About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8677-8683
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2018

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: BENEFICIARIES OF THE LEGACY OR DISPROPORTIONALITY?

A. King-Berry1, R. Boone2, N.M. Johnson1, R. Kalunga1

1University of the District of Columbia (UNITED STATES)
2Howard University (UNITED STATES)
Impressive advancements have been made in educational opportunities for students with disabilities whose historic relationship with American public schools ha been marked by educational disenfranchisement or mis-education. Critical judicial impetus for these educational opportunities was provided by landmark court cases in which African American and other students of color played vital roles. This litigation culminated in the principles of access, non-discrimination, and due process codified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (IDEA) However, although African American students with other students of color have substantially impacted the education of students with disabilities, they have not benefited proportionately to their contributions nor commensurate with their majority peers.

The primary impetus for the development of the special education laws began during the peak of the civil rights movement. In 1954, the decision in the Brown v Board of Education case caused a movement in the education field that has been unequaled. The nation's special education law, IDEA, aimed to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates. The educational status reflected by data from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Special Education-A Multi-Year Disproportionality Analysis by State, Analysis Category and Race/Ethnicity, (2016) prompts neither a sense of joy nor festivity.

Research suggests that a child’s race and ethnicity significantly influence the probability that he or she will be misidentified as needing special education and that disproportionality can have immediate and long-term negative effects. Labeling students as disabled when they really are not leads to unwarranted services and supports. Misidentified students are likely to encounter limited access to rigorous curricula and diminished expectations.

After forty one years, the core of IDEA have yet to address the disproportionate identification of African American students and other students of color in disability classification, overrepresentation in more restrictive educational environments, under representation in less restrictive ones, and the adverse educational impacts and outcomes for these students with disabilities that are the inevitable result of these disparities. These adverse outcomes are poor academic achievement, lower graduation and higher drop out rates, higher suspension, vulnerability to exclusionary disciplinary actions, few opportunities to access post secondary education and fewer job opportunities.

Suggested remedies for Disproportionality include providing continuous professional development on the purpose application, and interpretation of culturally responsive assessments, curriculum and school environments.

This team of expert panelists in Special Education, Law, Counseling, and Speech and Language Pathology will present an engaging session with session participants onthe following topics:
• Laws, Policies and Practices in Special Education that Impact African American and other students of color.
• Disproportionality in Special Education.
• Creative Solutions For Reducing Disproportionality of Minority Students in Special Education.
@InProceedings{KINGBERRY2018AFR,
author = {King-Berry, A. and Boone, R. and Johnson, N.M. and Kalunga, R.},
title = {AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: BENEFICIARIES OF THE LEGACY OR DISPROPORTIONALITY?},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.2018},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.2018},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8677-8683}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. King-Berry AU - R. Boone AU - N.M. Johnson AU - R. Kalunga
TI - AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: BENEFICIARIES OF THE LEGACY OR DISPROPORTIONALITY?
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2018
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 8677
EP - 8683
ER -
A. King-Berry, R. Boone, N.M. Johnson, R. Kalunga (2018) AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: BENEFICIARIES OF THE LEGACY OR DISPROPORTIONALITY?, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 8677-8683.
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