Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



The identification of and provision of ALS to ELLs identified with a disability was compared to that of their ELL peers without an identified disability. In addition, I conducted a review of the types of ALS provided. I approached this study from the perspective of the social construction of disability and utilized a quantitative, causal-comparative research design. I utilized the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software for data analysis, along with Pearson's chi-square test of independence (χ2), and Fisher’s exact test with a significance level (p-value of ≤ 0.01) to test null hypothesis. In addition, the risk index and the composition index were also calculated to address factors of disproportionate representation. De-identified data were provided by a school district located in the southwest region of the United States after the 40 day count of the 2013-2014 school year. The data included 16,732 student records of school aged children in kindergarten through 12th grades. Analyses revealed that there was a significant difference in: the proportion of students identified with a Primary Home Language Other Than English (PHLOTE) and identified with a disability categorized as ELL from PHLOTE students without a disability identified as ELL, in the proportion of students identified with disabilities who received ALS compared to their peers without a disability who received ALS (most of the 36 students exempted from ALS were identified with a disability), in the proportion of ELLs who received ALS in grades K-5 compared to ELLs in grades 9-12, in the proportion of ELLs who received ALS who were identified with a Specific Learning Disability compared to ELLs who received ALS identified with any other primary disability, in the proportion of ELLs identified as SLD compared to their non-ELL peers also identified as SLD, and in the proportion of Asian students identified with a disability. Asian students were identified with a disability at a significantly lower rate compared to their non-Asian peers.


Special Education, Bilingual Education, English Language Learners, Alternative Language Services

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Copeland, Susan

Second Committee Member

Keefe, Elizabeth

Third Committee Member

Lopez Leiva, Carlos