Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students With Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional
Federal law ensures all students with disabilities the right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). However, current policies governing a student’s eligibility for services may contribute to the underidentification of gifted children with co-existing disabilities—the Twice-Exceptional. The emphasis on below-grade-level (or lower) performance, without regard to ability or potential weaknesses, misses twice-exceptional students. Those who perform at grade level, by using advanced conceptual abilities and hard work to compensate, may still require interventions and accommodations to manage increasing educational demands. Otherwise, college and even high school graduation may be out of reach. This article reviews changing laws and policies, explores case studies of twice-exceptional students missed, and examines the diagnosis of twice-exceptionality through comprehensive assessment. Appropriate best practices for the identification of twice-exceptional learners, maintenance of their civil rights, and provision of FAPE are offered for educators, parents, advocates, and legislators as federal, state, and district laws/policies evolve.
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering
Source: National Science Foundation
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering provides statistical information about the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. A formal report, now in the form of a digest, is issued every 2 years.
CRS — Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA; P.L. 105-220) is the primary federal program that supports workforce development activities, including job search assistance, career development, and job training. WIA established the One-Stop delivery system as a way to co-locate and coordinate the activities of multiple employment programs for adults, youth, and various targeted subpopulations. The delivery of these services occurs primarily through more than 3,000 One- Stop career centers nationwide.
WIA includes four main titles that cover employment and training services, adult education and literacy services, the employment service, and vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. The authorizations for appropriations for most programs under WIA expired at the end of FY2003. Since that time, WIA programs have been funded through the annual appropriations process.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor , and Pensions (HELP) held a markup of S. 1356 (the Workforce Investment Act of 2013) on July 31, 2013, and ordered the bill reported by a vote of 18 to 3. S. 1356 would reauthorize WIA through 2018.
S. 1356 would maintain the One-Stop delivery system established by WIA but would make changes to the programs, services, and governing structure of WIA, through changes to Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), state plan requirements, national programs, and alignment and coordination provisions across all titles. Some of the major changes include the adoption of primary indicators of performance across all WIA titles, the requirement of a Unified State Plan that includes all core programs, the authorization of innovation and replication grants, greater emphasis on economic and employment outcomes for adult education programs, and expanded services for youth and students with disabilities.
This report provides a comparison of major themes in current WIA and in S. 1356.
Position Statement On Quality Foster Care Services Continuum for Deaf Children
Source: National Association of the Deaf
The purpose of this Position Statement is to underscore the importance and need for quality foster care services for children who are deaf. This includes effective communication, awareness of cultural issues, and best practices in the delivery of foster care services to this unique population.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) recognizes that foster care placement is an essential service for children who are abused and neglected. Foster care for deaf children entails a comprehensive approach that addresses their physical, cognitive, socio-emotional, cultural, language and communication needs within a supportive family setting until the family can be reunited or adoption can occur.
Like most children, deaf children who are abused, abandoned or removed from their families or caregivers may experience deep emotional scarring, uncontrollable anger, trust issues and attachment disorders. Compassionate, accessible and highly specialized services are needed for children who are deaf and for those who may also have other disabilities such as visual impairment or blindness, cognitive disabilities, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, emotional disturbances, physical disabilities or a combination of several disabilities.
The NAD firmly believes that foster care providers and professionals must understand the language and cultural issues of these children in order to effectively address their unique needs. Such understanding is necessary to identify whether or not children who are deaf may be suffering from chronic depression, feelings of despair and hopelessness, suicide tendencies, and attraction to gangs, drugs, or other criminal activity that may result in homelessness, juvenile detention, jail, or prison (Vernon, 2010).
Disability, Health, and Multiple Chronic Conditions Among People Eligible for Both Medicare and Medicaid, 2005–2010
Disability, Health, and Multiple Chronic Conditions Among People Eligible for Both Medicare and Medicaid, 2005–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)
People who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) and who have disabilities and multiple chronic conditions (MCC) present challenges for treatment, preventive services, and cost-effective access to care within the US health system. We sought to better understand dual eligibles and their association with MCC, accounting for sociodemographic factors inclusive of functional disability category.
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data for 2005 through 2010 were stratified by ages 18 to 64 and 65 or older to account for unique subsets of dual eligibles. Prevalence of MCC was calculated for those with physical disabilities, physical plus cognitive disabilities, and all others, accounting for sociodemographic and health-related factors. Adjusted odds for having MCC were calculated by using logistic regression.
Of dual eligibles aged 18 to 64, 53% had MCC compared with 73.5% of those aged 65 or older. Sixty-five percent of all dual eligibles had 2 or more chronic conditions, and among dual eligibles aged 65 or older with physical disabilities and cognitive limitations, 35% had 4 or more, with hypertension and arthritis the most common conditions. Dual eligibles aged 18 to 64 who had a usual source of medical care had a 127% increased likelihood of having MCC compared with those who did not have a usual source of care.
Attention to disability can be a component to helping further understand the relationship between health and chronic conditions for dual eligible populations and other segments of our society with complex health and medical needs.
Factors Predicting Physical Activity Among Children With Special Needs
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease
Obesity is especially prevalent among children with special needs. Both lack of physical activity and unhealthful eating are major contributing factors. The objective of our study was to investigate barriers to physical activity among these children.
We surveyed parents of the 171 children attending Vista Del Mar School in Los Angeles, a nonprofit school serving a socioeconomically diverse group of children with special needs from kindergarten through 12th grade. Parents were asked about their child’s and their own physical activity habits, barriers to their child’s exercise, and demographics. The response rate was 67%. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine predictors of children being physically active at least 3 hours per week.
Parents reported that 45% of the children were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, 38% with autism, and 34% with learning disabilities; 47% of children and 56% of parents were physically active less than 3 hours per week. The top barriers to physical activity were reported as child’s lack of interest (43%), lack of developmentally appropriate programs (33%), too many behavioral problems (32%), and parents’ lack of time (29%). However, child’s lack of interest was the only parent-reported barrier independently associated with children’s physical activity. Meanwhile, children whose parents were physically active at least 3 hours per week were 4.2 times as likely to be physically active as children whose parents were less physically active (P = .01).
In this group of students with special needs, children’s physical activity was strongly associated with parental physical activity; parent-reported barriers may have had less direct effect. Further studies should examine the importance of parental physical activity among children with special needs.
Profiles of Disability
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Profiles of Disability provides an overview of the characteristics and activities of people with disabilities in Australia. It is designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of different aspects of living with disability in Australia that are addressed in the 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) – the main source of data for this publication.
When complete, the publication will examine a variety of areas including:
- the characteristics of people with disabilities that belong to particular interest groups (e.g. children, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds);
- the disabling nature of some long-term health conditions (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons disease);
- the impact particular impairments can have on people’s abilities to do everyday tasks (e.g. vision or hearing impairments);
- how well people with disabilities are able to engage both economically (e.g. employment) and socially and issues relating to accessibility (e.g. transportation use, computer use); and
- an analysis of the people who need and receive assistance with everyday activities and who provides that assistance.
Why Did Disability Allowance Rates Rise in the Great Recession?
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
The brief’s key findings are:
- In most recessions, Disability Insurance (DI) application rates go up and allowance rates go down.
- The hypothesis for a decline in allowance rates is that individuals with a borderline health problem are more likely to apply when times are bad.
- In the Great Recession, DI application rates went up and allowance rates also rose.
- This outcome is puzzling because the analysis confirmed that applicants were healthier than during the previous expansion.
- Perhaps the answer is that the severity of the Great Recession changed award standards or made it easier for applicants to prove their job prospects were poor.
Let’s Play: A Guide to Toys for Children with Special Needs
Every day, parents ask professionals for advice on buying toys for their children. Often, shoppers are wary of buying toys for special needs children. However, selecting a toy for any child begins with two steps: first, learning what the child is interested in, and second, assessing his or her skill level. Let’s Play: A Guide to Toys for Children with Special Needs is a helpful educational tool designed to assist with this selection process. After reviewing this guide and doing your homework, we encourage you to visit toy shelves (both online and at your local retailer) and sample the great products designed to excite, engage and enthrall your child. Experience with them the joy and happiness of play!
With support from the Toy Industry Association, Inc.™ and its members, the Toy Industry Foundation ™, in partnership with Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) and American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), has researched and tested hundreds of toys in an effort to offer you a comprehensive guide to the best toys for children of all ages with all types of special needs and interests. Toys included in this guide were tested by over 100 “toy experts”– children with a variety of special needs. ATA and AFB selected the featured products based on the toy’s play value for children with special needs. Whether shopping for a three-year-old, visually impaired child or a ten-year-old with developmental disabilities, Let’s Play is an excellent resource for finding the perfect toy.
For each toy included in the guide, you will find a description of the item, along with an explanation of skills that the toy will encourage and build during playtime. Please keep in mind that age ranges indicated for each toy are assigned by the manufacturer based on a child with no special needs. From time to time, you may see a quote included in a toy description that comes directly from a parent, caregiver or teacher who was involved in the testing to give you a more “hands-on” feeling about the toy and the enjoyment it provided to the child. Each toy will also contain one of the following labels to indicate who may find the toy most enjoyable: PI, HI, B, LV and DD.
Support for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Source: RAND Corporation
Mutual learning and the sharing of best practice on the provision of support for children with SEN are lacking at the European level. This is complicated by a marked absence of pan-European data on the prevalence of SEN, attributable to varying definitions of SEN between countries and divergent methods of SEN identification. Correspondingly, there is a case to be made for a harmonised classification framework of SEN in Europe. A political consensus has emerged on the importance of inclusive education, reflected by a general trend towards placement of children with SEN in mainstream education, and away from special schooling. Many Member States have made good progress in developing coherent, localised and inclusive early intervention strategies, which provide for consultation with affected families. Information on the support mechanisms available to parents of children with SEN is incomplete, although examples of good practice exist for replication.
Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics 2012
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
In 2012, 17.8 percent of persons with a disability were employed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 63.9 percent. The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was unchanged from 2011 to 2012, while the ratio for persons without a disability increased. The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 13.4 percent in 2012, higher than the rate for persons with no disability (7.9 percent). The jobless rates for both groups declined from 2011 to 2012.
Safety, usability, and independence for wheelchair-seated drivers and front-row passengers of private vehicles: A qualitative research study
Source: Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (VA)
A survey and observational study was conducted with 29 people who remain seated in their wheelchair when driving (21) or riding as a front-row passenger (8) in their personal vehicle. Each subject was observed and surveyed in their own personal vehicle that has been modified for use by occupants seated in wheelchairs. Our survey obtained responses on issues related to occupant restraint (seat belt) system usage, wheelchair securement device usage, and perception of personal safety while riding in a vehicle. Usability and accessibility issues related to seat belt and automated (docking) wheelchair securement technology were revealed, suggesting that wheelchair-seated occupants travel with a higher risk of serious injury in vehicle crashes than front-row occupants seated in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicle seats and using OEM seat belts. Study results also indicate the need for improved torso support for many wheelchair-seated drivers to maintain a posture that allows for effective vehicle control. Study results demonstrate the need for innovative passive restraint technologies that provide postural support during normal vehicle operation and improved occupant restraint during crash conditions for people who drive while seated in their wheelchairs.