On today's show, Adrian visits The Jeffrey Foundation in Los Angeles and talks with Alyce Morris, Founder and President and Marvin Espinoza, Executive Director.
Disability does not discriminate; it can affect anyone, young or old. With advances in technology and raised awareness about physical and mental disabilities more is being done to provide opportunities for disabled children to excel and, in many cases, learn to function independently as adults.
Disability is part of human diversity, and children with disabilities are as capable as everyone else—if they are given the chance to fully participate in society.
93 million kids around the world—are living with a moderate or severe disability of some kind. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8 percent of American children under 15 have disabilities. Of the 53.9 million school-age children 5 to 17, about 2.8 million were reported as having a disability
For a long time, children with disabilities were educated in separate classes or in separate schools. People got used to the idea that special education meant separate education. But we now know that when children are educated together, positive academic and social outcomes occur for all the children involved.
One of the most obvious advantages of inclusion is the fact that students with disabilities can be integrated socially with their peers. They can create long-lasting friendships that would not be otherwise possible, and these friendships can give them the skills to navigate social relationships later on in life.
Whether children are separated based on race, ability, or any other characteristic, a separate education is not an equal education. Research shows that typical children and children with disabilities learn as much or more in inclusive classes.
And this brings us to today's charity, The Jeffrey Foundation.
The Jeffrey Foundation is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that strives to improve the quality of life for special needs children and their families through the development of community-based therapeutic, recreational, educational, and social programs. No other agency provides such a wide range of services for disabled and at-risk children and their families. Their programs have benefited thousands of special needs children and their families.
The Jeffrey Foundation was started in 1972 by a young mother unable to find day care for her adopted son, Jeffrey, who had muscular dystrophy. She sought out other parents in similar circumstances, and what began as an informal recreation and support group has evolved into the remarkable agency it is today, internationally acclaimed as a pioneer in improving and enriching the lives of physically and developmentally disabled children. Jeffrey died in 1980. But the foundation that bears his name remains a tender monument to a loving son and a lifeline for other special needs children and their families.
Adrian sat down with Alyce Morris, Founder and President and Marvin Espinoza, Executive Director to talk about the work Jeffrey Foundation is doing.