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On Disparity in Education: The Risks and Bravery of Being First
AUG 8, 2014 AT 12:00 AM

Being one of the first or the only students with any discernible divergence in any characteristic is dangerous, difficult, and involves tremendous courage. Over 50 years ago, at the beginning of a school year, the Little Rock Nine walked with angry white mobs behind them into their local high school to exercise their right to a public education with their white peers. Initially, the Arkansas national guard blocked their entrance by order of the Arkansas governor. Eventually, President Eisenhower ordered my stepfather’s unit, the 101 airborne division, excluding my stepfather and all black soldiers, to escort the students to and from the high school. Time Magazine’s 2007 Legacy of Little Rock article recap of the more than half century that has passed since these events reminds us that sadly, most of our schools are still bereft of equality and still segregated along racial and socioeconomic lines. Most schools today are also not truly inclusive of disabled students, particularly those who have apparent differences, multiple challenges, or whose neurodivergence is clear and cannot be masked.

The thing about relating historic events is that documenting them doesn’t always impart the impact on those taking part in them.Image description: Elizabeth Eckford. a tall black teenaged girl in a white and plaid dress, sunglasses, and short curly hair, tries ignoring the insults of Hazel Bryan (2nd from the R), and others in a crowd of taunting whites bullying her as she tries to reach Little Rockreach Little Rock Central High School, September 4, 1957

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Accessibility is a right not a privilege. 20 posts on Accessibility, Universal Design, and Inclusion

"Painting allows me to show perceptions of the world that I see with my eyes as delivered through the neurology of my #autism. I match up what I see with the colors and movements of paint on canvas paper ." @JudyEndow

The hidden curriculum refers to all the social information that everybody seems to know but isn’t directly taught to anybody. @JudyEndow

Transcript included in this awesome video from The What’s Underneath Project featuring model and editor and wheelchair user Jillian Mercado.

Sesame Street, you are all about diversity. Autism is part of neurodiversity. You accepted me even before I learned the word acceptance. Don’t do what Autism Speaks does and exclude us. Don’t partner with an organization that silences us. We are proud of who we are and we want all kids to feel this way. We want all children to know that Sesame Street is a safe place to be who they are, that acceptance is all around.
Please, listen to us and listen to the little me from many years ago, saying thank you for your love.
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