November 2020 Newsletter
November 30, 2020
New Advocacy Plan
Disability Rights South Carolina (DRSC) has adopted new Advocacy Plan to support our mission and vision and demonstrate our commitment to disability justice through advocacy that we hope leads to more inclusion, equality, and full participation for all people.
South Carolinians, like many across the country are experiencing challenges brought on by the pandemic, economic downturn and racial inequities that are disproportionately affecting people with disabilities and their families. DRSC’s new Advocacy Plan addresses our commitment to these individuals. The issues we address include:
- Unsafe, segregated, institutional care for older adults and people with disabilities.
- Lack of affordable, accessible, and stable housing for people with disabilities that is integrated in the community.
- Inequities in our healthcare, mental health services, transportation services, and education for people with disabilities.
- High rates of unemployment and underemployment among people with disabilities.
- Government programs and private business that discriminate against people with disabilities, by refusing to ensure physical and communication accessibility for all.
- Structural problems in our justice systems that have led to increased incarceration of youth with disabilities.
Moving forward, DRSC will be proactive to ensure our advocacy seeks out and responds to the voices of all people.
IDEA 45th Anniversary
Nov. 29, 2020, marks the 45th anniversary of President Gerald Ford signing the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
In adopting this landmark civil rights measure, Congress noted that the law would accomplish two important goals:
- It would guarantee a free appropriate public education to every child, regardless of disability, on an equal basis with all other children; and
- It would advance all Americans’ understanding of disability by bringing children with disability out of the shadows and into American schools where their gifts and strengths could be recognized.
While tremendous progress has been made over the years, we must continue the hard work to address the challenges that still exist. Although we are able to help many children with disabilities to achieve their goals, we must continue our work to ensure that all children have the supports they need and to find ways for all children with disabilities to achieve meaningful results and outcomes.
For More Information:
Staff Spotlight: Charisse Thomas
Charisse Thomas is an advocate on the Equal Access Team. She is from Florence, SC and has been with Disability Rights South Carolina since 2016. She works to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public school education. She enjoys being able to give back to her community and helping children. She is the mother to a nine year old boy and a two year old Shih Tzu. In her spare time, she loves going to the beach, spending time with her friends and family, and watching Netflix.