Graduate project

A comparative study of the attitudes of educational personnel serving mainstreamed hearing impaired students within a local educational agency

The landmark federal legislation, Education for All The Handicapped Public Law 94-142, extends free appropriate education nationwide. The implementation of this act will have dramatic impact on the extension of special services to previously unserved or underserved exceptional individuals. Although mainstreaming is not explicitly mandated in the law, one of its major points is the placement of exceptional the "least restrictive environment." The term "least restrictive environment" provides the framework under which the local school districts can provide hearing impaired students with educational alternatives for the fulfillment of the students' academic and social potential. Mainstreaming, in which a hearing impaired student will be placed in a regular class with non-hearing impaired peers, is but one of the educational alternatives that can be offered to the hearing impaired student. Assessment of pupils, services and programs is then an important first step, prior to placement of a hearing impaired student in any educational setting. This study provided regular day school personnel with a survey comprised of fourteen items that could be considered for inclusion in a mainstreaming program for the hearing impaired. The study would determine the extent of agreement that would occur between the combinations of four groups of educational personnel. It would also determine if prior knowledge, training and contact in a mainstreamed program would influence the response of certain participants.

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