Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
As parents of students with disabilities, we want to see our children grow to become productive citizens who work, live and contribute to the community. Why do we see an "inclusionary vision" for our children? Because:
- Studies show children with disabilities learn and succeed at a higher rate when they learn together with "typical" children whose skills and behavior they can model. Adults with disabilities are more likely to live and work in non-segregated settings if they have been educated in non-segregated schools.
- All students benefit when teachers learn how to modify the curriculum to meet the diverse learning needs of students.
- Non-disabled students grow in maturity and tolerance, and benefit by being given the opportunity to experience a school community that mirrors the diversity of the real world in which they - and their peers with disabilities - will one day work and live.
If you'd like to know more about special education in the Fort Worth ISD, please come to one of the meetings of the Special Education Advisory Committee. SEAC is a volunteer group of parents, teachers, school administrators and others who want to improve programs and services for students with disabilities in Fort Worth. If you'd like to talk about your concerns, meet other parents of special-needs children, and get involved in making things better, come see us!
SEAC meetings are open to the public, and both members and visitors are welcome to participate in discussions of agenda items.
If you are bringing an issue or concern to the meeting, you will be given five minutes to speak. You may bring a written statement about an issue or concern, or fill out one of the blank "action item" forms available at every meeting. Your information will be presented to special education department administrators, and SEAC members will follow up on the situation.
Who We Are
The Fort Worth ISD Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC):
- Supports the district's focus on academic and/or vocational training for all students.
- Works to create a school culture in which all students know they belong, are valued, and are expected to learn.
- Supports Fort Worth ISD's current efforts to bring general and special education together into a more collaborative, unified system better prepared to meet the increasingly diverse needs of all students, with and without disabilities.
- Advocates compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which states students with disabilities should be educated in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE). For most students, the first option considered should be placement in a general education classroom with appropriate supports. (For some students - for example, deaf children - the LRE may not be a "general" classroom but one in which they can communicate most easily with deaf peers, interpreters and teachers.) However, we recognize the need for a wide-ranging continuum of services and placement options to meet students' diverse academic, vocational and social needs.
- Promotes and encourages greater involvement by parents of students with disabilities. As members of their ARD committee, and also as school volunteers, community activists, voters and SEAC members, parents can be a powerful voice for children with special needs.
- Urges political leaders, business people and social service organizations to think "outside the box" and create new ways for adults with disabilities to live, work and participate in the life of the community. We want our children to become productive, tax-paying citizens.
Among its past efforts, the Special Education Advisory Committee has held public forums, sent members to attend statewide conferences on special education/inclusion, written letters to state and local school officials, presented issues before the Fort Worth ISD Board, held meetings with top district administrators, spoken at staff workshops and to local teacher organizations, completed a survey of parent perceptions/concerns, and assigned members to attend ARD meetings as advocates for families.