ERIC Number: EJ810832
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep-17
Reference Count: 0
In Advocacy Realm, Specific Disabilities Gain in Prominence
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v28 n4 p1, 17 Sep 2008
Groups that advocate on behalf of specific disabilities are proliferating, fueled by a medical establishment that can trace disorders down to their very genes and a communication system that can easily connect people around the globe. However, some advocates worry that too much focus on autism or Down syndrome, even on the presidential-campaign trail, could distract from efforts to support common issues that affect many groups. The issue is of particular concern in education, because many of the accommodation, inclusion, and differentiated-instruction efforts in schools have the potential to cut across several diagnostic boundaries. Grouping by disability categories is important, but so is working together, said Barbara Trader, the executive director of TASH, formerly known as The Association for the Severely Handicapped, an advocacy organization in Washington that represents people with many different disabilities. People may not be aware of how much they have in common with other families. But at the same time, some advocates say that it is important to maintain attention on their group's special characteristics. Groups that represent children with rare disorders are recognizing the importance of coalition-building as a way of amplifying their efforts.
Descriptors: Advocacy, Special Needs Students, Inclusive Schools, Individualized Instruction, Student Needs, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Access to Education, Autism, Down Syndrome
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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