The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) is happy to present a podcast series based on our “Pursuing Equity at the Intersection of Language, Culture and Disability” Thought Leader Conversation Series.
This series is focused on elevating equity in opportunity and achievement for students with disabilities or who may have disabilities and who are English learners. NCSI is committed to supporting SEAs and their partners in expanding their understanding of the intersection of language, culture, and disability in K-12 education.
Through a curated collection of highlights from the five live sessions, these podcast episodes are less than 30-minutes, designed to be engaging and interactive, and organized around NCSI’s four systems elements:
• data literacy
• stakeholder and family engagement
• research-informed practice
• systems coherence
Quick facts on English learners with disabilities
As a quick introduction to this population, the Foundational session shared data from OSEP Fast Facts: Students With Disabilities Who Are English Learners (ELs) Served Under IDEA Part B. This interactive brief, also available as a PDF, uses data from school years 2012/13 through 2020/21 to describe this growing subgroup of students and notes some of the differences we see among English learners with disabilities and the broader population of students with disabilities in terms of identification, placement, and outcomes.
What does the research say?
In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures. This report examined the research to make recommendations to better support English learners. Chapter 10 of the NASEM report is particularly relevant as it focuses on English learners with disabilities. The report brief Dual Language Learners and English Learners with Disabilities provides Chapter 10 highlights related to five specific disabilities, common myths, best practices in identification and evaluation, and considerations for individualized education programs (IEPs). Some of the myths address the erroneous idea that English learners with disabilities cannot or should not learn multiple languages. In reality, they can learn both English and their home languages and benefit from doing so. The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) created an infographic on multilingualism’s cognitive, educational, economic, and sociocultural benefits.
This podcast is produced by the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) at WestEd which is funded by a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the US Department of Education, #H326R190001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government, Project Officer: Perry Williams (October 2019)
WestEd is the lead organization for NCSI. For more information about the work of WestEd, NCSI, and their partners, please visit www.ncsi.wested.org and www.wested.org.