Each year the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) hosts the Building Partnerships Conference to help families and educators learn more about the rights of children with disabilities and how educators and families can work together to ensure that these rights are protected and children learn. We appreciate MDE inviting Families as Allies to present at the conference.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting covered the Building Partnerships Conference with a special radio report by Desare Frazier.
During the parent-focused conference, the Mississippi Department of Education provided guidance and training for parents, teachers, and advocates of children with disabilities.
Mona Spells-Adou of the Mississippi Department of Education told MPB that children with 13 conditions such as autism, visual and hearing impairments, and physical disabilities in public schools must receive special services by law.
It is essential for parents of children with disabilities to learn their way through Mississippi’s public education system to better serve their children. “Because in order for parents to be able to hold district staff accountable and to hold us accountable, they need to understand what that law says and how it affects the outcome of their student,” Spells-Adou told MPB.
Families as Allies’ Joy Hogge was also interviewed for the report. “With COVID going on and all that has happened with that, the laws didn’t change and the rights didn’t change but helping them to access that during the time of COVID is more challenging,” Hogge told MPB.
We’re very thankful for this coverage from MPB on a vital event in Mississippi; it’s important for parents to know that Mississippi’s educational system is required to provide these services and that parents and caregivers can get this sort of guidance and empowerment to make sure the children in their care receive these services.