Developing Culturally Inclusive Services for Individuals With Severe Disabilities

Beth Harry, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, Marsha Smith-Lewis, Hyun Sook Park, Fu Xin, Ilene Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In this position paper, we argue that concerns about race and culture largely have been ignored with respect to students with severe disabilities. We caution, however, that variables such as acculturation, social class, and education must be included in any consideration of cultural identity to avoid stereotyping. Second, we use the term “cultural inclusion” to indicate the need to address cultural features directly when planning for inclusion of students with severe disabilities. In this paper, we propose essentials of a culturally inclusive approach to building relationships with families and to assessment, placement, instruction, and programming for such students. Third, we call for a multicultural emphasis in personnel preparation programs, with a focus on process rather than cultural content. The paper concludes with suggestions for a research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • culture
  • families
  • inclusion
  • parent-professional relations
  • parents
  • special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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