First and foremost, to DADD’s Black members, Black students and their families, and Black practitioners – your lives matter. We share the outrage and grief and condemn the killings of our Black brothers and sisters, as well as the terrible injustice and bias that continues to dictate their fates. We support the expression of hurt, anger, and outrage that has stemmed from centuries of systemic racism.
The Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities joins with other organizations and individuals calling for action to end racial injustice and violence to people of color in this country. Children with autism, intellectual disability, and other developmental disabilities and the practitioners who serve them are not immune to racial injustice. Practitioners of color face biases and discrimination every day. Our students of color are referred to special education at higher rates than their white peers and yet do not have access to the same services. These points alone bring another meaning to the words, “I can’t breathe.”
These events impart urgency to our ongoing efforts at DADD to combat bias and advance social justice, equity, and inclusion. We acknowledge that the majority of special education practitioners are white, and practitioners are not yet equipped to incorporate racial justice in their daily practices. We recognize our responsibilities to listen to people of color and engage in self-reflection. We commit to educating ourselves and others on how to serve as allies and how to be anti-racist.
Please refer to DADD Diversity Tab for anti-racism resources.