Let Her Learn: Stopping School Pushout for Girls with Disabilities
Girls with disabilities face significant barriers to getting the education to which they are entitled. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees students with disabilities ages 3 to 21 the right to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and requires that special education and related services be made available to every eligible child. Yet many girls with disabilities are missing out on the educational opportunities that the law promises them. Studies suggest that schools are not identifying all of those girls who have disabilities, and even when girls with disabilities are identified, the special education services they receive may not be sufficient to help them succeed in school and prepare for life after school. Girls with disabilities also experience substantial barriers—insufficient attention, disproportionate discipline, sexual abuse and violence, and restraint and seclusion—that endanger their ability to stay and succeed in school, as well as their future employment and financial prospects.