Key Terms: Exceptional Students, Special Education.
Brown vs. Board ImplicationsThe U.S. Supreme Court determined in Brown that if a state provides a free education for its citizenry, a property right of an education is established.The U.S. Constitution prohibits the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process.
PARC RulingsThe Federal District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. (PARC)All children between ages 6 and 21 must be provided free public education.The court indicated that children with mental retardation are to be educated in programs most like those for their peers without disabilities.
Results of Mills Decision The school district was ordered to provide due process safeguards.The court outlined due process procedures for labeling, placement, and exclusion.Procedural safeguards include right to appeal, right of access to records, and written notice of all stages of the process.
Worthy of mention here are two additional connections to other legistlation: 1. Section 504 was the counterpart to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (prohibiting discrimination based on race or national origin) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination based on gender). 2. Section 504 was enacted as part of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 504 includes a civil rights provision prohibiting discrimination against America’s individuals with disabilities. Section 504 requires physical access in buildings for individuals with disabilities.Students not qualifying under IDEA definitions, may qualify under Section 504 if significant learning problems exist affecting school performance.
Principles for students ages 3-21:Zero rejectA free and appropriate education for all children with disabilitiesProcedural safeguards to protect the rights of the students and their parentsEducation in the least restrictive environmentIndividualized educational programsParental involvement in educational decisions related to their children with disabilities
P.L. 94-142 was reauthorized and amended five times.In 1990 Congress renamed the law the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).The most recent reauthorization occurred in December 2004.Since 1990, emphasis has been on the individual first and disability second. (For example, “student with learning disabilities” is preferred over “learning-disabled student.”)
ADA RequirementsThe ADA supports and extends Section 504 by providing adults with disabilities greater access to employment and participation in everyday activities.The Act requires that new public transportation must be accessible to persons with disabilities.ADA ProtectionsThe ADA gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to that provided to other individuals by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 andTitle IX. It also includes those with HIV and AIDS. It protects those with a record of disability.The Act guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
Society places great value on the “body beautiful” and the “body whole.”We value athletes, movie stars, and other “beautiful” people.Those not meeting minimal standards can suffer social rejection.Society views disability as incompatible with adult roles.
Society places great value on the “body beautiful” and the “body whole.”We value athletes, movie stars, and other “beautiful” people.Those not meeting minimal standards can suffer social rejection.Society views disability as incompatible with adult roles.Needs to change to a ‘person first’ language. He is a man who is blind. Instead of ‘blind man’
Other Contributing VariablesBias inTest instrumentsTesting processInterpretation of test resultsPlacement after testingPoverty resulting inPoor pre- and postnatal carePoor nutritionPoor environmental conditions (exposure to lead poisoning, for example)Lack of adequate stimulationPoor schools
Gollnick chapter 6
Exceptional StudentsExceptional 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 educationalprogramming designed to meet the uniquelearning and developmental needs of astudent who is exceptional.”
Individuals with Disabilities Individuals with disabilities often lose freedom of choice when participating in special programs. Their own ideas become a part of the plan dictated by service providers. Federal laws provide for the basic civil rights for individuals with disabilities, but even the laws do not prevent ignorance or insensitivity.
Brown v. Board of Education The 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education addressed segregation of African American students. Brown became the basis for almost all special education right-to-education litigation.
Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Using the Brown decision, attorneys argued that having undertaken a free public education for the children of Pennsylvania, the state could not deny children with mental retardation the same. The earlier students with mental retardation are provided education, the greater the amount of learning that can be predicted.
Mills v. Board of Education This case was a class action suit for 18,000 out-of- school children with disabilities in the District of Columbia. The children’s disabilities included behavior problems, hyperactivity, epilepsy, mental retardation, and physical impairments. The court mandated that the school district provide all children with disabilities a public-supported education.
Additional Legislation Most federal and state right-to-education laws are based on prior litigation (PARC, Mills, and others) giving educational rights to individuals with disabilities. The two earlier and most prominent pieces of legislation include Section 504 of P.L. 93-112 and P.L. 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act).
Section 504“No otherwise qualified handicappedindividual in the United States . . . shall,solely by reason of his (or her) handicap, beexcluded from the participation in, be deniedthe benefits of, or be subjected todiscrimination under any program or activityreceiving federal financial assistance.”
P.L. 94-142 In 1975 Congress passed Public Law 94-142, naming it the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA, or EHCA). This law permanently changed the face of education in the United States.
IDEA, Since 1990 Students must have a Transition Plan in place, in their IEP, by age 16. Autism and Traumatic Brain Injury were added as separate categories of disability. Mediation allows parents a stronger voice and role should disagreements about a child’s IEP take place. Students with disabilities are ensured access to the general education curriculum. Key provisions are aligned with No Child Left Behind.
Public Law 101-336:Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Congress passed the ADA in 1990 because Section 504 was not sufficient and did not end discrimination for adults with disabilities. The ADA guarantees access to all aspects of life—not just those that are federally funded (as with Section 504)—to individuals with disabilities.
Society’s View of Disability Society’s view of people with disabilities parallels the media portrayal of these individuals. The media portrayal is often limited to: (1) children or childlike, with severe mental retardation or obvious physical stigmata or (2) persons with crippling conditions in wheelchairs or on crutches.
Society’s Perception of Individuals with Disabilities Disability dominates our perception of the individual’s social value. 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. Stereotypes of individuals with disabilities deny them a place in society, limiting their social and economic equality.
Exceptional Cultural Groups They often find comfort and security with each other in exceptional cultural groups. Individuals with visual and hearing impairments are the most likely to form their own cultural groups.
Disproportionate Placements Disproportionate placement of students of color in classes for students with disabilities is among the biggest problem areas in special education. The disproportion is greatest among African American males who are placed in classes for students with mental retardation and severe emotional disturbances. American Indian students are overrepresented in some disability categories, as are Hispanics in some states and Native Hawaiians in Hawaii.
Contributing Variables Incongruent values and backgrounds between students and teacher result in over-referrals. Students referred to special education are primarily African American males from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds. Teachers making referrals are primarily white, female, and middle class.
Educating Students with Exceptionalities They are more like, than unlike, other students. They should be assisted to become proficient at whatever they are capable of doing. They have the same basic needs as other children: communication, acceptance, and freedom to grow.
Normalization and Inclusion Normalization: Making regular experiences and ways of life available to people with disabilities. 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. 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.
Full Inclusion Current trends within special education are toward inclusive placements in general education classes. 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.
Supporters of Full Inclusion For many or most supporters, full inclusion is more a moral and ethical issue of desegregation than academic efficacy. They view segregation of children with disabilities as immoral and unethical as segregation of students because of race.
Concerns With Inclusion Some supporters question the appropriateness of full inclusion for all children with disabilities regardless of the type or degree of disability. Concerns are raised over some students with such severe disabilities that nothing is gained academically and little socially. Some argue that inclusion of students with disabilities is a disrupting influence to other students.
Is it Possible? Serving students with disabilities in general education environments would be possible for most students with disabilities if: schools and teachers have adequate resources. all teachers and specialists received adequate training. federal and state funding was at appropriate levels (federal funding is currently at 18% of what was/is promised in the legislation). Courts will not support inadequate funding as a reason not to provide students with inclusive education.