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In the United States 5.8 million children
live with some type of disability,1
nearly half of them female. Women and girls with disabilities in this
country are a large, diverse group varying along many dimensions, including
disability type, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, age, and sexual
orientation. What binds them together is the double discrimination, based
on both disability and gender, that they face—often compounded by other
forms of prejudice such as racism and classism. Compared with their male
peers with disabilities and nondisabled female peers, these women and
girls fare less well on many indicators of educational, social, vocational,
and financial success.
Prior to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) of 1975, approximately 1 million children with disabilities were
shut out of schools, and hundreds of thousands more were denied appropriate
This legislation has changed the lives of children with disabilities in
this country. Many are now learning and achieving at levels previously
thought impossible. As a result, they are graduating from high school,
going to college, and entering the workforce as productive citizens in
unprecedented numbers. Now over 1 million students who would have been
institutionalized are being educated in local schools; almost 50 percent
of students with disabilities participate in college course work; twice
as many youth with disabilities are likely to become employed; and better
programs are being developed each year.3
While this is significant progress, we can and must do
better. The status of children with disabilities still falls short of
their potential. Twice as many children with disabilities drop out of
school. Dropouts do not return to school and have difficulty finding jobs.
Girls who drop out become single parents at a much higher rate than their
nondisabled peers. Many children with disabilities are excluded from the
curriculum and assessments used for their nondisabled classmates, which
limits their opportunities of achieving higher standards of performance.
This packet is designed to provide basic information on
gender equity for students with disabilities. It offers some information
and practical tools to help you ensure that gender equity is part of the
curriculum for students with disabilities. This FAQ packet contains the
For additional information or assistance such as recommendations,
resources, technical assistance, or training, call the WEEA Equity Resource
Center’s technical assistance hotline at 800-225-3088 or visit our website
IDEA, 1997. (www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/IDEA/).
and Gender Fact Sheet
Persons with disabilities are covered by all civil rights
laws and regulations such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
(sex equity in education) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (equity
based on race, color, and national origin). In addition, five major
regulations pertain to people with disabilities:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title
V—Section 504 is considered to be the major U.S. civil rights law
for persons with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination on the basis
of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial
assistance and in all agencies of the executive branch of the federal
P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children
Act of 1975—P.L. 94-142 guarantees a "free and appropriate
public education" to all students with disabilities. It assures
safeguards and involvement for parents and students in the process of
evaluation, development of written IEPs, and placement.
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Educational Act of
1984—This law requires that one-half of federal monies allocated
to states for vocational education programs must be used to assist students
with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, or low
income students. Ten percent of the money thus set aside must be used
for costs related to mainstreaming students with disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADA is seen as an omnibus civil rights act for persons with disabilities.
The act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in crucial
areas such as employment, housing, public accommodations, travel, communications,
and activities of state and local governments.
The IDEA '97—The IDEA Amendments of 1997 represent
a major milestone in the education of children with disabilities—the
first major revision to P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped
Children Act of 1975, in more than 23 years. IDEA '97 retains and strengthens
the basic rights and protections under IDEA, among them the right to
a "free appropriate public education" for all children with
disabilities, including children suspended or expelled from school;
and the procedural safeguards rights for these children and their parents.
IDEA '97 also places a new and heightened emphasis on
improving educational results for children with disabilities, such as
provisions ensuring that they have meaningful access to the general
curriculum through their individualized educational plan (IEP), including
them in general education reform efforts related to accountability and
high expectations, and focusing on improved teaching and learning.2
Facts from the U.S.
Most national statistics on people with disabilities are
not broken down by gender. Although the number of students served, college
participants, and workers among Americans with disabilities has increased,
it is not clear how young women with disabilities are specifically affected
by the newest laws. What we do know is that their wages are lower than those
of their male counterparts, that they are less likely to work full time,
and that they are continually deprived of adult role models because of inadequate
media attention to women with disabilities.3
However, researchers are
beginning to recognize the need for analyses that are dissaggregated by
gender, and consequently data regarding the issues of gender and disability
are gradually becoming available.
- According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation
(SIPP) and other studies, boys have a higher rate of disability than
girls. Based on SIPP estimates, 8.5 million young people in the United
States aged 21 and under have a disability. Boys and young men (12 percent)
are more likely than girls and young women (8 percent) to have a disability.4
- Although girls and boys are equally represented in
the school-age population, about two-thirds of students in special education
are boys. The greatest disparities exist in the categories of learning
disability and emotional disturbance, which have the most broadly defined
Test Scores and Grades in Secondary School
- Overall, girls with and without disabilities do better
in school than boys with and without disabilities. Girls receive better
grades, are more likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely
to be suspended or expelled.
- Boys do as well as girls on many standardized achievement
tests and score slightly better than girls on 12th-grade math achievement.
Postsecondary Education and Training
- Despite their better academic performance, girls with
disabilities do less well after high school than their male counterparts.
Fewer women than men with disabilities participate in postsecondary
education and training in the years after high school.6
- The federal-state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program
provides services to assist people with disabilities in obtaining employment.
The program served more than 1.2 million people in 1996. People with
severe disabilities represented more than three-quarters of this group.
Women represented 43.9 percent of the 589,472 cases closed in 1996.
In that year, 213,790 people successfully found work as a result of
these VR services. Of those whose cases were closed with employment
as an outcome, 96,319 (45.1 percent) were women and 117,471 (54.9 percent)
- Among working-age people in 1998, only 2.5 million
women, or 28.5 percent of those with a work disability, and 2.7 million
men, or 32.3 percent of those with a work disability, participated in
the labor force. In contrast, 75.8 percent of nondisabled women (59.7
million) and 89.1 percent of nondisabled men (68.2 million) participated
in the labor force.
- According to SIPP data from 1994-1995, only 24.7 percent
of women with severe disabilities had a job or business. Roughly 68
percent of women with mild disabilities are employed. Most women with
disabilities work in technical, sales, and administrative support positions.8
- Women with disabilities make up the smallest percentage
of the labor force.
- In the 1990s there have been no significant gains in
the percentage of women with disabilities participating in the labor
- When controlling for other factors, young men with
disabilities earn on average $1,814 more per year than young women with
- Women are more likely than men to be living in poverty,
and people with a work disability are much more likely than those with
no work disability to be living below the poverty level. Based on Annual
Demographic Survey estimates from 1992, among those aged between
16 and 64, women with a work disability have higher poverty rates (33.8
percent) than men with a work disability (24.2 percent). Women with
a severe work disability (a condition that prevents them from working)
have the highest poverty rates of all. Over 40 percent of women with
severe disabilities are living in poverty, compared with 31.2 percent
of men with a severe work disability.10
- Three to five years after leaving high school, over
30 percent of young women with disabilities are married, compared with
15 percent of males.11
- Women with disabilities experience all types of abuse
(emotional, physical, and sexual) for significantly longer periods of
time than do women without disabilities.
from Around the World
- Women with disabilities are the poorest of the poor
around the world.
- There are few educational opportunities for girls with
disabilities, and those that do exist are usually given to boys.
- The unemployment rate for women with disabilities in
developing countries is virtually 100 percent.
- Women with disabilities have been forming their own
self-help groups both nationally and globally.
- Women with disabilities experience a high incidence
of abuse—physical, emotional, and sexual. Since most women with disabilities
are hidden away at home, the abuse often happens within the family.12
1 S.M. Schaffer and J.M. Greenberg,
Gender and Disability: A Manual for Training (Md.: Vocational Equity
Technical Assistance Project, University of Maryland).
2 IDEA, 1997. Back
3 H. Rousso, "Women and Girls with Disabilities"
EdEquity Discussion (Newton, Mass.: WEEA Equity Resource Center, November
1999) www.edc.org/WomensEquity. Back
4 20th Annual Report to Congress:
Section II, II-25.
5 U.S. Department of Education, OSERS, 1998.
6 20th Annual Report to Congress.
7 Chartbook on Women and Disability in the
United States, 1999, InfoUse. Back
9 20th Annual Report to Congress.
10 Chartbook on Women and Disability in
the United States, 1999, InfoUse.
11 U.S. Department of Education, OSERS,
12 The international statistics are from
the Public Participation Program Canadian International Development Agency
Disability Issues Back
Does the IDEA apply to infants, toddlers,
and preschoolers with disabilities?
The law allows federal funding for infant, toddler,
and preschooler programs. It also clarifies that infants and toddlers should
receive services in the home or in other natural settings where possible.
The IDEA also improves the coordination and transition for children from
infant and toddler programs to pre-school programs.
How is the term "disability"
defined by the IDEA?
As defined by the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) the term "child with a disability" means
with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including
deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including
blindness), serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism,
traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning
disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and
Also covered under the legislation
are children aged three to nine who experience developmental delays in
one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development,
communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive
How does the IDEA help children with
disabilities reach higher levels of achievement?
The 1997 act aims to strengthen academic expectations
and accountability for the nation’s 5.4 million children with disabilities
and to bridge the gap between what children with disabilities learn and
what their non-disabled peers learn. From now on, the Individualized Education
Program (IEP)—the plan that spells out the educational goals for each
child and the services he or she will receive for his or her education—must
relate more clearly to the general curriculum that children in regular
classrooms receive. The law also requires making regular progress reports
to parents, including children with disabilities in state and district
assessments, and setting and reporting on performance goals just as is
done for nondisabled children.
Under the IDEA,
who is eligible to receive special education?
To receive special education, a child must meet
two criteria: (1) He or she must have one or more of the following disabilities:
autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment, mental retardation,
multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment,
serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or
language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment—including
and (2) he or she must require special education and related
services. Not all children who have a disability require special education;
many are able to and should attend school without any program modifications.
Can students with disabilities be placed
in a "regular" classroom?
Yes, this is called inclusion. The IDEA mandates
that "to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities
. . . are educated with children who are not disabled." Data from
the National Longitudinal Transition Study, a congressionally mandated
project that tracks the outcomes of high school students with disabilities,
indicate that the success of students with disabilities in regular classes
is related to supports and services they receive. For example, students
with disabilities who participate in vocational education courses have
fewer absences, better grades, and higher graduation rates than those
who do not. Children are better served by individualized investigation
into the specific supports and services needed to ensure their success
in the regular classroom than by segregated placement in an existing location
that claims to have the services the child needs.3
What if I think my child may have a
The first step is to ask the school to evaluate
the child. Parents should call or write the Director of Special Education
or the principal of their child’s school to request an assessment of their
child. In cases where the public school is first to notice that a child
may need special help because he or she may have a disability, the school
must evaluate that child at no cost to the parents.
The school does not have to evaluate a child just because
the parents have asked. However, if the school refuses to evaluate a child
because it does not think that the child has a disability or needs special
education, it must let the parents know of its decision, and the reason
for it, in writing. In that case, parents can
- ask the school system for information about its special
- contact their state’s Parent Training and Information
(PTI) center. The PTI is an excellent resource for parents to learn
more about special education, the law, and parents’ rights and responsibilities.
How are parents of children with disabilities
involved in decisions about their child’s education?
Parental (or guardian) involvement is increased
under the recent IDEA legislation. In all states, parents are now included
in eligibility and placement decisions about their child with disabilities.
The parents’ role is critical because they will be the one consistent
factor across their child’s educational experience. The most effective
tool parents have in assuring an appropriate education for their child
is the IEP. The new law also aims to increase parental involvement by
requiring regular progress reports on students’ academic goals set forth
in the IEP.
What is an IEP?
The IEP is an Individualized Education Program—a
legal document that establishes the services necessary for a student’s
education. Parents and professionals are equal partners in the IEP process.
This may not mean equal knowledge of educational terms or procedures,
but it does mean equal status in decision making. Parents have valuable
information concerning their son, daughter, or family member. The focus
upon functional, life-centered education for learners with disabilities
requires information pertaining to the student’s home, community experiences,
and skills. Parents and family members have a wealth of information in
this regard and should actively participate in IEP decisions.
What are some good resources for career/STW
planning for students with disabilities?
A variety of employment programs are offered
in many states. The school’s transition team (as required by IDEA) should
be able to describe the options to families. Offerings may include variations
on competitive employment and supported employment opportunities.
Competitive employment consists of regular jobs in the
community performed by people with and without disabilities. Supported
employment refers to paid work for people with disabilities who need special
assistance in learning the job requirements and performing the associated
tasks. Support can be provided through a job coach (a trainer) for an
individual worker in the regular employment setting. Support can also
be provided by having a supervisor oversee a crew or enclave of people
with disabilities working together at a job site. Although states also
fund segregated work and vocational skills development programs, such
as sheltered workshops and work activity centers, many states are deemphasizing
these programs and converting them to programs that help people obtain
jobs in integrated settings.4
1 IDEA, 1997. Back
4 The ARC website (www.thearc.org).
The WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC can help
you find the tools you need to create gender-fair multicultural learning
environments. Call the Center’s hotline at 800-225-3088 or TTY 800-354-6798
for resources and referrals.
The Center’s website is full of exciting information and
tools, from fun facts about the history of equity to a list of practical
curricula designed to help make any subject gender-fair. The Center’s
website was designed to be accessible to users with disabilities. www.edc.org/WomensEquity
EDEQUITY (the Educational Equity Discussion List) is designed
to encourage discussion about international theory and practice. To subscribe,
send e-mail to <Majordomo@mail.edc.org>.
Leave the subject line blank and write the following in the body of the
message: subscribe edequity
The WEEA Digest
Digest is a brief journal offering cutting-edge discussions of
educational theory and research, field-based perspectives, and resource
listings from the WEEA Equity Resource Center.
The digests make an ideal addition to conference and workshop
registration packets, course reading lists, and research collections.
To order digests in packs of 50, contact the distribution center at 800-793-5076,
send an e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org> or order using the attached
form. Packs of 50 are $8.95 plus shipping.
You may request single copies of any WEEA
Digest free of charge, subject to availability. Contact us for
a full listing of titles: call toll-free at 800-225-3088 (TTY 800-354-6798)
or e-mail at <WEEActr@edc.org>,
or download them from our website at www.edc.org/WomensEquity.
The recent issue Connecting
Gender and Disability is included in this packet.
A Positive Sense of Self for Girls with Disabilities
This article by Harilyn Rousso, contained in
the March 1995 WEEA Digest
"Middle School Voices on Gender Identity," offers a summary
of views of 60 ethnically diverse adolescent girls with physical, sensory,
and cognitive disabilities living in the New York City area. It discusses
the difficulties they face as young women, especially social acceptance,
exclusion, and oppression.
To order any of the following publications
or call our toll-free order line at 800-793-5076.
Barrier Free: Serving Young Women with Disabilities
For middle and high school teachers, counselors,
and administrators, and anyone who works with adolescents with disabilities.
Barrier Free is intended for anyone who works with teenage girls
with disabilities. It is designed to increase the educational, vocational,
and social options of adolescent girls with physical or sensory disabilities.
It outlines practical steps for training groups who provide services to
this often overlooked population. In addition to offering guidance, visualizations,
brainstorming sessions, and discussions, the book includes down-to-earth
information on language, accessibility, recruitment, transportation, sexuality,
and program adoption. (53 pp.) By Linda Marks and Harilyn Rousso • #2732
Gender Matters: An Inservice Training Program for Educators
Working with Students with Disabilities (2001)
For special education coordinators and directors,
gender equity coordinators, consultants, educators, and administrators.
Gender Matters was written to enable one or more facilitators to
conduct inservice training on gender equity for professionals and paraprofessionals
who work with students with disabilities. The information is particularly
relevant to educators working with middle, junior high, and high school
students. The program will
- assist educators in understanding issues related to
gender and disability;
- provide a comprehensive overview of gender inequitable
practices in education, and
- give educators the tools they need to provide gender
equitable educational practices to students receiving special education
services. (155 pp.)
By Harilyn Rousso and Michael Wehmeyer. · #2814 •
Call 800-225-3088 to receive the publication announcement for this essential
Raising the Grade: A Title IX Curriculum (1998)
For K-12. Building an effective classroom for
all boys and girls is the first step toward increasing student achievement.
This curriculum is a collection of fun and interesting activities designed
to strengthen students’ abilities to work together across gender, race,
ethnicity, and disability. (174 pp.) By Susan J. Smith and Paula M. Fleming.
• #2810 • $17.00
Strategies for Maintaining a Support Group (1989)
For support group facilitators and people with
disabilities. Women with disabilities face special trials that only other
women with disabilities can fully understand. Designed to help support
groups establish healthy, supportive ways to work through difficulties
and keep going. (64 pp.) By Pearl R. Paulson • #2706 • $12.00
Are Special Educators Prepared to Meet
the Sex Education Needs of Their Students? A Progress Report (1996)
Journal of Special Education (29): 433-41. By D. May and D.
Kundert. This resource discusses the inadequacy of training that special
educators and all educators receive on this topic.
Building Community: A Manual Exploring Issues of Women
and Disability (2000)
This manual examines the connections between
discrimination based on gender and discrimination based on disability.
It contains background information on disability rights and on women and
girls with disabilities, workshop formats, an annotated bibliography and
selected readings. This expanded edition also contains supplementary workshop
and related materials on the needs of teenagers. Developed by the Women
and Disability Awareness Project. Available in print, Braille, and on
cassette. • Educational Equity Concepts, Inc., 100 Fifth Avenue, Second
Floor, New York, NY 10011; 212-243-1110, www.edequity.org
The Chartbook on Women and Disability in the United
Created by InfoUse, this resource brings together
comprehensive data on women and girls with disabilities from various sources.
By Lita Jans and Susan Stoddard. Available to view online or download.
• InfoUse, Berkeley, CA, 510-549-6520, www.infouse.com/disabilitydata/
womendisability.html Also available in alternative formats from
U. S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
Research, Washington, D.C, 202-205-5633, TDD 800-877-8339, www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR
Feminism and Disability (1997)
By Barbara Hillyer. Written from the perspective
of a feminist who is also the mother of a daughter with multiple disabilities.
Chapter topics include language, productivity and pace, grief, mother
blaming, nature and technology, passing, caregivers and difference, codependence
and independence, and recovery programs (320 pp.). • University of Oklahoma
Press, 1005 Asp Avenue, Norman, OK 73019, www.ou.edu/oupress
Gender and Disability Policy (1997)
This special issue of The Journal of Disability Policy includes
nine empirical and theoretical articles by scholars in disability studies,
personal statements by five prominent women with disabilities who identify
current issues, and book reviews. Articles cover aspects of gender and
disability differences in education and occupation of adults with hearing
loss; social security disability decisions; predictors of wages; social
patterning of work disability among women in Canada; access to acute medical
care; abuse of women with disabilities; mental health and women with disabilities;
a feminist perspective on the social causes of impairment, disability,
and abuse; and an overview of arenas for policy change concerning women
with disabilities in developing countries (262 pp.). Available on tape
or diskette. • Department of Rehabilitation Education and Research, University
of Arkansas, 346 N. West Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72701, 501-575-3253
Having a Daughter with a Disability: Is It Different
for Girls? (1990)
This issue of the NICHCY News Digest focuses on some of the
realities parents must face in helping their daughters with disabilities
to become more self-reliant and ultimately independent. The issue concludes
with a bibliography of readings, organizations, and other sources of information.
• National Information Center for Children and Youth with Handicaps, P.
O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492, voice/TTY 800-695-0285, www.nichcy.org
The More We Get Together: Women and Disability (1992)
Edited by Houston Stewart, Beth Percival, and
Elizabeth R. Epperly. This resource is the result of a 1990 meeting of
300 women held on Prince Edward Island as the 14th conference of the Canadian
Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. The 22 papers are divided
into the following topics: difference and dis/ability; herstory; caregiving
and mothering; and language and writing. • Gynergy Books, PO. Box 2023,
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 7N7 Canada
NICHCY Sexuality Education for Children and Youth with
Disabilities (#ND17) (1992)
NICHCY is the National Information Clearinghouse
on Handicapped Children and Youth. This issue of the NICHCY News Digest
provides an overview of the compelling need for sex education for students
with disabilities. • NICHCY, P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492;
voice/TTY 800-695-0285, <NICHCY@aed.org>
Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)
Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI) is a collection
of Internet accessible information resources of interest to those involved
in the fields related to special education. www.hood.edu/seri/serihome.
Turning on Learning: Five Approaches for Multicultural
Teaching Plans for Race, Class, Gender, and Disability, 2nd Edition (1998)
By Carl A. Grant and Christine E. Sleeter. Turning
on Learning is grounded in theories and philosophies supporting multicultural
education. Special attention is given to concerns related to race, class,
gender relations, and disability. In addition to providing lesson plans,
this book teaches processes for modifying and developing existing curriculum
and instruction. (336 pp.) • John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0471364452
A Woman’s Guide to Coping with Disability (1994)
This book addresses the special needs of women
with disabilities and chronic conditions, such as social relationships,
sexual functioning, pregnancy, child rearing, care giving, and employment.
Special attention is paid to ways in which women can advocate for their
rights with the U.S. health care and rehabilitation systems. Written for
women of all ages, the book has chapters on the disabilities that are
most prevalent in women or likely to affect the roles and physical functions
unique to women. (224 pp.) • Resources for Rehabilitation, Lexington,
Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives (1998)
Among the diverse articles in this volume are
several representing the viewpoints of women with disabilities, including
one on reproductive rights by Marsha Saxton and one on parents with disabilities
by Carol Gill. Edited by Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey. • Mayfield Publishing
Company,1280 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041; 800-433-1279, www.mayfieldpub.com
Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture,
and Politics (1990)
This invaluable resource, while somewhat outdated,
raises themes in the introduction that are relevant today. Edited by Michelle
Fine and Adrienne Asch. • Temple University Press, www.temple.edu/tempress
Women and Girls with Disabilities: Defining the Issues—An
Published jointly by the Center for Women Policy Studies and Women
& Philanthropy. By Barbara Waxman Fiduccia and Leslie R. Wolfe. •
Center for Women Policy Studies 202-872-1770, or Women & Philanthropy
There are six Regional Resource Centers for Special Education
in the U.S. Their contact information and region designations are listed
on page 12 of the WEEA Digest Connecting
Gender and Disability.
500 E. Border Street, Suite 300, Arlington, TX
76101, 817-261-6003, www.thearc.org
Berkeley Planning Associates
440 Grand Avenue, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94610;
The Center on Human Policy at Syracuse University
805 South Crouse Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244-2280;
3 E. Tenth Street, Apt. 4B, New York, NY 10003;
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Inc.
2212 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710, voice/TTY:
Disabled Women’s Alliance: Disabled Women on the Web
Educational Equity Concepts
100 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor, New York, NY 10011;
voice/TTY 212-243-1110, www.edequity.org
Education Development Center, Inc., 55 Chapel
Street, Newton, MA 02458-1060, 877-CEC-IDEA, TDD: 703-264-9480, www.ideapractices.org
MIUSA (Mobility International USA)
P. O. Box 10767, Eugene, OR 97440, USA; voice/TTY
National Information Center for Children and Youth
with Disabilities (NICHCY)
P. O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492; voice/TTY
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 935, Silver Spring,
MD 20910-3319; voice 800-346-2742, TTY (301) 495-5626, www.naric.com/naric
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue,
SW, Washington, DC 20202-0498; 1-800-872-5327 or TTY 800-437-0833, www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS
Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)
For more information about additional resources, to consult
with someone about your interests and concerns, to network with other
organizations and educators both nationally and in your local area, or
for any other educational equity questions you may have, call the WEEA
Equity Resource Center’s technical assistance hotline at 800-225-3088.
Including Women and Girls with Disabilities
- Make adaptations using low-cost materials. Consider
the needs of women with disabilities. To find creative solutions to
accessibility issues seek the expertise of other creative thinkers and
problem-solvers in the community, such as mechanics, tailors, bicycle
repair persons, teachers, and artists.
- Assess the location of publicly accessed areas:
are there accessible ramps and restrooms in the buildings? Use meeting
places that are accessible to people with disabilities. Consider building
ramps over curbs and steps to make meeting places accessible.
- Provide alternatives for individuals who cannot
read print materials. Arrange for sign language interpreters for people
who use sign language, or provide for other creative methods like writing,
drawing, or gestures to communicate. Caption all videotapes. Use Telephone
Devices for the Deaf (TDDs). Offer a system of individual assistance
for persons with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities.
- Offer arrangements to assist individuals with
disabilities get to meetings and activities.
- Include individuals with disabilities at all
levels of the organization: planning, funding, implementation, and evaluation.
- Reach out to encourage their active participation.
Incorporate individuals with disabilities in public campaigns. Build
relationships with organizations that are run by or provide services
to individuals with disabilities.
- Work directly with organizations of and for
women with disabilities. Contribute services or materials.
- Support efforts of women with disabilities.
Excerpted from Loud, Proud & Passionate: Including
Women with Disabilities in International Development Projects. Used
by permission of Mobility International USA (www.miusa.org).
Transition from School
All students need to acquire the skills
necessary to live in their communities. They need to know how to shop,
use the post office, and go to the doctor or clinic. Students need to
learn such skills as how to participate in social and religious activities
and how to drive or use public transportation. Schools can provide these
opportunities to students with mental retardation, at least in part, by
ensuring that the students
- receive an individualized educational program based
on their unique characteristics and preferences
- receive instruction based on curricular material that
is functional (based on community-oriented needs) and chronologically
- follow the same daily schedule as that followed by
all students in their neighborhood school
- participate in recreational and extracurricular programs
with sufficient support if necessary
- develop meaningful social interactions with other students
- receive related services such as speech, physical,
or occupational therapy in accordance with individual needs receive
transportation services allowing participation in school activities
on the same basis as other students
Adapted from The ARC website. (www.thearc.org).
Disabilities FAQ Packet
© 2000, 2001 WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC
Julia L. Potter, Managing Editor
Ambika Kapur, Research Assistant
Elizabeth Hiles, Research Assistant