Disability Rights DC Celebrates Inclusive Schools Week

November 30, 2023

Stories appear daily about our schools’ failure to meet the educational needs of our children – especially our children with disabilities. DC’s school system is no exception. Despite research showing the benefits of inclusive classrooms, 9% of students with disabilities in DC attend a separate school from their general population peers. This is three times the national average. Additionally, only 58% of DC students with disabilities spend more than 80% of their school day in a general education classroom. While much remains to be done, we must also acknowledge that we have come a long way. For years, public school systems excluded children with disabilities altogether. Thanks to the efforts of disability rights advocates in cases such as Mills v. Board of Education, students with disabilities now have a right to a free, public education.

While noting that there is so much more to be done, let’s applaud the progress being made every day toward building more inclusive school communities. This is the goal of Inclusive Schools Week (ISW), a yearly celebration that will take place from December 4-8, 2023. DC’s protection and advocacy program for people with disabilities, Disability Rights DC (DRDC), regularly participates in ISW. DRDC designs ISW lesson plans for DC classrooms, which allow groups like Project SEARCH and students at Coolidge High School to create wonderfully creative projects on the importance of inclusivity. DRDC also uses this opportunity to educate District students with disabilities on their upcoming transition out of high school. To celebrate ISW, visit: http://inclusiveschools.org.

On a teal background, white text reads: “Disability Rights DC invites you to celebrate Inclusive Schools Week 2023. Draw me in. Dec 4-8.” At the center-right is a drawn student with brown skin and curly, brown hair sitting on a wheelchair and smiling as he paints a picture of students and a teacher on a white canvas.

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