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Parents of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Fight for Inclusion

As the mental health debate heats up in schools, students with intellectual disabilities from their peers face continued stigma as they remain isolated.

For the past three decades, public schools have supposedly been doing their best to keep students with intellectual disabilities with their peers in a regular education setting. However, research shows that between 55 and 73 percent of those with intellectually disabilities still spend most or all of their day in segregated placements. By not developing those social skills children are being set up for an unsettled future.


"Given the legal mandate, it is surprising that such a large proportion of students are consistently placed in restrictive settings," said Matthew Brock, an assistant professor of special education at The Ohio State University who worked on the study. Brock's study will be published in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

During the '90s and the first decade of the 21st century the education world has pushed for school districts to integrate students with intellectual disabilities into mainstream or regular education settings. By 2010, 18 percent of students with intellectual disabilities were spending at least 80 percent of their day in general education classes, but that has leveled off. In his report, Brock admitted that it is not realistic to have all students with disabilities be exclusively in general education classes, but he thinks "we need to find opportunities for all kids to spend some time with peers who don't have disabilities if we are going to follow the spirit and letter of the law."

Liza Long, a mental health advocate and author of "The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness," in an op-ed compared fighting for the rights of children to being in a war. As tragic mass shootings in schools gained more prevalence in the American media, parents of neuro-typical students have been wary of their children being in the same classroom as students with both intellectual disabilities and behavioral disorders. But this practice only attaches an even greater stigma to students with intellectual disabilities.

According to Long, "What is the logical consequence of taking 100 students with behavioral and emotional symptoms between the ages of 12 to 21, 95% of whom are male, and putting them together in a program that will not allow them to earn a high school diploma or to learn to interact with neurotypical peers?

"In our society, too often the consequence is prison."

So what is the answer? Schools must fight against the disorder by equipping themselves with proper treatment plans and early prevention strategies which could change the trajectory of a student's future from a life of uncertainty and despair to becoming a productive member of society.

Black Women Have Higher Rates of Life-Threatening Birth Complications

New study shows women of color have a 70 percent higher rate of major birth problems, even when they suffer the same health ailments as white women.

REUTERS

The University of Michigan released a study that shows women of color have higher rates of major birth problems. Many required emergency treatment such as blood transfusions — a staggering three-quarters of cases —for women suffering a serious hemorrhage.

The study of 40,873 women between 2012-2015 revealed Black women had 70 percent higher rate of severe birth-related health issues than white women, and that a disparity existed in terms of needing life-saving treatment—50.5 Black mothers vs. 40.9 white mothers per 10,000.

Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C.

"Celebrities like Serena Williams who have shared their birth-related emergency stories publicly have drawn the national spotlight to the urgent need to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care for women around the time of delivery. To drive and target those changes, we need specific data like these," said Lindsay Admon, M.D., M.Sc., the study's lead author.

Williams, who has a history of blood clots, began feeling short of breath in the hospital the day after her daughter Alexis Olympia was born. A nurse said her pain medication was likely confusing her, but Williams was persistent and it saved her life.

"Situations like these are often considered near misses, and looking at them allows us to get a better picture of who the high-risk women really are," said Admon, an obstetrician at Michigan Medicine's Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, and a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Maternal Morbidity: Study reveals disparities by race and ethnicity.

All women who had chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, depression or substance use issues before giving birth had a higher risk for the continuation of those problems post-child birth, but women of color with two or more conditions were two to three times more likely to have major birth problems than white women.

White women had higher rates of depression and substance use issues than any other group, but the risk for birth problems was lower than women of color with the same health issues.

While Medicaid pays for almost two-thirds of all births among women of color, access to care is another issue that affects births and post birth health. Medicaid pays for more than a third of births of white and Asian women.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Blacks and Latinos were more likely than whites to face barriers in access to health care.

Between 2013 and 2015, disparities with whites narrowed for Blacks and Latinos in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, including the percentage of uninsured working-age adults, the percentage who skipped care because of costs, and the percentage who lacked a regular care provider.

Medicaid pays for most procedures for women of color.

Dunkin' Donuts Employee in Maine Refused to Serve a Somali Model, Then Called the Cops

"This is America 2018 right here. Racism and discrimination," Hamdia Ahmed said.

A Maine Dunkin' Donuts employee refused to serve model Hamdia Ahmed, and her family, for speaking Somali and then called the police on them.

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Greendale High Student Suspended After Being Called the N-Word at School

Black students at the school say it's a daily occurrence and nothing is done by the administration.

Screenshot of Chanese Knox

Greendale High School junior, Chanese Knox, was suspended last month after arguing with another student who called her the n-word.

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VIDEO: Georgia Police Chief Defends Officer Accused of Manhandling the 12-year-old He Arrested

According to Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register, "All he was doing was holding the young man by the arm."

A Cobb County police officer has been criticized for manhandling a 12-year old boy before his arrest at a Georgia mall earlier this month.

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Black Man Suffering from Mental Health Illness Dies After Police Use Taser and Tackle Him in the Street

His sister, who said she left the U.S. to protect her Black son, never thought her brother would be the victim.

TWITTER/ @opalayo

Chinedu Valentine Okobi, 36, a Black man, father, Morehouse College graduate, uncle and brother died of cardiac arrest after San Mateo County police tackled and repeatedly used a Taser on him in Millibrae, south of San Francisco, Calif.

Okobi was struggling with mental illness and had been weaving in and out of traffic downtown on the busy street, El Camino Real.

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N.J. Governor Orders Probe Into Hiring Process of Top Official Accused of Sexual Assault

"On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017, I learned that the system is broken," Katie Brennan said in a statement.

N.J. Governor Phil Murphy / REUTERS

A scandal touches Trenton, as the former chief of staff of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, Albert J. Alvarez, steps down from his $140,000-a-year job after being accused of sexual assault.

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VIDEO: Patient Attacked at St. Louis Hospital by Security Guard

"220 pounds of white daytime TV muscle on top of her."

Vanity Allen went to the hospital for stomach pains and ended up being brutally assaulted by a hospital security guard in July.

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Mistaken Vote Gets Black Woman Sent to Federal Prison

"I attempted to vote in November 2016 under the impression I had a voice, unaware that my voice had been taken away from me to cast a vote," Crystal Mason said.

YOUTUBE

As stories of voter suppression attempts, such as in Georgia and North Dakota, continue to surface, in Fort Worth, Texas, Crystal Mason is currently serving 10 months in federal prison for voting. There's also a possibility she could serve an additional five years for voter fraud.

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