Meeting the Multicultural Needs of Hispanic Students in Special Education

By Fradd, Sandra H.; Figueroa, Richard A. et al. | Exceptional Children, October 1989 | Go to article overview

Meeting the Multicultural Needs of Hispanic Students in Special Education


Fradd, Sandra H., Figueroa, Richard A., Correa, Vivian I., Exceptional Children


Meeting the Multicultural Needs of Hispanic Students in Special Education

* During the past two decades the number of Hispanic persons in the United States has increased dramatically. This growth is projected to occur at an even more rapid rate during the next decade. The purpose of this special issue is to focus attention on the needs of Hispanics who are handicapped or at risk of educational failure. It should not be inferred that this is the only or even the most needy group. Because Hispanics do represent the largest, rapidly increasing group within the language minority cohorts, their needs require immediate attention. However, many of the issues raised with regard to Hispanics are relevant for other ethnic groups.

There is an international flavor to the issue because the concerns of bilingual special education are not unique to the United States. Contributing authors have been solicited from Canada as well as states strongly impacted by sustained immigration of limited English proficient (LEP) students. Each author has an established record of experience in the field and is recognized in his or her area of expertise.

Florida has the fourth largest LEP population in the nation. The University of Florida has held the leadership role in providing bilingual special education training and research in the state and region. Sandra Fradd and Vivian Correa have provided this leadership through a variety of programs they have designed and implemented as a means for increasing personnel competency in working with handicapped and at-risk language minority students. In their opening article, Fradd and Correa point out the critical areas of concern for meeting the needs of Hispanic students.

California has the largest number of LEP students as well as a large group of personnel conducting research and providing training in this area. Richard Figueroa is the director of the "Special Education Demonstration Project: Hispanic Students." This longitudinal research program, which is sponsored by Dr. Shirley Thornton, California Deputy Superintendent for specialized programs, is documenting the available knowledge-base in bilingual special education. …

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