Author Essays, Interviews, and Excerpts

A crisis for special education programs

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Colin Ong-Dean, author of Distinguishing Disability: Parents, Privilege, and Special Education, was an invited guest on KPBS public radio’s These Days to discuss how sweeping budget cuts, recently implemented in California as local and state governments try to find their way out of the recession, will affect San Diego’s special education programs.
In his book Ong-Dean argues that the benefits of special eduction programs in the United States have historically been unevenly distributed to families with the money, educational background, and confidence needed to make effective claims about their children’s disabilities, while those from underserved communities, without the necessary resources to effectively advocate on their child’s behalf, tend to receive much less. Now with budgets hit hard by the recession, could the problem get worse?
To find out more about how the recession is affecting special education programs, as well as what parents of children with disabilities can do to push schools to provide more services to students with special needs, listen to archived audio from the show on the KPBS website or find out more about Ong-Dean’s Distinguishing Disability.