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The Treatment of Disabled Students: An Analysis of Current Practice, A Study of Teachers and Parents, And Recommendations for the Future


This thesis examines the relationship between demographic factors (including parent and teacher gender, race, and ethnicity) and parental and teacher perceptions of disabled students and the implementation and execution of policies mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These perceptions are crucial in assessing the quality of students’ cognitive, social, and emotional experiences in academic settings as they meaningfully contribute to the school culture and climate surrounding acceptance and disability. Despite the role that parent and teacher perceptions play in shaping the school experiences and overall development of disabled students, there is a significant lack of research in this area. Parent and teacher perceptions of disabled students were analyzed as they relate to several primary components of disabled students’ school experiences: academic treatment, teacher-student and administrator-student interactions and relationships, peer-to-peer interactions and relationships, and disciplinary treatment. These domains have been identified as key components that are central to defining the in-school experiences of students. Key findings indicate that perceptions of disabled students’ intelligence and capabilities vary by parent gender, ethnicity, and other factors. In addition, the level and quality of support provided by schools is perceived differently by parents and teachers. Overall, the findings suggest that parents and teachers of students with disabilities are more educated on federal policies pertaining to and accepting of disabled individuals than parents and teachers of non-disabled students. Based on these conclusions, recommendations for future research and education are provided. Keywords: Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), special education, accommodations, perceptions of disabilities, students with disabilities, teacher perceptions, parent perceptions, special education policy
Senior thesis (AB)--Brown University, 2019
Concentration: Education Studies

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Siegel, Amanda Nicole, "The Treatment of Disabled Students: An Analysis of Current Practice, A Study of Teachers and Parents, And Recommendations for the Future" (2019). Education Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.