Based on feedback from your interviews in this topic, or overall in this course, what are two big takeaways for you regarding the field of special education? In addition, are there any organizations you would like to learn more about to help you become a stronger special educator? If so, list and explain why you chose the organizations. If not, what would be an organization you would like to know more about and why?
ATTACHED DISABILITY RIGHTS MS PAPER
THATS WHERE I DID MY INTERVIEW.
These are the questions:
Tour a local disability advocacy organization and interview an administrator regarding:
1. Relationship of special education to the organization, and function of educational agencies
Disability Rights MS is the protection and advocacy agency for Mississippi. We are a private, non-profit corporation with a federal mandate to protect and advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities across our state. We have been providing advocacy services for over 30 years, free of charge.
One of our focus areas is helping children in special education and their parents. We provide technical assistance and case services to those with a rights violation in the school system So, our relationship to special education is make certain that children are getting the services they need. We work closely with school districts and the state department to ensure quality, needed services.
2. Continuum of placement and services available for individuals with disabilities
Advocates for a free and equal education for vulnerable students in the MS education system. This team works closely with educators, directors, and other agencies to pull together appropriate supports and resources students need to succeed in the classroom.
3. Publications relevant to individuals with disabilities
4. Information provided on disabilities
5. Activities relevant to individuals with disabilities
DRMS is the only disability advocacy agency in MS that has attorneys on staff to pursue legal remedies if necessary. The mission of DRMS is to promote, protect and advocate for the legal and human rights of all persons with disabilities and to assist them with full inclusion in home, community, education and employment.
6. Culturally responsive factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with individuals with disabilities, families, school personnel, and community members
DRMS proudly accepts input from communities across the state every year in an effort to have the voices of the people it serves drive the priorities it works on. We maintain social media accounts and email newsletters to reach people in different areas of our state. We also purchased radio ads to promote certain areas of interest (like elections, etc.)
7. Roles of professional groups and referral agencies in identifying, assessing, and providing services to individuals with disabilities
I am not clear what you are looking for here, but different groups are essential in helping people with disabilities. We work closely with various groups throughout the year, but especially for the annual MS disAbilityMegaConference. Check it out at www.msmegaconference.org
8. Any resources to assist in programming for individuals with disabilities
I’m sure you’ve checked out MS DMH, MDE, Medicaid and MDRS websites for more information. You can review our website at www.drms.ms
Disability in Mississippi
Grand Canyon University
August 25, 2020
Disability Rights Mississippi (DRMS) is a non-profit organization responsible for advocating and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities in the state of Mississippi. DRMS has been offering services to its citizens for over thirty years now, without charges, and has assisted many families with disabilities by advocating for their rights. The mission of the organization is to promote, protect and advocate for legal and human rights of all people with disabilities, and to assist them with full inclusion in employment, home, education, and community development (Waterstone, 2019).
Recently I spent time in the organization and interviewed different functions in DRMS. The Administrator shared her story, and below is her response to the tasks of DRMS.
Relationship of Special Education to the organization
Disability Rights Mississippi is responsible for addressing challenges affecting the academic process for children with disabilities. This special education targets schools around the state of Mississippi to have its focus on bringing change by enforcing regulations that seek to address academic issues. The administrator state that parents should take part in this process to enable them to choose the best options for special education and understand the school specifics for their children. In this case, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been enforced to ensure that every child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that fulfills their educational requirements. Additionally, education advocates can work with parents to resolve any issues regarding the IEP development through Mississippi Protection and Advocacy Office. Parents are advised to be conversant with the rights of their children to ensure that they receive vital services they deserve in school.
Functions of Educational Agencies
The Administrator explains that educational agencies are responsible for addressing various needs brought about by disabilities such as intellectual, mental, physical, and developmental disabilities. It also discusses other challenges related to housing and legal assistance, according to Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA). These agencies help people in many ways, including disability advocacy, home health services, home care, nursing aid services, and accessing community resources (Waterstone, 2019).
Continuum of Placement and Services Available for Individuals with Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are given special education, such as classroom-based achievement, parental input, and testing data into placement decisions. Students are placed in the least restrictive environment, as provided by the law. This law articulates the needs of these individuals and that schools should give a continuum of placement options to people with disabilities. These provisions provide curriculum activities as they socialize with non-disabled individuals (Waterstone, 2018).
Information on Disabilities
Mississippi has an agency that evaluates social security and Supplemental Security Income disability claims known as Disability Determination Service (DDS). Applicants of such applications are directed to deliver their claims through Social Security Administration (SSA) then forwarded to DDS for the final decision.
Activities Relevant to Individuals with Disabilities
The agency provides education and counseling programs that include physical activities, drug abuse, screening services, nutrition management, and checkups for blood pressure. Individuals with disabilities should be engaged in public health programs to remain fit and active (Gordon &Reynolds, 2017).
Culturally Responsive Factors
The use of the first language is encouraged, as advised by the Administrator. She says the use of an individual’s first language shows respect and can change how people with disabilities see themselves. People with disabilities do not have the same communication preference; for instance, people with a hearing problem and low vision problems have different choices. In this scenario, people should practice understanding the personal preference of individuals with disabilities (Gordon &Reynolds, 2017).
Role of Professional Groups and Referral Agencies
There are several agencies the Administrator mentioned but only chose to explain the following:
• Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) – tasked with accessing support and services to give older adults with disabilities.
• Legal Service Organizations – offer free legal help for low-income persons, such as social security and Medicaid benefits.
• Statewide Independent Living Council – break barriers for persons with disabilities as they provide necessary support and services.
DRMS gave me a different perspective on how to relate to people with disabilities. I learned that people with disabilities have different communication language that should be taught in non-disability schools to break communication barriers with the outside world. This aspect can improve the economic well-being of a person with disabilities as they use the benefits provided in the agency. In the future, I will challenge the state to donate more funds to these agencies so that families with people with disabilities can be relieved economically.
Waterstone, M. (2019). Could We Pass the ADA Today? Disability Rights in an Age of Partisan Polarization. Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy, 12(2), 3.
Waterstone, M. (2018). Could We Pass the ADA Today: Disability Rights in an Age of Partisan Polarization? Louis UJ Health L. &Polly, 12, 261.
Gordon, D., & Reynolds, R. (2017). Using Civil and Disability Rights History to Encourage Social Equity. In Beyond Bystanders (pp. 245-254). Sense Publishers, Rotterdam.