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ERIC Number: ED457633
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Cultural Reciprocity Aids Collaboration with Families. ERIC/OSEP Digest.
Warger, Cynthia
This digest discusses the problems that service providers and family members from different cultural backgrounds may encounter when planning for students with disabilities. It begins by identifying the following assumptions that underlie a clinical perspective of disability: disability is a physical phenomenon, disability is an individual phenomenon, disability is a chronic illness, and disability requires remediation or fixing. It then presents a cultural reciprocity process in which service providers develop their own cultural self-awareness in order to recognize the cultural underpinning of their professional practices. The steps of the process are described and include: (1) identify the cultural values in your interpretation of a student's difficulties or in the recommendation for service; (2) find out whether the family members being served recognize and value your assumptions, and if not, how their views differ from yours; (3) acknowledge and give explicit respect to any cultural differences identified, and explain the cultural basis of your assumptions; and (4) through discussion and collaboration, set about determining the most effective way of adapting your professional interpretations or recommendations to the value system of the family. The digest closes with identifying the cultural assumptions underlying the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, including individualism, choice, and equity. (CR)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 North Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5709. Tel: 800-328-0272 (Toll Free); Fax: 703-620-2521; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Arlington, VA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: ERIC/OSEP Digest #E614.