This article provides an overview of the author's experiences in special education as a teacher and subsequently as an intervention researcher providing background on where we were in providing instruction to individuals with disabilities 40 years ago (prior to legal protections and supports) compared with the present. This article acknowledges the progress that has been made in providing opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in the educational system including greater access to the general education classroom for increasing numbers of students with disabilities. However, stakeholders including special educators have inadequately targeted academic and behavioral improvements as their goals for individuals with disabilities. This is largely because the research base for students with disabilities with intensive academic and behavior needs is underdeveloped. Several recommendations are provided including increased funding for research on individuals with persistent learning and behavior problems that addresses how to acquire a more complete knowledge base about effective intensive interventions for these students.
Vaughn, S. (2015) Building on past successes: Designing, evaluating, and providing effective treatments for persons for whom typical instruction is not effective. Remedial and Special Education, 36, 5-8.