Minnesota ABE Disabilities Portal

Minnesota Adult Basic Education Disability Specialists

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Purpose

The following information has been prepared in accordance with federal and state disability laws. While information and disability laws can differ from state to state, in most cases the information presented relates to any program throughout the United States providing education and/or training to individuals who have disabilities.

This information is not designed to address every situation or question; it should not be viewed as legal advice, but a guide of policies and procedures to assist in ensuring all students with disabilities have equal access and can benefit from adult basic education.

Should questions or concerns arise, further direction should be sought from the Equal Opportunity Commission or legal counsel.

Historical Perspective

Historically, adult students with disabilities have been a substantially underserved population. This stems from a number of factors including: an absence of knowledge and understanding of the needs of students with disabilities; a lack of effective education and training methods; and a general belief that individuals with disabilities were unable to learn or work. These factors, and more, promoted a premise that individuals with disabilities would probably not benefit from adult basic education.

Many individuals with disabilities can benefit from adult basic education. In accordance with federal, state and local laws all programs and services are to be fully accessible. The new and emerging principles of disability policy have fundamentally rejected the old assumptions and principles. The new model is driven by the foundation that diversity is a positive force in communities and as such, is an intrinsic and normal part of human experiences. Diversity, in this case, disabilities, should in no way decease an individual's right to fully participate in all aspects of life. Thus, the emphasis throughout the past decades has been to strengthen communities to provide effective and meaningful opportunities for all persons, including those who have disabilities.

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