Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is Special Ed Making Independent Adults? New Study By Census Bureau

English: Seal of the United States Census Bure...
English: Seal of the United States Census Bureau.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Census Bureau, among the 46.0 million adults who received income-based government assistance in 2011, 30.4 percent of them had a disability.  The report issued last month is entitled Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States: 2011

“On average, people with disabilities have lower employment and earnings; therefore, understanding what assistance people with disabilities receive may help governments better coordinate and administer their programs,” said Bernice Boursiquot, a Census Bureau statistician and co-author of the report.

States west of the Appalachian Mountains had higher rates of disability among recipients of income-based assistance. In comparison, states in the Southwest and along the Eastern Seaboard had lower rates.  West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas were three of the top five states for disability prevalence in the total population, as well as in the total population receiving government assistance. In West Virginia, 26.8 percent of people with disabilities reported having ambulatory difficulty, defined as severe difficulties walking or climbing stairs. 

You can view the entire report here.

One question for special education: how does this reflect on IDEA transition programs?  Is special education succeeding in making people with disabilities more independent?  Your thoughts?

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  1. I think the only way to know if Special Services are creating more independent adults is to have some sort of comparison... Perhaps some data from before there were services for the disabled... I also suppose that there should be a measure for whether we are getting better at making more independent adults. Something to compare the last ten years. Something else to the purpose for special education to make more independent adults or is it to give equal access to education? Or is it both? Thanks for proposing the quesiton.

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for your comment.