Special education and severe disabilities in Costa Rica: Developing inclusion in a developing country Academic Article uri icon


  • Special education has been part of the Costa Rican public education system for more than 60 years. Approximately 10% of the 75,000 students who receive special services have a severe disability; however, there is a chronic shortage of personnel trained to educate students with significant educational needs. In the last 5 years, Costa Rica has promulgated four educational service models that extend special education expertise: Consulting teachers, educational assistance teams, itinerant teams, and resource centers. These models more equitably distribute the technical skills and knowledge of special education professionals throughout the country. In addition, the Department of Special Education has developed a pragmatic educational classification system that describes the level of modifications required by students with disabilities, rather than one that is driven by their diagnostic label. Few publications have been written about special education in Costa Rica. This is the first historical overview of the development of inclusion in this country.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Stough, L. M.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Stough, LM

publication date

  • March 2003