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2021-November-20  18:28

American Activist: US Students with Special Needs Falling Behind

TEHRAN (FNA)- An American rights activist says the students with a learning disability in America do not receive the necessary support during the Covid-19 pandemic, widening the education gap.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, she said, “Children with special needs may already be struggling in school and need to have the proper support and accommodations to allow them a fair and equal chance within the education system, but they cannot have that if they are put into already stressful, high-risk, and overwhelming situations. This inequality and discrimination against students with special needs is furthering the divide between students, families, and schools.”

The interview was conducted with an American disabled rights activist, who asked to remain unnamed for security purposes.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: How do the US students with special educational needs do in the pandemic?

A: While wealthy and financially comfortable families can afford to have their children receive one on one services from tutors, private educators, and medical and educational professionals, other families do not have that option. Often times it is the children who need the most help and support who do not receive it and are often at a higher risk for falling behind or falling ill during the pandemic. Children with special needs may already be struggling in school and need to have the proper support and accommodations to allow them a fair and equal chance within the education system, but they cannot have that if they are put into already stressful, high-risk, and overwhelming situations. This inequality and discrimination against students with special needs is furthering the divide between students, families, and schools and it will only increase unless additional help and support is offered to those students who need it the most.

Q: There are reports that schools are “scrambling” to find special education teachers for the new academic year in all US states. Why is that the case?

A: There is a lack of special education teachers for several reasons; first there is often one, maybe two full-time special education teachers in one school to serve hundreds sometimes thousands of students, so I can imagine that many special education teachers are often feeling burnt out and over worked. Second, the pay scale for so many teachers in the United States in general is extremely low for the amount of time, dedication, and work that goes into being a teacher. Third, the field of special education is ever changing based on current trends in educational research, laws and regulations both state and federal, and the societal beliefs and views towards those who receive special education services. It can be a lot to understand and incorporate into their work with students and families which can be overwhelming and an enormous task to ask anyone to take on let alone special educators who are often over worked and undervalued.

Q: Why have the Administration and Capitol always been hesitant to make improvements to the Supplemental Security Income program?

A: Increases and changes to the Supplemental Security Income program have almost always taken a back seat to other concerns and tasks because of the wealth and power gap that exists within the United States. I believe that American taxpayers are happier to have their government officials spend their tax money more on helping and supporting Americans with special needs and disabilities rather than on other costly priorities that have been maintained and prioritized for far too long. There are so many Americans who either have special needs or disabilities or have a loved one who does, it is something that hits home for so many and any increase to the Supplemental Security Income program has been long awaited and deserved for so many across the United States.