Following the passage of Massachusetts’ landmark special education law, Chapter 766, in 1972, the group of parents who had helped advocate for the law’s passage formed the organization that became the Federation for Children with Special Needs, opening their doors in Boston in 1974. They sought to help parents get the most out of the new Massachusetts inclusive education laws. Through the years, with the advent of national laws, the ADA and more, the Federation has evolved to fit the changing needs of children with special needs throughout Massachusetts. They reached out to parents in other states with NECTAS, held national conferences and produced materials in other languages. Meanwhile, they adapted to the changing technologies, building interactive websites, social networking pages and professional videos to provide information for families all over the world.
As FCSN evolves—grows up, in a way—so do the children it served. They become young adults with voices and opinions of their own. They learn what they need to be successful in spite of the challenges presented to them by the able-bodied world.
I, and the others who will be contributing to this blog, are those children. We haven’t all been served directly by FCSN, but we’ve all encountered the world of disability in our own way. We’ve combated obstacles, faced setbacks, experienced joy. Often our views differ from our parents and the others around us, even though they helped shape our perspective, because we now have a solid grasp of what matters to us.
We look forward to sharing all of that with you.
- Authored by Chelsey Blair Kendig