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Educational and social opportunities for students with severe cognitive disabilities in a public high school

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posted on 2023-08-04, 16:17 authored by Laura Ann Grassmann

In terms of diversity for students with severe cognitive disabilities and for all students, inclusion is not a setting or philosophy in isolation but a reflection of the interpersonal interactions and beliefs of individuals that shape the opportunities students have in deliberating and directing their educational opportunities. Individuals closest to students with severe cognitive disabilities have their opportunities and choices limited by others and the very policy intended to protect and support the rights of students with severe cognitive disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The study explored how students with severe cognitive disabilities are recognized in decision making and through self-determination in their interactions with others within the school community. Participant observations of students with severe cognitive disabilities in general education classrooms, self-contained classrooms, and within the school community, semi-structured interviews with teachers, students, parents, and administrators, and document analysis of individualized education plans (IEPs), descriptive county and school handouts, and other reports and documents provided an understanding of how students with severe cognitive disabilities are effectively served within a public high school. Through this examination, the interconnectedness of philosophy, policy, and practice of "others" ultimately influenced the opportunities students with severe cognitive disabilities had to deliberate and communicate their academic and social goals. Through an absence of acculturation or the transmission of cultural wealth (Martin, 2002) of the abilities of students with severe cognitive disabilities within North Mountain High School, students with severe cognitive disabilities are required to assimilate into the existing cultural framework and to often have their abilities defined and transmitted as limitations.

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American University

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English

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Thesis (Ph.D.)--American University, 2004.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:3147

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application/pdf

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