IOWA’S POSITION ON DISABILITY CATEGORIES
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The Iowa Department of Education has adopted the position that disability categories or labels across all ages are not needed in the educational setting for the following reasons:
- the use of labels does not identify an individual’s unique needs;
- labeling encourages the perception that all individuals in a category have the same characteristics;
- a label, in and of itself, does not provide educators with information regarding the individual’s instructional needs;
- educators’ expectations based on labels may influence the performance of students;
- labeling, in most cases, is negatively loaded terminology and maybe permanently stigmatizing;
- labeling puts the burden of failure on the student; and
- the use of labels may become the basis for assigning an individual to more restrictive services than required.