FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Federation of the Blind Comments on Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos’ Remarks Regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Baltimore, Maryland (January 18, 2017): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation's leading advocate for the equal education of blind students, commented today on responses given by President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, at her confirmation hearing yesterday regarding the obligations of schools under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The National Federation of the Blind believes that all blind students, regardless of where they attend school, are entitled to equal educational opportunities, and that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its implementing regulations are clear on this point. Sadly, all too often schools across the country fail to meet their federal obligations to the blind and other students with disabilities, and so it is critical that the Department of Education continues to enforce IDEA's requirements. We therefore call upon Betsy DeVos to publicly commit that she will, if confirmed, vigorously enforce IDEA and take all other necessary measures to protect the rights of students who are blind or who have other disabilities throughout our nation. As a father of two blind children and President of the National Federation of the Blind, I am well aware that innovation is sorely needed in educational services provided to blind children, and we are prepared to work closely with our nation’s educational leaders to raise the standards of excellence for the blind in our schools.”