The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) congratulates Miguel Cardona on his confirmation to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education.
The impact of the Secretary of Education on people with disabilities cannot be understated. From issues involving education to employment, the decisions of the Secretary have a powerful influence on people with disabilities from birth through adulthood. NDRN looks forward to working with Secretary Cardona on the wide breadth of issues under the Department’s purview including the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dr. Cardona’s background as a classroom teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and most recently Commissioner of Education in Connecticut is exactly what we need at the Department of Education,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “It is absolutely crucial that the Department proactively support students with disabilities and those seeking vocational rehabilitation services in an effort to ensure the nation’s students have equitable access to quality public educational opportunities. I am confident Dr. Cardona will work to make this a reality,” continued Decker.
Education is a civil right in the United States. NDRN and the Protection and Advocacy (P&As) agencies have been at the forefront of protecting the rights of students with disabilities. Unfortunately, people with disabilities still face a myriad of obstacles, discriminatory practices, and even serious bodily harm and death at school. Students with disabilities are disproportionately subjected to exclusionary discipline practices along with harmful and sometimes deadly seclusion and restraint practices. NDRN and the P&As have also worked to ensure that vocational rehabilitation services lead to competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities. NDRN and the P&A Network will continue to work to ensure people with disabilities receive quality education and employment services.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.