The Rights of Children with Disabilities

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 500 to 650 million people are living with significant disabilities throughout the world. That means that around 10-percent of the children in the world have a disability of some type.

Considering that 10-percent of the children in the world have one, being born with a disability isn’t that uncommon. For that reason, the rights of children with disabilities are an important topic.

If you have a child with a disability, knowing his or her rights is essential when it comes to their education and even day-to-day life. Your child may not know when they’re being discriminated against simply because they have a disability, but it’s your job as a parent to know, and protect them.

Knowing the laws can help you protect your child and make sure they live a fulfilling, rewarding life as a child so they’ll be prepared to handle adult life with strength and grace.

Fundamental Rights

As Americans, individuals with disabilities are offered all of the same general rights that other Americans are. In no way should these rights be taken away from individuals with disabilities.

  • Freedom of expression. Individuals with disabilities have the right to express themselves freely like anybody else in the United States.
  • When action is taken for a disabled child, the best interest of the child should always be at the forefront of consideration.
  • Individuals with disabilities shall enjoy the same freedoms given to adults as put forth in the Constitution.

Rights in Education

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 was designed to help protect children with disabilities from discrimination in K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions. Every child with a disability has a right to access education at a level that is appropriate for them, and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 promises a free public education to all disabled students in the United States.

  • Children with physical disabilities should be properly accommodated in the classroom and given physical access to all of the same materials and classes.
  • Children with disabilities related to their health should also be properly accommodated in school situations, and not discriminated against because or kept from other classmates or social situations as long as they are not unhealthy for the disabled student or peer group.
  • Individualized education plans (IEPs) should be implemented for students with special education needs. Children with disabilities may not always be able to keep pace with the rest of the peer group and should receive specialized education if necessary. Individualized education plans are to be developed by the school in conjunction with the parent and disabled student.

Children with disabilities should be treated fairly and with respect, and given the same opportunities for education within the school system.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Fighting Discrimination

If you feel like your child is the victim of discrimination in any part of their life, it’s important that you work to fight this discrimination, especially if it is occurring in your child’s school. IN some cases, school officials may not be aware of obvious or overt discrimination, and bringing it to their attention will be enough to remedy it.

However, some cases require legal assistance. As a parent, it’s your job to stand up for the rights of your child, so you need to go to bat for them. Seeking legal assistance to get your child the rights they are guaranteed and deserve may be necessary.

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