Posts Tagged ‘education’

Listening is More Important than Hearing

Posted on August 22nd, 2013 by

Doctor showing elderly man documentsBy Paul Khouri, ERC Civil Rights intern

Growing up in Jordan with multiple disabilities, I learned firsthand the realities of disability issues in developing countries.  When I moved to the United States, I hoped to see a place where people with disabilities were given better opportunities.  Reading about the struggles of Michael Argenyi – a deaf medical student who is suing Creighton University School of Medicine for denying him access to an interpreter for his clinical training – tells me that the barrier walls of deaf people and people with disabilities in general have yet to be torn down.

I recognize that providing deaf individuals with resources to help them understand academic courses better is costly. Interpreters and real time captioning are expensive. Even Mr. Argenyi himself states that he paid more than $100,000 out of his own pocket to have interpreters and transcription services available for his course work. For this reason, a higher education institution that admits a student should not agree to provide certain accommodations – as Creighton did, initially in providing note takers, priority seating, and audio podcasts – and then, at a later time reject the student’s needs when these accommodations turn out to be inadequate resources and tools. (more…)

Categorized as Advocacy, Civil Rights, Disability Rights, Fair Employment
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No Child Left Behind, Regardless of Race

Posted on April 3rd, 2012 by

By Mistead Sai, ERC Intern

One Caucasian and Two African American kids smiling outsideIn early March, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), reporting startling information about racial disparities within school systems across the U.S. This data is intended to be a national tool to analyze the equity and educational opportunities in K-12 schools and districts, and covers about 85% of the nation’s public school students.

The CRDC reported that African-American students are more than three and one-half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers. The study also found that more than 70% of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement are Hispanic or African-American. In addition, African-American students have higher suspension rates than any of their peers; one in five (20%) African-American boys, and more than one in ten (10%) African-American girls received an out-of-school suspension. On the other hand, Caucasian boys had a rate of 12%, and Caucasian girls a rate of 3% for out-of school suspension. Despite these numbers, the Christian Science Monitor writes that the “data suggests that there’s little evidence that black children exhibit higher rates of actual deviance than white children.” (more…)

Categorized as Civil Rights
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(Don’t) Let Our Kids Forget: Perspectives from a Young Civil Rights Advocate

Posted on October 14th, 2011 by

By Alice Thompson, Civil Rights Intern at the ERC

Photo of Alice ThompsonThe Southern Poverty Law Center recently released a report detailing the low standards of knowledge and understanding required of students regarding the U.S. civil rights movement. As a civil rights intern with the Equal Rights Center, this news greatly concerned me. Lessons from the civil rights movement are quite relevant to today’s issues. With the constant release of news reports regarding discrimination lawsuits, the pervasiveness of racial tensions in U.S. society, and racial disparities in socioeconomic status, it is discouraging to think that today’s children are not encouraged to learn about the history of civil rights, how race relations began, and how we got to where we are today.

The emphasis on the civil rights movement in my early education was one of the only reasons that, as an upper-middle-class white girl from Pittsburgh, I could even imagine a career in civil rights advocacy. It was from reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry that I, then nine years old, understood the detrimental racial and socioeconomic effects of share-cropping in the early 20th century. It was from reenacting Rosa Parks’ fateful interaction with that bus driver that I knew what it was like to be told to sit in the back of the bus.  And it was from watching videos of the “I Have a Dream” speech, looking at pictures of sit-ins, and reading about countless marches and boycotts, that I learned that one must never give up or stop fighting for equality. These experiences have guided me and my classmates in our current pursuits of civil rights advocacy, urban development and community organizing. (more…)

Categorized as Advocacy, Civil Rights
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