We testify today to highlight the need for better quality and delivery of school transportation services for more than 100,000 students with disabilities in New York City. We believe there is a direct relationship between students with disabilities safely getting to school and home each day with the extent to which they make educational progress.
I recently heard that Sesame Place had become a Certified Autism Center, which means that staff members are trained in various areas, like sensory awareness, communication, and emotional awareness. Our last trip to Sesame Place had gone well and we did have fun, but would it be different now?
I hesitated in fear for a minute, but like any parent of a child with a disability that has struggled through the system and come out on the other side, there was tremendous motivation to use the hard fought, hard won knowledge to help others. That personal experience was the first step to qualify me to be the person on the other end of the phone with parents
The semantics of words such as "special needs” and “differently-abled,” or what Haben called "linguistics gymnastics," perpetuate the belief that individuals with disabilities are separate from non-disabled individuals and this kind of language prevents inclusion.