What is the future of education for kids with disabilities under COVID?

It is kind of a scary question. Congress has given US Education Secretary DeVos the charter to report on what is the future of IDEA in the world of COVID-19 by the end of April.

Our big concern is that this may lead to a roll-back of educational rights and protections for students with disabilities.

And, given what we’re hearing and seeing, COVID-19 is likely to be around for years. At least 2 years, if not more.

What can we do about it?

There is no magic bullet. It is very hard to guess what the Department of Education or Congress will do. There are a number of national level petitions and open letters and actions to contact our members of congress (which we’re working to keep up with and share with you).

But, we can do something locally. As a Californian, we’ve started a petition to Governor Newsom and state representatives to ask them to affirm the right to a real education for kids with disabilities in a COVID world.

Chelsea and I would like you to read it, think about it, help improve it, sign it and share it.

We’re reaching out to you and other individuals and groups around California so that, at least here, kids with disabilities will not be actively discriminated against in school.

If you aren’t from California, let us  know and we can work on a petition and action in your state.

Asking questions? Sharing answers?

We’re piloting a community forum tool within our Disability Democracy site. If you are interested in helping “Beta Test” it – shoot me an email: steve@notwithoutus.org.

A lot of you have shared great content on Facebook over the past several years… and, after a day or so, its gone.

While that is great for Facebook, it isn’t very good for our community.

When you find something cool, it would be great to have it available.

What can we do for you?

If you know of specific actions related to these issues that we should be including here – let me know – email me at: steve@notwithoutus.org

Similarly, if there are organizations we should add to our directory (and good contacts in those groups), … email me at: steve@notwithoutus.org

Our goal with the Disability Democracy project for Not Without Us is to bring the disability community together for more effective civic action. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. Email me at: steve@notwithoutus.org or call me: 650-278-7416. Leave a message and we’ll find a good time to talk.

Thanks.

Steve and Chelsea

PS

PS – please share this newsletter with your friends and other disability community members and allies – together, we are more than 20 percent of the voting population – but only if we vote and vote together.