Taiwan's National Policies for Children in Special Education: Comparison with UNCRPD, Core Concepts, and the American IDEA

Chun Yu Chiu*, H. Rutherford Turnbull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The goals for special education policy in Taiwan are to enable students with disabilities to develop their capacities to the fullest, have equal opportunity to access an effective education, live independently, fully participate in their communities, and become economically as self-sufficient as possible, thereby contributing to their communities in various ways. The authors compare these policies to three conceptual models, one international and two national, and ask: (1) to what extent do these policies have congruence with the recently promulgated United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (a document that declares rights in an arguably culturally neutral way)? (2) to what extent are they congruent with the core concepts of U.S. disability policy? and (3) to what extent do these goals, adopted by a democratic government that is significantly different in culture from the United States, reflect U.S. policy as set out in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? The authors also ask: To what extent might Taiwan policy be improved as a consequence of a comparison of it with U.S. and United Nations policy? In reflection, the authors conclude that in general, Taiwan's national special education policy coheres with IDEA, the core concepts, and UNCRPD. The differences between Taiwan's policy and those of IDEA and the core concepts occur mainly because of Taiwan's traditional values and beliefs toward disability. The authors propose more sophisticated elaborations of Taiwan's policies related to family participation, rights of privacy, and appropriate evaluation procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Core concepts
  • IDEA
  • Policy analysis
  • Special education
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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