Home > IDEA 2004 > Position Paper: Improving the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making Schools Work for All of America's Children
National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency making recommendations
to the President and Congress on issues affecting 54 million Americans with disabilities.
NCD is composed of 15 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the
U.S. Senate. In May, 1995, the NCD published Improving
the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Making
Schools Work for All of America's Children. With regard to the use of restraints
and aversives, the NCD wrote,
While it is possible to understand the desperation of these parents, to share their exasperation with ineffective programs and treatments, and to sympathize with them in their frustration to locate appropriate programs, there are limits to what society can permit in the name of treatment. There are those in our society who would advocate for severe physical punishment or even the mutilation of prisoners convicted of what everyone would agree are heinous crimes. Yet these prisoners are afforded protection under the law from this treatment, even though there are those who would claim that such treatment would "teach them a lesson." Students with severe behavioral disabilities are not criminals, and yet present law allows them to be subjected to procedures which cannot be used on the most hardened criminals, or, in some cases, even on animals. Public funds intended to provide positive educational experiences and results for children should not be expended to have these children subjected to unproven, experimental, dangerous, or violent program procedures which--by design--result in pain, physical injuries, psychological damage, hunger, social deprivation, or other such negative experiences, whether they are authorized by desperate parents or not. In any other context the use of these procedures would be considered child (or dependent) abuse or neglect. They should not be viewed as "treatment" just because a student has a disability. Under the present situation, the potential for abuse is great. Indeed, through its support of these procedures used on children with disabilities, the United States could be cited for human rights violations against people with disabilities under its own Country Reports on Human Rights published annually by the Department of State.
here to read NCD's Position Paper.
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Copyright © 1998-2023, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.