A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of all Children with Disabilities - 1995

Chapter 7

Serving Students with Disabilities in Rural Areas

Special educators and administrators in rural areas face unique challenges in providing a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Addressing these challenges successfully may have a lasting impact on the ability of students with disabilities in rural areas to obtain positive in-school and post-school outcomes.

Due to the diversity among rural areas, programs tailored to particular types of rural communities may be more effective than generalized programs. Bender et al. (1985) described seven different types of rural communities differentiated by economic base, population characteristics, and the presence of Federally-owned land. These communities include: those primarily dependent on farming, manufacturing, or mining; those specializing in government functions; those in persistent poverty; those composed mainly of Federal land; and those whose population includes large numbers of retirees. Even rural communities with similar population numbers, densities, and the like, vary tremendously because of the variety of subcultures they contain.


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[Summary and Implications] [Table of Contents] [Defining Rural School Districts and Schools]