Volume:9, Issue: 1

May. 15, 2017

Articles by #getArticle.ind_name#
Individualized Education Plans in the United States: Experiences of Parents Who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Pierson, Melinda R. [about]
Despite reforms in special education law that mandate the direct involvement of families in discussions regarding their child’s education, parents continue to have limited involvement in the individualized education plan (IEP) process in the United States. The special education system with foreign terminology, numerous acronyms, legal language can lead to confusion for families who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) and who have children with special needs. The focus of this paper is to understand how special education is generally perceived from parental perspectives of those who are CLD and how to increase parent involvement in the individualized education plan process. Insights on the common challenges families who are CLD encounter and strategies will be offered on how teachers can create a positive experience for all families.
Independence: Training paraprofessionals to increase skills in the classroom
Pierson, Melinda R. [about]
Individuals with disabilities lack self-advocacy and self-determination skills as well as independence. As key members of student learning and skill acquisition, paraprofessionals do not receive proper training to increase self-advocacy and self-determination skills in students. Training paraprofessionals to use a variety of prompts and prompting hierarchies with students with disabilities can lead to greater student independence. Paraprofessionals will benefit from further and more advanced training in order to facilitate student independence while increasing student self-advocacy and self-determination skills. Self-advocacy and self-determination skills are extremely important for individuals with disabilities to develop in order to gain independence for themselves. Self-advocacy instruction is found to be so important that IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) include it in their laws so that individuals with disabilities receive it while in school (Fiedler & Danneker, 2007). IDEA emphasizes the importance of teaching and training students with disabilities who need assistive technology devices to communicate as well as transition services that require student participation and student interests and preferences to be taken into account when they are discussed (IDEA, 2015). Individuals being able to communicate for themselves and knowing how to make choices and communicate their interests and opinions are all part of self-advocacy. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides the guidelines for businesses and employers to follow so they do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities (2008). It is also required that employers and businesses provide accommodations for their employees with disabilities (2008). Since ADA is widespread and well known, this creates an opportunity for people with disabilities to be aware of their rights and to advocate for themselves if they are not treated correctly by an employer or business (2008). 

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