Supported Education Advocacy

May 6, 2023

Educators are uniquely poised to provide early identification of disabilities in the developmental years of a child’s life. Thanks to early advocacy efforts by The Arc and recent legislation like the IDEA, DD accommodations are available in every public school. 

The Arc believes that the early provision of accommodations results in a reduced need for future services for the 1 in 6 Oregonians living with developmental disabilities. 

We also believe that the needs of students with developmental disabilities are not “special.” Learning needs are common to every human, and appropriate accommodations can be part of a universal model that provides educational access to everyone.  

Instead of “Special Education,” why not include everyone in “Supported Education” or better yet “Universal Education?”

The Arc keeps contact with local school districts to exchange information and support each other’s efforts.

In the summer of 2020, the Department of Education published a 2,000+ page guidance on due process for Title IX proceedings, linked here. The document has robust statistics and commentary on race, disability and other vulnerable cohorts. 

It is a good step forward for due process and equity, with 168 mentions of disability.The Arc@School Advocacy Curriculum provides basic information for parents, educators and non-attorney education advocates who are taking the journey of supported education.