Discrepancies between policies and practices have been known to be key barriers to ascertain adequate service delivery for students with disabilities and their families. For students with learning disabilities, the policy–practice gap is manifested through three key barriers to education: the difficulty to operationalize the definition of learning disabilities in service delivery, psychosocial issues associated with their learning differences, and minimization of parent participation. The implementation status of recent policies to strengthen systematic intervention throughout various stages of schooling to post-school life in Hong Kong has not been examined. This study represents an initial effort to understand service delivery for youth with learning disabilities through their parents' account of experiences. Findings suggest wide policy–practice gaps in fulfilling the mandates of implementing the 3-Tier Intervention model, establishing student support teams for all eligible students, providing transition services, and engaging and supporting parents in the decision-making process. Bridging the policy–practice gaps and balancing the tension between standards-based education systems and support for diverse needs are universal challenges. An evidence-based approach to policymaking is necessary to increase effective policy implementation and the role of research to contribute to such an approach is discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationPoon-McBrayer, K. F. (2012). Bridging policy–practice gap: Protecting rights of youth with learning disabilities in Hong Kong. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(9), 1909-1914.
- Learning disabilities
- Service delivery
- Parent participation