ERIC Number: ED343770
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
American Indians and Alaska Natives with Disabilities.
Johnson, Marilyn J.
American Indian and Alaska Native children with special needs experience the same ineffective and inefficient services as other minority language children. This paper discusses the special needs of Native children, assessment and curriculum issues, and recommendations for improvement. It provides statistics for various categories of handicaps and for Native preschool children, school-aged children, and adults. Some conditions affecting Native children at high rates are described: learning disabilities, fetal alcohol syndrome, communication disorders, hearing impairments, and meningitis. Support for the education of disabled persons has been secured through legislation, particularly P.L. 94-142, which outlines procedures for screening, referral, assessment, placement, and staffing. Nevertheless, assessment practices have been criticized. Particularly relevant for Native students are criticisms related to cultural and linguistic test bias, the creation of self-fulfilling prophecies, and the widespread use and misuse of standardized tests. Alternative assessment practices include academic task analysis, pluralistic assessment, culture-fair procedures, an advocacy-oriented model, and addition of a sociocultural dimension. Curriculum issues and recommendations are related to bilingual special education, the Regular Education Initiative, early childhood education, reading instruction, mathematics instruction, and functional life skills. Also discussed are teacher shortages, parent and community involvement, the need for preschool programs, and future Native programming needs. This paper contains over 150 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Indian Nations At Risk Task Force.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act