Were you aware that 11 percent of all undergraduate students have a disability?
Edsource states that today, in the United States, school districts are paying up to $13.2 billion to fund special education for handicapped students. The state and federal government only cover one third of the cost.
7 million students receive special education under federal law IDEA, or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IDEA is a law that ensures students with disabilities are provided special education.
According to ReadingRocket, just over 20 percent of ninth graders have a negative attitude toward handicapped students.
Handicapped means having a condition that restricts one’s ability to function physically, mentally, or socially.
Eighth grader Lilliana Urdiales said, “I have a positive opinion towards them. We’re all different, so I try my best to be helpful and nice.”
Public School Review states that in section 504 of federal law the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students with disabilities are offered accommodations such as: seating in the front of the classroom, homework modifications, testing that isn’t timed, and more.
“I feel that Corbett offers adequate accommodations for handicapped students. I do think that doors that open automatically would improve accessibility for them, but that raises safety concerns. Classrooms should be provided desks for students in wheelchairs when needed,” said eighth grade social studies teacher Mrs. Ulveling.
To qualify for an IEP, or Individualized Education Program, students would need to have autism, a vision/hearing impairment, a learning disability, physical disability, serious emotional disturbance, traumatic brain injury or another impairment.
An IEP is a written plan describing goals for the child throughout the school year and that can provide any special support needed.
“I think we should try and be nice and helpful to handicapped students. We also shouldn’t bully them or make them feel bad,” said eighth grader Alex Fontanez.
Kids who qualify for an IEP may also be eligible for the following: occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physical therapy and/or a classroom aid.
Ulveling said, “At Corbett, we offer ALE classes, basic classes, SEL art, adaptive PE, and inclusion classes.”
According to the National Education Association, the current average per special education student is $16,921. In IDEA, the federal government made a commitment to pay 40 percent of the cost.