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ERIC Number: ED570178
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Improving Service to Students with Low-Incidence Sensory Disabilities in Ohio: A Mixed-Methods Study to Examine National Context and District Experience
Howley, Craig B.; Howley, Aimee
Grantee Submission
This multi-method study examined (a) preparation and licensure practices of the 50 states with respect to students with low-incidence sensory disabilities (LISD) and (b) the experience of Ohio school districts (including "community schools") in providing services to students with LISD. The 50-state phase of the study used document review and structured interviews with SEA representatives. The experience of Ohio districts (including "community schools") was investigated using an online survey administered to 595 Ohio educators serving in the role of special education director. Findings show that institutions of higher education (IHEs) in 38 states offer at least one LISD preparation program; 12 state offer no programs at all. Measuring LISD preparation program intensity as number of programs per million total population, Ohio ranks at the 35th percentile for number of LISD programs provided by its IHEs. States differ as well by the regime used to qualify teaching candidates: Ohio is a licensure regime rather than an endorsement regime. Nationally, being LISD licensure regime is, all else equal, negatively correlated with number of LISD programs. As for district experiences, survey respondents were not confident they could serve students with LISD in neighborhood schools. Ohio survey respondents reported, on average statewide, access to qualified LISD staff is unpredictable. Respondents in 35% of districts judged access to qualified staff as "very difficult" or "almost none." Based on the findings, IHEs in Ohio would need to offer about twice as many preparation programs for LISD fields as they currently do, possibly under an add-on ("endorsement") provision to existing educator licenses. The study recommends that relevant education leaders in Ohio (1) establish a new multi-institutional endorsement program for teachers of visually impaired (underway at the study's end), (2) begin work to establish a new multi-institutional program for teachers of the hearing impaired, (3) plan for additional LISD programs (e.g., in Orientation and Mobility), and, in the coming decade, (4) build a comprehensive system of support for LISD students and those who serve them. Five appendices are included: (1) Low-incidence Sensory Disability Study Conceptualization; (2) Focus Group Interviewee Suggestions for Survey Content; (3) Implications from the Research Literature for Survey Content; (4) Finalized Survey Instrument; and (5) Comments by Series (1-7) by Theme. [This report was published by the WordFarmers Associates with support from the Ohio Vision Project.]
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Grant or Contract Numbers: H027A160111