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News stories tagged with "disability-matters"

Disability Education Pushed by Feds, Paid for by Locals

According to a state report issued this week, twelve percent of the students in New York's public schools are enrolled in special education programs. Children living with disabilities are expensive to educate. Their services often cost twice or even three times as much as a child in general education programs. Advocates here in the North Country say the pay-offs are worth it. Many children who might have been unproductive and unemployed are now learning important life and job skills. Some are able to go on to college. But even supporters of disability education programs agree that Federal support for local school districts is lagging behind. A new set of Federal mandates is set to go into effect this year. As Brian Mann reports, local taxpayers are likely to pick up the tab.  Go to full article

Sorting Through Special Ed

This week, we've heard stories of students in special education in New York State--all different: inclusion, mainstreaming, self-contained. How does one student end up in general education classes, and another in a special classroom? Is there a right, or a wrong, way of special education? Andrew Pulrang is executive director of the Independent living Center in Plattsburgh. He is an advocate for people with disabilities. He has a physical disability himself. And he's got first hand experience of schools in New York, and Washington State. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Adirondack Park for People With Disabilities

A dedication ceremony was held yesterday in Long Lake for the first wilderness area in the Adirondacks designed to accommodate people with disabilities. International Paper has donated a nearly 16,000-acre conservation easement to the state. It will compromise the International Paper John Dillon Park, named for the paper company's now-retired chairman. As Chris Knight reports, the park is meant to provide its visitors with the therapeutic experience of the wilderness.  Go to full article

For Kids with Disabilities, Schools Offer Hope & Hurdles

Thousands of families in the North Country have school-age kids who live with disabilities, everything from dyslexia to muscular dystrophy to attention deficit. Public schools are a front-line resource, providing a remarkable range of services, therapies, and specialized education. Good programs can make all the difference, helping a child to reach a productive, engaged life. But navigating the bureaucracy and finding the best strategies for each child can be a daily struggle. Kathy Hannon is a special education teacher who lives in Saranac Lake and works in Lake Placid. Her daughter Michaela lives with spastic cerebral palsy. Michaela, who is twelve years old, uses a wheelchair and a voice machine that helps her to communicate. In this morning's installment of the Hannon's audio diary, they offer a glimpse of the ups and downs of the education system as seen from the inside.  Go to full article
Postcards to Greg from students
Postcards to Greg from students

In Inclusion Era, Self-Contained Classrooms Retain a Role

New York State has long been criticized by disability advocates and parents for pulling too many disabled students out of regular classrooms and putting them into self-contained "special ed." classrooms. There students learn in a closed and controlled setting with other students with disabilities. Recently the number of self-contained classrooms has dropped dramatically. State mandates have led a lot of districts to cut their self-contained classrooms and bring students into regular educational settings. But there is still a role for self-contained classrooms, and they're still the way many students with disabilities experience the school year. Gregory Warner visited a self-contained classroom in the Potsdam middle school. The class is taught and staffed by workers from BOCES. The students come from as far away as Madrid and Parishville.  Go to full article

Disability Matters: For Parents?Hope, Sadness, and Acceptance

For parents with severely disabled children, life can be a constant struggle with social service agencies, doctors, and schools. In this rural area, finding the best care for kids also often means expensive and exhausting travel. Kathy Hannon is a teacher. She lives in Saranac Lake. Her 12-year-old daughter Michaela suffers from spastic cerebral palsy. In this week's audio diary, Kathy describes a recent trip to see a specialist in Pittsburgh. She says parents like her make the journey looking for medical answers but also looking for hope.
The Hannons' audio diary series is produced by Brian Mann with technical help from Joel Hurd.  Go to full article

Disability Matters: Finding Words for Michaela's Day at School

Every morning, families across the North Country get their kids ready for school. For children with disabilities and their parents, the ritual can be far more complicated than just eating breakfast and brushing teeth. As part of our yearlong series, Disability Matters, the Hannon family in Saranac Lake is keeping an audio diary about their life. Kathy and Mike Hannon's daughter Michaela was born prematurely with spastic cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair and her ability to speak is extremely limited. Kathy and Michaela take on the most important chore in getting ready for a school day: preparing to communicate with the outside world. Their audio diary was produced by Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Disability Matters Audio Diary: Michaela's Family, Part One

This year, North Country Public Radio is focusing on people and families who live with disabilities. This morning, we begin an audio diary series with the Hannons, a family in Saranac Lake. Kathy and Mike Hannon have two daughters, Rachel and Michaela. Twelve year old Michaela was born with spastic cerebral palsy.
In the weeks and months ahead, they'll be sharing their experiences, talking about the ways that Michaela's disability changes their daily lives. This first diary is narrated by Kathy Hannon, a school teacher who works in Lake Placid. We'll also hear from her daughter Michaela. Their audio diary was produced by Brian Mann.

Next Monday: Getting Michaela ready for a day at school.  Go to full article

Advocates Want Accessible Transportation

Lack of public transportation hits rural people with disabilities hard. In Essex County, advocates say the lack of wheel-chair accessible transportation violates the law.  Go to full article

Depot Theatre Launches Audio Described Plays

The Depot Theatre is doing something new--an audio described performance for the visually impaired. NCPR's Resident theatre critic Connie Meng spoke to Artistic Director Shami McCormick about the process.  Go to full article

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