International Journal of Special Education

Online ISSN: 0827-3383
Publications
Article
This study is a conceptual replication of previous work by Storey, Stern, & Parker (1990) that examined the influence of participation in integrated vs. segregated recreation/sports activities on evaluations of a person with mental retardation by persons without a disability. The Storey et al., (1990) study observed that people with mental retardation were viewed less favorably when participating in segregated activities and the current research used an alternate methodological approach to revisit this issue. Eighty participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Participants in the first group were exposed to a slide show depicting a young woman engaging in various segregated recreation/sport activities. Participants in the second group saw the same person engaging in integrated recreation/sport activities. The Attitudes Toward Individuals with Severe Handicaps survey served as the outcome measure. Participants evaluated the stimulus person more favorably when she was engaged in integrated as compared to segregated activities; however, the magnitude of these differences was negligible. Future directions for research are discussed. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
The purposes of this study were to investigate female juvenile delinquents and at-risk girls' perceptions of their new school experience at a residential alternative education program in Singapore. Participants' views about the three key components of the alternative school are presented. Student characteristics and services offered at the school are also included. Implications and suggestions are made for the planning and implementation of effective programs and services for girls engaged in delinquent behaviors.
 
Article
L'Arche is an international movement to create communities in which disabled persons are included. Through a series of personal interviews, an autobiographical account is presented illustrating some of the salient features of living in a L'Arche community from a handicapped person's perspective. (Author/DB)
 
Article
The Makaton Vocabulary was developed in the 1970’s and became, and has remained, one of most pervasive and influential pedagogical approaches for children with severe learning difficulties. This article looks at attitudes towards Makaton and compares findings from two studies, carried out in a sample of special schools in the south west of England during 1986 and 1995. Overall, the results suggest that attitudes towards the use of Makaton signs have become more positive. Makaton signs are now regarded, overall, as supporting and facilitating language development, and earlier concerns about stigmatisation have declined. There is some evidence to suggest that this latter change is influenced by changes in attitudes to British Sign Language. The 1986 study predicted that new technology would have a significant impact on attitudes to language and communication systems such as Makaton, but this prediction was not supported in the 2005 study. The article highlights also how different attitudes towards Makaton can exist within the same school, and how this situation can have a significant impact on the educational experiences and opportunities of children with severe learning difficulties. The article concludes that the apparent educational movements of integration or inclusion produce different attitudes towards Makaton and how it is used. However, although Makaton signing has become seen as a tool to create educational inclusion, the extent to which the system itself has actually changed is a contentious issue
 
Article
A survey of childhood disabilities was conducted in Yemen covering the three main cities and 37 towns and villages. Results indicated a disability prevalence rate of approximately 13% of which over 30% were oral or auditory based and over 20% were visual. (Author/DB)
 
Article
Children with autism generally face significant challenges in such areas as normal social interaction, communication, and independent daily functioning, which are considered as the basic skills essential for success in life. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the established research and best practices in enhancing the above skills for children with Autism in the United States, with an attempt to promote the development of educational programs for children with autism in Southeast Asian countries. The first part of this paper introduces several research-based educational approaches and best practices in the field, including structured teaching approaches, direct instruction, social stories, peer-mediated intervention, video modeling, and discrete trial instruction, which have been proven effective in teaching social skills and in improving communication ability, as well as in decreasing inappropriate behavior in children with autism. The latter part of this paper suggests how these educational programs can be introduced to Southeast Asian countries based on the actual situations over there, to promote the development of educational programs for children with Autism in those areas. (Contains 1 figure.)
 
Article
The success of inclusive education can be influenced by how teachers in regular schools perceive students with special needs. In Brunei Darussalam where inclusive education has been implemented a little over a decade ago through a model where learning assistance teachers work alongside with regular teachers to support the learning of students with special needs, there is limited research on the views of teachers within the regular school system towards including students with special needs. This study investigates the perceptions of both learning assistance and regular teachers towards including students with special needs in the regular school environment. The Perceptions to Inclusive Education Scale (PIES) was adapted, translated into Malay and validated for use to examine the perceptions of inclusive education of Bruneian teachers. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from the use of this adapted instrument. The results of this study on teachers' perceptions towards including students with special needs provide some evidence of the progress of inclusive education hitherto as well as delineate some areas of concerns for improving the success of inclusive education in Brunei Darussalam. Yes Yes
 
Article
Education has three main roles: it is developmental because it develops the unique qualities of a child; it differentiates between learners because it treats every child as an individual, appreciating individual differences; and it is integrative because it accommodates people of varying backgrounds (culture, beliefs and values) thereby allowing for a cooperative approach in problem solving (Abosi, 1996). It is therefore absolutely necessary that the components of the curriculum for teacher training programs, teaching and learning at all levels should reflect these roles, if we are to attain the development goals which include education for all. The development goals for individuals with disabilities will include elimination of poverty, acquisition of practical and survival skills, employment, empowerment and total integration in the social world. All these could be achieved through a well planned inclusive education system. Special education provides opportunity for education for all. Special education is part of general education which treats every one involved in it as individuals. Special education identifies problems which are specific to individual learner and adopts relevant personnel, methods and materials to overcome the problems. Special needs education ensures that everyone has equal opportunity to participate in classroom and play activities. This paper examines how special needs education uses the inclusive aspect of it to fulfill the aspiration of fundamental human right to education for children with disabilities. This paper will also examine some issues involved in inclusive education in some developing countries with specific reference to issues such as the concept of inclusive education, historical perspective, policies, barriers, the impact of culture, traditional values and beliefs on inclusive education, solutions and the current practice of inclusive education.
 
Article
This paper provides an overview of selective research on autism. Autism forms part of a spectrum of related developmental disorders that vary in severity. Both their prevalence and severity argue for concerted efforts aimed at improving our understanding and treatment of the many individuals affected. We begin by outlining an important discovery that implicates an early prenatal insult to the developing brain stem in at least some people with autism (hereafter, the thalidomide discovery; Miller & Stromland, 1993). Several lines of evidence consistent with this claim are summarized. We then turn to recent research on early developing mechanisms of attention and emotion in autism. Evidence to be reviewed points to impairment in the disengage function of visual attention, and data are provided on the relationship between disengagement and the regulation of emotional states. Research on emotion focuses on the hypothesis, derived from the thalidomide discovery, that there may be a physical/anatomical basis to the lack of facial expressiveness in autism. We end by discussing the implications of this work for future research and for supporting children and adults with autism.
 
Article
The study found that 74 seventh- and eighth-grade students with either high or moderate contact with hearing impaired students expressed more positive attitudes toward deafness than students who had no contact with the hearing impaired. A similar pattern was found when attitudes toward disabilities in general were evaluated. (DB)
 
Article
Title from approval sheet. Thesis (D. Ed.)--Ball State University, 1988. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-131).
 
Article
Meta analysis of 273 investigations concerned with the modification of attitudes toward persons with disabilities revealed equivocal results possibly due to methodological deficiencies (study quality ratings were low) or to the complexity of human attitudes. (Author/DB)
 
Article
With the passing of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act into law alongside the move away from academic selection for post-primary pupils by 2008 and a far reaching review of the curriculum, education in Northern Ireland is about to face its most radical change in fifty years. Issues relating to Inclusive Education are now pressing and in addressing such change, it is recognized that pre-service programmes must be reviewed to ensure that student teachers are equipped to teach effectively in classrooms that may be very different from their own learning experience. This study seeks to discover the factors influencing student teachers changing attitudes towards inclusion during a one year Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. The findings reveal that positive attitudes towards inclusion were tempered by concern about personal competency to teach in an inclusive classroom and by continued attachment to the current system of academic selection with which they were familiar. The effect of a successful teaching practice in the non-selective sector had the most positive influence on perceived competency and on general attitudes towards inclusion. This research concludes that those responsible for pre-service education in Northern Ireland should ensure that school based experience is also underpinned with an effective programme of academic study about inclusion-based practices. (Contains 4 tables.)
 
Article
The diagnosis of high functioning autism (HFA) is not the end of comprehensive assessments. Since the 1970s, although a great deal of research has focused on developing effective educational approaches and interventions for children with autism, there is an increasing need to develop differentially effective educational approaches or interventions that are specifically for children with HFA. This paper reviews several effective, evidence based interventions that are widely used by special educators and professionals as best practices in the United States, including structured teaching approaches, peer-medicated interventions, self-monitoring or self-management strategies, video modeling, and social stories, with a hope that people in other places of the world can also find these interventions beneficial in teaching children with HFA.
 
Article
Identifying effective interventions to help children with autism reach their potential has been a source of disagreement among professionals and parents for decades. The complexities of the challenges that face children with autism, and uncertainty about best practices, have delayed progress. This article identifies seven critical program components that address some of the challenges associated with providing effective and efficient autism intervention programs. The results for children who participate in these programs encourage belief in the ability of children with autism to respond with positive change to appropriately designed and implemented interventions.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to analyze technical drills, warm-up and cool-down exercises used by wheelchair basketball players of the Turkish league in relation to training sessions. 33 male wheelchair basketball players participated in the study (mean age 26.6[plus or minus]5,95 years). All players reported that they used warm-up exercises before the training, but only 20% used cool-down exercises after the training session. 60,6% of the participants trained 3-5 hours in a week, while 87,9% trained at 2 days of a week. None of the players used special equipment for improvement of flexibility, strength and endurance. Some players and teams reported that they had technical-tactical drills in the training. Generally the training consisted of a short warm-up and technique drills followed by a match. In conclusion, training intensity, technical-tactic drills and conditioning exercises in the training session of the players in the Turkish wheelchair leagues did not met the relevant recommendations. (Contains 5 tables.)
 
The interaction pattern for dribbling performance (time).
Estimated marginal means for passing performance (successful passes).
Descriptive statistics for the two teams.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a self-talk intervention program on performance of wheelchair basketball drills. Twenty-two (N = 22) wheelchair basketball athletes from two different clubs of the same league participated in the study. The duration of the intervention was 12 weeks and its aim was the improvement of two fundamental basketball skills, passing and dribbling. One team was assigned as a self-talk group (STG), whereas the other as a control group (CG). The STG, in addition to their normal practice, used self-talk in the form of technical instruction, whereas the CG followed the same training schedule without the use of self-talk. Athletes' performance was evaluated before the start of the program and at two time points thereafter, midst the intervention and on completion. The results indicated that performance of the STG improved more than performance of the CG in the two basketball skills. Overall, the results of the study suggest that the use of self-talk, and in particular in the form of technical instruction, can be an effective tool for the improvement of performance in wheelchair basketball players and its use should be encouraged and practiced by coaches. (Contains 4 figures and 1 table.)
 
Article
The purpose of the current study was to determine the types of psychiatric disorders and the corresponding medications prescribed to children enrolled in elementary Emotional Behavioral Disability (EBD) programs. The project employed a questionnaire that was distributed to elementary level teachers (EBD) to: (a) determine the proportion of children identified with single and multiple psychiatric disorders; (b) determine the proportion of children treated with single and multiple psychiatric medications; (c) investigate possible adverse drug interactions for children receiving combinations of medications for their psychiatric disorders; and (d) assess the attitudes of teachers (EBD) concerning the use of psychiatric medication to treat elementary level children. Results revealed 76.8% of the 617 students were identified as having one or more psychiatric disorder(s) and 21.2% of students were identified as having been diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders. Approximately 65% of the elementary students in EBD programs were identified as receiving psychiatric medication for the treatment of one or more psychiatric disorders. Fifteen percent of students were identified as receiving combinations of medications, and 6.2% were identified as receiving three or more medications concurrently. Implications of the rates of pharmacological treatment of children and potential concomitant target and adverse effects were discussed. (Contains 5 tables.)
 
Article
When children who are permanently disabled by traumatic brain injury (TBI) return to school, most are placed in mainstream classrooms and incorrectly presumed capable of resuming their education. Only one to two percent are classified as students with TBI, qualifying them for the services they need for their education. The failure to properly classify so many children, attributed to a lack of training and to acceptance of inaccurate popular stereotypes, places 98 to 99 percent at risk of academic failure and personal maladjustment. The failure to identify these children needs to be addressed by TBI education and training for parents and professionals. This paper discusses the scope of the problem of improperly classified students, examines explanations for the pervasive failure to classify them accurately, and discusses potential solutions. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
Pregnancy among all teenagers is a major challenge facing the United States. A literature review indicated little research on the incidences of pregnancy and parenting among teenagers with disabilities, similarities and differences in their educational needs when compared to their non-disabled peers, and how programs address their specific educational needs regarding pregnancy and parenting. Our investigation includes a review of literature related to teen pregnancy, pregnant and parenting youth with disabilities, and programs designed to assist teen parents. It also alerts professionals to the lack of information regarding teens with disabilities who are pregnant or parenting and serves as a foundation for future research on the occurrences and educational needs of pregnant and parenting youth with disabilities. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
Community based rehabilitation for disabled persons in developing nations is contrasted with institutionally based rehabilitation. A strategy is proposed which combines the two approaches and includes greater economic realism, design of advanced training programs, provision of reliable transportation, and more outreach and follow-up activities by institutional specialists. (DB)
 
Article
The following contemporary review illuminates several of the "best methods" to accurately identify gifted/learning disabled (GLD) students? Explanations which clearly define what it means to be gifted, learning disabled (LD) and gifted/learning disabled (GLD) are included and incorporated into a typology of three identities of GLD students. Recommended and currently utilized methods of GLD identification and assessment are detailed and various controversies surrounding these modes are explored. Current voids within the GLD research are described and present approaches and programming for GLD students is distilled. The future for this "twice exceptional" student is proposed and critical understandings are realized.
 
Article
Fifty-one 10- to 16-year-old siblings of mentally retarded children were given the Family Relations Test and Rotter's Incomplete Sentence Test. Results indicated family dynamics were influenced by parent reaction to the handicapped child. Compared to controls, the siblings showed idealization of the mentally handicapped child and more conflicts with other children in the family. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
A review of 25 epidemiological studies of behavior disorders from 16 foreign countries indicated prevalence rates for children in other countries were much higher than those in the United States and were more in harmony with the incidence figures for adult populations both in the United States and in other countries. (Author/CB)
 
Article
This paper discusses the historical development of schooling for deaf children in Sweden, providing statistical information and describing special schools for deaf pupils, efforts to integrate hearing-impaired children into the regular school system, Swedish research on early training of deaf children, and current efforts to improve education of the hearingimpaired. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
The purpose of this research is to report the results of a pilot study that examined changes in self-awareness and self-concept. Seven self-determination lessons were implemented with 13 elementary, middle and high schoolers with disabilities in learning (i.e., learning disabilities and mild mental impairments). The lessons focused on teaching students about their disability through self-awareness training, self-exploration, problem solving, self-concept and coping skills. Results revealed that students demonstrated significant changes in self-concept on the Piers Harris Self-Concept Scale using a pretest-postest design. Because pre-test-postest designs pose a threat to internal validity, teacher observation and recordings demonstrated that students exhibited increased selected skills in self-awareness. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
Nineteen Indonesian students enrolled in a University of Virginia special education training program were assessed on the importance of English-language proficiency. Academic performance was significantly related to English-language training scores but not to preadmission "Test of English as a Foreign Language' scores, student attitudes, or student age. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
Similarities in special education services in the five Scandinavian countries include their normalization philosophy and cooperative policy development. Among unique Scandinavian innovations are camp schools, folk high schools, toy libraries (lekoteks), therapeutic communities or collectives for young substance abuses, and measures to combat mobbing or group violence in the schools. (Author/DB)
 
Article
The Personality Research Form (PRF) was used to study the psychological traits of Lithuanian college of education students, teachers, and special education teachers. A sample of American college students was also used for comparison. Chi-square results indicated no statistical differences among the groups. Interpretations of the lack of significant results include: the PRF was unable to detect real differences; Lithuanian students, teachers, and special education teachers, and American college students are similar on the PRF scales. The authors discuss the value of psychologists, educators, and researchers testing their instruments on other cultures. Such studies can provide information into the robustness and validity of their instruments as well as offer insight into the learning and teaching process across cultures. (Contains 3 tables.)
 
Article
This study assessed the perceptions of high school students with learning disabilities about the suitability or preference of an academic or vocational curriculum. Students were administered the Vocational Academic Choice Survey (VACS), designed to measure students' perceptions of which curriculum is more suitable for them. Results revealed that a more academic type of curriculum was preferred if students had not repeated a grade, achieved a relatively high GPA, and planned to go to college. Post high school plans and positive attitudes toward academic subjects showed to be the strongest predictors of the suitability score. By itself, post high school plans accounted for about 35% of the variance in curriculum suitability. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
The Harlow Project is a special education teacher-training program established by the Department of Educational Psychology of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The project places student teachers in British schools for professional training. This paper describes the program's practicum experiences, student placements, field trips, guest lecturers, and cross-cultural experiences. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
How do art educators and special educators working with special needs students know what qualities exist in each medium that could set off a student or help them to control their own behavior? How does the educator determine what medium will be the most beneficial for each of their students? Many art educators would state that they know these things through experience in working with the materials and students, through trial and error, and by seeing how different populations respond to and work with these materials. Many art educators work on an intuitive level to make their choices, and some make choices based on what is available to them for use. This study explores a specific art media, digital video, to better inform special educators and art educators who are working with special needs students the beneficial aspects, drawbacks and educational strengths of digital video production for students with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. Through a preliminary survey to determine the inherent qualities of this media and a case study to provide an in-depth look at this media, this study explores how art educators/special educators make decisions about when, why and how to use digital video with special populations. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
A classroom intervention employing math racetracks was carried out to teach math facts to two elementary students with learning disabilities. A math racetrack is a drill and practice procedure where known and unknown facts are placed on a sheet of paper like an oval racetrack. The effectiveness of using math racetracks was evaluated with a multiple baseline design across problem sets. The results indicated that math racetracks were successful in increasing the skill sets of both participants in math. This provides a novel replication of employing a racetrack procedure that has been effective in reading, to elementary students in math. The practical implications of employing racetrack like procedures are discussed. (Contains 1 table.)
 
Article
A systematic review was conducted of the research into the use of drama techniques to enhance social-emotional development of people with special needs. Only eight studies that were conducted in the period 1990-2005 met the criteria for inclusion in this review. The conclusions of the review were that there are indications that the dramatic processes have the potential to be effective in enhancing social-emotional development of people with special needs. However, the authors have not provided enough evidence to substantiate their claims. Further, there were several limitations in the studies, indicating the need for further research if the full potential of drama techniques is to be realized. On the basis of this analysis, this paper presents recommendations for future systematic and rigorous research in this area
 
Article
Based on published literature and personal observations, the history of Soviet special and remedial education is reviewed. The interaction of special education with general public schooling and its development as compared with other countries are emphasized. A case study of Estonia provides a specific example. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
Examined are the political, historic, and economic influences in England and Wales affecting the categorization and labeling of pupils with special educational needs. The paper concludes that adoption of a non-categorical classification system has been unsuccessful in abolishing labeling, but has obfuscated statistical information reported by the government. (Author/JDD)
 
Article
The number of handicapped children receiving special education in Zimbabwe is very limited and there appears to be no national policy for special education. However, the Swedish International Development Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Zimbabwe has conducted a national disability survey and is developing a special education program. (DB)
 
Article
The article examines trends in statistical data and educational policies in Israel since 1948 toward students with handicaps. Considered are relevant legislation and procedures, the special education population in 1985/6, and the role of the family, community, and society. (DB)
 
Article
The role of general education teachers is becoming critical for students with special needs. The purpose of this study was to obtain the perceptions of preservice teachers in order to prepare them for inclusive classrooms. Participants included graduate and undergraduate students (n = 248) from two different universities. Results found experiences with students with disabilities did not enhance participants' attitude to support inclusion. However, taking courses in special education did. Recommendations were made on further programming for preparing preservice general education teachers for inclusionary settings. (Contains 3 tables.)
 
Article
The Special Needs Action Program (Coventry, England) endeavors to support special needs students in regular primary and secondary schools by providing resource information, a variety of inservice courses, dissemination of materials, and advice and help. Early identification, teacher involvement, practical content, and staff support are major program features. (DB)
 
Article
Although schools are not traditionally designed to provide intensive mental health services to children, they are in a position to create systems that foster mental health. By creating school-wide systems in which students are academically, behaviorally and socially successful, schools can integrate those essential protective factors shown to contribute to mental health. The purpose of this paper is to thoroughly explore factors impacting the mental health development of students and then to examine school practices that foster mental health. This paper will identify those school-wide practices that are associated with mental health. Specifically, this paper will review current approaches in schools that promote mental health in students, including instructional practices, curriculum design, ecological considerations, teacher perceptions, and social competence building.
 
Article
This descriptive research is aimed to assess the prophylactic measures used to deal with individuals with disabilities (IDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Arab countries. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission report for Western Asia (ESCWA, 2020) has been reviewed. The report included prophylactic measures employed to protect IDs during the COVID-19 pandemic in 15 Arab countries. The methodology of the research included using an analysis method to identify the nature and viability of the prophylactic measures used in Arab countries during the pandemic. The result showed that 65% of the prophylactic measures were governmental, and 35% were non-governmental. 55% of these measures dealt with all disability categories, 30% with hearing impairment, 10.83% with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and 4.17% with visual impairment. Saudi Arabia and Jordan were the two Arab countries that provided the most prophylactic measures to IDs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Article
Remote education during the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge for educational practice worldwide. Students with disabilities found themselves in an unusual situation in inclusive forms of education. This article presents the results of qualitative research conducted within a group of 34 teachers of older primary classes (IV-VIII), who, during the pandemic, had among the children they were teaching students with disabilities. Study aim was to evaluate how is online education of these students is conducted. As a result of the research, three descriptive categories of problems with remote education of students with disabilities emerged: participation in (remote) classes of the disabled students; development/regress of competencies of students with a disability due to online education; educational perspectives – inclusive education of students with a disability after the pandemic ends.The results of the research can be a base for reflection about the necessary actions supporting students with disabilities and their teachers in the perspective of returning to school and the execution of the inclusive education idea in Poland.
 
Article
This paper explores the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) (ADHD). The use of rating scales to diagnose ADHD was evaluated. Rating scales have been used since the 1970's and are highly influential in the detection of ADHD today. We also examined the advantages and disadvantages of using rating scales. Rating scales seem to change the percentage of individuals who meet the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD based on different age groups, gender, and ethnicity. Finally, the Conners Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS-R) (Conners, Sitarenios, Parker, & Epstein, 1998) was reviewed. The important changes in the revision of the Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised (CTRS-R) were detailed. The use of the CTRS-R is recommended as part of a multi-faceted assessment to diagnose and evaluate treatment procedures for children and adolescents with ADHD.
 
Article
This study examined the proportion of children in 1st and 2 nd grade classes who were currently prescribed medication for psychotropic disorders. The study also examined the attitudes of 1st and 2nd grade teachers toward diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and use of psychiatric medication to treat children. Results of the current study indicate that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was by far the most prevalent psychiatric disorder (80%) occurring in children in first and second grade. In the current study, approximately 5.6% (172) of the children in the sample were identified as taking one or more psychiatric medications, with 6.9 % of those treated with medication receiving multiple medications. The most prevalent medication being used was stimulants (72.5%) alone or in combination with other medications. Finally, results from the current study revealed that teachers believed medication improved the behavior and learning ability and academic achievement of children in the classroom. These beliefs may result in teacher's acceptance and promotion of treatment with medication.
 
Article
This study explores the effects of traditional beliefs, Confucian ideology, Chinese government policy and western influences on China's inclusion of people with a disability in the Chinese community in the 21st century. Using visual ethnography and an auto-ethnographic approach, the study examines data obtained over a period of five years to analyse the impact of recent initiatives of the Chinese government in disability policy and planning on attitudes towards people with a disability and the accommodation of people with a disability within the community. Findings from the study suggest that a series of positive legislative and administrative policies that guarantee equal rights for people with disabilities in China have had some positive outcomes, and that social attitudes towards the disabled are gradually changing, mainly as a result of the active advocacy of the disability community. However, despite these initiatives and changes in attitude, there is little evidence of the impact of Chinese disability policy on the built environment in China outside the major cities, and the disabled are still largely invisible in public spaces.
 
Article
Fifty-six studies from 1980 to 2007 involving the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) by individuals with autism were reviewed. The majority of the studies used single-subject research designs and emphasized language production skills. Many investigations were held in artificial language learning settings, and a few involved parents and teachers as intervention agents. Gaps in the provision of the participants' cognitive, language, and sensory-motor measures were detected in the analysis of the 51 studies that provided individual participant data. Despite these limitations, this report revealed that communication interventions for individuals with autism that have incorporated sign language/total communication, visual-graphic symbols, and/or speech generating devices have had successful outcomes.
 
Article
Ten cerebral palsied adolescents and young adults with complex communicative needs who use augmentative and alternative communication were studied. They were classified according to their high versus low working memory capacity and according to their high versus low phonological skills into two groups of participants. These groups were compared on their performance in reading tests -an orthographic knowledge test, a word test and a pseudoword reading test- and in the spelling of words, pseudowords and pictures' names. Statistical differences were found between high vs. low phonological skills groups, and between high and low working memory groups. High working memory capacity group scored significantly higher than low working memory group in the orthographic and word reading tests. The high phonological skills group outperformed the low phonological skills group in the word reading test and in the spelling of pseudowords and pictures' names. From a descriptive point of view, phonological skills and working memory, factors known to be highly predictive of literacy skills in people without disabilities, also hold as important variables for the participants in our study. Implications of the results are discussed.
 
Article
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), special education teachers (SETs), and occupational therapists (OTs) are all expected to encounter individuals with complex communication needs, who need for Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (Costigan & Light, 2010). This study aimed to reveal special education student teachers' knowledge of AAC, and its relation to their academic levels and uniquespecializations. To achieve this objective, the researcher administered a ten questions test on 30 participants all of whom met the study including criteria. The means and standard deviations relevant to their responses to the test were counted and then analyzed by means of Analysis of Covariance ANCOVA. Results of ANCOVA haven't shown any statistically significant difference in the participants' knowledge of AAC attributed to their academic levels and unique-specializations. The percentage of fully accurate responses of all participants to the ten tests' questions was 2.66%. This result suggests an inadequacy of participants' knowledge of AAC and a dire need for relevant education and training. Results and implications for future research and practices are discussed.
 
Top-cited authors
Umesh Sharma
  • Monash University (Australia)
Tim Loreman
  • Concordia University of Edmonton
Chris Forlin
  • University of Notre Dame Australia
Chris Earle
  • Concordia University College of Alberta
Lawrence Mundia
  • Universiti Brunei Darussalam