discrimination against disabled and differently abled
Petition to Michelle Gallo, President of the United States, Illinois Governor, Steve Diveley
Don’t allow School District 41 and Hadley Junior High segregate our daughter AGAIN
Some of you may remember last year when we created this petition to stop School District 41 from segregating our daughter with Down Syndrome from her typical peers. With the help of this petition and the thousands of supporters who signed and shared their own personal stories, we were able to get the district to overturn their decision in April 2015. They agreed to "let" our daughter attend her neighborhood school and be taught with her general education peers. The school year started off well, but we began to see a similar trend. Our daughter was not receiving the support she needed to succeed. She was basically being set up to fail. The curriculum was not being modified as it should be, leading to frustration and behavior issues. We found several experts to assist the school team, but the district refused to enlist anyone's help. At the end of 2015, we were finally able to get the school district to have an outside behavior therapy agency evaluate our daughter and the staff. She offered some great strategies for the staff to aid them in redirecting our daughter. She even offered to help the staff modify the curriculum for the next 4 weeks to see if that would help diminish the negative behaviors. The special education director refused her help. But the real surprise at this meeting occurred when the special education director stated that, despite Hiba making wonderful friends and reaching all her academic goals, the district intends on placing her back in a segregated self-contained classroom next year in middle school. She cited behavior concerns as their reason to separate Hiba from her peers. Needless to say, we are not in agreement with this placement, and will go back to fighting for our daughter's legal rights to be taught in the least restrictive environment alongside her typical peers with proper accommodations and supports. We need your help again to make this a reality for Hiba. If she is placed in a self-contained classroom with 3 other kids with various disabilities, we know she will just regress and all the progress she has made this year, the beautiful friendships she has made, and the academic accomplishments she has achieved will be lost. We cannot let that happen. It is important to note that there is another child with Down Syndrome who has been fully included in this same school district, first in elementary school and now at the same middle school Hiba is going to next year. We don't understand why the district is including this child, but refuses to include our daughter. It just shows that our daughter is being discriminated against. Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know so Hadley Middle School in Glen Ellyn knows it is not OK to discriminate against a child just because of her having Down Syndrome. Below is the original petition we started last year: "The first thing you might notice about our daughter Hiba is that she has Down syndrome. But to those who know her, Hiba is a beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate 9 year old. She loves math and her favorite show is “Doc McStuffins.” If you ask Hiba what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you "a doctor." This is not surprising considering how much she loves helping people. As her parents, we see a child with all the potential of any other child. Unfortunately, her school system has kept Hiba segregated from other students and it has taken its toll on her education and spirit. All they seem to see is a child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not define our daughter. We are asking Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba her legal right to be fully integrated and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary. For the past 5 years, Hiba’s education has been spent in isolated, 1-on-1 settings. It has been painful to watch Hiba not be responsive to this education approach. She has become depressed, withdrawn, and as a result, hasn’t performed well in her studies. Hiba knows she is being treated differently and separated from the “normal” kids. Districts across the US have diversified the classroom to include both children with disabilities and those considered “typical” for the past few decades. Education research and organizations like the National Down Syndrome Society endorse full inclusion in education settings. This approach would allow Hiba to be fully integrated into the general education classroom with her “typical” peers the entire school day. She would be learning the same things, but with a modified lesson plan, technology support, and 1:1 aide in the classroom. This plan would be developed by a well-known inclusion specialist. We know this is the best approach for Hiba. Educational inclusion won’t just benefit Hiba. When children with disabilities are educated alongside their “typical” peers, research shows academic and social benefits for everyone. True acceptance of diversity begins in the school environment. It is then carried out in the home, workplace, and community. Glen Ellyn School District 41 insists this is not the best approach for Hiba. They point to how she has behaved and performed in the isolated classroom. School officials can’t see these are symptoms of being segregated and exactly why Hiba belongs in a classroom with her "typical" peers. This is why we started the petition. We need you to help Hiba get in a classroom setting where she will thrive. Your voice can make all the difference. Our dream is for Hiba to be afforded all the same opportunities as everyone else so she can achieve her full potential and be a kind, active member of society. Please sign and share our petition calling on Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba to be fully included and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary."
Petition to Hall County Board of Commissioners, Kathy Cooper
URGENT! Stop Discrimination of Disabled Adults in Flowery Branch Georgia!
A community member has started a petition to not allow a group of developmentally disabled adults and their families build a community for them to live in Flowery Branch, Georgia. The petitioner is making tons of false statements in order to garner support. The petition is not only entirely discriminatory and mean, it's untrue and immoral. How can we as people tell someone that because they are disabled they cannot live near us? The organization that is building the facility has two other very successful facilities that have been great for their communities and people love them! They had the same concerns about property values but have found that this amazing organization has not hindered property values and has brought positive changes to the community. The program supports people with developmental delays such as autism, down syndrome, learning disabilities, people that have head injuries from car accidents and more! They deserve a right to live, work, play and grow just like the rest of us! Can you imagine if you had a child that was born with autism or survived a car accident and then your neighbor said they did not want you to live by them! One of the petition statements says that mentally ill people go in and kill children at schools! They have no understanding at all of the client base that this organization serves...and how could they possibly be so insulting, discriminatory and mean! We all know someone with autism or learning disability...if you believe that they have the right to a full and complete life, please sign this petition. Let's be decent human beings and do right by our neighbors! The article below explains better than I can, this was in Access North Georgia: FLOWERY BRANCH - The applicant for a 158-unit development that would serve developmentally disabled adults in South Hall County has responded to an online petition drive against the proposed rezoning. The applicant, Roswell-based Beckel Inc, is seeking to rezone 21.3-acre site at the intersection of McEver and Radford Roads. The move would rezone the property from agricultural residential III to planned residential development. Beckel Inc. works with "Just" People, a non-profit organization that provides support services to adults with developmental disabilities. The non-profit currently has communities in Roswell and Lilburn. While the Hall County Planning Commission gave a unanimous recommendation for approval last week, seven residents spoke in opposition to the plans. Several days ago a petition was circulated on the change.org website in opposition to the plans. Kevin Dowling is Director of Beckel, Inc. He took issue with several of the statements made on the petition. One of those is the assertion that the development would be subsidized by Section 8 or the federal government's program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled. "It's not Section 8. There's no government assistance. It's all paid for privately. They (residents) don't qualify for Section 8. Their incomes are too high," Dowling said. "As a matter of fact, 98 of them are on a Royal Caribbean cruise in Belize as we speak." The standard two-bedroom unit (roommate floorplan) rents for $1440-$1500/month, Beckel officials noted in an email statement. Dowling also addressed concerns about the type of clients the community would serve. "We don't consider anybody that has any type of violence or history of that type of mental illness. Our people have Down Syndrome, occasionally head injuries, short term memory, Asperger’s, those type issues. They're high-functioning adults. They all work," Dowling said. New residents are pre-screened and must apply for a national background check. While many come from "Just" People day programs, all of them must go through a three-month orientation period and evaluation, according to Beckel. Dowling and his wife live and work in the "Just" People development in Roswell. He said property values, a concern in the opposition petition, don't seem to have been impacted. "Across the street, after we built this, they built million dollar homes. Behind us is a high end neighborhood that the homes are from four to $700,000." There are two private schools located less than a mile from the Roswell development, according to the Beckel statement. It goes on to say a Roswell school has hired "Just" People clients as cafeteria helpers. Dowling said Beckel has sent out invitations to neighbors for a barbecue on the property next Tuesday. He said representatives will be on hand to answer questions. "They'll find out that they're ("Just" People residents) a great group of people. They're really a great group to be around," Dowling said. The change.org petition against the project had reached around 500 signatures Wednesday afternoon. The Hall County Commission will make the final determination on the rezoning request. AccessWDUN's Marc Eggers and Brian Stewart contributed to this story.
Petition to Andrew Lehman
Change your mascot
Tell the Freeburg Community High School Board of Education to eliminate "Midget" as a mascot There are several high schools across the country that have coined "midgets" as their school mascot, including Freeburg High School in Freeburg, Illinois. Freeburg, Illinois, is near St. Louis, Missouri, where Little People of America will be hosting its national conference in July of this year. Please support us in urging Freeburg High School, "Home of the Midgets," to rename their school mascot. Further, we would also like them to stop all sales of the school's "midgetwear" merchandise. Little People of America (LPA), a national, membership-based organization for short-statured individuals, aims to educate and raise awareness about the terminology preferred by members of its community. The term "midget" dehumanizes and objectifies people of short stature. The word was first coined in reference to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport, and the word evolved into a negative connotation. The preferred terminology is "dwarf," "little person," or "person of short stature." In the case of Freeburg, Illinois, while the term is not intended to do harm, any word that creates a hostile and unwelcoming environment with any potential student has no place as a school mascot. We want to ensure that Freeburg is creating a safe environment for all people, including those of short stature, that are in the area. We believe these changes can only have a positive impact upon the community and will only further support Freeburg High School's mission to, "enable all students to become productive and responsible citizens by providing them opportunities... in a safe, caring, learning environment." Please support Little People of America by telling Freeburg High School to rename their school mascot, and to discontinue all sales of "Midgetwear" merchandise.
Petition to AfricaWorldAirlines, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority - Ministry of Transport
Reverse discriminatory policy that affect People Living with Disabilities, Provide necessary equipment to fly them on airplane, Refund Freky, and apologize to Freky Andrew-Essien
On Monday June 1st 2015, Africa World Airlines said to Freky Andrew-Essien that 'We don't fly wheelchair passengers, we are sorry, but it is company policy'. Freky as she is fondly called is the founder of FAECARE a nonprofit organization that plans and implements programs that provides basic support services in education, health, and psychological development to vulnerable communities. She has overcome limitations to be a development champion. People With Disability like Freky are often limited to live up to their full potential because of discriminating policies like this. Many of them in the past have no voice, if we all keep quiet on this issue, many more people like Freky will be affected. We are calling on this airline and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority - Ministry of Transport to Reverse discriminatory policy that affect People Living with Disabilities (PWD), Provide necessary equipment to fly them on airplane, Refund Freky, and apologize to Freky Andrew-Essien. Here is a story from Freky: My story is quite simple- I live in portharcourt Nigeria and have an internship at an organisation in the Nothern province of Ghana. The route via air is Port harcourt - Lagos ; Lagos - Accra and Accra to Tamale. Flights were booked and on getting to the domestic airport in accra I presented my ticket but was called aside by the airline official and told that the airline didn't fly wheelchair bound passengers because they don't have facilities to board me...lifts and all. I told them it wouldn't be a problem as I have experienced the general lack of facilities when it comes to PWDs(Persons with disability) but that I was ready to work with them as I have always done when faced with these situations, with them. And the next thing they said was that sorry, but it's a policy...and added that if I could walk with a cane or something, they'd try. I asked for a refund so I could try booking another flight and they said i'd have to do that in their lagos office. Anyway, I did approach the other 2 airlines Antrak Air (which I have used before) and Starbow Airlines, they also said "sorry" and mentioned policy. Bottom line no flight and thus a 10 hour trip by road. How is this Right?