The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) serves as the Development Disabilities Planning Council for Virginia, working for the benefit of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to identify needs and to development policies, programs, and services that will meet those needs. They recently released a 2017 Assessment of Virginia’s Disability Services in Education, where they compared test scores, combined vs separate education, graduation rates, and more.
It was found that although the 2014-2015 academic proficiency rates for students with disabilities have gone up in math, English, and reading since previous years, the gap between students with disabilities and students without disabilities has slightly increased as well. This means that the academic proficiency rates for students without disabilities went up slightly higher than the proficiency rates for students with disabilities did. The VBPD made many recommendations throughout this report, including increasing the amount of meaningfully inclusive educational experiences throughout the Commonwealth, as only 63% of students with disabilities spent at least 80% of the school day in general education classes.
While we should recognize and celebrate the progress and accomplishments that have been made for people with disabilities in education, it is important to remember to continually spread awareness and promote inclusion so that this progress continues! Check out our education initiatives to see what is being done today, and how you can help.