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Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Individuals
with Disabilities

Funded by:
Ideas that Work logo

Follow these links for real-life, real-time insight into dealing with issues faced by persons with disabilities as they seek success in posecondary education. Brian Kajiyama is a Japanese-American with cerebral palsy who is a graduate student at the College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Jim Skouge is a professor in the Special Education Department who is supporting Brian to complete his graduate program in Counselor Education. Each is maintaining a blog (web log) of their experiences. Click here to go to Brian’s blog, and here to go to Dr. Skouge's blog.


Center on Disability Studies

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Transition Success Research Project

Study of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, and Disability Factors, Related to Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Post-school Adjustment.

It is becoming increasingly important for Americans to continue their educations beyond high school if they want to obtain quality jobs in the modern economy, with its emphasis on knowledge and technology. However, as demonstrated by numerous studies, youth with disabilities are much less likely than their peers without disabilities to successfully access and participate in postsecondary education. Problems in achieving success in postsecondary education are particularly evident for youth with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds. Efforts to support CLD youth with disabilities to successfully prepare for and transition into postsecondary education are given added importance and urgency by the facts that CLD youth tend to be overrepresented in certain special education categories and that the numbers and proportion of CLD youth in the nation’s schools are increasing rapidly.

However, little is known about what contributes to successful post-high school outcomes for CLD youth with disabilities, with important unanswered questions including:

  • What specific factors (personal, familial, cultural, socioeconomic) support the educational progress of CLD youth with disabilities in high school resulting in successful access and participation in postsecondary education and other lifelong learning opportunities?
  • What contextual factors in high school (resources, scheduling, special programs, expectations, etc.) support the educational progress of CLD youth with disabilities resulting in successful access and participation in postsecondary education and other lifelong learning opportunities?
  • How do high schools and other service providers effectively support CLD youth with disabilities to successfully transition into postsecondary education?

In order to answer these questions, the CLD Transition Research Project is implementing a research design consisting of four different research activities using a consumer-driven participatory action research (PAR) approach. Through the PAR approach, the project is tapping the expertise of CLD persons with disabilities who have successfully accessed and participated in postsecondary education. Research results and recommendations are being summarized in a variety of accessible formats tailored for a range of audiences and disseminated through an extensive national network, and are also being posted on the products page of this Web site.

The CLD Transition Research Project is an initiative of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s Center on Disability Studies (a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities). The research is also being conducted by four collaborating US Mainland sites with strong records of research in disabilities and/or cultural and linguistic diversity, thereby providing national scope. Each of the sites is focusing on different CLD groups, as follows:

  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (Department of Curriculum and Instruction): African Americans.
  • Northern Arizona University (Institute for Human Development): Native Americans and Hispanic Americans.
  • Ohio State University (Nisonger Center for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities): African Americans.
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (Center on Disability Studies): Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • University of Washington (DO-IT—Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology): Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans.

The CLD Transition Research Project is funded by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the period July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2006 (Project #H324C010090).


NCU - African AmericanNAU - Native American & Alaska
OSU - African American UHM - Pacific Island & Asian AmericanUniversity of Washington
Bobby Approved
page updated: 19-Feb-2014