Special Education and Gender

Special education in the United States operates under the legislative provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that was passed in 1990 and reauthorized in 1997 and again in 2004. IDEA defines 13 categories: autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. The legislation also includes three other categories: infants and toddlers with disabilities, persons with developmental delays, and persons at risk of experiencing developmental delays due to biological or environmental factors. The U.S. Department of Education reports to Congress annually on the state of special education; however, the department stopped including data about differences for disability incidence by gender in 2003. ...

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