When Rights Meet Opportunity

While the United States Constitution doesn’t guarantee the right to education for children with disabilities currently most states have that right protected in their constitutions. It’s disheartening to know that these rights can vary based on geographical region in the US.  Individuals with disabilities have been   battling these challenges for years and many of the nation’s school districts continue to fail our students.
In certain regions things are getting so bad legal complaints are being filed.  For instance in Texas complaints have been filed by the National Center for Youth Law, Texas Appleseed and Disability Rights Texas on behalf of students with special needs who argue they were pushed out of school using truancy charges rather than given the special education services they are entitled to.  A link to the article is here.
Other regions are being creative and innovative in their approach to educational opportunities as it relates to individuals with disabilities.  A great example is Chance Mair. Chance is a recent high school graduate from the Seattle, Washington area.  Not only did Chance graduate but he gave the valedictorian address, a momentous occasion for a student who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at an early age.  For more on Chance Mair’s story click here.
Every person should have the right to an education.  Education creates opportunity for one to attain a decent life, to raise his/her standard of living, and to become a productive member of society.  The right to an education will forever be connected to those unalienable rights that all are endowed, by their Creator; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
Students with disabilities and their families are holding on to those unalienable rights while searching for opportunity.  When the two meet success is around the corner.