Special Education is any instruction or learning specifically designed to meet the needs of kids with special needs or disabilities. This type of teaching is important, because it allows every student equal opportunity to meet their full potential.
Dec. 2 is National Special Education Day. The day reflects the changes to federal law that led to the first federal special education law. This bill may have been the first, but it led to increased protections for students with disabilities.
Mills v. Board of Education
Beginning in 1971, a U.S District Court in the District of Columbia ruled Mills v. Board of Education. The court ruled that all children, including those with physical and mental disabilities, have a right to public educational opportunities.
This eventually led to the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. President Gerald Ford signed this bill into law on November 29th, 1975. The law required states to accept federal funds to provide equal education access to children with disabilities.
This law led to the passage of additional protections. Additionally, provisions were added in 1986 to support parents and educators in creating an education plan for children with disabilities. In 1990, the All Handicapped Children Act was renamed the All Handicapped Children Act. In addition, this name change also brought improved access for all children with developmental delays. And over the last two decades, politicians have passed more bills, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, to strengthen protections for people with disabilities.
Then and Now: Students With Disabilities
Before 1975, children with disabilities received little or no education. That’s why these laws, and protections are so critical. in 2020, 7 million students, or 14 percent of the total student population had some form of disability.
Some of the types of disabilities that fall under the umbrella are:
- Emotional Disturbance
- Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Physical Disability
There are many services that can be provided to students and schools through grant funds. This is why GrantWatch is including five grants to help improve the lives of students with special needs/disabilities.
Five Grants to Celebrate National Special Education Day
- Scholarships of $500 to U.S. students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for financial assistance to attend college. Applications can be from recent high school graduates, current undergraduate students, and students enrolled at an Autism School. To qualify, the applicant must be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited school.
- In addition, there are grants of up to $10,000 to U.S., Canada, and International nonprofits to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome. Funding is to host educational programs for medical professionals, self-advocates, parents, and teachers. Applicants must be members of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
- There are also grants of up to $500 available to California Pre-K-12 teachers and therapists to students with special needs. Eligible teachers must be PreK-12 public school teachers and therapists in eligible regions serving special needs children with moderate to severe disabilities.
- Additionally, there are grants for Missouri local education agencies for expenses for special education students with high needs.
- Finally, there is funding of up to $1,000 and grants of up to $7,500 to Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas nonprofits, school districts, and individuals in eligible areas to benefit local children and families affected by autism. Funding may be for a broad range of programs that provide autism therapy and services.
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