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Culture and Special Education Relations

In this essay, I will explain procedures and options which help students with disabilities undergo a transition from high school to adult life. Much like students from multicultural backgrounds who face discrimination due to their race, students with disabilities also represent a special attention group whose educational needs are not being met correctly by school systems structured to serve the majority (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p. 113). The objective here is to showcase specially designed instructions that should be provided to students with disabilities, in all settings, including the workplace and training centers.

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First, let us examine the basic purpose of general education and the conventional approaches used to achieve the required learning targets. It has been assumed a common ground that education should make a positive contribution to the maintenance and development of the society in which children are growing up (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.145). For many students who finished their high school, the objectives of education and employability go hand in hand and should be given equal consideration (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.145).

Middle/high school transitional assessment is one of the most important tools that aids the educational system to enable the child to make the necessary transition. It takes into account a student’s individual needs, preferences and interests and is designed with an outcome-oriented process in mind; vocational training, adult services, integrated employment, independent living and community participation fall under this category (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.149). The onset of these services usually begins at age 14, and depending on the student’s further interests, he/she is placed in an advanced placement course to complete the much-needed transition.

For students with disabilities, the subject of transitional assessment assumes a more complex outcome. The underlying theme is human exceptionality in society, school, and family. It helps instructors in developing individualized education programs (IEPs), plan effective instructions, monitor student progress and reevaluate the need for special education services (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.78). It helps them foster career development and plan for post-school activities (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.78). It also meets the regulatory and compliance framework designed for transition services according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 (Hardman, Drew & Egan, 2004, p.78).

Some of the agencies that supports the transition phase of students with disabilities include the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). A cursory look into OSEP transition projects at its web site shed more light on the transition methods. Some of these projects include outreach programs targeted at students with disabilities who dropped out of school, multi-district projects and general outreach projects on students with disabilities (OSEP, 2010). Most of these projects aims to equip the students with the much-needed employability skills which helps them achieve sufficient functional competence and work normally through adult life.

As per the Civil Rights Act of 1991, it is unlawful to discriminate in employment on the basis of disability. At the workplace, the employer has to make provision for manual and electronic devices to help the visually-impaired, hearing-impaired and the mobility-impaired employees (OSEP, 2010). Educational Rehabilitative Services such as OSEP promote hiring of students with disability as a way to enhance diversity in the organization, and reduce labor shortages (OSEP, 2010). Despite such efforts, over 70% of organizations have not complied with norms to hire students with disability (OSEP, 2010). Government organizations and bodies affiliated with governments are mandatorily forced to hire such students.


Hardman, M.L., Drew, C.L. & Egan, M.W. (2004). Human Exceptionality: School, Community and Family (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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OSEP. (2010). University of Illinois College of Education Website. Web.

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