Administering Special Education: In Pursuit of Dignity and Autonomy

ISBN: 978-0-76231-145-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-298-6

ISSN: 1479-3660

Publication date: 30 December 2004


The tremendous relevance of societal discrimination to special education of the learning disabled cannot be gainsaid. Mistreatment of disabled children in public and private educational institutions is a bad reflection on the moral and egalitarian values of the society at large. “Many students, regardless of race, who are deemed eligible to receive special education services [mandated by federal laws] are unnecessarily isolated, stigmatized, and confronted with fear and prejudice” (Losen & Welner, 2001, p. 407). According to the U.S. Congress, “poor African-American children are 2.3 times more likely to be identified by their teacher as having mental retardation than their white counterpart” (20 U.S.C. §1400 (8)(c) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)). Congress has also found that a highly disproportionate number of elementary and secondary special education students are African-Americans (IDEA §1400 (8)(D)) and their social disadvantage stems from “lack of opportunities in training and educational programs, undergirded by the practices in the private sector that impede their full participation in the mainstream society” (IDEA §1400 (10)).


Jan Pillai, K. (2004), "2. EQUAL PROTECTION, DISABILITIES, AND OTHER FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION", Alexander, K. and Hunter, R. (Ed.) Administering Special Education: In Pursuit of Dignity and Autonomy (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 13-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1479-3660(04)07002-7

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