In a statement, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network has called for senators on both sides of the aisle to thoroughly investigate Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general pick, for his “long record of bigotry, ableism, racism and disdain for civil rights” and to reject his nomination. They note:
For the past several years, the Department of Justice has actively enforced the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision, resulting in increased community inclusion for disabled people across the country. But Senator Sessions has suggested increasing the segregation of disabled students in public schools, calling the inclusion of students with significant disabilities “the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.” We have grave concerns that under Sessions, the Department of Justice would not protect the rights of disabled people and other marginalized populations.
It is unacceptable for the person who would be responsible for enforcing ADA and other federal laws to protect disabled students calls inclusion “the single most irritating problem for teachers” today.
For more on laws around public education requirements for students with disabilities, including explanations for the dizzying array of related terms such as IDEA, ADA, FAPE, ESSA, and LRE, see the Wrightslaw site. For more about the established benefits of inclusive education, PBS has developed a good resource. And let’s not leave out that Trump’s choice for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, is a passionate supporter of vouchers, which may pose a threat to special education programs in public schools, although predictions on that are mixed.