Call for Stories: Share your experiences to highlight the value of educational accommodations

An illustrated group of kids, one using a wheelchair, sitting around a table working on a robotics project together.
Image: FoxyImage/Shutterstock

In response to pandemic-related school closures, the U.S. Department of Education was considering waiving part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities. While they have since released a statement that this waiver will not happen, accessible virtual learning remains a crucial issue.

The potential gutting of educational opportunities for students with disabilities did receive some media coverage (check out some local coverage, including this Seattle Times piece and this piece from Crosscut), but that coverage has been focused on stories from parents and educators of disabled kids. We recognize that we have also been a part of that problem, and our goal is to change that.

We want to hear directly from disabled students currently being impacted, as well as disabled adults who can speak to why access to educational accommodations is crucial, and how these accommodations (or a lack of them) impacted their lives. We especially encourage people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to share their stories, and will work with you to support you. We are committed to making it accessible to share your story. Please let us know how we can best accommodate and enable you to do so.

We invite you to pitch us a blog post or we can do a 30-minute remote video interview (that we will edit). Both opportunities are paid. Check out our COVID-19 resources page for examples of recent blogs and remote videos.

If you’d like to share your story, please feel free email us at [email protected] with the following info or you can also leave this information in a voicemail at: 206-324-1521 extension 242

  • Your Name:
  • Your City and State:
  • Your Disability:
  • A few sentences about your experience with special education/educational accommodations as a student.
  • Whether you would prefer to write a blog or be interviewed for a video (that we would edit for you).
Anna Zivarts is the program director of Rooted in Rights and a low-vision mom who can't drive. She joined the Rooted in Rights team from Time of Day Media, a digital media cooperative she co-founded in 2010. At Time of Day, Anna produced digital video for the Innocence Project and Fight for 15, and lead searches for the ACLU in Kansas and Wisconsin to find citizens disenfranchised by voter ID laws. Twitter: @AnnaZivarts