About the Campaign
“Equality for Our Kids: Stand Up, Speak Out, and Take Action” is Special Needs Network’s year-long initiative to correct the injustice in the allocation of state funding for autism services to African American and Latino children in California.
Last year, for autistic children 3 to 6 years old, the California Department of Developmental Services spent an average of $11,723 per white child compared with $11,063 on Asians, $7,634 on Latinos and $6,593 on African Americans.
“Equality for Our Kids” is focused on raising awareness and urging key policymakers to put an end to this outrageous inequity.
Why You Should Join the Movement
The earlier a child is diagnosed with autism or any developmental disability, the sooner they can receive intensive therapies, which indisputably improve cognition, social skills, and speech and language development.
Autistic children who receive early intervention have a greater chance of being mainstreamed in school, integrated into their community, graduate from high school and live independently. Without early intervention, many children miss critical opportunities for development and will ultimately be forced into institutional care, which actually uses more state spending than early intervention services. Due to the striking disparities in how services are distributed, autistic children who come from racial minority or low-socioeconomic households are at a blatant disadvantage compared to their wealthier counterparts.
“Equality for Our Kids” follows the philosophy that all autistic children have the same right to the same opportunities.
- Call for Senate President pro Tem and Senate Select Committee on Autism to convene hearings to direct the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to develop standards for fair distribution of funding for autism services.
- Call for the formation of a joint sub-committee of assembly and senate members to specifically address the current disparities in services offered.
- Call for the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District to investigate the inequity in services offered to students in affluent neighborhoods versus those in low-income communities.
- Engage thousands of parents and stakeholders across the state to get involved.
You Can Make a Difference
- Join Special Needs Network in a massive letter writing campaign to urge Governor Jerry Brown to hold the Department of Developmental Disabilities accountable.
- Support our cause online by following us on Facebook and Twitter and participating in discussions on ways to raise awareness and find potential solutions.
- Sign the petition to demand equitable allocation of funding for all children with special needs.
- Call your local, county, and state officials to urge them to allocate more funding for resources to underserved families.
- Learn how to become a special needs advocate and a grassroots leader by participating in our Parent Advocacy Mentor Program.
Please contact us by e-mail or phone if you want to request additional campaign materials.