Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Annette Lambeth, Continuing the Fight in Special Education

Fairness is something that we work hard to teach our children. We teach them about sharing their toys, allowing others a turn on the swing set, and the value that reaching out towards others has. At the same time, we still live in a society that is rampant with inequality. Despite the United State’s belief that “all men are created equal”, there is no denying that the truth is far from this. If we look to our education system, this is certainly the case. Students in low-income areas of the United States have less access to resources and opportunities than those in more economically sound areas. Even within affluent neighborhoods, districts, or private school, there is serious inequality. One of the populations of students that is least represented are those in special education. These are students with physical, mental, or learning disabilities that require extra attention, resources, and methods in order to get an equal opportunity at education to their peers.

For educator Annette Lambeth (on Pinterest), fighting for the rights of students with disabilities has been part of her professional life for years. She is currently working as the Executive Director of Student Support Services in the Adams 12 Five Star School District in Colorado, and as such she has overseen a great improvement across all aspects of Special Education programming. Annette Lambeth supervises related services including mental health services, health services, school Medicaid, and the overall budget pertaining to these programs. This is a massive responsibility in terms of logistics, but it is equally challenging in terms of mentality.

Teachers need to be aware of the difficulties that can arise with conditions such as Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, hearing or visual impairment, emotional disturbance, and many others. Parents do as well. At the same time, reducing any student in special education down to their specific disability would be a huge mistake. Students are more than the sum of their disability. They are unique individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, interests, and personalities. Recognizing this and using it to their advantage is part of working in the special education classroom.

Annette Lambeth works tirelessly towards education equality because since 1975, the federal government has pledged support for all schools helping to cultivate strong educational resources for children with any disability or condition that affects the way that they learn. Her passion has motivated her to take up this legacy in the Adams 12 Five Star District for the ultimate benefit for her students.

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