America Failed Students with Disabilities During the Pandemic
When schools closed last spring, parents in all kinds of households had to take over the teaching of their children. But the burden fell especially heavy on those whose children have severe disabilities and require a menu of different therapies: speech, vision, physical, occupational.
Health precautions meant time in-person was limited. Teachers and providers were not always willing to reenter classrooms. Sometimes, special-needs students had trouble wearing masks. In Meriden, Conn., where Education Secretary Miguel Cardona lived and taught elementary school, the school district — against the advice of the state — sent some children home because they couldn’t keep their masks on. The district had to reverse its policy after parents complained.
Frustrated mothers and fathers turned to the courts, filing lawsuits in states including Hawaii, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York. The central allegation was the same: Children with disabilities were being denied the education they have a right to receive under federal law.
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WHO: 1 in 4 people projected to have hearing problems by 2050
The recently released report but the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide ─ or 1 in 4 people ─ will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050. At least 700 million of these people will require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services. The good news is that recent technological advances, including accurate and easy-to-use tools, can identify ear disease and hearing loss at any age, in clinical or community settings, and with limited training and resources.
The report notes that the use of sign language and other means of sensory substitution such as speech reading are important options for many deaf people; hearing assistive technology and services such as captioning and sign language interpretation can further improve access to communication and education for those with hearing loss.
Why Learn to Sign?
Poetry is a beautiful form of self-expression and GraceSigns embraces language in all formats. Share your poetry! We will showcase your creation here in our Poetry Corner. Send your short poems to us through our contact page here .
In the darkness,
there is light.
In the silence,
Tears of madness
there is death.
Even in the abyss,
there is this,
by Valerie R. Carter
One small dandelion-
Smiles up at the sun.
Floating in a sea of grass,
Buoyed by her beauty,
The sun shines down on Her.
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