The Effects of Disability Labels on Special Education and General Education Teachers' Referrals for Gifted Programs

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This study investigated the effect of the disability labels learning disabilities (LD) and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) on public school general education and special education teachers' willingness to refer students to gifted programs. Results indicated that teachers were significantly influenced by the LD and EBD labels when making referrals to gifted programs. Both groups of teachers were much less willing to refer students with disability labels to gifted programs than identically described students with no disability label. Additionally, when compared to general education teachers, special education teachers were less likely to refer a gifted student, with or without disabilities, to a gifted program.