Cultural and Linguistic Sensitivity

For students at risk and students with IEPs

Definition: Educators, community services providers, students, families, and employers work together to identify and address transition education and service needs of individual students in ways that are responsive to their cultural and linguistic backgrounds.


  • Cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD)
  • Identifying issues and needs

Cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD)

A one-page overview and tip sheet (PDF, 1 page) about developing cultural awareness and sensitivity, from a Big Sisters group in British Columbia.Culturally Competent Schools: Guidelines for Secondary School Principals, from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) examines how principals can put in place policies and practices that honor the diverse cultures alive in a school. Also: Culturally Competent Assessment and Consultation.

Cultural and Linguistic Competence webinar (30:50-minutes) developed by the NH Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative. Covers engagement and communication, limited English proficiency and low literacy skills, social justice and best practices. Covers general New Hampshire demographics as well.

The PACER Center in Minnesota offers CLD resources:

NTACT has a quick guide, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth-Secondary Transition (PDF, 7 pages, 2017) with an overview of the topic and links to useful resources for administrators, practitioners, family members, or youth.

Annotated bibliography, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth and Secondary Transition (MSWord, 14 pages, 2012), created by NSTTAC.

Identifying issues and needs

A Collaborative Interagency, Interdisciplinary Approach to Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood (PDF, 74 pages) from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), helps promote a transition process for youth with disabilities from adolescence to young adulthood. It centers on four core concepts:

  1. Self-determination should be the foundation for transition planning.
  2. Transition should be viewed through a cultural lens.
  3. Interagency collaboration is essential to effective transition.
  4. Transition planning should include all the perspectives, disciplines, and organizations that will impact the transitioning student.

New Hampshire Refugee Resettlement: A Community Integration Framework (PDF, 21 pages, 2012) examines refugee resettlement programs in New Hampshire and explores best practices that can be beneficial to refugees and their host communities.

Pinterest board

Follow Interagency Collaboration Toolkit’s board Cultural Sensitivity on Pinterest.