Competencies needed by teachers of vocational education for the handicapped: a Delphi approach



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Texas Tech University


Persons with special needs in our society provide a challenge to those concerned with their education and occupational training. Shepard (1966) noted that special classes and programs for such students have existed in the United States for over sixty years. However, the 1968 and 1976 Amendments to the Vocational Education Act of 196 3 have focused renewed attention on the handicapped. In these amendments the Congress of the United States mandated that 10 percent of the Federal Funds allocated under Part B of the 19 6 3 Act be designated to provide vocational education for the handicapped. Shepard (1966) pointed out that as a result of the new legislative emphasis, a rapid expansion of public school programs for handicapped students began to occur at the secondary level. In Texas, response to these challenges resulted in the development of specialized Vocational Education for the Handicapped (VEH) programs.

The problem of developing adequate occupational education programs in the public schools for secondary students with handicaps and special needs has become increasingly apparent during the past few years. Developing occupational education programs for students with special needs has now reached sufficient concern to become a target area of the United States Office of Education and the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1973).