Guest Columnist

Yates: Support students with disabilities

LaSheila Yates is a candidate for Linn-Mar School Board.

As a candidate for Linn-Mar School Board, I’d like to share my story with you and why I’m running.

I’ve lived with a disability for several years. As an adult I’ve experienced the impact of medical conditions on my family, career ambitions, caretakers and overall quality of life. In this context I can gather that students with disabilities face more egregious limitations because most are developing a sense of self while facing the barriers to equitable education to meet their individual needs.

The Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was established in 1975 to ensure free and public access for students from ages 3 to 21 in public educational institutions in the U.S. The number of students covered under the act in 2017 to 2018 was 7 million, or 14 percent. This is important to note because students with disabilities also face barriers to academic success.

Therefore, understanding the needs of students with disabilities and being a voice for them is one of my top priorities in the race for the Linn-Mar School Board.

My primary goals on the Linn-Mar school board would be to hear from students, parents, caregivers, staff and administrators to gain insight on how social structures support academic excellence for students with disabilities. Some impairments faced by students with disabilities includes:

• Physical disabilities

• Mental disabilities

• learning disabilities

• Chronic pain

• Cognitive impairments

• Invisible health conditions

• Chronic illnesses

• Many conditions that limit one or more major life activity or bodily function

My hope is to use public feedback, lessons-learned, and effective practices that promote academic success for all students.

Be sure to take a moment to hear my journey toward learning and managing my disability by visiting; https://youtu.be/raZ8JN7BAhg.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

I’m humbled to have my narrative featured by the U.S. Pain Foundation during September’s Pain Management Month Campaign. I’m delighted to provide some context about why these areas are my top priorities in serving the community in the Linn-Mar educational system.

LaSheila Yates is a candidate for Linn-Mar School Board.

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