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  • Advocates Pan City’s Record on Disabilities

    Feb 19, 2013

    02.18.2013 | City Limits | Many of the schools featuring special citywide programs, including many high schools, are simply unavailable to students with disabilities. “Physical accessibility to school buildings is way limited and therefore access to model programs that other students have is also limited,” says Maggie Moroff, special education policy coordinator at Advocates for Children (AFC). “Most of the high schools I’ve visited are inaccessible. It’s not based on whether it’s a good program or bad program or sought-after program. If you can’t get into the building, you can’t get into the program.”

    Disabled students seem to also suffer poor academic outcomes. Statistics are only available for all special education students, which include students with learning and cognitive disabilities as well as physical ones, but the numbers are troubling. For the class of 2011, only 27.2 percent of students with disabilities graduated from high school by June of their fourth year. (This was an improvement over the 17.1 percent June graduation rate for students with disabilities in 2005, but still far below the 2011 graduation rate for non-disabled students of 66.9 percent.) One reason for this disparity may be material that is inaccessible to children with disabilities such as visual impairments. “We fight over and over again the battle for individual families to make the material accessible, to digitalize it, for example,” says Moroff. “But why not generalize it so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time?” Read article