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									  IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR MINORITY
  WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES: COMPLEX
PROBLEMS REQUIRE COMPLEX SOLUTIONS

                FABRICIO E BALCAZAR, PhD
       Center on Capacity Building for Minorities with
                   Disabilities Research
           UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO
STARTING POINT:

   Prevailing approaches to school improvement
    do not effectively deal with factors leading to
    and maintaining students’ problems, specially
    in low-income communities of color.
     REALITY OF URBAN ENVIRONMENTS
   Unstable neighborhoods
      Over committed families (multiple jobs,
       multiple dependents, unemployment)
      Poor housing and transportation options
      Limited communication/collaboration
       between social service & advocacy
       organizations (ILC’s, VR, CBOs, schools)
   Under-resourced schools
      Stressed organizations have a difficult time
       of implementing “Best Practices”
      Unfair school funding formulas (property
       taxes)
REALITY IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS (CONTINUED)

     High demand on service providers contribute to
        Poor person-centered planning (e.g., IEPs, ITPG’s)
        Challenges of involving social support (families,
         peers, friends)
        Challenges with collaborating with other agencies &
         service providers
        Poor individual outcomes
           Academic (i.e., schools placed on academic
            probation, high dropout rates, “crisis” driven
            intervention and support)
           Transition (i.e., employment, independent living,
            post-secondary education)
REALITY IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS (CONTINUED)
 Students are unmotivated and many do not care
  about their education. They do not see education
  as a real mechanism for social mobility
 Many teachers do not expect minority students
  with disabilities to go to college and pursue post-
  high school education. They do not challenge or
  have high expectations for these students
 Most low-income minority families have similar low
  expectations about their children with disabilities
  and are unaware of VR and other college
  assistance programs
ISSUES FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES

 Pregnancy
 Dropout

 Lower incomes than boys

 Low expectations from parents and teachers

 Dependency

 Low self-esteem

 Discrimination
WHAT IS MISSING?

 Direct facilitation of development and learning
 Addressing contextual barriers
EN ABLING COMPONENT
(1)   Addressing
      interfering factors
(2)   Re-engaging
      students in
      classroom
      instruction
ADDRESSING INTERFERING FACTORS:

 The College Connection to Career Development
  and Choices in Transition Projects from UIC
 Projects funded by RSA and OSERS
             The College Connection to Career Development
                          Intervention Model

Organizations            CPS                       CCC                               IORS

                      Outreach
                                                                              Job                On-the-job
                         &                       Post-Secondary
Activities                                                                Development             Support
                      Training                      Support



Service                                                                             CCC
                                Special                  Disability
              UIC Case                                                UIC Case     Career     UIC Case      VR
Delivery                       Education    UIC Case      Services                                       Counselor
              Manager                                                 Manager     Dev. Office Manager
                               Personnel    Manager      Personnel                Personnel


Skills      •College Application            •Tutoring                   •Job Searching      •Job Etiquette
Development •Finical Aid                    •Curriculum Adaptations     •Job Interviewing   •Job Maintenance
                •Vocational Assessment      •Assistive technology       •Resume writing     •Career Advice
                •Job Shadowing              •Problem Solving            •Job Clubs          •Assistive Tech.
                •Training in goal setting   •Advocacy regarding
                action planning and         rights & Services
                help-recruiting             •Peer Support
                •Self-Advocacy training
WHAT DID THE CASE MANAGERS DO?
   Problem solving with the students (including
    crisis managing)
   Parents’ education and negotiation
    (referrals)
   Classroom support, co-teaching (at high
    schools); visits to colleges; test preparation
   Advocacy at the city colleges (dealing with
    teachers; accessibility); tutoring
   Scheduled VR appointments with
    counselors; advocacy
134 (82%) OF PARTICIPANTS PLACED IN
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS

    Associate’s credit (30)            Computer literacy (3)
    Office specialist (19)             4-year college (2)
    Pre-college credit (12)            Radiology (2)
    Referred to IORS for job           EMT (2)
     placement (9)                      Computer graphics (2)
    Pharmacy tech (6)                  Medical terminology (2)
    A+ certification (5)               Electronic industrial
    Security training (5)               maintenance mgr. (2)
    Auto-mechanic program (4)          Medical office specialist (2)
    CNA (4)                            Fiber optics, electrical classes,
    Medical billing/coding (4)          carpentry, sign language &
    Cosmetology (3)                     PT/OT (1 each)
    Vocational training through        Dropped for various reasons (8)
     Harold Washington College (3)
CONCLUSIONS

 The school does not function independently of
  the issues of the community that surrounds it.
  It is an integral part and a reflection of the
  problems affecting the community.
 There is a need for comprehensive school
  reform that promotes school engagement in
  classroom instruction and deals with the
  multiple barriers facing low-performing youth.
CONCLUSIONS (CONTINUED)

 The school services and supports should be
  coordinated with community agencies and
  state programs that deal with the multiple
  barriers that low-performing students face.
 Additional resources could be used to build the
  networks and provide the supports
  (comprehensive case management) that low-
  income students with disabilities and their
  families need to graduate.
CONCLUSIONS (CONTINUED)
 We need to agree on what success means for
  low-income minority youth with disabilities.
  Graduating with low standards or aging-out is
  not.
 There is great variability among schools,
  districts, and states with regards to transition
  preparation and outcomes. There is a need for
  instituting and enforcing national standards for
  transition planning, preparation and curricula
  based on specific skills and experiences that
  promote post-high school employment.
CONCLUSIONS (CONTINUED)

   Adult education and certificate programs at
    local colleges can offer multiple career
    opportunities to youth with disabilities. Some of
    these programs could be offered while the
    students are still in high school, since most
    professional training programs have been
    eliminated as a result of the NCLB emphasis on
    meeting academic standards.
REFERENCES
   Garcia-Iriarte, E., Balcazar, F. E., & Taylor-Ritzler, T. (2007).
    Analysis of case managers’ support of youth with disabilities
    transitioning from school to work. Journal of Vocational
    Rehabilitation, 26, 129-140.
   McDonald, K. E., Keys, C. B., & Balcazar, F. E. (2007).
    Disability, race/ethnicity and gender: Themes of cultural
    oppression, acts of individual resistance. American Journal
    of Community Psychology, 39, 145-161.
   National Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA
    (2008). Frameworks for systematic transformation of
    students and learning supports. Los Angeles, CA: Author.
    http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu

								
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