The article by Paula Wenner Conroy (2012) specifically speaks of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) and the culturally and linguistically diverse families. Many do not believe that these students should be considered “disabled” as some of them do not have any mental or physical impairments. However, their abilities do communicate properly is a disability to them. This article seeks ways in which the schools should collaborate with families of culturally and linguistically Diverse (CLD) families in order to help them throughout schooling of their children.
Collaborating with families of a diverse culture and language is of utmost importance in the classroom. Teachers, facilitators, and administrators have to be able to communicate with the children and their families throughout their school careers. Special education is important to CDL families as it helps them throughout the process. With teachers being properly trained in how to communicate with these families, children who need the extra help will better succeed in the classrooms.
Conroy (2012) states that “family participation is one of the central tenets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA, 2004) that focuses on the inclusion of families as active partners on their children’s educational teams” (p. 24). This is very true. I believe that formal and informal meetings with the families help the families understand the communication lines and help them understand what they need to do in order to help their children succeed in the classrooms. The main focus needs to be on the consideration for these families. Many of these families, just like others, value respect. Teachers need to understand how to communicate with them about their perceptions of disability and goal setting as Conroy states. Their understanding of these things may be different than the school’s understanding and this may cause confusion. Supporting these families is key to the success of the children that all teachers are working with on a daily basis. Without respect and guidance for these families, they may never know how to help their children and it is the teacher’s job to help them understand.
Conroy, P. W. (2012). Collaborating with cultural and linguistically diverse families of students in rural schools who receive special education services. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 31(3), 24-27.