The provision of alternate reading media to visually impaired school children in Mississippi: Systems policy making
Visually impaired and blind school children in Mississippi often begin the school year without the appropriate form of textbooks for their studies. Additionally, there have been no means of guaranteeing their receipt of textbooks at any time. These students' rights have been assured under the law but historically those rights have been abrogated. How this abridgement of their rights has occurred is investigated using policy systems as the model for analysis.
The benefits of and the need for the validation of policy by law (SB 2095) is also discussed and investigated. For example: Why was it necessary to pass another law to guarantee the rights of the visually impaired when the appropriate system was apparently already in place? Has this law helped to any degree? Are law and policy the major factors? Do other players or decision makers enter the equation? Are the students, themselves a factor? And though money is never to be an excuse for not providing a free and appropriate education, has that, in fact, been in control of students receiving textbooks on time?
By the questions asked above and in the body of the text, it is the intent of this dissertation to reveal the players, the policies, and other contributors to the current situation and to what degree, if any, attempts to overcome failures have been successful. The focus is on the provision of textbooks through the adequate and appropriate input, feedback, and output of resources and efforts by any responsible party.
The major objective of this study is the discovery of the means of assurance of the timely delivery of alternate media textbooks to the visually impaired and blind students in Mississippi public schools—without exception. The results suggest there is no reason to expect otherwise.
Finally, the field of public administration appears in need of a philosophical approach to operations in providing services. That is an underlying theme; to indicate how public administration may become more functional and responsive through understanding the role of policy and law and the differences between the two.
0535: Reading instruction
0529: Special education