraprofessionals. Each module includes relevant information assembled in 10 or 11 units, each incorporating a variety of learning tools such as webinars, activities, discussion prompts, and resources. Module topics: Helping with Instruction, Communication and Collaboration, Helping Students Read, and Helping Students Do Math.
  • Collaborative Experience Keynotes on Video
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 1.5 hours each
    From Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, Deafblind & Hard of Hearing. This is a collection of keynotes and presentations given at the Collaborative Experience conferences over the years. They are intended to be a resource for teachers of the deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing, school professionals, and families.
  • Introduction to Using Prompts
    Module, No sign in required, 1.5 hours
    From Idaho Training Clearinghouse. By the end of this module, the learner will: Become familiar with the types of prompts that may be used with students during instruction. Be able to identify when a prompt is needed and how to adjust prompts based on student responses. Learn how to effectively collaborate with supervisors to ensure that prompting procedures are implemented correctly.
  • Educational Briefs
    Readings & Videos, No sign in required, Briefs ranging from 1.5-3 hours in length
    From Center on the Developing Child Harvard University
  • Understanding CHARGE Syndrome Modules
    Modules, Create a free account to access, 6 Modules each ranging in length
    From CHARGE SYNDROME Association of Australasia. 'Understanding CHARGE Syndrome' is a free online course that aims to improve understanding and awareness of CHARGE. Members of the public will increase their knowledge of CHARGE-related issues and those in the CHARGE Community will be empowered to create and contribute to personalized CHARGE management plans.
  • Open Hands, Open Access (OHOA): Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules
    Modules, No sign in required, 26 Modules each ranging in length
    From National Center on Deaf-Blindness. The Open Hands, Open Access (OHOA): Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules are a national resource designed to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills related to intervention for students (ages 3 through 21) who are deaf-blind and being served in educational settings.
    The modules, created by a diverse group of experts in the field of deaf-blindness, were designed to be used as part of comprehensive intervener training programs offered by qualified agencies or institutions. The content is aligned with Council for Exceptional Children standards that outline knowledge and skill competencies for interveners. On their own the modules do not serve as an intervener training program.
  • UEB Online Braille Training
    Modules, Create a free account to access, 4 Programs each ranging in length
    From UEB Online. The UEB Online training programs are suitable for anyone who wants to learn braille. This includes educators, families, allied health professionals, and education administrators and policy makers who promote the use of braille as a medium for information access and communication.
  • Incorporating Participation Opportunities
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 22 minutes
    From SWWC. The intent of this presentation is to share ideas on how to include students with multiple disabilities in the school setting.
  • Prompting Hierarchy Video
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 14 minutes
    From SWWC. The intent of this presentation is to describe prompting an errorless learning teaching procedure.
  • District 916 Distance Learning Resources
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, Please complete survey after participation, 15-90 minutes
    From Northeast Metro 916. New Trainings added each week! Trainings in this section have a CEU survey for both member district and 916 paras to demonstrate their completion. 916 has opened this site up for beyond member districts and is asking anyone who participates to complete the surveys for CEUs - linked below each resource. This will help track use and further the ability to share effectively with others.
  • Many Faces of Autism Course
    Video Presentation, No sign in required, 90 minutes
    From Strategies in Action – OCALI. This introductory module presents information about unique characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Five simple strategies are introduced that may be used anytime, anywhere with young children, students, and adults with ASD.
  • AFIRM Module: Introduction to ASD
    Module with video and text, Create a free account to access, 2-3 hours
    From AFIRM. This is a newly developed Introduction to Autism Module that provides evidence-based information about characteristics of ASD, how to support learners with ASD, and activity-based scenarios that promote real-world application.
  • Autism Internet Modules (AIM)
    Module with video and text, Create a free account to access, Modules range from .5 to 3 hours
    From AIM – OCALI. This site has over 40 different free modules that are based on evidence-based strategies for children with ASD. The following modules are recommended as prerequisites to other modules: Visual Supports, Home Base, Structured Work Systems & Activity Organization, Using Special Interests in the Classroom, Overview of Social Skills Functioning and Programming, Reinforcement, and Prompting.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 1): An Overview for Educators
    Module with video and text, Create a free account to access, 2 hours
    From IRIS- Vanderbilt. This module provides information on the early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as an overview of the difference between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination of ASD.
  • Accommodations: Instructional and Testing Supports for Students with Disabilities
    Module with video and text, Create a free account to access, 2 hours
    From IRIS- Vanderbilt. This module explains how accommodations differ from other kinds of instructional adaptations.
  • The Back-to-School Transition
    Audio presentation, No sign in required, 10 minutes
    From Autism Speaks. Parent/family perspective on their child with ASD transitioning from a classroom for kids with developmental delays to a traditional kindergarten classroom.
  • The World Needs All Kinds of Minds
    Video, presentation, No sign in required, 20 minutes
    Temple Grandin, Ted Talk

Note: The resources listed above link to "external websites" which may not be accessible for the viewer, screen readers and other assistive technology devices. If you need assistance, please email the "Contact Information" person listed at the bottom of this page.

Contact Information

Kayna Plaisted
Professional Development Facilitator
Region 11 Low Incidence Projects
612-638-1538, kayna.plaisted@metroecsu.org

Special Education Programs

Centers Of Excellence
We believe that using data to inform our practice at multiple levels of implementation ultimately contributes towards a positive impact on the children and families we serve.

MN Low Incidence Projects (website)
are designed to assist school districts across the state in fulfilling federal requirements in the areas of implementation of the IDEA, professional development and insuring the availability of high quality staff in the low incidence areas of Special Education.

Regional Low Incidence Project - Region 11
is one of eleven state projects. These projects address identified gaps and needs in special education programs and related services for students identified with any Low Incidence disability.

Region 11 IEIC Project
is responsible for the implementation of Help Me Grow child find and public awareness in the 7-county metro area. Help Me Grow is a statewide initiative that conducts outreach and public awareness activities to connect young children who have developmental delays or disabilities and their families to free early intervention services.

Greater MN Launch PAD
is a program that provides culturally affirmative psychological assessments to students (ages 0-21) who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind, who live in Greater Minnesota (outside the 7 county metro area) and attend a Minnesota public school.

Free Digital Para Development Resources
for MN Paraprofessionals working with students who have low incidence disabilities. Compiled by the Region 11 - MN Low Incidence Projects.

Special Education Main
Finding creative, cost-effective approaches to help students with disabilities is the goal of these special education programs housed at Metro ECSU. Programs provide technical assistance and cutting-edge staff development.

Judy Wolff Library

Lending Library Materials are available September through June for Minnesota residents only. Please contact the library to reserve items well in advance of time needed.

Library More Information

Metro ECSU Online Registration

All listings and events offered by Metro ECSU and register at our Event Calendar page.

Event Calendar & Registration