Supporting English Learners with Disabilities: A Collaborative Approach to Education and Advocacy

In US Public Schools, nearly 5 million children are classified as English Learners and 14% of all English Learner students are also classified as having a disability. Students who are dually classified as ELs and also having a disability are entitled, by law, to receive both specific English language development instruction and also specific Special Education services in response to their disability.

Current research, albeit limited, has suggested that issues of identification and assessment of ELs with learning disabilities has led to both over- and under - representation of ELs in Special Education due to misdiagnosis and even when ELs with learning disabilities are correctly identified many of these students are often deprived of the dual services (i.e., English language development and Special Education) to which they are legally entitled.

Finally, it is important to call to attention that a major source of all the aforementioned issues are largely due to a lack of intentional and meaningful collaboration and communication between education stakeholders including, but not limited to, English Learner teachers, Special Education teachers, school psychologists, and parents.

In this session, we will bring together a group of education stakeholders who work collaboratively to support and advocate for the education needs of students who are dually classified as English Leaners and also having a disability.

MODERATOR:Sara V. Niño, (she/hers/ella) Senior Statewide Trainer, Federation for Children with Special Needs and Doctoral Candidate Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies, UMASS Boston

PANELISTS:Angélica Bachour, Parent advocate and Community Interpreter and TranslatorTaylor Gold, English Language Educator (ELE) at the George F. Kelly School in Chelsea, MA.Catalina Tang Yan 趙嘉蓮, Doctoral Candidate at Boston University School of Social WorkNancy Harayama, (she/hers) Lecturer and Special Education Program Director, BU WheelockChristine Montecillo Leider, (she/hers) Clinical Assistant Professor and Bilingual Education Program Director, BU Wheelock

When 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 18, 2021
Location Online/Zoom