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The Need to Believe in the Ability of Disability

by Scott Barry Kaufman

Our society has clear expectations regarding students who don’t fit the norm. In a 2004 national survey reported in Education Week, 84% of 800 surveyed special and general education teachers did not believe that students in special education should be expected to meet the same set of academic standards articulated for students without disabilities. These beliefs are important, as they guide policies that either encourage or hinder students with disabilities from receiving the same opportunities to flourish as everyone else.

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