Cultural Diversity and Special Education
Cultural diversity is increasing in our schools and directly affects how we work with students with disabilities. There is also a disproportionate representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students in special education (Chu, 2011). The following paper will explore cultural diversity and the special education referral process including implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI). It will also assess some of the data in Mooresville Graded Schools by looking at gender, race and disability at the elementary level. By understanding the cultural diversity in our school system we can better meet the needs of all our students in special education including reducing inappropriate referrals, working with our families and increasing diverse curriculum modifications for our students.
Cultural proficiency needs to begin at the individual level if we are going to reduce the achievement gap in our schools (Lindsey, Roberts & Jones, 2013). In order to do this we must recognize what being culturally proficient means and model that in all our interactions in our community. By addressing cultural needs and building on personal experiences, our staff and students will gain a greater appreciation for other cultures and be able to work and live in our global society. “We must first comprehend the fact that children-all children-come to school motivated to enlarge their culture. But we must start with their culture….” (Garcia, 1999 p.8 as cited in Lindsey et al, 2013) This statement is true for all students especially students with disabilities as educators build upon student strengths and p...
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