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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.