* Fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act so that students
with disabilities will get the public education they have a right to;
* Ensure that all states have the support to adopt comprehensive newborn
screening programs and set a national goal to provide voluntary
re-screening for all two-year-olds – the age at which some conditions,
including autism spectrum disorders, begin to appear;
* Expand Early Head Start to serve more children with disabilities and
spur states, through Obama's Early Learning Challenge Grants, to expand
programs for children with disabilities, such as IDEA Part C, and
integrate these programs with other early childhood programs; and
* Help more students with disabilities attend college by funding
Vocational Rehabilitation programs to provide better counseling and
offering a new, fully refundable $4,000 American Opportunity Tax Credit
to make college more affordable.
Support Students with Disabilities: Obama and Biden will work to ensure the academic success of students with disabilities by increasing funding and effectively enforcing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and by holding schools accountable for providing students with disabilities the services and supports they need to reach their potential. Obama and Biden will also support Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers, and will work to improve college opportunities for high school graduates with disabilities.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today issued the following statement in support of President Obama's proclamation of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
"President Obama and I recognize the critical role that education plays in empowering the next generation of Americans with disabilities. Through education, we can help people with disabilities build a strong foundation of knowledge and marketable skills with expectations for employment and the ability to give back to others in their communities. Stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act represents an unprecedented investment in students with disabilities and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to helping all Americans achieve success in school and work. We are proud of the many projects underway at the Department of Education to assist children and adults with disabilities in acquiring the tools they need to achieve their dreams," Secretary Duncan said.
To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will feature innovative, employment-based projects and individual success stories on http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/deam-2009.
In addition, the office will join the Department of Labor, Social Security Administration and other federal agencies for a celebration sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities Oct. 12-13 in Duluth, Minn., highlighting the importance of exposing youth with disabilities to work-based learning and job shadowing opportunities. OSERS staff will be gathering input in coming weeks from parents, educators, students with disabilities and others to inform work on upcoming legislative reauthorizations and issues of importance to students with disabilities.
(October 6, 2009, 2009)