40 years of disability protections and services and so far to go

  • We have the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).
  • We have formal civil rights protections.
  • We have federal and state services and special education
  • And yet disabled children and adults are segregated, isolated, poorly educated, un- or under-employed.

There are many reasons, but the failed promise of special education is devastating.

IDEA, reauthorized in 2004, and its implementing and related federal and state regulations, set forth the legal requirements for equitable, inclusive and academically challenging educational opportunities for all children with disabilities.

As written, it should be working.

But throughout the United States, children with disabilities are not realizing their full potential.

snkids.org believes the single greatest impact we can have today is to change how education works for children with disabilities.

We need to make IDEA work better.

We may need a better IDEA:

OpenIEP – Raising Education  Expectations – too often Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) contain few educational goals or high expectations for academic progress and success. We are working with parents to share their actual IEP goals to help us better understand how we can make high education expectations  the norm in IEPs. If you want better education, you need big goals.

Grassroots Inclusion – IDEA can work better today. All kids have a right to their education, and if parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and school boards will proactively and progressively embrace grassroots inclusion, a better, more inclusive education for children with disabilities is possible. Our Grassroots Inclusion Handbook will give you the tools you need to start getting better education.Grassroots Inclusion Outreach – snkids.org will be reaching out to schools, districts, boards, and parents to help them embrace the possibilities of grassroots inclusion and better education.

A Better IDEA – snkids.org will work with local school districts, Counties, States, and the U.S. government to create model policies, sample IEPs, education guides, and other tools to enable the true purpose and intent of IDEA to be a reality enabling every child with a disability to achieve their full educational potential.