Effective Special Education Service Delivery through Multicultural Insights into Communication Styles
Often neglected in the process of identifying or addressing the needs of a young learner is the potential havoc caused by communication style differences between special education professionals and parents of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the course of placing his or her child with disabilities in the public school system, a Korean born immigrant parent may interact with: (1) a native English speaking Caucasian regular education teacher, (2) an Iranian American special education teacher, (3) a Chinese born paraprofessional and (4) a speech therapist whose native culture is from Mexico. Given the cultural and linguistic diversity of such a team, the results can often be misunderstanding, conflict or confusion as this group works out its assessment of and learning objectives for the child. It can eventually cause the problematic disproportionality of special education population in the United States. The goal of the workshop is to raise awareness of divergent intercultural communication patterns among different cultural and linguistic groups in the special education field. By increasing the effectiveness of their communication, special education professionals will be able to provide the best special education services for all children with disabilities. The multicultural insights into communication will also reduce the disproportionality of special education population.
Keywords: Diversity, Multicultural Insights, Intercultural Communication, Special Education, Disabilities, Special Education Professionals
Dr. EunMi Cho
Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, School Psychology, and Rehabilitation, California State University, Sacramento