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The federal government has made clear to states that students cannot be denied the opportunity to participate in an accelerated program because they have a disability.13 In fact, with the right supports and services, many students with disabilities can succeed in rigorous, accelerated courses. Yet students in special education remain significantly underrepresented in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and gifted and talented education programs (GATE). Children who are gifted and have disabilities are often referred to as “twice-exceptional^.”

States need to take more steps to ensure equity in accelerated programs for students with disabilities and other historically underserved groups.

For example, only seven states (AL, AR, CO, KY, PA, SC, WI) included “gifted with a disability” in their state definition about kinds of giftedness.14

More research is needed to determine how many twice-exceptional students are being denied access to rigorous content or to accommodations that would allow them to thrive in an accelerated curriculum.