Diversity Report Doesn’t Fully Address Integration

A crowd gathered around one speaker

(New York, NY)—New York City’s School Diversity Advisory Group released its report “Making the Grade: The Path to Real Integration and Equity for NYC Public School Students,” but it does little to address how schools can integrate students with disabilities.

“Not one person on this Advisory Committee solely represented the interests of more than 250,000 students with disabilities or 20% of all NYC students. Our community needs to be represented, so schools can learn how to create more inclusive environments,” said Barbara Glassman, Executive Director of INCLUDEnyc.

“The report largely focuses on basic socio-economic and race definitions of diversity and places too little emphasis on the inclusion of students with disabilities at all grade levels in programs and activities. 80% of students with disabilities identify as students of color, which is why it’s so alarming that disability inclusion is not a focus in this report. Diversity can’t happen without meaningful inclusion and equitable respect and value for all students,” said Glassman. “We also are disappointed that the 25,000 students of District 75 are not substantially addressed in this report, yet are among the most segregated students in NYC,” said Glassman.

“Lastly, the report provides surface recommendations. Fewer than 20 percent of NYC schools are physically accessible, yet the report’s recommendations for accessibility only pertain to admissions fairs and events,” said Glassman. “The report also recommends that the DOE track and measure several outcomes without any mention of integration of students with disabilities in schools.”

Barbara Glassman and INCLUDEnyc are available for comment. Please contact jreres@includenyc.org.