NOTE: Colorado College is responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments. Summer Block A & B classes are being delivered via distance learning. Admission open houses and visits are canceled. See Coronavirus Updates & Resources here.
This introductory course provides a general overview of a range of disabilities and special education, applicable to both education and non-education majors; analyzing personal, historical, legislative, and societal perspectives on individuals with disabilities in United States society. This course is designed to help students develop a critical awareness of the complexity and diversity of the lives of people with disabilities, their differences and similarities with individuals without disabilities, and the impact of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status on the treatment of individuals with disabilities in current society. Students will gain an understanding of the definitions, characteristics, and sociological considerations of various forms of disabilities including cognitive, communicative, physical, social/behavioral, and sensory impairments. Additionally, the historical and legislative aspects of special education and how legal mandates impact educational services for individuals with disabilities in the United States will be explored. Students will be challenged to investigate a current issue related to disability in U.S. society specific to the student’s major course of study. Each research investigation will use a small scale qualitative research design to evaluate current approaches and/or advocacy efforts and will propose research-based solutions for overcoming barriers experienced by individuals with disabilities.