Today, on National Special Education Day, we encourage state and school leaders to take this moment and celebrate our Special Education students and staff, as well as the families and caretakers who support and advocate for them.
Across the commonwealth, Special Education teachers and staff go above and beyond to provide positive educational experiences and create dynamic learning spaces for all students. They work tirelessly to help learners unlock their potential, thrive and shine!
National Special Education Day, celebrated annually on December 2nd, recognizes changes in federal legislation that led to the nation's first federal special education law. In November 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act legislation into law. It required states that accept federal money to provide equal access to children with disabilities.
In 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was renamed as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The act improved services and standards throughout the educational system nationwide. Since its creation, it has been instrumental in providing educational opportunities and accommodations, helping to remove stigmas, and increasing graduate rates for students with disabilities.
Here are six simple ways to recognize National Special Education Day :
- Volunteer for or donate to a special education program or classroom in your area
- Send a short "thank you" note to special education staff in your area
- Highlight a Special Education student or family in your community
- Text your family and friends a "did you know message" and share information about National Special Education Day
- Share a social media post to raise awareness about National Special Education Day and its history
- Spend a few minutes today to research and learn about the history of IDEA and National Special Education Day