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Voice: Many resources in Valley regarding people with disabilities

March 08, 2002

The recent discussion regarding children with disabilities reveals a lack of awareness on the part of many in our community on the nature and causes of the many types of disabling conditions, and on the positive outcomes people with disabilities can have when provided with appropriate education, therapy and intervention programs.

Fortunately, there are many resources in Imperial County where people can obtain accurate and up to date information on a variety of disabilities.

The Autism Support Group of Imperial Valley has extensive information on autism. The Imperial County Office of Education provides educational programs and resources for children with disabilities from birth to age 21. The Imperial County Office of San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled is an excellent source for information on developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism and also has information on prevention of developmental disabilities.

The Exceptional Family Resource Center has an extensive library of books, videotapes, pamphlets, and other information on a wide variety of disabilities. Also ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) is an excellent source of information on mental retardation.


Imperial Valley College offers courses for anyone interested in learning more about children and adults with disabilities.

"Understanding Exceptional Students" (DSPS 1/ECE 27) surveys the entire range of disabling conditions including physical, mental, emotional, sensory, speech and learning disabilities and the educational settings appropriate for each.

"Working With Autistic Children" (Special Studies 51) examines the characteristics of children with autism and the various treatment methods used with autistic children. Look for the next IVC schedule for the times and locations for these courses.

And finally, for a healthy dose of awareness, everyone is invited to come to Imperial Valley College from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 25 for Disability Awareness Day. The day will feature a presentation by Chris Burke, Golden Globe nominated actor who happens to have Down syndrome. On this day you will also see over 1,000 special ed children showing us who they are first and foremost: CHILDREN. Not "drug babies" or any other demeaning label, but simply children who have the same needs as any other child: to be cared for by loving adults, educated by dedicated teachers and accepted by their communities as unique individuals.

I urge everyone to avail themselves of these resources and learn more about children with disabilities.



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