High School graduation and employment rates are almost twice as favorable for white students with special needs as compared to Black students with similar developmental challenges and disabilities. As a primary source of referrals, physicians function in an essential role within the K-12 special education advocacy process along with parents, school staff and other professionals on behalf of underserved, Black children/clients with special needs. In this one hour workshop, participants will explore the impact of their involvement in the outcomes of special populations, particularly those significantly impacted by systemic racism. Particularly, cultural disconnect and potential biases in the implementation of special education services will be presented. One case example will be examined in this training, exploring aspects of the special education process including initial referral and identification as it impacts Black students with special needs, such as intellectual and emotional disabilities. With the benefit of break-out group discussion, participants will practice communication and problem-solving skills. Related handouts will be provided in advance of the workshop.
Upon completion of this one-hour workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Recognize bias and systemic racism as an ethical dilemma
2. Identify one tool or strategy to address bias within own practice
3. Utilize effective communication strategies with related professionals
4. Project client outcomes given certain evidence-based scenarios