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Access to Educational and Community Activities for Young Children with Disabilities: Selected Findings from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS). NCSER 2011-3000.

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This report uses data from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS) to describe access for young children with disabilities in two specific domains: community activities, including extracurricular activities and family recreation, and kindergarten classroom experiences. While PEELS is a broad, descriptive study, the analyses presented in this report are designed to address four questions related to children's access to community and educational activities: (1) In what types of community activities are children with disabilities ages 5 through 7 engaged?; (2) How do specific attributes, such as gender, disability, and household income, and potential barriers, such as access to adequate transportation and safety of neighborhoods, relate to involvement in those activities?; (3) What are the kindergarten experiences of young children with disabilities in terms of access to the general curriculum, enrollment in classes with peers without disabilities, instructional strategies, and full-day/part-day programs?; and (4) How do these kindergarten experiences vary by district size, district wealth, and metropolitan status? In PEELS, 69 percent of parents reported that their child attended a full-day program, and 31 percent of parents reported that their child attended a half-day program, regardless of whether the children were still receiving special education services in kindergarten. For those PEELS children still receiving special education services, 73 percent of teachers indicated that the regular education classroom was the child's main education setting and, on average, children who received special education services in regular education kindergarten had classes in which 82 percent of the children did not have disabilities. As a group, young children who received preschool special education services had different experiences based on the types of districts in which they were enrolled. In terms of district size, a larger proportion of children in very large districts had a regular education classroom as their main setting compared to children in smaller districts, and children in larger districts spent more hours per week in regular education classrooms than children in smaller districts. District wealth was also associated with children's kindergarten experiences. Children in low or very low-wealth districts spent a smaller percentage of time than children in high-wealth districts receiving instructional or therapy services outside their classroom. This report is organized in the following manner. The authors describe in chapter 2 the PEELS study design and methods used in this report. Chapter 3 presents information on access to community activities of young children with disabilities. Chapter 4 focuses on kindergarteners with disabilities and their access to classroom experiences. Appendices include: (1) Diagram of Selection of LEA Sample; (2) Weighting Procedures; (3) Results from PEELS Nonresponse Bias Study; (4) Standard Error Tables; (5) Standard Error Tables for Figures; (6) Analysis Variables Used Throughout Report; and (7) Final Augmented LEA Sample Size. (Contains 75 tables, 5 figures and 22 footnotes.)

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Author:Carlson, Elaine; Bitterman, Amy; Daley, Tamara
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2010
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