To understand race/ethnicity and intellectual and developmental disabilities, one must also understand how African American students and other students of color have fared in the American public education system. There are racial/ethnic disparities with regard to who is identified and labeled as having intellectual and developmental disabilities, risks for identification as having a disability, types of disability placements received once identified, quality of services provided, and post-school outcomes.

Race and ethnicity are used interchangeably in this entry to refer to students’ race or ethnic background. The entry focuses on African American students because they have the longest documented history of experiencing discrimination and segregation in the American public educational system. The entry first discusses the historical context of race and ethnicity and intellectual and developmental disabilities ...

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