National Down Syndrome Society's lack of sensitivity to people with Down Syndrome
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The National Down Syndrome Society acted improperly and insensitively toward people with Down syndrome and their families. On Thursday, January 19 the NDSS posted pictures of their visit with Betty DeVos, proposed U.S. Department of Education. DeVos is a proponent of voucher programs and during her initial appointment hearings dodged questions about the federal laws protecting people with disabilities. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/01/17/betsy-devos-confused-about-federal-law-protecting-students-with-disabilities/?utm_term=.eb443faa5fe6 and https://themighty.com/2017/01/sen-maggie-hassan-betsy-devos-disabled-students/
The National Down Syndrome Congress Executive Director, David Tolleson said “We urge the Senate HELP Committee to postpone any votes on Mrs. DeVos’ confirmation until she has clarified her support for the federal role in ensuring that every child with a disability receive a free, appropriate public education consistent with IDEA, the federal special education law, and responds to questions regarding her positions. IDEA is a civil rights law that has had strong bipartisan support since the first version was enacted in 1975.” http://www.ndsccenter.org/wp-content/uploads/DeVos_questions.pdf
Parents fight every day for their children and adult loved ones with Down syndrome, to be respected and included in their schools and community. We ask that the National Down Syndrome Society take a stand against DeVos confirmation as DeVos does not and will not represent or ensure rights for people with down syndrome or disabilities.
While the NDSS said they were taking the opportunity to educate her by meeting with her before her confirmation, they have given her the ammunition she needed to become confirmed. This betrays children with Down syndrome because the Voucher program DeVos has built her resume on hurts our children the most. Betty DeVos nomination puts our children's education at serious risk and the NDSS meeting with her before her confirmation was a betrayal. They need to publicly denounce her nomination and stand with the families who will be most hurt by DeVos' agenda.
This is your opportunity people with Down syndrome, parent, family members and friends to voice your disappointment in National Down Syndrome Society and hold them accountable!
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