Identifying the Barriers to Achievement for Students with Disabilities and Strategies to Overcome Them

Identifying the Barriers to Achievement for Students with Disabilities and Strategies to Overcome Them

Author: 
Tina M. Christen
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
In order for students with disabilities to be successful and improve academically it is essential to make reasonable accommodations to grade level curriculum that may be too academically challenging. Equal access is essential for participation and success in the general education setting. The purpose of this qualitative Delphi study was to identify the barriers to achievement for students with disabilities and strategies to overcome them. The study involved the identification of 20 experts panelist from the field of education, 10 teachers from general education and 10 teachers from special education. The panel participants’ were identified as experts via a demographic survey. The experts were identified as having a minimum of 10 years teaching experience, holding a valid California credential, special education teachers were credentialed in special education, teachers were assigned to teach in the area they were credentialed in and general education teachers had experience teaching students with disabilities. A pilot study was conducted to inform the researcher if the panelists understood what was being asked of them. The pilot study participants’ answered one round of open-ended survey questions via SurveyMonkey™. The Delphi study consisted of three survey rounds and at the conclusion of the study three areas of focus identified. The focus areas were collaboration, IEP accommodations and classroom support. The study signifies a need for continued training for both general education teacher and special education teachers.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my family. I could not have completed this journey without their love and support. I want to thank my mom and dad for teaching me to never give up on my dreams. I wish my dad were still here to see me complete this but I always carry him in spirit. To my brother and sister who have always supported me in my educational endeavors. To my husband and my daughters, you are the loves of my life. Taylor and Morgan, thank you for the privilege of being your mommy. You two shining stars will make this world a better place.
Acknowledgements: 
I am grateful to my chairperson, Dr. Tamerin Capellino and my committee members, Dr. Kelly Davis, Dr. Kelley Walters and Dr. Christina Anastasia for their time and guidance. Dr. Capellino, I do not know what I would have done without you. I am very thankful to Stephanie Yarbrough and Dr. Michael Shaf for your support. Garland, Chopper, and DC, thank you for being my friends. Our time opening trees and hiding from the firewater will always be some of my fondest memories. Friendships do not always last the test of time; our friendship has shattered the test of time by 30 years.