School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle J Barthlow


Attendance, Emotional Disturbance, Inclusion Classroom, Individualized Education Program, Learning Disability Referrals


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology


The inclusion of students with learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, and other health impairments in general education classrooms is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For the majority of these students with disabilities, accommodations are necessary for them to achieve the same academic successes as their nondisabled peers. Therefore, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is put into place for students that mandates specific accommodations essential for each formally identified student for an equal chance to succeed academically. Unfortunately, there are instances when high school students with a learning disability (LD), emotional behavioral disabilities (ED), or other health impairment (OHI) choose to either limit their use of accommodations or choose not to use them at all. Students who do not use their accommodations may display academic and behavioral issues in the classroom, frequently resulting in office referrals or a drop in attendance. The purpose of this non-experimental correlational study was to examine the relationship between the number of absences, discipline referrals, and high school students identified as LD, ED, or OHI and their use of accommodations in a small school district. Archived student accommodation use, attendance, and discipline referral data were amassed for a random sample of 100 LD, ED, and OHI students using a Spearman’s Rank-Order Correlation for data analysis. After data analysis, it was determined that there was evidence of a relationship between refusal of IEP accommodations and number of disciple referrals in high school students identified as emotionally disturbed. Since this sample size was relatively small, it would be helpful to conduct a study with a larger sample.