Friday, September 27, 2013
UCP – The Case for Inclusion
This year the United Cerebral Palsy Case for Inclusion report indicates that there have been some improvements in how we serve people with disabilities. Each state is ranked across a number of criteria. One of the most striking pieces of information is that the number of people waiting for services has more than doubled. One of the things we must keep in mind is that for the most part, adult services and supports are not mandated. Many are funded through health insurance and in particular Medicaid. One of the great challenges of the adult world is that we are looking at making sure individuals are able to participate and engage in quality experiences and meaningful work for many decades as opposed to addressing educational needs ages 3-turnning 22. We must continue to look for creative and fiscally sustainable ways to support people with disabilities which also promote full participation and independence (given the correct supports and services).
Take a look at how your state compares. This is a sharp reminder that we must remain engaged in the process which makes decisions around funding while always improving the efficiency and quality of the services we provide. Disability.gov is one resource to take a look at what is already available. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has a number of projects and resources to look at. Inclusive Education in Action is a comprehensive project which looks at implementing sustainable practices which support inclusive education. The World Conference on Education will happen in 2014. Making sure we are educating everyone in these issues and including students with disabilities is a priority. Change happens when those who have been the minority develop a strong voice and lead. It is a conversation about the New Voices which emerge, changing the conversation in only a way that can come from those who have been kept in the “needing to be helped” role. Shared leadership, shared voice and shared power must be a part of any sustained change.