Educators and families reflect on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This presentation features their testimonials compiled as part of the IDEA 45th anniversary.
Video Presentation Audio Description
Instrumental music plays in the background.
The first image is the logo for IDEA’s 45th Anniversary Celebration. An image of a boy on a swing appears with this quote “Because of IDEA, my son has received such great care and education through his local school district. The school he attends always has his best interest and makes sure all of his supports are being met. Without access to a fair and equal education, I really don’t know where my son would be. I am so grateful.” The text below the picture reads, “My son at his afterschool program that works with children of all types of abilities.”
An image of a Black man wearing a tie standing next to a Caucasian teenage girl holding a trophy. The text next to the image reads: “The Reflections Arts Recognition Program allows ALL children the opportunity to express themselves. The ‘Special Artist’ category allows developmentally challenged students to create works of art earning them recognition at the school, State, and national level. Photo of 2015 SC State PTA President, Dr. Clifford Fulmore with ‘Outstanding Interpretation of Theme in Visual Arts’ winner, Mary Elizabeth McNair.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1950-1960 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first is a picture of Elizabeth M. Boggs. The text below her image reads “Elizabeth M. Boggs, an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, was the founder and former president of the Association for Retarded Children (the Arc).” The second image is a picture of Leonard Mayo. The text below his image reads “Leonard Mayo was an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities who served as director of President Kennedy’s Committee on Mental Retardation and executive director of the Association for the Aid of Crippled Children.” The last image on the timeline is a picture of Judge David L. Bazelon. The text below his picture reads, “Judge David L. Bazelon was one of the first jurists to apply findings from psychiatry and social science to his legal decisions, which helped establish the rights of people with mental illness to appropriate treatment.”
There are four images that appear in a single screen. The images are screenshots of video clips from Tahoma News’s Videos. The first video clip screen shot shows a Caucasian woman who appears to be speaking while a picture of two boys with arms around each other’s shoulders is next to her. The second has the text “Interview with Jo Butt” and shows an elderly woman next to a piece of artwork with lettering on it. The bottom two images show the same two men talking to one another. The text submitted with this image reads, “I was told by the first pediatrician who saw my son that I should ‘look into custodial care because he would never walk, talk, or feed himself.’ Thanks to IDEA, he has his associate’s degree in television broadcasting, is a certified
Television Engineer and Operator by the Society of Broadcast Engineers, is producing videos for local nonprofits, and just interviewed for a job at the local PBS television affiliate. You can find his video work here: https://vimeo.com/user29570304/videos”.
An image of a Caucasian young girl with a light shining over her head is on the right side of the screen. Inside a lightbulb icon is the text “My daughter is dyslexic. She is a smart kid and she gets good grades, but she struggles to read. Without the opportunity given to her because of her Individual Education Plan (IEP), she would have been held back a grade and the root problems with her reading still would not have been addressed. Her IEP has opened up opportunities and made a tremendous difference in her education. This photo is her selfie with her personal lightbulb turning on.”
There is a picture of a young Black male wearing a suit standing next to a taller, young Black female wearing a green dress. The text with this image reads “IDEA has made a major impact in the lives of me and my children. Having two children with Autism has afforded me the opportunity to give them a ‘jump start’ with early intervention programs in my local area. My children came into the school system as three-year-olds and have made numerous strides due to great teachers, administrators, and many other stakeholders. They have always been made to feel ‘included’ in whatever environment they were in. As a parent and administrator, I believe IDEA ROCKS!!! These are my two kids who started school at 3 years old. Look at them now – happy, productive, ‘included,’ 8 and 11 year olds!”
There is a timeline image with the text 1960-1970 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first is a picture of Samuel A. Kirk. The text below his picture reads, “Samuel A. Kirk was one of the founders of the field of special education, producing influential scholarly work and contributing to early Federal legislation that ultimately led to contemporary special education law.” The next image connected to the timeline is a picture of President John F. Kennedy. The text below his picture reads, “President John F. Kennedy was a key figure in creating greater public awareness about the issues faced by people with intellectual disabilities and introduced legislation that helped create better programs for people with intellectual disabilities.” The third picture attached to the timeline is of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The text below her picture reads, “Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics and advocate for community living programs, was a pioneer in providing opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities.”
There is a picture of a young, Caucasian boy wearing a paper graduation cap with a smile. The text below this image reads, “Here is Tyler in preschool. At age 3, he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay, and was unable to talk.” An icon of a man running is in the middle of the screen. The picture to the right of the screen is of the same boy as a teenager—he is running a race with a group of people behind him. The text reads, “Here is Tyler at the age of 16, running on the cross country team. With the help of grade school administration, Tyler was brought out of the self-contained setting and mainstreamed as much as possible with his peers. He is well-liked and learned much of the same material as other students. Thank you, IDEA.”
There is a picture of a group of middle school students wearing colorful costumes. They are standing as a group on a stage after a performance. The text for this image reads, “IDEA provides support in extracurricular activities, as well as in academics. Steven, with the support of a paraprofessional at practices, had a speaking part in the middle school play (bottom right in picture). This afforded him a wonderful social experience with typically-developing peers and boosted his self-confidence.”
A picture of website screenshot is at the top of the screen. The screen shot is of the homepage for the “Dare to Dream Annual Leadership Conference.” A boy wearing a tie stands in front of a microphone. The text with this image states, “Since 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Office of Special Needs – in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Regional Transition Centers, and the Rhode Island Parent Information Network – have sponsored the Dare to Dream Student Leadership and Development initiative which culminates in an annual peer-to-peer conference held each May at the University of Rhode Island.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1960-1970 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first image is a picture of Burton Blatt. The text below his picture reads, “Burton Blatt (1927–1985) was a pioneer in humanizing services for people with intellectual disabilities, an advocate of deinstitutionalization, and the author of Christmas in Purgatory.” The second image connected to the timeline is a logo for the Donald D. Hammill Foundation. The text below the logo reads, “Dr. Donald D. Hammill is an important scholar in the areas of language development, learning disabilities, remedial education, and assessment methods whose work was influential to the formation of Public Law 94-142.” The final image connected to the timeline is a picture with a group of men and women standing around a Caucasian male seated at a large desk. The text reads, “Janet Taggart, Cecile Lindquist, Katie Dolan, and Evelyn Chapman were four mothers of children with developmental disabilities who insisted their children not be institutionalized, but extended the right to a free and appropriate public education. Their advocacy resulted in the “Education for All Act” (1971), which became the foundation for IDEA.”
There are two pictures on the screen. The picture at the top left is of a young Caucasian boy reading a book to another boy. The second picture is of a young Caucasian boy standing next to a younger looking Caucasian girl who has pigtails and a large smile on her face. The text reads, “Phoenix, Arizona’s Dear Valley School District has for the last ten years embraced teaching students in inclusive settings, and the positive impact on students, staff, and parents has been huge.”
There is a picture of a young man sitting in a motorized wheelchair. He has spiky hair and a big smile. On his picture is the text, “You have to participate in everything or you risk not participating in anything.” ~Wilson Buswell, 2009. The text on the screen next to this image reads, “IDEA protected my right to be included and fully participate in school. Because I was fully included in school, today I am the Co-Instructor of a graduate course at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where I teach current and future teachers about inclusion, access,
participation, and significant support needs. Please continue to support, reauthorize, and advance this essential law.”
There are two pictures of the same young Black boy on the top. The first picture shows him holding his yellow shirt to his lips. The second shows him smiling while sitting on a swing. There is an icon of a swing between the two pictures. The text for these images reads, “IDEA has given our child, Tonny, the ability to learn how to be happy with himself. He has found a way to learn and play and not be stressed out by school. Having help makes a difference in Tonny’s life. Since he started attending school on a regular basis, he is talking and drawing pictures. He wants to play with and around other kids. Before, he did not do those things – he was isolated in his own world. Thank you for opening him up.”
There is an image of a piece of artwork created by a child. The text next to the picture states, “Korinne's placement in our Autism Center allowed her access to curriculum while engaging her through her own interests. The class was learning about the solar system, and Korinne used her characteristic cartoon characters to represent the planets.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1970-1980 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first picture connected to the timeline is of Dr. Marc Gold. The text below his picture reads, “Dr. Marc Gold believed that all people with disabilities had the opportunity to decide how to live their lives, and demonstrated that instruction was a powerful intervention in changing the lives of people of all ages who had been considered unable to learn.” The middle picture is of Judge Frank M. Johnson. The text below his picture states, “Judge Frank M. Johnson was a U.S. Federal Judge whose 1971 ruling in Wyatt v. Stickney led to a precedent that required State institutions to provide effective treatment to patients, helping to create more humane conditions in State institutions.” The final image on the timeline is a picture of Dr. James A. Gallagher. The text below his picture reads, “Dr. James J. Gallagher served as an Associate Commissioner in the United States Office of Education from 1967 to 1970, where his work led to the passage of Public Law 94-142 in 1975.”
There are four pictures of the same young man. The first [top left] is of him with a large smile holding a cupcake with a “13” candle on it. Below that picture [bottom left] is him with who appears to be his mother. The picture [top right] shows the young man talking to a man holding a microphone. The final image [bottom right] is the young man standing next to someone wearing a construction cone costume. The text between these images reads, “My son Micah was born 13 years ago and has Down Syndrome. The fourth of five children, he has shown our family the true meaning of unconditional love…Thanks to IDEA, he is able to participate in activities that were once unheard of. He is exposed to so many new adventures, atmospheres, social events, and people. We are very thankful he has options for his future and that he is included just like everyone else. We look forward to him living a life full of potential. If he were not included, this would be almost impossible. Thank you to our legislators, who long ago fought to provide our special children a place in this world.”
There is a picture of a young boy holding a model of a human brain. The text reads, “My son is deafblind, one of the rarest of rare educational disabilities. The education to Dylan's educational team through the Arizona Deafblind Project has been essential for him having access to the educational environment and learning with his peers.”
There is an image on the right of the screen with multiple pictures inside. There is text at the top reading, “Because of IDEA…I educate educators on technology. I’m in 9th grade taking a Dual Credit Computer Science Course for College credit. I advocate for inclusion for students with disabilities. I fall asleep with a good book and I’m Dyslexic. I had the confidence to apply for a job at Apple at age 11. I believe everyone has the right to high expectations and support to reach their goals!” The pictures below show the boy with teachers, with a man in a tie, and falling asleep reading a book. The text on the screen to the left of the images reads, “I am able to achieve success and my goals because of IDEA. Without this landmark law, my life would be in a separate classroom with curriculum that would be way below my ability level. IDEA has given me access to the tools, technology, and teachers that allow me to reach my personal goals. I will continue to speak out in support of IDEA and increased inclusion and supports for all students with disabilities. IDEA has changed my life outcome and is why I continue to advocate and speak out.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1970-1980 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first picture connected to the timeline is of Dennis Haggerty. The text below his picture reads, “Dennis Haggerty, an attorney specializing in disability law and estate planning for individuals with disabilities, played a key role in the landmark case PARC v. Pennsylvania.” The second picture on the timeline is of Senator Edward Kennedy. The text below his picture states, “Senator Edward Kennedy was one of the most prominent political voices for securing the rights and legal protections of people with disabilities and was an original cosponsor of Public Law 94-142 in 1975.” The final image connected to the timeline is a picture of Thomas K. Gilhool. The text below his picture reads, “Thomas K. Gilhool, JD, a retired staff attorney from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, was involved in a number of precedent-setting lawsuits on behalf of people with disabilities from 1965 to 2006.”
There are three pictures at the top of the screen. The first is of a young girl playing volleyball. The middle picture shows the same girl with her arm extended toward a man wearing a tie. Her mother, father, and older brother stand behind. The third picture [top right] is the same girl standing in front of a school bus holding her fingers in a peace sign. The text at the bottom of the screen reads, “My beautiful daughter Chloe was born in 2003 with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, and because of IDEA she is a valued, priceless member of her community and people focus on her ABILITIES. As a Dad, Chloe has led me and my family on an amazing journey! Recently, a community magazine highlighted the incredible positive seeds Chloe has planted in her community in just 12 years. Thanks to IDEA, Chloe currently attends 7th grade at her neighborhood middle school with typical peers and reads at grade level – AMAZING!”
A picture of a young adult with a woman is on the left—they appear to be standing in a college library or museum. The text on the right reads, “Because of the basic components of appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, and the requirement of collaborative efforts focused on the needs of the student, our two children with varied, complex, and unique abilities
were fully included throughout their PreK-12 years. This set the stage for their successful move to college and the workforce!”
There is an image of a story written by a parent titled “Christmas Pageant Brings Mom and Early Gift” on the left. The text on the screen reads, “This is a story of my son in elementary school, when he was about five or six. He is now 14, and because of inclusion in our area, my child is known all over town. He can't go to a store or restaurant or out on Halloween, without seeing people he knows from the community. He is missed when he doesn't go to his regular restaurants and is always greeted enthusiastically. We are approaching transition and I couldn't have asked for a better community to raise him. It all started at school.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1970-1980 above. Two images are attached to the timeline. The first picture connected to the timeline is of Frederick Weintraub. The text under his picture reads, “Frederick Weintraub, one of the authors of Public Law 94-142, was also the director of governmental affairs at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) where he helped to transform the spectrum of educational opportunities and services for children with exceptionalities in the United States.” The second picture is of Stanley Herr. Below his picture is the text, “Stanley Herr, an attorney who spent his career working to secure the rights of people with disabilities, was the lead attorney in the landmark 1972 case Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia.”
There are two pictures at the top of the screen. The image on the top left is a young man with his arms crossed in front of his chest. He has a proud smile on his face. He stands below a sign that reads, “Congratulations!! 10 years of service.” The second picture [top right] is the same man standing next to who appears to be his manager at work. The text below the images reads, “Because of the supports and services provided by IDEA and the access to inclusion in the general education classroom with typically developing peers, upon graduating high school my son has simultaneously held two jobs in competitive employment for the past 11 years. He continues to learn and take on new responsibilities with the assistance and support of his managers and peers, some of whom were his classmates. He continues to contribute to his community and to society.”
There is a picture of two young girls holding hands in a circle around another young girl wearing headphones. All of the girls are smiling. The text on the screen reads, “IDEA has allowed my six-year old, Ella, who has Down Syndrome, to be fully included, accepted and embraced by her typical classmates. Ella is learning to read, loves math, and will become a productive adult. At the same time, her friends will be better, more tolerant adults after growing up with a peer who is different from them but largely the same. IDEA is a win-win!”
There is an image of a worksheet/checklist. Bolded are the categories “What we believe:” “Why” and “Strategies used to integrate children.” The text box on the left states, “The differences I have been a part of because of the 1975 passage of PL 94-142 have been nothing less than transforming. The law created a pathway to a better quality of life for the many students I have had the pleasure and honor to call my students. The law made a difference in the lives of those who needed dedicated, committed, and passionate educators to support their learning. Attached
is just one of the thousands of brainstorming sessions I go through when designing new programming.”
There is a timeline image with the text 1980-1990 above. Three images are attached to the timeline. The first is a picture of Dr. Gunnar Dybwad. The text below his picture reads, “Dr. Gunnar Dybwad (1909–2001) was an American professor and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, particularly developmental disabilities, and is best known for his support of the social model of disability, which helped abolish some of the negative stigma surrounding individuals with disabilities.” The second picture is of Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. The text below his picture reads, “Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R-CT) fought against budget cuts that would have cut funding for special education programs and services for children with disabilities during the 1980s.” The third picture connected to the timeline is of Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger. The text below his picture states, “Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger was a major contributor to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Wolfensberger was the originator of Social Role Valorization and the Normalization Principle, concepts that strongly influenced disability policy and practice in the U.S. and Canada.”
There is a picture of a woman with two children. Below the picture is the text, “I was in special education from 7th- 9th grade. I didn't want to be known as the special education kid…I worked hard. I had a teacher that helped me progress and gave me a chance to be in regular classes…”
There is an image with various words to the right of the screen. The text explaining the picture states, “I have only been a special education teacher for five years, but I have seen how technology has brought the curriculum to students with disabilities. Smart-boards, Google, and iPads have enhanced learning for everyone. The inclusion class with this technology gives children a sense of belonging. We can adapt the curriculum for a student with a delay or the student who is a genius.”
There is a picture to the left of the screen with the picture of a young man being interviewed and video recorded. The text on the screen reads, “When I look at the success experienced by my son, it is ALL due to IDEA and the unique supports this law has provided. IDEA has allowed him to reach his potential. Changing perspectives about students with disabilities is what my son advocates for. IDEA is what you make of it. We hope the next 40 years of IDEA will be synonymous with success.”
There is a timeline across the top of the screen that represents the years 1980 to 1990. Just under the timeline there are three profiles pictures on the screen. The first image on the left is Robert “Bo” A. Burt and the text under his picture indicates that he was a professor of law, author, and longstanding board member of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where he contributed greatly to the cause of protecting and expanding the rights of people with mental illness. The next image is of Dr. Mayer Shevin and he was a psycholinguist who dedicated his work to empowering individuals with disabilities. Dr. Shevin was also a poet, best known for his poem “The Language of Us/Them”. The final image is of Dr. Herb Lovett, scholar, teacher, and advocate for people with disabilities and their families, he promoted inclusive supports and equal access in the areas of education, employment, housing, and human rights.
There is an image to the left with text that reads “Jayden has had an IEP since second grade. It was amended in fifth grade to include the specific diagnosis of dyslexia, audio professing disorder, and sensory integration disorder. This year, Jayden is starting junior high, and we are very pleased to see better accommodations and a focus placed on what he can do. He is happy to be a part of a regular classroom and earned straight A’s this term though hard work and the help of great teachers”.
There is a picture of Jaden on the right side of the screen.
There is an image on the left of the screen of a boy blowing out candles on a cupcake, in the center of the screen is an image of a stack of books, and to the right of the screen is a text box with the quite “My bright, talented son, George is getting a fair and equal education thanks to IDEA. His IEP is helping him get through the public school system. He still struggles, but finally believes he is capable!”
There is an image on the left that shows the U.S. Department of Education’s HOMEROOM Blog with the “Know It 2 Own It: Advocating for Your Rights on Campus” blog, and then there is a text box on the right with the quote “Without IDEA and the support from the Office of Civil Rights, I would not have had access to the individualized accommodations I needed in high school. In May 2015, I had the opportunity to record the Department's Homeroom Blog promoting IDEA and advocating for the rights of students with disabilities. This November, I am attending the IDEA 40th Anniversary at the White House. Thanks to IDEA, I am now a freshman at Penn State and committed to IDEA and advocating for the rights of students with disabilities, professionally.”
There is a timeline across the top of the screen showing the years 1990 to 2000. Below that are three profile photos. The first photo on the left with its description is of James Kauffman a Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, an important scholar in the fields of learning disabilities, special education policy, and emotional and behavioral disorders. The photo in the middle and the text below it is of Dr. Susan M. Daniles who was Deputy Commissioner for Disabilities and Income Security Programs at the Social Security Administration, where she played a key role in the direction of disability programs during the Clinton administration. The photo on the right of the screen and its text is of Paul Marchand, the former director of Disabilities Policy Collaboration of the Arc and United Cerebral Palsy and is a nationally recognized expert on public policy and disability.
There is an image at the top of the screen of a drawing of a dog, with a text box below it with the quote “My IEP under the IDEA has allowed the accommodations for the extra time I need. [IDEA] allows my accommodations to be used properly.”
On the screen there is a picture of an adult and a child on the left with a text box below it with the quote “IDEA helped my son read! My son has dyslexia, and he was not getting what he needed in general education for reading. He needed a very specific type of instruction. I am forever grateful for IDEA!” There is an image of a book in the middle of the screen and then on the right side a picture of a boy reading with a text box below it with the quote “This is my son, age nine, reading! He’s diagnosed severely dyslexic, and he just began reading chapter books this year thanks to IDEA and his fabulous public school!”
There is a timeline across the top of the screen for the years 1990-2000, below that are two profile pictures. The image on the left is Thomas Hehir, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs from 1993 to 1999 and was responsible for Federal Leadership in implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and played a leading role in developing the Clinton administration’s proposal for the 1997 reauthorization of IDEA. The image on the left is of Judith Heumann, an American disabilities rights activist who served in the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the U.S. Department of Education from 1993 to 2001.
On the left of the screen there is a left arrow with the quote “My daughter, Beth Knipstein, now 32, was fully included throughout elementary and secondary schools. What made it work was her peers; they embraced Beth...They even attended transition meetings between elementary and middle, and middle to high school. They taught teachers more than any text could.” and there is a picture of students together below it. On the right side of the screen there is an arrow pointing to the right with the quote “When Beth was born in 1983, I was 28 years old teaching in a childcare program. Ready to quit my job in order to access and coordinate services for Beth, the childcare program invited Beth to be ‘one of the kids’. I returned to work with Beth and she received her services at the childcare program well before natural environments was the thing to do! Early Intervention shared equipment, techniques, and strategies with childcare staff and Beth thrived! She was indeed one of the kids!” and there is a picture of infant toddlers siting together.
On the left of the screen is an image of a Stephanie in a prom dress, in the middle is a text box with the quote “IDEA allowed us to range from full inclusion to having an aide in a separate school based on my daughter’s needs. She is currently attending community college. Inclusion comes in many forms. My daughter Stephanie spent most of the three years post-transplant, including her graduation and prom, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia... Stephanie continued her education while hospitalized and graduated on time. Child Life took pictures of both graduation and prom, and the school included her in the yearbook.” On the right of the screen is Stephanie in her cap and gown.
Across the top of the screen is a timeline with the years 1990 to 2000 and below it are two profile pictures. The picture on the left is Dr. Steven J. Taylor a noted scholar and professor, visionary leader, and passionate advocate for and with people with intellectual disabilities who help found the first disability studies program in the U.S. at Syracuse University. The image on the right is Dr. Doug Guess whose work led to a more comprehensive understanding about the learning abilities of individuals with significant disabilities when effective instruction and appropriate support were provided.
Across the top of the screen is an image of a young child with the quote below them saying “IDEA allows my son to participate in the regular education environment. Thank you!”
The image on the left of the screen is showing a Chapter Test with the grade of 100% and the text box on the right has the quote “My son has an intellectual disability. Because of IDEA, he has rights to LRE and has been included in general education science and social studies since the third grade. Special and general education teachers and I collaborated to modify and adapt materials for him, which allowed him to learn the same curriculum as his peer without disabilities. This eight-grade social studies test depicts the success achieved when opportunities to access the general education curriculum are presented.”
Across the top of the screen is a timeline for the years 2000 to 2015. Below the timeline are three profile pictures with information about each person. The image and text on the left are Madeleine Will who has been an advocate for persons with disabilities for three decades and has led efforts to establish services nationally for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The image and text in the center are of Dr. Tom Bellamy who is the founding director of the Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington Bothell and a former director of the Federal Office of Special Education Programs. The image and text on the right are of Dr. June Downing a leader in the field of special education globally who demonstrated commitment to providing inclusive education to students with the most complicated disabilities, including those with dual sensory and multiple disabilities.
On the screen across the top are two images, on the left a young girl with her mother and on the right is the young girl as a young adult. Below the images the text box has the quote “IDEA gave my parent a voice and allowed her to have an input in my education. Provisions of the IDEA empowered my parents to take an active role in my education. This involved close collaboration with school district personnel in the development of an individualized education plan, tailored just for me. IEP meetings were held to set goals for each school year. Attending these meetings were teachers, support staff and my parent. Although an IEP was agreed upon at the end of the meeting, if services were not being provided, my mother would call another IEP meeting to address this discrepancy. In essence, the IDEA served as a vehicle or a tool that my parent used to assist me in achieving my full potential.”
Across the screen are two images of students attending class, the text boxes below the pictures quotes “Because of this law, I was educated in the least restrictive environment with my peers even though I am physically challenged. Not only was I able to attend school with my peers, but I was also able to prove that I was not disabled. I was an individual with a disability who had abilities as well. I was privileged to graduate from high school with a regular, twelfth grade diploma, and then enrolled in an institution of higher learning. IDEA made a difference to me in that it gave me a voice to advocate and the opportunity to achieve and succeed above and beyond my wildest expectation. Even though I succeeded academically in certain areas, there were some areas in which I was still challenged. Through IDEA, my IEP provided extra learning time and accommodations enabling me to keep up in those areas in which I was weak.”
The two pictures at the top of the screen are of three students in their cap and gowns at graduation, and the text below the pictures states “With the help of IDEA, I can now proudly say that not only was I able to keep up with my peers academically, but I have recently graduated from a four-year college with a bachelor of science degree. To me, equity and opportunity means that I have value. I have worth and should be treated like any other person instead of just someone with a disability. Deep within me are untapped possibilities that will surface when unearthed and nurtured. Given the opportunity, I can become a contributing part of my community. Opportunity will help me to practically apply what I have learned in school. Opportunity will improve morale and boost my equity but most of all opportunity will confirm and reassure me of what I have known all along; there is a place for me. THANK YOU IDEA!”
The final image has text at the top for “The Next 45 Years” and then images of students below.
Last modified on December 1, 2020