1. We shall honor and respect the diverse backgrounds of our colleagues including such diverse
characteristics as sexual orientation, race, national origin, religious beliefs, or other affiliations.
Respecting equity and diversity in the workplace is essential. Everyone has the same rights in the workplace and their differences need to be valued and acknowledged. As educators we should always exhibit respect for others.
2. We shall continually be aware of issues challenging the field of early childhood special education
and advocate for changes in laws, regulations, and policies leading to improved outcomes and services for young children with disabilities and their family.
I am an advocate to help parents understand that they are often the best educational advocates for their children, especially children with a learning disability. True advocacy is a positive process, which should build children’s strengths and challenges. When parents and teachers advocate together a positive educational, social, and mental change will take place in your child’s life. As educators and administrators we are responsible in keeping abreast of legislation, public policy and new trends in education that will improve and promote positive outcomes for children.
3. We shall respect families’ rights to choose or refuse early childhood special education or related services.
Parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children, including the right to choose a private school and work with a team of teachers to develop an IEP for their child. The Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974 provides that no state shall deny equal educational opportunities to an individual on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, or national origin. I am a supporter of the legislation. Too many students are labeled too early as special needs students. I have encountered several students who were tagged special needs that are now lawyers, doctors, and teachers. Some students need more time and patience. Educators should give them the time. If you do not have the time, maybe you have chosen the wrong field of study.
Memorable Expression: Advocacy is not about you, but about others who need a voice. Renatta M. Cooper