NCLID has developed a Needs Assessment survey to pinpoint the research and training needs within the field of low-incidence disabilities. Results are available for all participants, and in each low-incidence specialty area. The needs assessment instrument contained three parts. The first part was comprised of 75 statements. Thirty-seven general statements were developed for use in all three low-incidence areas (deafness, blindness, and severe/profound disabilities) since the possible programs, services, and topics were common to all three areas.
Survey items were presented as affirmative statements about assorted components of quality educational programs and services for students with low-incidence disabilities. In the directions for completing the survey, respondents were asked to indicate if they wanted more information about each specific topic. For example, "I want more information about working within the system to change it." Participants were given one choice for each statement using one of five responses: strongly disagree, disagree, agree, strongly agree, and don't know. Statements were presented in random order via the programming created for this project. After completing part one, respondents clicked "submit" and part two, the demographic section, came on screen. At the end of the demographics section, three open-ended questions were presented on one page.
Initial results of the Needs Assessment revealed several critical research and training needs:
- Educating administrators about appropriate services.
- How to work within the system to change it.
- Teaching social skills so students can effectively interact with others in meaningful ways.
- Fostering general educators' involvement in implementing the IEP.
- Working with people in schools to promote greater acceptance and participation of individuals with disabilities.
For more information about this project, please contact Kay Ferrell.