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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Culture, attitudes, and disability policy: the effect of cultural values on the implementation of national educational policy for children with disabilities.

Author: Cheloff, S.B.
Author Background:
Date 5/2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title:
Subject Matter Dissabilities
Abstract This study examines the influence of particular religious and cultural values on decisions related to individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the study, which compares the attitudes toward children with disabilities of Ashkenazi (n=73) and Sephardi (n=59) Jews, hypothesizes that cultural distinctions, including tendencies toward individualism/ collectivism, effect attitudes toward the education, social acceptance, and future success of these children. Results of analysis of data collected by self-administered questionnaires indicated that cultural identity, defined in part by individualistic/collectivistic tendencies, influences decisions concerning children with disabilities. This relationship is strongest in the area of education but plays an important, if somewhat weaker role, in areas of social acceptance and future success. Since the choice of placing children with disabilities in either regular or special education, which effects the design of educational programs, is effected by the cultural identity of the decision makers, these findings have important implications for national and international educational policy.