Disability Awareness

The first two weeks of October are Disability History and Awareness Weeks!

Here are some facts:

One of every five Americans is a person with a disability.   A person may be born with a disability, may acquire a disability through an accident or illness, or may acquire a disability as part of growing older.  Although disability is a natural part of life, people with disabilities have not always had access to equal opportunities.  Not until 1975, with the passage of the Federal Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), did school-age children with disabilities have a right to a free appropriate public education.
Florida started its first special education class in 1926 in Jacksonville.  Since then, specially designed instruction and related services have expanded throughout Florida.  Now, more than 360,000 students identified as having a disability participate in Florida’s public education system.  In Florida, all students with disabilities pursue a standard high school diploma  and many of our students pursue post-secondary education and employment upon graduation.
We are proud of the work that continues in our district to provide valuable and meaningful educational opportunities as well as access for all children.  St. Lucie Public Schools has a current graduation rate for students with disabilities of 83.7% which is the third highest in the state.  Our post-school outcomes for students with disabilities continue to exceed the state average for students in higher education or for individuals who are competitively employed.