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Welcome to Texans for Special Education Reform.

Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the rights of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.
 - U.S. Congress, Findings, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004
Houston Chronicle's September 11, 2016 front page

Houston Chronicle's September 11, 2016 front page

Just before Christmas 2016, when most Texas parents were wrapping gifts and baking cookies for the class party, hundreds of others traveled through the December night to testify at one of several U.S. Department of Education "Listening Sessions" around the state. The sessions, which also included Texas Education Agency personnel, had been called by the federal government in response to the Houston Chronicle’s Denied investigation exposing a decade long arbitrary cap on the number of Texas students who could receive special education services and supports for a decade.

We guess you could say that is where TxSER was born.

“Wow. This is like, immoral,” a young news cameraman dispatched to cover the story told us. We couldn’t agree more.

As we listened to parents and teachers and students relate their personal experiences – experiences we have had with our children –  and read the testimonials submitted to OSER’s online blog documenting a system of denial, delay, and what a Texas District Attorney aptly described as “a culture of avoidance,” we decided that someone needs to do something to reform special education in Texas. 

And we realized that that someone is us.

All of us. 

Parents and grandparents and caregivers. Teachers and principals and school board members. Therapists and doctors and disability professionals. Lawmakers and policy makers and the good people of Texans who believe that every child should have an opportunity to meet his or her potential in this world.

We are TxSER. 

Our goal is to convene this massive majority to seek solutions that put children at the center of special education reform, to turn the ship of Texas special education back toward the mission established by the Congress of a nation committed to advancing the educational civil rights of its young people. 

All of them.

“Disability,” Congress said, “Is a natural part of the human experience.” Whether it is physical, intellectual, or sensory; whether it manifests as dyslexia or ADHD or in other areas of learning; whether it is behavioral or mental health or emotional, disability is a natural part of the human experience and “in no way diminishes the rights of individuals to participate in or contribute to society.” 

We are united in our support of this vision. We are united in our work for policies, legislation, education, and research-based practices that implement this vision. We are united in our movement to reform Texas special education.

We are TxSER. And we are #relentless.

Welcome to the movement.


 
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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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