Education of All Handicapped Children Act Family Impact Analysis

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Introduction

Education of All Handicapped Children Act was designed to eliminate educational inequalities driven by a child’s physical inability or disability (Coates 65). Before the Act, public school had no or few obligations to physically challenged children. The aim of this act was to correct the popular injustices within education programming for physically challenged children. Besides, the learning opportunities they require to become self-reliant, self-sufficient and productive societal members. The paper is divided into three parts. The first part presents family impact analysis of the education of all disabled children acts using the family impact principles or checklist. The second part examines the consequences of family and child policies as well as the ethical issues or controversies surrounding the act. Finally, the third part addresses the roles of family professionals in influencing government policies, those that strengthen and support families.

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Family Impact Principles

One of the pillars of the education of all handicapped children act lies in its ability to drive family responsibility. In particular, the act was intended to empower and support some societal family functions including caregiving and childrearing (Treppa 430). The act has seen the parents act as information providers and key decision makers within the development process of a suitable education program for their physically challenged children. Besides, parents are today considered as advocates for the children’s best interests through the hearing of the due process.

About family stability, given the need to address physically challenged children, the act reinforces and encourages family stability and commitment with such children. One of the strengths of the act is its ability to acknowledge that mental and physical disabilities are long-term family processes and as such, call for continued attention and support. Given that the act demanded an administrative procedure from the district schools, parents and other family members of the physically challenged students could challenge the decisions made regarding the education of their children (Treppa 436).

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On family relationships, the act acknowledges the importance of creating and sustaining strong relationships. In particular, it encourages the need to recognize the strength as well as persistence of family ties. Such is because the policy works against family neglect, particularly excluding and isolating physically challenged students from accessing education alongside family support and attention. Without a constant corporation of other private and public programs, the public school remains disadvantaged at providing all the special needs for all the physically challenged children. Parents can also collaborate with schools in executing individualizes education programs for the sake of their children.

About family diversity, the act recognizes and respects family life diversity and as such, works against discriminating children based on their special needs, mental and physical disabilities in particular. Central to the act is the recognition of both the responsibilities and complexity involved in coordinating services and caring for family members with special needs. In particular, the Act mandated all public schools are receiving federal funds to within the US to offer equal access to education to the physically challenged children. Besides, the Act required these schools to provide, on a daily basis, one free meal to the schoolchildren with both mental and physical disabilities (Treppa, 440).

On family engagement, the education of all handicapped children act encourages partnerships between families and education professions. In particular, the Act works for family engagements that require instrumental, informational and emotional support for the physically challenged children. Similarly, to their parents, the Act fosters for the participation of the disabled children in the planning of their special education.

Consequences of the Act

Since its implementation, this family child policy has led to various consequences (Avramidis, Bayliss and Burden 195). More than before, physically challenged children are benefiting from special education. Since its inception, the Act has seen a significant number of parents who are directly engaged in the schooling of their children. Moreover, the act has seen more regular classroom teachers receiving training to work with physically challenged children. Among the significant consequences of the act is based on the high expectations on the side of parents to play several essential roles in the education process of their children. In particular, the act has seen the parents act as information providers and key decision makers within the development process of a suitable education program for their physically challenged children. Besides, parents are today considered as advocates for these children’s best interests through the hearing of the due process. Parents can also collaborate with schools in executing individualizes education programs for the sake of their children (Avramidis, Bayliss and Burden 195).

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One of the ethical issues in the implementation of this act is still rooted in the discrimination of these children based on their special needs. Another ethical issue relates to the lack of good will from untrained teachers to feel some sense of obligation to the physically challenged children. One of the greatest controversy within this act lies in the coordination of services. In particular, there is confusion about program will pay and provide for a particular service alongside the necessary conditions

The societal factors influencing family policy development can be categorized as social, economic and political (Coates 68). On socials, family policy developments are made based on whether a child is a total or partial orphan lives with both parents or even if the parents are divorced. Such is because these factors directly affect the financial position of a family and as such, the needs for policies that stipulate the role marriage as well as responsibility towards children care. Economic factors include intra-household allocation, welfare and health benefits. Finally, political factors such as the government intervention in welfare including the preference for public housing influence the development of family policies and programs (Avramidis, Bayliss & Burden 195).

The Family Professionals

Family professionals play influential in the formulation of government policies that support and strengthen families. According to Avramidis, Bayliss, and Burden (198), the act highlights various activities that all public schools to ensure that the rights of the disabled children are maintained. Based on such, act demands that family professionals be called upon to assess the special needs of the children and propose the most suitable educational environment for such children. In particular, professionals play an instrumental role in developing the individualized education program for children with special needs among other related services. Family professionals can initiate regional parent information centers through which they can be informed about their responsibilities and rights under this act. Besides, professionals can plan stimulating initiatives for school and parent training programs. As an effort to deal with ethical issues, professionals can jointly develop policy statements that clarify how specific programs may legally continue to offer services as well as how best the various support agencies may collaborate appropriately.

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  1. Avramidis, Elias, Phil Bayliss, and Robert Burden. “A survey into mainstream teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in the ordinary school in one local education authority.” Educational psychology 20.2 (2000): 191-211.
  2. Coates, Kathryn M. “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act Since 1975.” Marq. L. Rev. 69 (1985): 51-81.
  3. Treppa, Michael S. “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act: Trends and Problems with the Related Services Provision.” Golden Gate UL Rev. 18 (1988): 427-441.
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