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ALL FOR ONE. ONE FOR ALL.

 
 
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“The history of the Americans with Disabilities Act did not begin on July 26, 1990 at the signing ceremony at the White House. It did not begin in 1988 when the first ADA was introduced in Congress. The ADA story began a long time ago in cities and towns throughout the United States when people with disabilities began to challenge societal barriers that excluded them from their communities, and when parents of children with disabilities began to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children.”
-The History of the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Movement Perspective by Arlene Mayerson, 1992

The hard-won civil rights laws that govern special education didn’t come about by themselves. Like all social justice movements, it took committed dedication and activism to elevate the civil rights of people with disabilities in the law.

 

They came together – the deaf, the visually impaired, people with physical and learning disabilities. Veterans recently returned from Vietnam with war injuries and parents of children with developmental disabilities. On March 12, 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act stalled, some 60 activists left their mobility devices behind to crawl the steps of the nation’s Capitol, including a ten-year-old girl who dragged her body up 80 steps “for the future.”  Others held sit-ins in Congressional offices, with the Deaf signing through the windows to send updates. Though their personal struggles and experiences and needs varied widely, they unified for positive social progress and opportunity.

Opportunity for all. Equality for all. Liberty and justice for all.

Because all means all.

Those great Americans paved the road to the ADA and the IDEA. Now it’s our turn to pay it forward by making sure those laws are implemented with fidelity in the spirit in which they were intended. 

TxSER is a building a movement with a unified voice for special education reform – IEPs and 504 supports – to benefit all students, all families, and all educators. We know that students with learning disabilities have different needs from students with physical disabilities. We understand that students with modified curriculum needs are different from students with behavior support needs. We get it that disproportionate representation of students of color is a real issue and that ELL families have unique issues. We know that Texas military children face special needs in special education reform. We see that rural schools are different from large urban district. 

Autism. Vision Impairment. Health impairment. Mental health. Down syndrome. Cerebral palsy. Cystic fibrosis. ADHD. Dyslexia. Dysgraphia. Traumatic brain injury. Emotional disturbance. Speech impairment. Hearing impairment. The list is long, big, and variable. But in the end, the need is the same.

Texans for Special Education Reform envisions a state in which all individuals with disabilities are identified, and receive an education that maximizes their future potential for post-secondary education, employment, community participation, and independent living.

We need you to join our movement to help us as we move forward with strategies, recommendations, legislation, and actions that achieve this vision. Whether you are an individual or an allied organization, we need you. We need your voice. We need your energy. We need your expertise.

All for one. One for all.

 
 
 
 

 
 
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We envision a state in which all individuals with disabilities are identified, and receive an education that maximizes their future potential for post-secondary education, employment, community participation, and independent living.

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