Saturday, May 26, 2012

Viewpoint on Mainstreaming

This is a short introduction to Mom's project on mainstreaming of disabled children. It lays out the aim of her 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence.

The photo is from Mom's photo album, a man holding the door for Mom in the 1960s.

My viewpoint on the topic of handicapped kids in schools is that as long as the kids can keep up with the other children, they should be "mainstreamed" when available. Each child should be able to learn and work to their fullest potential, whether they are disabled or not. A child in a wheelchair should not, for example, be prevented from attending the school that will challenge him or her most, because of something so basic as elevators or railings.

Educating the public is an entirely different matter. When the young men came back from Vietnam, the public got a strong dose of visibility. These disabled young adults were not to stand for being shut away "invisible." They proceeded to further their education and get high-paying jobs. Many of the legislation came from this group of disabled young people. 

Connie, Feb. 6, 1994

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