Between April 20 and April 27, use the hashtag #InclusionDC on your social media handlers and share the shortened link to our site: http://bit.ly/2opBuJP. This will help generate a buzz for the getting real bodies at DC Council on Thursday April 27, 2017 at 10am and again at 5pm. That’s right, there’ll be two DC Council public hearings for DC Public Schools.
What better opportunity to show your solidarity? Whether or not you are able to be present with us in the Room 500 of the Wilson Building at either 10am or 5pm, your on-line presence is needed! Here’s the plan:
What: The 7×10 Strategy – Between April 20 and April 27 (that’s 7 days), use the hashtag #InclusionDC and share the shortened link http://bit.ly/2opBuJP at least 10 time each day. Set your reminders or just do what you normally do when you post your daily selfie. For the love of our children with disabilities, make each post count and be creative! Make sure to add the following details with your posts, such as:
- Keep Early Stages in DC Public Schools – The goal is to ensure that Early Stages remains the central method of evaluations and reevaluations as required by the child find requirements for DC’s early intervention services for Part C of the IDEA impacting DC Public School students between the ages of 2 years 8 months and 5 years 10 months.
- Improve Special Education in DC Public Schools – the journey of improvement for Special Education services impacting all ranges of youth in DC Public Schools begins in preschool. It is at this critical stage in life when the mind is most mutable and impressionable, so it is extremely important to cultivate and observe with care. For our little ones that have a variety of developmental challenges, studies show that early intervention works.
- Children with Disabilities Matter – In the book Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs (2004) by Chantal Sicile-Kira, there is a chapter entitled “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but Only the Bold Will Get a Decent Education for Their Child with Autism”. In this chapter, Sicile-Kira states, “The status quo will not change unless parents become proactive, learn about their rights and responsibilites, and convince the special education administrators that they know what the effective teaching strategies are for their child with an [Autism Spectrum Disorder], and that they won’t go away until they get them, regardless of the school or ability level of the child. Be careful of the words of assurance from people in positions of power. Get promises in writing. If people don’t call when they are supposed to, keep calling until you get them on the phone. Document everything. Be polite, but be insistent. And most of all, be brave” (193) Why? Because our children matter.
- Flood DC Council with Your Support of DC Children with Disabilities – The major “ask” for the #InclusionDC campaign is get folks to show up for the Committee on Education’s Budget Oversight Hearing on Education for DC Public Schools (Public Witnesses Only) at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Room 500 on Thursday April 27, 2017 at 10am and then again at 5pm. We’ve been fortunate to have received a generous donation that allows a purchase of 100 t-shirts, so let’s put 100 bodies in those shirts and have them camp out at DC Council on 4/27. Ready. Set. Go!
- Share Your Testimony – We want to encourage all that have a compelling story of the benefit of early intervention (no matter what state in the Union, you’ve experienced it) and/or how Early Stages helped your family receive those services. Our goal is to encourage DC Council to increase the DCPS budget that adequately supports Early Stages so that we can take these threats of removal of services off the table and for DC Council to fully fund the Enhanced Special Education Services Act of 2014 so that Early Stages can meet the demands of the new positive and progressive guidelines that empowers our parents and children in stating that “(a) An LEA shall assess or evaluate a student who may have a disability and who may require special education services within 60 days from the date that the student was referred for an evaluation or assessment.” Here’s the link to sign up to testify to DC Council on April 27th. See you there!
If you need any assistance in launching the #InclusionDC campaign on your social media handler, drop us a comment and we’ll follow up promptly. Thank you for your solidarity!