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Special Education Today Newsletter 2(19)
What was the past week’s news and info?
Welcome to today’s issue of Special Education Today. This edition covers the week of 3-9 October 2022.
Subscriptions were pretty much okay for this week. We lost one free subscriber, but we picked up five new ones. No one switched to a paid subscription, though.
[I’m toying with a mechanism that would permit one individual to purchase multiple paid subscriptions at a discount. A special education leader (e.g., a local education director; a professor; a dean or such) could use her purchasing authority to pay for 5-10 subscriptions for an entire department. Write to me directly—John@JohnWillsLloyd.com—, please,if this sounds helpful.]
Flashes of the electrons
Special thanks for Carolyn O’C. and Rhonda B. for comments on posts this past week. I encourage readers to revisit posts from time to time and look for comments on them; a numeral next to the little carton-style speech bubble indicates the number of quotations on a post.
Thanks, also, to Tina C., Clay K., Michael K., Ronnie D., Michelle P., Mary-Anne L., Li-Yu H., Rhonda B., Larry M., Kate P., Jane B., and Joel M. for dropping “likes” on posts. Some of y’all (and you know who you are) were multiple offenders in the past week!
And, here's one more flash (teehee) to Tina C. for throwing her heart on a Twitter post from @SpecialEdToday. https://twitter.com/SpecialEdToday
Table of contents
It was a week with five new posts on SET (not counting last week’s newsletter). From earliest to most recent, they were
ASAT October ‘22 newsletter!—Don’t you want to know what folks who care about evidence-based treatment for individuals with autism are reading?
Seen on my walk in the ‘hood—Where’s the body? Watch for another of these this coming week!
Building a legal basis for literacy—How did the Virginia Literacy Act of 2022 happen?
Friday photo: A 1990s gang of fine folks—Was I lucky or what?
Rick and Rich Wilber go to a baseball game—What sort of good time did they have?
As usual, please be sure to check the Website: https://www.specialeducationtoday.com. I might post something new in the next few days.
Some of my colleagues and friends fret a bit about degradation of the protections of educational services afforded children with disabilities (and their families). They fear that special education, as we (mostly in the USA) know it is threatened. They are concerned about philosophical influences on US special education. In forth-coming post for SET, I hope to examine some of those concerns.
Currently, it seems to me, many expressions of these concerns occur in academic circles. The discussions are not among people who practice special education from day to day. However, I think the concerns merit broader attention in the special education community—not because I think readers should come down pro or con (as if the concerns were that simple!), but because there are likely to be valuable perspectives “out there” that should help inform the debate.
Here, as a glimpse of what’s coming, are a few points:
Where in the world are people? Some folks primarily think about the USA in this regard, emphasizing the Americans with Disabilities Act (link points to workforce perspective) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (education version), in particular. Some express concern about international movements promoting the rights of children with disabilities (see, e.g., the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
What does inclusion mean? As is often the case, disagreements are strongly connected to confusions in communication. For example, advocates in many parts of the world argue for the “inclusion” of individuals with disabilities. For some people who advocate “inclusion,” the word means the opposite of “exclusion” and refers to ensuring that people with disabilities can partake of everyday life. “Inclusion,” however, has a different connotation for some other advocates. When they hear the word “inclusion,” they think of the US “full-inclusion movement” that advocated for having all children—regardless of social, intellectual, or learning needs—receive their educational programs in general education environments. They see “inclusion” as a threat to being able to provide services that are appropriate for an individual learner’s unique educational needs.
Who’s talking about this stuff? There are complicating factors (surprised?). For example, consider advocacy for so-called “dis crit” views. “Dis-Crit” views reject “ableism” as part of the parcel with racism, sexism, classism, and so forth. That is, individuals with disabilities are a disfavored and even shunned group—of course, they shouldn’t be. For another example, there are concerns about labelling. Doesn’t calling some child an “invalid” create the perception that that child is...uhm... invalid (i.e., not true)?
So, I’m hoping to get readers to think about issues in this *-verse, to provide their own opinions on these sorts of topics. In addition to the usual opportunities to comment on posts, I plan at least one post with an interactive poll asking readers to contribute to the conversation. Also, how about an opportunity to pose questions to advocates of alternative perspectives? Please watch for these.
In the meanwhile, of course, I want to implore readers to please continue to take care of themselves. Stay safe. Protect not only yourselves, but also those around you. Take time to care for those whom you love. And, please, teach your children well.
Peace and love,
SET Editor guy
SET should not be confused with a product with the same name that is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades. Despite my appreciation for CEC, this product is not designed to promote that organization.