On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at Waters Edge Elementary School in Boca Raton, special needs students will share their experiences with other students in regards to the good and bad encounters that students with disabilities face each day and the many challenges they face to let every fellow student see and know that they belong and are well able to adjust and do their best along with all students. Waters Edge, a fully inclusive elementary school, has invited 8 young people to come to their school to share their experiences and learn about people with disabilities.
The students that will be at Waters Edge Elementary have disabilities which include Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Hearing Impaired, Tourette’s syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. These volunteers have come together in the hope that by exposing other students to the differences they have, the children will realize that they are more the same than different.
Palm Beach County schools have moved toward being a fully inclusive school district. Most children with disabilities are educated in the general education classroom and receive additional support when necessary. October is National Handicap awareness month.
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task."
NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office - Oct. 2013