Subject: [EDEQUITY Disability]Closing Statement for Christine Valenciana
I was particularly struck by the statements that so many of the panelists
sent in regarding the poverty of women with disabilities as well as the
isolation of girls in special education. I am wondering whether much
research exists regarding Latinas as a separate group with respect to these
issues? My own experience has been that Latina girls sometimes go for
years without being referred for special testing. Often these girls speak
limited English and it is unclear to their teachers if they are falling
behind academically because of the language issue. In addition, the number
of school psychologists and special education teachers who speak Spanish is
still dismally low. In many Southern California school districts speech
testing is still done by bilingual instructional aides since there are few
bilingual speech therapists. In some cases, children are tested by a
psychologists on tests with questionable validity! Often these kids do
not have a speech or a language problem--they speak very little English!
They are then referred for special services or special education when they
do not, in fact, have a disability! They receive special services and are
educated in "learned helplessness." They are doomed to limited education.
I look forward to future discussions!!
Dept. of Elementary and Bilingual Education
California State University Fullerton
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