Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Gift from Dr. Lon Kuntze's Class from Boston University For New Yorkers

Thanks to Dr. Lon Kuntze's brilliant idea! He is a director of the Programs in Deaf Studies at BU that comprise an M.Ed program in Deaf Education, a BS program in Deaf Studies, and ASL program, and he came up with the idea to assign his graduate students to write letters to the governor instead of assigning his typical project.  In Dr. Kuntze's literacy acquisition class, they just completed a section of the course on the context of learning and development. They believe strongly that the real issue to come to term with in deaf education is that of context of learning. We need to resolve for each child the kind of context that will support optimal learning and development; only then will we have the basis for figuring out the kind of placement that will provide such a context.

(excerpts are provided in between clips to convey what was written in these letters, subtitles coming soon)




http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo1(unknown)

http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo2 by Sarah Godwin


http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo3 Kira Bell

http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo4 by Morgan Lee


http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo5   by Geoffrey Hall


http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo6  by Micaela Long 

http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo7 (unknown)


http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo8 by Jon Henner

http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo9 by Jennifier Kline

http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo10  by Kira Stewart


http://tinyurl.com/lettertoCuomo11 by Colleen Ward

The remaining two students have not given me permission yet about publishing their names but if they let me know soon, I will add their names as well.

Thank you Dr. Kuntze for coming up with this special project. Thank you to all of you students for dedicating your time to write powerful letters to the Governor and giving your permission to share your letters as templates that any of the New Yorkers can copy and paste with their signatures.

Please New Yorkers, let's bombard the Governor and other designated government officials with these letters! It will take you less than five minutes to do it :-)

Suggestions to write to but not limited to: Senate Majority Leader Skelos, Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Minority Leader Sampson and Assembly Minority Leader Kolb (he supported 4201 schools and spoke at the rally), Dr. Judy Cort

Sunday, March 13, 2011

N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part VI) "The Closing of the Rally"

This is Part VI of VI of the 4201 rally video clip as it shows the picture with Senator Alesi.and a march to outside of Governor Cuomo's office. (subtitled)



N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part V) "Howard A. Rosenblum's Speech"

Howard A. Rosenblum will be the future CEO, National Association of the Deaf on March 31, 2011. He is a Deaf Attorney that he focuses his legal practice in the areas of disability rights, mental health issues, and special education. He has been involved in major litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability rights laws. He has provided numerous workshops on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other laws impacting the rights of people with disabilities. He said "The Governor's Proposal is wrong and illegal".

N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part IV): "N.Y. Legislators' Comments"


(ASL and voice over available)

N.Y. Legislators in the video clip:

Barbara M. Clark Assembly District #33 (D-Queens)

Malcolm A. Smith Temporary President of Senate 14th Senate District (D-WF-Queens)

Brian M. Kolb Assembly Minority Leader District # 129 (R,I,C-Canandaigua)

Joseph E. Robach 56th Senate District (R,C,IP) Rochester-Greece

N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part III): "The Rally Stand"

featuring Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, NY School for the Deaf (Fanwood),  Rochester School for the Deaf and Henry Viscardi for Severely Physically Disabled (it has mostly no subtitles since it has a voice over; subtitled only for the ABC ASL Poetry and Fight Fight Song)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part II): "The Rally Stand"

Featuring schools for the Deaf: St. Mary's, St. Joseph's and St. Francis de Sales also Lavelle School for the Blind.

N.Y. 4201 Rally (Part I): "The Security Line in Legislative Office Building"

You can see many people (over 1,000 attended the rally) walking toward the security entrance of the LOB at Albany, NY on March 10, 2011.




Thank you for your permission to include named individuals in the clip.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Responses from Governor Cuomo and NY Legislators Re: 4201 Schools

This is the letter I had received from Governor Cuomo a few days ago as you can see how his message was generic. I have not responded to Governor Cuomo yet since my time and energy are more invested in contacting the legislators as it currently lies in their hands to vote by April 1, 2011.  

As seen below,  I will share you some of the e-mail messages from the legislators that I have received recently and I am happy to tell you that most of the responses are favorable to protecting the funding for 4201 schools.

Sean Gerlis, a Deaf father of 7-month year old Deaf baby who is already a student at Fanwood School for the Deaf and a board member of National Association of Deaf Region 1, received the same letter from the Governor and he granted me his permission to post his response here. 

Here is the letter from Governor Cuomo: 
(you may click on the letter to see it in enlarged print)




And here is the letter from Sean Gerlis:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo (via mail)
Governor of New York State
NY State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

March 8, 2011
                                                                                   
RE: Follow up on the OPPOSITION of the Proposed Budget Elimination of 4201 Schools for the Deaf 

Dear Governor Cuomo:

Last Friday I received a letter from your office. That I had received a response to my letter initially pleased me. However, as I read the letter, I was disappointed because your response DID NOT address my concerns at all.  It appears the letter was simply a template attempting to justify the budget cuts in PUBLIC EDUCATION, a template that supplied a generic response about schools for the Deaf, Blind, and Severely Physically Disabled. I have no idea why you thought my concerns were related to public education, a fully separate issue from what I wanted to discuss. Rather, I have been treated as an insignificant voter with insignificant concerns that you perceive as being easily dismissed.

My initial letter included an explanation of why the budget cuts to 4201 Schools for the Deaf should be reconsidered. As mentioned in that letter:

1.       There is a proposed 7% cut to public education funding.
2.       Yet schools for Deaf, Blind, and Severely Physically Disabled are facing an 85% budget cut.
3.       The 85% proposed cut goes against the New York constitution: "Neither the credit nor the money of the State shall be given or loaned to or in aid of any association, corporation or private undertaking. This section shall not, however, prevent the legislature from making such provision for the education and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb, and juvenile delinquents, as to it may seem proper.” (NYS Constitution, Act VII)
4.       The proposed funding cuts will not save the state money. Rather, more money will be requested when the budget is ratified. By taking cost-efficient centralized resources provided by 4201 schools for the Deaf, a floodgate of litigation, services, and requests from school districts and parents will be opened.

It may be a good idea to address each citizen’s concerns directly rather than sending form letters that have incorrect, irrelevant information plastered all over them. 

All eyes across America are on New York’s legislative session, and I join millions of Americans in strongly objecting to your proposed elimination of funding for the 4201 Schools for the Deaf.  Once again, please reconsider your proposed cuts that affect the 4201 schools for the Deaf, and take the cuts off the table. Do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Sean Gerlis
National Association of Deaf Region 1 Board Member
Resident of West Nyack, Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County, New York
Deaf Parent of a Deaf child
  CC:  President Barack Obama, United States of America
  Reorganizing for America
  The entire New York Legislature
  New York Democratic Committee
  Governor Tim Kaine, National Democratic Committee
  National Senate Democrat Committee
  President Bobbie Beth Scoggins, National Association of the Deaf
  President Ron Stern, Conf of Educators Association of State Schools for the Deaf
  Mr. Claude Stout, TDI, Inc.
  California Stakeholders
  Senator Barbara Boxer
  Senator Dianne Feinstein
  The entire Deaf Community of New York

What a splendid letter Sean had written! He nailed it to the head that there is no equal treatment by the Governor's proposed budget for the 4201 schools. Indeed, the 85% cut is not a fair deal as compared to public schools who only received 7% cut.  Don't forget that in 2009-2010, the 4201 schools already suffered a 12.5% reduction (7.7 million) mid-year cut to their funding while public school district were not assessed a mid-year reduction. (source: http://4201schoolsassociation.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/4201_testimony_packet_2-15-2011_color.pdf
 
Naturally, I was disappointed when receiving such letter from the Governor since he did not take the time to address the 4201 schools individually. He generalized his message that was focused on public school issues which was a completely different territory.

Also, the Governor's proposal is senseless that it doesn't really save money on the long run knowing how the school districts will have to choke up the money to cover interpreters, Teacher of the Deaf (probably itinerant), speech therapists, audiologist, etc. for every Deaf student especially in rural areas that are located mostly in upstate New York.  The schools districts are already broke so there is no way they can afford these expenses let alone to send the students to 4201 schools. We also have to emphasize that it is not good for these students to experience isolation in mainstream programs that they get to be separated from their Deaf peers. See my previous vlog (subtitled) that addressed these concerns.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, it was a Legislative Advocacy Day when I was part of the 4201 team of students, parents and teachers who met with nearly 80 members of the New York State Assembly and Senate. It was our goal to convince them that proposed changes in New York's 2011-12 budget will dramatically hurt Deaf, blind and severely physically disabled students who currently attend New York's 4201 schools. In my team, we visited Assemblymen Mark Johns and Christopher Friend and they signed a letter committing that they will protect the 4201 schools. I am proud of the students who did an excellent job explaining to them why it is crucial to support 4201 schools. We also visited assistants to Pat Gallivan and Thomas O'Mara that they got to listen to us and they will convey our messages to the senators so I hope they will be passionate enough to advocate for 4201 schools.  (update: Pat Gallivan confirmed his support for 4201 schools, see letter below).

After e-mailing to all legislators, I got several responses from them as you can see here:

A personal response from Senator Jim Alesi:
Thank you for contacting me. I would like you to know that I have already circulated a letter to my fellow senators. We are steadfastly opposed to the governor's proposal!  If you know Dr. Mowl from RSD, he will assure you that I am one of his strongest advocates. I will see to it that you get a copy of my letter opposing the governor's proposal AND I will hopefully see you on Thursday.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Then I got another response from his staff:

Dear Ms. DiGi,
First, let me introduce myself, my name is Jill Joannette, I am a senior staff member for Senator Alesi, in his Albany office.  I apologize for any delay in responding to your email.  Please know that Senator Aleis is also very concerned about the proposed merger of the 4201 schools.  Senator Alesi has circulated a sign-on letter to his colleagues and has sent it to Governor Cuomo as well as Senate Majority Leader Skelos to ask for the states appropriation for 4201 schools to be reinstated.  For your information I have attached a copy of this letter.
I have spoke with Heather Evans at Hinman Straub, which is the lobbying firm helping to coordinate tomorrows rally.  There will be an opportunity to speak at the event being held in the "Well" of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).  I would recommend contacting Ms. Evans for additional information as well as to register if you would like to address the group.  Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity to address the Senate or Assembly on the chamber floors, however, Senators as well as Assemblymembers will be in attendance at the event being held at the "Well" .  I have also put this event on Senator Alesi's calendar and he hopes to attend, should he be out of budget negotiations.
Senator Alesi would like to welcome you to either come to our office in room 512 LOB tomorrow for a meeting, or he would be glad to meet with you around 11 AM "Off The Floor", meaning outside of the senate chamber.  Please advise me as to which would work best for your schedule.
Should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me, I would be more than glad to assist.  We look forward to your visit tomorrow.
Sincerely,
Jill Joannette

Here is the copy of the letter:

 

It has been confirmed that I am on the Senator's calendar and they will be meeting me and my children tomorrow at 11:00 AM. 

In addition, I am certainly pleased about getting responses from NY legislators such as Assembly Members Michelle Schimel, Teresa Sayward, Joseph Morelle and Mark Johns and Senators Joe Robach, Pat Gallivan and Joseph Addabbo.  (see below)

From Michelle Schimel:

(she also responded to Sheri Farhina and Marla Hatrak who are from California!)


I will be circulating a sign on letter to Governor Cuomo with my Assembly
colleagues urging him to protect New York State's 4201 schools for the
blind, deaf, and severely disabled.

The current Executive Budget Proposal eliminates most direct
State support of these schools while shifting the financial support to
local school districts. This will amount to a loss of $98 million in
direct state aid for these 4201 schools. This is unacceptable.

Thank you for writing,
Michelle Schimel
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Teresa Sayward:
Ms. DiGiovanni,

I have no idea how this budget is going to shake out! The Governor isn't
saying much just that we will have more details after his Commissions
reports which are just coming out and he issues his 30 day amendments. I
appreciate the overall importance of these schools for the individuals,
their families and their communities.  The debate will be strenuous.
You can be sure I will work with the Governor!
Teresa

Teresa R. Sayward
Assemblywoman, 113th District
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, March 07, 2011

What Is The Lesson From The Closing Of Newfoundland School For The Deaf?

Some of the similarities of the proposal to close Newfoundland School for the Deaf (closed last August 2010) and what was proposed for 4201 schools are discussed here. Mostly about the perspective of mainstreaming and excluding teachers from schools for the Deaf from participating in IEP meetings and decision making when it comes to recommendations for appropriate placement and evaluation are addressed. This is like a domino effect taking place but we need to learn this lesson on how we can further prevent from this to happen.


(either transcript/subtitles will be coming soon)

OnTheGo Radio Transcript, click here.

Fourth World Congress On Mental Health and Deafness, click here.

Related vlog links:

NSD: Letter From A Deaf Former Elected Parliamentarian To King by Shel  Potma

NSD: The Quiet Death of a Deaf School? NOT SO! by Shel  Potma

Wow! iPhone App as an Educational Tool for Deaf Kids in Newfoundland! by Shel  Potma

I See What I See by Ridor

LRE vs. MRE = what’s it gonna be for ye? by Patti Durr 

MmEaRiTnS: isolating cases and cutting to the chase by Patti Durr 

Are mainstreaming programs REALLY better? by Dr. Don Grushkin

The “Mainstreaming” Experience: “Isolated cases”? by Dr. Don Grushkin 

Link about e-mail addresses to Governor and Legislators, click here

Link on letter template, click here.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

We Will Be Seen! We Will Be Heard! We Will Take A Stand!

The motto, "We Will Be Seen! We Will Be Heard! We Will Take A Stand!" represents the unity of 4201 schools when the Deaf community members take a stand.  I would like to thank Marlee Matlin, Deaf Bilingual Coalition, Greg Hlibok, Benard Bragg, Patti Durr, NYSUT, and many others for sending their letters to Governor Cuomo showing their support for 4201 schools. Also, I would like to thank NAD for taking the stand to give an important message on how to act to protect Deaf schools. You all rock!

Also, kudos to Sheri Farinha and Marla Hatrak who are the Co-Chairs of California Stakeholders for American Sign Language & English Families, Deaf Community, Advocates, Educators, Attorneys and other Professionals.  Sheri Farinha is an executive director of Nor-Cal, that is headquartered in Sacramento with outreach offices in Redding, Chico, Marysville and Stockton and employees who are co-located at the California Employment Development offices in Roseville and Sacramento. 

Thank you Sheri and Marla for allowing me to post your letter here:

March 4, 2011

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo (via mail)
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
                                                                                   
RE: OPPOSE – Proposed Budget Elimination of 4201 Schools for the Deaf 

Dear Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:

All eyes across America are on New York’s legislative session, and we are joining millions of Americans to strongly object to your proposed budget elimination of the 4201 Schools for the Deaf.   

We strongly recommend that you take this proposed elimination of 4201 State Schools for the Deaf off the table. Not only would the proposed elimination of 4201 be in violation with Federal and state mandates, be unethical due to the fact that there has been virtually no stakeholder input to such proposal prior to this session, and detrimental to the state of New York as you have not accounted for the astronomical cost factor to the state which would far outweigh the existing line item costs the state currently expends to provide quality education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students throughout the state of New York. 

Each school district has been unable to serve the students which are why they were referred to receive an quality language appropriate education at one of the 4201 Schools. The cost to New York  would be to pay additional funding to every school district throughout the state, for personnel they currently do not have for age nor sign language appropriate placement, nor critical mass needed per class per district , which would mean additional salaries and benefits and classroom costs for hiring new and qualified teachers for the Deaf, not to mention, the state personnel board would need to fund hiring human resources personnel to locate such teachers to ensure their qualifications and certification clearly show Deaf Education expertise as well as fluent in American Sign Language. Additional costs to school districts are: due to lack of qualified personnel at the local level, (many have been laid off due to current budget cuts), sign language interpreters (of which there is a paucity of actual qualified interpreters), auxiliary aids, and other assistive devices for every classroom in every school district.  Last but not least, if placement is out of line with every Deaf child’s IEP, every parent will have due process rights to file suit against the state of New York. Bottom line, the cost to shift the 4201 Schools for the Deaf to ill-prepared school districts could result in approximately over $150 million above the cost of the existing line item. Whatever for?

We believe you have been ill-advised and request that you step forward to reverse this proposed line item elimination.  Stand for quality, equality, and advocate for the minority – Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students who reside in New York – 4201 Schools for the Deaf.

Do the right thing – take the elimination off the table.

Thank you,


Sheri Farinha and Marla Hatrak, Co-Chairs
California Stakeholders for American Sign Language & English  
Families, Deaf Community, Advocates, Educators, Attorneys and other Professionals

CC:  President Barack Obama, United States of America
          Reorganizing for America
          The entire New York Legislature
          New York Democratic Committee
          Governor Tim Kaine, National Democratic Committee
          National Senate Democrat Committee
          President Bobbie Beth Scoggins, National Association of the Deaf
          President Ron Stern, Conf of Educators Association of State Schools for the Deaf
          Mr. Claude Stout, TDI, Inc.
          California Stakeholders
          Senator Barbara Boxer
          Senator Dianne Feinstein
          The entire Deaf Community of New York

So far we got support from Michelle Schimel, an Assembly member of 16th district who responded to Sheri Farhina and Marla Hatrak and even to me:

I will be circulating a sign on letter to Governor Cuomo with my Assembly
colleagues urging him to protect New York State's 4201 schools for the
blind, deaf, and severely disabled.

The current Executive Budget Proposal eliminates most direct
State support of these schools while shifting the financial support to
local school districts. This will amount to a loss of $98 million in
direct state aid for these 4201 schools. This is unacceptable.

Thank you for writing,
Michelle Schimel

Also I got a response from Teresa Sayward.

Ms. DiGiovanni,

I have no idea how this budget is going to shake out! The Governor isn't
saying much just that we will have more details after his Commissions
reports which are just coming out and he issues his 30 day amendments. I
appreciate the overall importance of these schools for the individuals,
their families and their communities.  The debate will be strenuous.
You can be sure I will work with the Governor!
Teresa

Teresa R. Sayward

Assemblywoman, 113th District

On Wednesday, March 2nd, it was a Legislative Advocacy Day when I was part of the 4201 team of students, parents and teachers who met with nearly 80 members of the New York State Assembly and Senate. It was our goal to convince them that proposed changes in New York's 2011-12 budget will dramatically hurt Deaf, blind and severely physically disabled students who currently attend New York's 4201 schools. In my team, we visited Mark Johns and Christopher Friend that they who signed a letter (that Michelle Schimel was referring to) that they will protect 4201 schools. I am proud of the students who did an excellent job explaining to them why it is crucial to support 4201 schools. We also visited assistants to Pat Gallivan and Thomas O'Mara that they got to listen to us and they will convey our messages to the senators so I hope they will be passionate enough to advocate for 4201 schools.  

Also see Mark Johns' letter who responded to Karen Mayes:




Here is a list of legislators' e-mail addresses below that you can copy and paste in your e-mail to send them your letter and please download the brochure (click on file on the left side) to attach as well. The brochure can be found here. It is recommended to include your address and phone number as well. When I used the e-mail addresses below to send my letter, I got many responses saying that they will take the time to read and respond later.


List of e-mail addresses:

 Governor@ny.gov


     abinantit@assembly.state.ny.us,
AmedoreG@assembly.state.ny.us,
ArroyoC@assembly.state.ny.us,
AubryJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
BarclaW@assembly.state.ny.us,
BarronI@assembly.state.ny.us,
benedettom@assembly.state.ny.us,
BingJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
blankenbushk@assembly.state.ny.us,
BoylandW@assembly.state.ny.us,
BoyleP@assembly.state.ny.us,
braunsteine@assembly.state.ny.us,
BrennaJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
bronsonh@assembly.state.ny.us,
BrookKrasnyA@assembly.state.ny.us,
burlind@assembly.state.ny.us,
ButlerM@assembly.state.ny.us,
CahillK@assembly.state.ny.us,
CalhouN@assembly.state.ny.us,
CamaraK@assembly.state.ny.us,
CanestR@assembly.state.ny.us,
CastelliR@assembly.state.ny.us,
Castronl@assembly.state.ny.us,
cerettoj@assembly.state.ny.us,
ClarkB@assembly.state.ny.us,
KavanaghB@assembly.state.ny.us,
KellnerM@assembly.state.ny.us,
KolbB@assembly.state.ny.us,
LancmanR@assembly.state.ny.us,
LatimeG@assembly.state.ny.us,
LavineC@assembly.state.ny.us,
LentolJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
LiftonB@assembly.state.ny.us,
linaresg@assembly.state.ny.us,
LopezP@assembly.state.ny.us,
losquadrod@assembly.state.ny.us,
LupardoD@assembly.state.ny.us,
MageeW@assembly.state.ny.us,
MagnarW@assembly.state.ny.us,
MaiselA@assembly.state.ny.us,
malliotakisn@assembly.state.ny.us,
MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us,
MayersN@assembly.state.ny.us,
McDonoD@assembly.state.ny.us,
McEnenJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
MckeviT@assembly.state.ny.us,
mclaughlins@assembly.state.ny.us,
MengG@assembly.state.ny.us,
millerdr@assembly.state.ny.us,
MillerJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
MillerMG@assembly.state.ny.us,
MillmaJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
MolinaroM@assembly.state.ny.us,
MontesanoM@assembly.state.ny.us,
morellej@assembly.state.ny.us,
MurrayD@assembly.state.ny.us,
NolanC@assembly.state.ny.us,
OdonnellD@assembly.state.ny.us,
OaksR@assembly.state.ny.us,
OrtizF@assembly.state.ny.us,
palmesanop@assembly.state.ny.us,
PaulinA@assembly.state.ny.us,
PeopleC@assembly.state.ny.us,
PerryN@assembly.state.ny.us,
PheffeA@assembly.state.ny.us,
PretloJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
rae@assembly.state.ny.us,
RabbitA@assembly.state.ny.us,
RaiaA@assembly.state.ny.us,
RamosP@assembly.state.ny.us,
ReilicW@assembly.state.ny.us,
ReillyR@assembly.state.ny.us,
RiveraJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
RiveraN@assembly.state.ny.us,
ColtonW@assembly.state.ny.us,
ConteJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
CookV@assembly.state.ny.us,
CorwinJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
CrespoM@assembly.state.ny.us,
CrouchC@assembly.state.ny.us,
curranb@assembly.state.ny.us,
CusickM@assembly.state.ny.us,
CymbroS@assembly.state.ny.us,
DenDekkerM@assembly.state.ny.us,
DestitR@assembly.state.ny.us,
DinowiJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
DupreyJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
EngleS@assembly.state.ny.us,
FarrelH@assembly.state.ny.us,
FinchG@assembly.state.ny.us,
FitzpatrickM@assembly.state.ny.us,
friendc@assembly.state.ny.us,
GabryszakD@assembly.state.ny.us,
GalefS@assembly.state.ny.us,
GanttD@assembly.state.ny.us,
GiglioJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
GlickD@assembly.state.ny.us,
goodella@assembly.state.ny.us,
GottfriedR@assembly.state.ny.us,
grafa@assembly.state.ny.us,
GuntheA@assembly.state.ny.us,
hannas@assembly.state.ny.us,
HawleyS@assembly.state.ny.us,
HayesJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
HeastieC@assembly.state.ny.us,
HevesiA@assembly.state.ny.us,
HikindD@assembly.state.ny.us,
HoytS@assembly.state.ny.us,
JacobsR@assembly.state.ny.us,
JaffeeE@assembly.state.ny.us,
JeffriesH@assembly.state.ny.us,
johnsm@assembly.state.ny.us,
JordanJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
katzs@assembly.state.ny.us,
RiveraP@assembly.state.ny.us,
RobinsonA@assembly.state.ny.us,
rodriguezrj@assembly.state.ny.us,
RosentL@assembly.state.ny.us,
RussellA@assembly.state.ny.us,
SaladiJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
SaywarT@assembly.state.ny.us,
ScarboW@assembly.state.ny.us,
SchimelM@assembly.state.ny.us,
SchimmR@assembly.state.ny.us,
SchroeM@assembly.state.ny.us,
Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us,
smardzk@assembly.state.ny.us,
SpanoM@assembly.state.ny.us,
stevensone@assembly.state.ny.us,
Sweeney@assembly.state.ny.us,
TediscJ@assembly.state.ny.us,
tenneyc@assembly.state.ny.us,
ThieleF@assembly.state.ny.us,
TitoneM@assembly.state.ny.us,
TownsD@assembly.state.ny.us,
weisenbergh@assembly.state.ny.us,
weprind@assembly.state.ny.us,
WrightK@assembly.state.ny.us,
ZebrowskiK@assembly.state.ny.us,
eadams@senate.state.ny.us,
addabbo@senate.state.ny.us,
avella@nysenate.gov,
alesi@senate.state.ny.us,
gball@nysenate.gov,
bonacic@nysenate.gov,
breslin@senate.state.ny.us,
carlucci@nysenate.gov,
jdefranc@senate.state.ny.us,
diaz@senate.state.ny.us,
dilan@nysenate.gov,
golden@nysenate.gov,
duane@senate.state.ny.us,
espailla@nysenate.gov,
farley@senate.state.ny.us,
flanagan@senate.state.ny.us,
fuschill@senate.state.ny.us,
gianaris@nysenate.gov,
gallivan@nysenate.gov,
griffo@nysenate.gov,
grisanti@nysenate.gov,
Hannon@nysenate.gov,
Hassellt@nysenate.gov,
huntley@nysenate.gov,
kennedy@nysenate.gov,
jdklein@nysenate.gov,
lkrueger@senate.state.ny.us,
kruger@senate.state.ny.us,
lanza@senate.state.ny.us,
larkin@senate.state.ny.us,
lavalle@nysenate.gov,
senator@senatorlibous.com,
little@senate.state.ny.us,
marcelli@senate.state.ny.us,
martins@nysenate.gov,
maziarz@nysenate.gov,
mcdonald@senate.state.ny.us,
nozzolio@senate.state.ny.us,
oppenhei@senate.state.ny.us,
parker@senate.state.ny.us,
jperalta@nysenate.gov,
perkins@senate.state.ny.us,
ranz@senate.state.ny.us,
ritchie@nysenate.gov,
grivera@nysenate.gov,
robach@nysenate.gov,
saland@nysenate.gov,
sampson@senate.state.ny.us,
seward@senate.state.ny.us,
skelos@nysenate.gov,
serrano@senate.state.ny.us,
masmith@senate.state.ny.us,
squadron@nysenate.gov,
stavisky@senate.state.ny.us,
scousins@senate.state.ny.us,
valesky@senate.state.ny.us,
cyoung@senate.state.ny.us,
zeldin@nysenate.gov



These are the emails that did not get through (apparently they don't have it) so you would may have to send your letter or message to them by clicking on each of the links:



Also we should not overlook Rebecca Cort who is a state director of special education and a strong advocate for inclusion that she believes all disabled children should mainstream.  On her website, it mentioned: 


"In the past, the disabled were kept separate from the nondisabled (not a cost-effective way of dealing with issues) and thus special education teachers concentrated on methodologies.  "... providing similar instruction for all students means “all.” 

Rebecca Cort believes that those disabled students are not getting quality instruction from "special" teachers and that they are better off to be mainstreamed in public schools that they should be instructed by subject area certified teachers who know their stuff. She forgot that there are Teachers of the Deaf who are dual certified like I am with social studies certificate and deaf education certificate and that not all teachers are like when instructing disabled students. It is not fair for her to stereotype Teachers of the Deaf like they are incompetent also she forgot that TODs who are in schools for the Deaf are more advanced in signing skills and keep at par on updated training (i.e. CAEBER training on bilingual strategies) and receive frequent educational workshops relating to instructions to Deaf children.


Alexis Kashar made a great response in one of the articles concerning 4201 issues. She is a current chairperson of the Scarsdale Village Council on Persons with Disabilities, a president of the Board of Trustees for the New York School for the Deaf and  chairs the National Association for the Deaf (NAD)‘s Civil Rights Subcommittee and is a member of the NAD’s Bioethics committee.


See her response about Rebecca Cort @ http://deaftimes.com/usa-l/4201-schools-analysis-parents-kids-find-budget-pain-in-ny/#comments 


"Unfortunately, this is probably a result of the State Education Department’s mistaken belief, under the guidance of Rebecca Cort, that all children should be educated in their local districts, regardless of their needs. This proposal WILL NOT result in the savings that Ms. Cort has led the Governor and lawmakers to believe will result. It is a SHAME that no input was sought from the deaf and blind community as to other less drastic alternatives."

Rebecca Cort can be reached at:
Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (New York)
Dr. Rebecca H. Cort, Deputy Commissioner
State Education Department
99 Washington Avenue
One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12234

Phone: (518) 474-1711
Toll-Free: (800) 222-5627
TTY: (518) 474-5652
Email: Vesidadm@mail.nysed.gov
Website: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/
We have a lot of educating to do indeed!

If I am missing one of the legislators' e-mail addresses or there is an error or there is more I should add, please let me know. I had revised from the list based on some of the email addresses that no longer exist.




(Note: Just removed "last but not least" because I was planning on putting that paragraph in the end but thought no, I want to thank them first!)