Save Special Education: Stop the Devos Nomination

  • Grand Central Terminal Grand Central Terminal New York, NY

#NoMoreWillowbrook

Before the passage of IDEA in 1975,[ http://www.washington.edu/doit/what-individuals-disabilities-education-act] people with disabilities had no access to legal education. 

For people with physical or cognitive disabilities, the only option was to be educated at home or put in state funded institutions. One such institution was Willowbrook State School. At Willbrook disabled children and adults were warehoused. They were abused, often kept unclothed and in their own feces. The had illegal hepatitis studies done on them, and they had no access to education. With the help of Geraldo Rivera's reporting, Willowbrook was closed in 1987. { http://www.washington.edu/doit/what-individuals-disabilities-education-act}

With the nomination of Betsy Devos as secretary of education, many children with disabilities are at risk of losing their right to an education. Devos has said: “That is a matter that is best left to the states.” 

Devos is threatening the most basic civil right of disabled people.


I have mild cerebral palsy. I attended a mainstream school for my education, but I had two resources which changed my life. K-10th grade, I had pull-out one on one speech therapy. With my cerebral palsy, I have a speech impediment. Speech therapy was crucial to my education. Even though I am still mocked sometimes, my speech is clear enough so that I am a professor, poet and public speaker. In middle school, I had typing lessons. As a consequence, I am able to type well and quickly. I was able to have a job as an administrative assistant when I moved to New York City, and in a career as an educator and writer, my skills have taught me well. 

Please join me on Sunday January 5th 2017 (super bowl Sunday) at the clock in Grand Central Station AT NOON to protest Devos' confirmation. The protest is being led by people with disabilities, but parents, caregivers, teachers, and allies are welcome.