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The proposal of this graduate program originated from an experience of the Center of Education and Human Sciences - CECH at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), in offering a specialization course in 1977 for teachers of special education in the city of São Carlos and region. At the end of this course, there was an increase in demand, whether in terms of expanding opportunities for new teachers and continuing with the training of those who took the first course.

At that time, the São Paulo government institutionalized a special education system in the state (Bueno, 1993) and included among its goals the formation of large contingents of human resources. This initiative of the state government caused the almost explosive implantation of special education qualifications in undergraduate courses in Pedagogy, without it being counted with qualified faculty.

Therefore, the proposal of a Graduate Program was considered as a possibility of preparing "multiplication agents" and, consequently, to break the vicious circle of the absence of qualified teachers at all levels of education. The analysis of reality pointed to the scarcity of systematic training centers for professionals in Special Education, and not just for teachers (Souza, Guidi, Ferraz, and Ferraz Junior, 1981).

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