I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
As some of you may remember, one of my ideas while running for Mayor, included the idea of making something in the Cudahy Sckool District special/unique in an effort to bring families to Cudahy. I know that my colleague Randy Hollenbeck has had similiar ideas. I was told by some, that a unique idea from the schools would not bring people to Cudahy.
I was recently sent the following article in regards to class inclusion of those with special needs. As you can see, there are families moving to Madison to have their children be a part of an inclusion program. I think that the Cudahy School District has done a nice job at Lincoln of inclusion with my son Tyler, I can not speak for the other schools because I have no personal experience with them.
While attending a Youth Leadership Forum (http://www.wsti.org/ylc.ylf.php) for individuals with special needs earlier this summer in Madison, the stories that these high school kids were relaying in a group discussion were to say the least alarming. One student told the story of how all special needs students are kept in a seperate wing of their high school. Another told the story of how the special needs students ate lunch together and nobody else was allowed to sit at their table, when they tried to join in on the lunch experience they weretold by aides that they were not welcome to sit with their fellow students.
By no means am I implying that the unique idea that the Cudahy School District offers is an inclusion program, but, I think that a lot can be said about finding something unique to draw students and their families to Cudahy.
Ironically, the same day, another story came across in regards to special education. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, stated that many children with special needs are not receiving a proper education and it is something that he is commited to changing the status quo. As many families who have child with a disability and care about their childs education can tell you, it is about time.