Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Office of Civil Rights stepping up Disability enforcement

I saw this article (via Disability Scoop) today and was thrilled. I have seen too many schoolchildren at the receiving end of discrimination, even to the point of abuse, because of their disabilities.

The Office of Civil Rights investigates reports of civil rights abuses and enforce civil rights. There are many wonderful people working there, who truly believe in the rights of individuals in our society. Unfortunately, people who intentionally violate civil rights (for financial or other reasons) exploit any cracks in the system.

From the article:

The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will be issuing a series of letters offering guidance to school districts across the country and ramping up efforts to reach out to parents and advocacy groups, Duncan said in a speech in Selma, Ala.

Plans are in place to send 17 letters before the fiscal year ends Oct. 1 advising school districts on issues ranging from restraint and seclusion to teaching English language learners with disabilities and working with students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

"The truth is that, in the last decade, the Office for Civil Rights has not been as vigilant as it should have been in combating gender and racial discrimination and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. But that is about to change," Duncan said. "We are going to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement."

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