So, even though the fight to enforce these rights is discouraging, disheartening and definitely not the path of least resistance, this is the path to effecting change in our society and winning the war, just as the civil rights activists did to get slavery abolished, women the right to vote, and disabled children the right to attend school.
Don’t give up – your efforts are important. In fact, without a continued, concerted fight, change cannot and will not occur.
Take heart in the knowledge that the fights you fight now, even though you do not win, get us one day closer to the time when our society will say, “Really? You mean you had to fight for that? Seems like a no-brainer to me.”
Civil Rights in Education, A2Z Educational Advocates
The right to equal educational opportunity and access has come a long way since 1954 for the groups of persons who have historically been denied that access. Unfortunately, on a daily basis I am reminded how far we still have to go as a society to reach the point where exclusion, discrimination, and the denial of meaningful educational benefit, be it on the basis of race, disability, or poverty, no longer exists in our schools. Only when we eliminate discrimination in schools and ensure truly equal access to a meaningful education will society as a whole move towards greater inclusion of all persons..
Encouraging Active Parent Participation in IEP Meetings, Diane Marie Dabkowski
The cultural context through which both parents and professionals form their personal value systems contributes to their ability to make joint decisions. An understanding of the team process, including the role of participants’ cultural background, can influence the effectiveness of IEP teams (see box, “What Does the Literature Say About Parent Participation.”)
Celina Zins, Director of School Partnerships