Temple St. News Story on DLC Special Education Conference
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Temple St. News Story on DLC Special Education Conference


Like most young people, Angelina Hernandez,
Dan Harris and Harry Goulart (Goo – LART) have hopes and dreams for their personal and
work lives after finishing with school. All three have been students in the public education
system. The only differences in reaching their aspirations has been in their everyday struggle
in living with disabilities. Their efforts to find schooling or work after their public
education years have led them to a growing Massachusetts non-profit organization called
the Disability Law Center. On February 12, Temple Street caught up with
the students at an Educational Transition Conference run by the Disability Law Center.
Children and parents gathered at the Metropolitan Community Room in Chinatown to listen to the
stories, trials, and advice of family members and advocacy lawyers who have all had experiences
in the field of special education, and specifically the area of “transition services.” Alan Kerzin, the Executive Director of the
DLC, gave a moving speech about the importance of DLC’s work, including its commitment to
advocating for young people with disabilities approaching graduation age. ALAN KERZIN speaks The main focus of the conference, Kerzin said,
was educating students and parents about their rights to receive, during high school years,
training in work, independent living and social skills. DLC also spoke about a bill called
“Bridges to Success” a proposal to create an opportunities for students with disabilities
by providing them with services from various government agencies once they graduate. The
bill would help students with disabilities move on to college or work. ALAN KERZIN speaks Dan Harris, a freshman at Quincy College,
spoke about why developing skills in self-advocacy, highlighted during the conference, is so important
as students are moving from school to work or independent living. DAN HARRIS speaks This special education conference is developed
to benefit parents like Liz and Rosia, whose children Harry and Angelina will face challenges
as they leave high school for adult life, including college or employment. LIZ GOULART speaks Pamela Coveney (COVE-a-nee), a staff attorney
from the Disability Law Center, which has represented hundreds of special education
students, including Harry and Angelina. PAMELA COVENEY speaks Thanks to
the DLC, the fight for this equality movement
continues for so many students seeking opportunities through special education. Ultimately, this
battle will be fought by DLC on many fronts, including community trainings, legislative
advocacy, and promoting and supporting self-advocacy by people with disabilities.

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