Ahmad R. Washington, Ph.D. and Renae D. Mayes, Ph.D.
Addressing the Needs of Racially, Ethnically, and Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities: Suggestions for Professional School Counselors
Racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse (RELD) students who have been identified as having special educational needs encounter institutional obstacles that can impede educational attainment. As change agents mandated to uphold the ideals of social justice, professional school counselors can advocate on
behalf of diverse students with special needs and their families so these students receive the services they are entitled. Unfortunately, non-counseling administrative duties can interfere with a professional school counselor’s ability to adequately serve students most in need of help. To address these institutional obstacles, the authors enumerate professional advocacy strategies school
counselors can use to unencumber themselves so they can support the unique educational necessities for racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students with special needs.
Ahmad Washington Ph.D., NCC is an Assistant Professor of School Counseling in The College of Education and Human Development at The University of Louisville. In the School Counseling, he teaches courses on group counseling and dynamics, and the school counseling practicum and internship. His primary research interests are: --the scientific (e.g., qualitative and quantitative) exploration of African American males’ intersecting ethnic and gender identities across their lifespan --social justice oriented counseling frameworks and strategies that assist African American male adolescents and young adults men as they navigate their social worlds.
Ahmad's teaching is greatly influenced by the seminal work of Paulo Freire (1968). Fundamental to Freire's approach to education is his critique of the traditional "banking" model of education wherein students are rewarded for rote memorization and the regurgitation of data rather than for the ability to critically engage the worlds in which they live.
Renae D. Mayes, PhD, NCC is an assistant professor and director of the School Counseling Program in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services. She completed her PhD in counselor education at The Ohio State University, after completing degrees at the University of Maryland, College Park (MEd in school counseling) and University of Missouri (BS in middle school math and social studies education). Mayes’s line of research focuses on students of color in the k-16 pipeline in three areas including gifted education, special education, and urban education.