« Don't Forget the Paralympics! | Main | Georgia State Supe. Smarter Than a Fifth Grader »

Disability Advocacy Makes the Front Page


Once upon a time, this election season looked like it was going to be a quiet one for disability-rights advocates. But the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee sent newspaper reporters scrambling to put together articles that ask members of the disability advocacy community What It All Means.

Here's a collection of some of the articles that were produced soon after Palin joined the ticket:

"Palin Candidacy Puts Spotlight on Special Needs" (USA Today)

"With Palin, Special Needs Get Spotlight" and "Parents of Special-Needs Children Divided Over Palin's Promise to Help" (The New York Times)

"Palin's Pitch to Parents of Disabled Raises Some Doubts" (The Wall Street Journal)

"Candidacy is a Chance to Shed Light" (The Boston Globe)

"Trig's Promise" (Newsweek)

I'm sure that's just a sample. If you see links to others worth sharing, please add them in the comment section.


There is nothing like someone who has had the experience to understand. But like most of Sarah Palin's experience--I don't know that she is there yet. At 8 months Trig hasn't had much contact yet with the public schools. I don't know if he has used up his lifetime insurance limits and needed Medicaid.

In Washington DC, I suspect that child find will have no trouble finding Trig. When he's five and ready for kindergarten, our friend in the White House may no longer be there. She may not be fighting the DC schools to accept his identification (with their two year backlog for testing) or to write an appropriate IEP. Her request for placement in a private facility may miraculously sail through.

If she had encountered these things during her PTA days, or tried to rally the PTA to support the needs of her "special" child--when all they really wanted to do was sell m&ms, and weren't too hot on having one of those needy kids in their kid's classroom--or if she had been among the folks who fought to stop sending Alaska kids with mental health needs out of state for treatment, then I would say that we have an advocate in the White House.

For now I would just say, come in and get comfortable, and welcome to the club.

I think there are good reasons for advocates of disability rights to have concern about Palin. I encourage readers to go to debrasanders.blogspot.com. for more information. Although the intent of the blog is to focus on specific disability issues, I have found myself unable to focus on anything other than Palin for the last several days. With each new revelation my own worries increase, not just for those with disbilities but for the entire country.

There are several longer posts that are well worth reading; and any reader who goes there can pretty well expect to come away with a lot of information--some of which is out there, some of which is out there but has been ignored.

I think we need to get this information out there. I think Margo is touching on an important point, and I suspect that Sarah Palin in the white house will never allow herself to know what all middle income families already know-- and that is that the needed health care and educational services for children with medical, emotional, learning and behavioral disabilities simply are not available.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • sdc teach: I agree with the previous post regarding the high cost read more
  • Jason: That alert is from 2001. Is there anything more recent read more
  • Vikki Mahaffy: I worked as a special education teacher for 18 years read more
  • paulina rickards: As it relates to this research I am in total read more
  • Anonymous: Fully fund the RTI process. We are providing special education read more