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Thursday, 11 October 2012 14:32

exceptionality

Written by David Sheppard
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l   Early Treatment

l  In earlier periods of history, individuals with disabilities were killed or left to die because they were viewed as nonproductive and expendable.

l  Society tended to treat those with disabilities much like other oppressed minority groups.

l  As late as the 1970s, many of those with disabilities, particularly with moderate to severe disabilities, were institutionalized.

l  Placed in institutions often far from their families, they were often forgotten.

l  Exceptional Students

  Exceptional Students are those students with disabilities, and those who are gifted and talented, who may require special education services in school to reach their full educational potential.

   Special education is “the educational programming designed to meet the unique learning and developmental needs of a student who is exceptional.”

l  Individuals with Disabilities

l  Federal laws provide for the basic civil rights for individuals with disabilities,

l  … but the laws cannot prevent ignorance or insensitivity.

l  P.L. 94-142

l  In 1975 Congress passed Public Law 94-142, naming it the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA, or EHCA).

l  This law permanently changed the face of education in the United States.

l  Public Law 94-142

Principles for students ages 3-21:

l  Zero reject

l  A free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities

l  Procedural safeguards to protect the rights of the students and their parents

l  Education in the least restrictive environment

l  Individualized educational programs

l  Parental involvement in educational decisions related to their children with disabilities

l  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

l  In 1990 Congress renamed the law the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

l  .

l  Since 1990, emphasis has been on the individual first and disability second. (For example, “student with learning disabilities” is preferred over “learning-disabled student.”)

l  Components of IDEA, Since 1990

l  Students must have a Transition Plan in place, in their IEP, by age 16.

l  Autism and Traumatic Brain Injury were added as separate categories of disability.

l  Mediation allows parents a stronger voice and role should disagreements about a child’s IEP take place.

l  Students with disabilities are ensured access to the general education curriculum.

l  Key provisions are aligned with No Child Left Behind.

l  Public Law 101-336:
 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

l  .

l  The ADA guarantees access to all aspects of life—not just those that are federally funded (as with Section 504)—to individuals with disabilities.

l  ADA Requirements

l  The ADA provides adults with disabilities greater access to employment and participation in everyday activities.

l  The Act requires that new public transportation must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

l  ADA Protections

l  The ADA gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to that provided to other individuals by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX.

l  It also includes those with HIV and AIDS. It protects those with a record of disability.

l  The Act guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

l  Society’s View of Disability

v  Society’s view of people with disabilities parallels the media portrayal of these individuals.

v  The media portrayal is as (1) children or childlike, with severe mental retardation or obvious physical stigmata or (2) persons with crippling conditions in wheelchairs or on crutches.

l  Societal Values

v  Society places great value on the “body beautiful” and the “body whole.”

v  We value athletes, movie stars, and other “beautiful” people.

v  Those not meeting minimal standards can suffer social rejection.

v  Society views disability as incompatible with adult roles.

l  Society’s Perception of Individuals with Disabilities

v  Disability dominates our perception of the individual’s social value.

v  Although the terms are now politically incorrect, we still hear “blind man,” “deaf woman,” and “retarded kid”—terms that emphasize the disability before the person.

v  Stereotypes of individuals with disabilities deny them a place in society, limiting their social and economic equality.

l  Exceptional Cultural Groups

l  They often find comfort and security with each other in exceptional cultural groups.

l  Individuals with visual and hearing impairments are the most likely to form their own cultural groups.

l  Disproportionate Placements

v  Disproportionate placement of students of color in classes for students with disabilities is among the biggest problem areas in special education.

v  The disproportion is greatest among African American males who are placed in classes for students with mental retardation and severe emotional disturbances.

v  American Indian students are overrepresented in some disability categories, as are Hispanics in some states and Native Hawaiians in Hawaii.

l  Contributing Variables

v  Incongruent values and backgrounds between students and teacher result in overreferrals.

v  Students referred to special education are primarily African American males from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

v  Teachers making referrals are primarily white, female, and middle class.

l  Other Contributing Variables

v  Bias in

-        Test instruments

-        Testing process

-        Interpretation of test results

-        Placement after testing

v  Poverty resulting in

-        Poor pre- and postnatal care

-        Poor nutrition

-        Poor environmental conditions (exposure to lead poisoning, for example)

-        Lack of adequate stimulation

-        Poor schools

l  Educating Students with Exceptionalities

l  They are more like, than unlike, other students.

l  They should be assisted to become proficient at whatever they are capable of doing.

l  They have the same basic needs as other children: communication, acceptance, and freedom to grow.

l  Normalization and Inclusion

v  Normalization: Making regular experiences and ways of life available to people with disabilities.

v  Least-restrictive environment (LRE) is a key component of IDEA, with placement in a setting closest to a regular or general education as is feasible for each student with a disability.

v  Inclusion: Allowing students with disabilities to be educated in general education classrooms. Based on the general education classroom being the least restrictive environment for most, if not all, students. Inclusion is not federally mandated. LRE, however, is.

l  Full Inclusion

v  Current trends within special education are toward inclusive placements in general education classes.

v  There are also increasing numbers of full-inclusion placements, with full-day placement within all general education classes regardless of the type of disability or degree of disability.

l  Supporters of Full Inclusion

v  For many or most supporters, full inclusion is more a moral and ethical issue of desegregation than academic efficacy.

v  They view segregation of children with disabilities as immoral and unethical as segregation of students because of race.

l  Questioning Full Inclusion

v  Some supporters question the appropriateness of full inclusion for all children with disabilities regardless of the type or degree of disability.

v  Concerns are raised over some students with such severe disabilities that nothing is gained academically and little socially.

v  Some argue that inclusion of students with disabilities is a disrupting influence to other students.

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Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2012 14:34