The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


Revisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 allowed for districts to hire teachers’ aides to assist in the educational process. These teachers’ aides, known as paraprofessionals or paraeducators, have increased in number since 1997 and now play an important role in helping students with disabilities. The purpose of the current study is to diagnose the current situation of paraprofessionals in special education within the four key aspects of appropriate role, inappropriate role, training, and supervision. A total of 47 paraprofessionals participated in the survey. Using the paraprofessionals’ perspectives on what the challenges and demanding areas were, we aim to establish a basis for providing teachers and school administrators guidelines to better support paraprofessionals who work with students with disabilities. Future research and limitations are discussed.