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Low Incidence Disabilities (LID)

ESC, Region 20 provides professional development, technical assistance, and resources that support programs serving students with low incidence disabilities (severe and profound cognitive disabilities, medically fragile, deaf/blind).

These Programs are often referred to as Life Skills Programs or other district specific acronyms such as ALE, FLU, FLS, etc. Students in these programs typically participate in the STAAR Alternate Administration.

Low Incidence Contact List

Would you like to receive regular updates regarding Low Incidence Disabilities and STAAR Alternate?

Please complete the following steps to join the ESC-20 Low Incidence Disabilities Contact List:

  1. Go to the home page at
  2. Click on the red button on the top right titled Join Mailing List
  3. Type your email address
  4. Click submit
  5. check the boxes for the mailing lists you would like to join.
  6. Click subscribe.

You will receive a confirmation email.

STAAR Alternate 2 Information

Please access the following links for more information on the STAAR Alternate 2:

ESC 20 STAAR Resources

TEA STAAR Alternate 2 Resources

Book Lending

Click on the link to see a list of available books to check out from our library. Then send and email to Adriana Godinez or Dana Frankland. We will contact you to finalize the process.

  • The ESC-20 Educator Showcase features teachers that have been nominated by their Special Education Directors for demonstrating proficiency in various key components of an evidence-based program for students with low incidence disabilities. The TTESS Supplement: Evidence-Based Practice in the Low Incidence Disabilities Setting was used during each classroom observation to ensure use of various evidence-based practices by the featured educator.  Each teacher has agreed to scheduled classroom visits to share their knowledge with others (pending availability). 

    For more information about the Exemplary Educator Showcase, please contact Dana Frankland.  Click the tabs below to see some of the great things happening in classrooms around Region 20!

    Meet Janet Sheppard!

    Janet teaches at Kendall Elementary in Boerne ISD.  She is a master at utilizing visual systems to foster independence for her students and has classroom management down to an art.  She is able to differentiate her instruction to ensure that all her students are appropriately challenged based on their individual skill level and incorporates opportunities for her students to work as a whole group, in a small group, as well as independently.

    She individualizes to meet each student's specific needs by utilizing adapted seating where needed and incorporates communication supports throughout the day for students that use them.

    She is open to classroom visitors, so please visit her school website to contact her:

    or her email address:

    Check out some pictures from her classroom below!

    • Janet Sheppard

    • Whole Group Instruction Janet incorporates technology into whole group instruction.

    • Individual Instruction Janet uses grouping to allow for opportunities to work with each student individually.

    • Independent work station Janet facilitates opportunities for students to work independently.

    • Positive Behavior Support Students earn letters to spell "TENT" by demonstrating desired behaviors to earn time reading in her tent!

    • Reading Tent

    • Individual Student Schedules Each student learns the process for checking their own schedule. Each schedule is individualized depending on student need.

    Vanessa Ploetz works at Kendall Elementary in Boerne ISD.  She uses visual supports that are appropriate for each student and integrates individual student supports into instruction.  She is open to classroom visitors, so please click here to visit her website to set up a visit. Email or website address coming soon.
    • Meet Ms. Vanessa Ploetz!

    • Here's an example of a student visual support.

    • Some of her students need alternate seating.

    • Here's an example of a student's visual supports.

    • Here is an example of a visual student schedule.

    • Here's a different adapted seating example.

    This is Claire Heins.  She teaches at Crockett Elementary at San Antonio ISD in their Sensory Optimal Learning Environment (S.O.L.E.).  She specializes in working with students that have multiple disabilities using the Active Learning approach.  Her classroom incorporates adapted equipment and experiential instructional opportunities to make learning meaningful for her students.  She is a master of using resources, such as the Communication Matrix, to determine where her students currently are and then building an instructional program for them to help them make progress.

    She is open to classroom visitors, so please email her to set up a visit:

    Check out pictures from her classroom below!
    • Each station in Ms. Heins' classroom has objectives posted that align student expectations with access to TEKS.

    • Here is a copy of the norms and expectations in her classroom.

    • Ms. Heins uses a tool called the FIELA curriculum to align appropriate activities with her students' needs based on assessment data.

    • Here is an example of an activity board for a student to explore.

    • This shows different activity frames as well as an adapted swing. These tools allow students to explore items from different positions.

    • This is an example of a piece of equipment that allows students to explore items independently while lying on their back.

    • Another alternative learning environment--the ball pool!

    • Ms. Heins hangs a wind chime during weather time to help her students experience the environment.

    Ariana Morrow teaches students in the Alternative Learning Environment (A.L.E.) at Lopez Middle School in North East ISD.  She’s a master of implementing positive behavior supports with consistency and creativity to maximize learning time.  Ms. Morrow designed a middle school curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities who access the TEKS through prerequisite skills that is used by teachers across Texas.  She inspires team work, builds communication skills and differentiates for individual learning needs.  Her proactive teaching style minimizes students’ anxiety and her hands-on approach keeps students engaged and excited to learn!

    Recipient of the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the Superintendent’s Award, and most recently Teacher of the Year, Ms. Morrow welcomes visitors and seeks opportunities to be a part of a community of special educators.  She can be reached by email at  She can also be contacted through her teacher webpage at  or her blog at

    • Classroom structure and organization 1 independent work stations

    • Classroom structure and organization 2 group work/whole group instruction

    • Classroom structure and organization 3 clearly defined rules and expectations

    • Animal Adaptations

    • Marshmallow geometry

    • Racing cars with magnets

    • Student garden

    • Studying light with the Praxinoscope

    • Using a formula to determine area

    • Describing liquids and solids

    • Force and motion water rocket 1

    • Force and motion water rocket 2

    I'm Diana Craig. I have been working in ECISD for 7 years. I started as a paraprofessional in a prek co-teach, moved into a co-teaching position for K/1, and now a life skills teacher at Legacy Middle School (grades 6-8). We work to ensure every student has a way to communicate their wants, needs, feelings, and choices. We have students on a variety of communication systems including picture exchange, LAMP words for life, and verbal communication. We run on detailed schedules that allow staff and students to be as independent as possible and know what to expect with each day. Our student schedules look very different in style to fit student needs while promoting movement towards less restrictive schedules that continue to provide the level of visual support each student needs for success. If you are interested in visiting my classroom you may contact me at

    • High Tech Communication System A student utilizing her high tech AAC device to communicate with her teacher.

    • First/Then schedule for a student who needs visual supports for daily routine in small steps.

    • A schedule for students and the job skills they are responsible for doing each day.

    • A list of what job skills will be done by the class and on which days they will be done.

    • A low tech communication (PEC's) system for a student who needs photos as visual support.

    • A student is working on an IEP task independently to gain independence and and maintain the skill.

    • A quiet place for a student who needs a break.

    • A simplified individual schedule for a student who needs visual support.

    • A small group activity where students are working on recognizing the letters of the alphabet.

    • Classroom word wall of Unique (curriculum) words introduced and then displayed.

    • Highly modified writing activity.

    • Modified writing activity.

    • Individual reward system for a student who needs behavioral supports.

    • Diana Craig


LID/STAAR Alternate
Dana Frankland
Educational Specialist
(210) 370-5441
Evelyn Villarreal
Coordinator III
(210) 370-5479
Contact Evelyn Villarreal

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