Los Angeles Valley College Ed


In this activity you will explore how students with disabilities are treated at public schools.  You will reflect on your own experiences with students with disabilities in public schools and discuss experiences with your peers.


The purpose of this activity is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course / in school / in this field / in professional life beyond school: 

  • MLO #5.5: Describe, compare and contrast the legal mandates and educational rights of people with disabilities, as covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).


This activity will also help you to become familiar with the following important content knowledge in this discipline: 

Course Objective 3: Examine the individual and collective contribution of family, work, independent living and education on the quality of life and life-long outcomes of people with disabilities.


In public schools, children with milder learning-related, physical and sensory disabilities participate in the regular curriculum.  For children with more severe disabilities, an adapted curriculum is key to their success.

  • Before you respond to the prompt, please watch the brief video explaining how children with moderate-to-severe disabilities participate in public schooling.  It will give you a better frame of reference for responding to the prompt below.

Prompt: L. 108-446 and the laws that came before it guarantees a “free appropriate public education” to all children with disabilities, as well as all necessary services needed to assure they have access to that educational opportunity.  For some students, this means schools must take on the financial and staffing burden that accompanies extensive service needs, including therapists, nurses and specialized transportation. It also requires schools to broadly define education.  As a result, after 30 years, parent continues to fight for services for their children with disabilities, and schools continue to struggle with the broad-based and often expensive service provision role they must play under the auspices of education.  

  • Given that, is it realistic that the schools must take on all children with disabilities, and in the case of children with severe and complex disabilities, do so single-handedly, or is there a better approach?
  • What should the scope educational burden the schools must take on be, and where would responsibility for children not served by the schools?
  • Or should we look at a new model for educating these children that involves more than the schools?

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