This last month, eLuma representatives participated in the Special Education Legislative Summit in Alexandria, Virginia. Every year the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) & the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) stage this event to educate and unify administrators, educators, academics and other stakeholders to facilitate meaningful advocacy with Congressional leaders. The ultimate hope is to create awareness and drive legislative accommodation to make special education better.
This year, over 250 delegates from forty five states convened at the Westin Alexandria hotel to hear from leaders about special education’s most critical issues – and also receive instruction on protocols and how to more effectively advocate. Some of the noteworthy speakers included OSEP Director Valerie Williams, former OSERS Director, Laurie VanderPloeg, CEC President Dani Kovach, CASE President Kindel Mason, NASP President Celeste Malone and many others. (It should also be noted that our own CEO, Jeremy Glauser, was invited to speak before the entire group and share his thoughts on the current mental health crisis.) The primary focus of the event centered on three briefs for delegates to take up with their respective Congressional representatives.
Pictured: OSEP Director Valerie Williams
At a national level, these are all issues that have reached a crisis level and warrant immediate attention and intervention. With the well-being of millions of children at stake, it is imperative that we all share and take action. Each individual brief will be addressed in subsequent posts within the eLuma blog.
Pictured: eLuma team & Utah CASE
ADVOCATING TO CONGRESS
eLuma is deeply committed to the special education community and feels an obligation to not only serve, but to also take ownership of the responsibility to advocate. This year, eLuma sent four members of its team to participate in the Summit and march to the capitol to meet with the congressional leaders from the great states of California and Utah. While the temperatures of Washington DC in July were soaring, we were nonetheless deeply grateful for the privilege and the opportunity to learn, advocate and witness democracy in action. It was an incredible experience and we know we’ll be headed back in 2023!