California Deafblind Services

Gloria: Celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Durango, Mexico

12/09/2011 11:05

Last week in Durango, Mexico (see map below) I was invited by the Department of Special Education of the Secretary of Education of that state to be a speaker at their celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Here is a link that explains this day:

They asked me to talk about the “Importance of Parents in the Development of their Children with Disabilities” and on “Classroom Conditions that Support Students with Multiple Disabilities including Students with Deaf-blindness."  I spoke with parents and teachers in Durango (the capital of the state of Durango) and in Gomez (the birthplace of my co-worker Myrna Medina). 

This type of event is part of a shift that I have observed happening in Mexico over the last few years at the central and state governmental level, with the support of international agencies like Perkins International.  The goals are for teachers in special education schools to work more with students with multiple disabilities, including deaf-blindness, and that the students with mild to moderate disabilities who are served in special education centers will transition to general education programs (there are already some that are attending general education schools).

This shift is also happening at the parents' level.  Special education administrators would like parents to have a more active role in the decision-making of the education of their child with special needs, as well as to promote leadership within these parents.

The response to my presentations was very positive. It was clear to me that many people in Durango--administrators, technical assistance providers, teachers, and parents--want more integration of all people with special needs into society.