The authors of the papers presented in this volume are either members of the International Study Group on Special Educational Needs or their representatives. This is a small seminar, convened by invitation, involving participants from the United Kingdom, North America, Europe and New Zealand. The membership is multi-discip linary and all the participants have a professional interest in some 'aspect of special educational needs. Several historical patterns played a part in the development of the seminar, one being the evolution in England and Wales of special education legislation growing out of the Warnock Committee Report. This legislation, in turn, has been influenced by the special education developments in the United States which led to the passage of "The Education of All Handicapped Children Act," Public Law 94-142, in 1975. A second theme, leading to the development of the seminar, was the growing interest internation ally in learning disabilities and the establishment at the University of Southampton in England of the Learning Disabilities Unit headed by Colin Stevenson. Discussions in 1979 and 1980 held at conferences of the Association for Citizens with Learning Disabilities, the Orton Dyslexia Society meetings and elsewhere led to the proposal for a small international seminar, meeting annually, which would be concerned with research and education in the area of special educational needs. The Lord Renwick, then Chairman of the British Dyslexia Associ ation, and Colin Stevenson took the initiative in proposing that an International Conference be held at the University of Southampton.
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