A bill sponsored by Democratic 21st District state Sen. Paull Shin that passed the Senate last week aims to help developmentally disabled students make the transition from high school to post-secondary education.
The bill now heads for the state House of Representatives.
Shin said that the bill, which passed by a unanimous vote, would increase accessibility for developmentally disabled students entering higher education.
He said that the bill would assemble a task force of stakeholders from K-12 and postsecondary institutions with the objective of making the transition seamless and successful for students with disabilities.
“Kids with developmental disabilities are just like any other kids,” Shin said Monday. “They just need a little extra help. It’s not their fault that they’re disabled. They deserve the same opportunities as anyone else.”
The task force would select a statewide method of sharing best practices between education institutions, improve outreach to students and their families regarding available options in higher education and investigate the creation of a statewide database of student disability accommodation equipment, software, and resources owned by school districts and post-secondary education institutions.
“Just because a child is born with a developmental disability doesn’t mean we should give up on them,” Shin said. “They can live normal lives; we just need to put in a little extra effort to help make that happen. That starts with making sure that our education system works for them and prepares them for the rest of their lives, just as we do with all other children.”
Shin represents most of Edmonds, all of Mukilteo, part of south Everett and the rest of the 21st Legislative District.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org