This was my reply. Sorry I didn't include before
Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:
From: Melanie Knapp <rmknapp14@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: June 23, 2016 at 2:12:25 PM CDT
To: "Rosenthal, Brian M." <Brian.Rosenthal@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "givens3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <givens3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Houston Chronicle seeking help with article on special education
I did have a huge issue with my son getting the right services in his high
school that ultimately led to getting services. But he had "lost" years of
services, so he was in his last year by the time he had the services he
needed for his disability. We sued our school district and he was given 2
more years of public school. This was back in the late 1990's.
He graduated in 2004.
A huge struggle for him and for our family.
I KNOW that this is still going on in our families that have children that
Our family group DBMAT...Deaf Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas
approached our Texas Legislators We had bills passed within the Texas
Deafblind Medicaid Waiver to provide unique services called Interveners.
These persons are specifically trained in the field of Deafblindness . They
work one on one with the deafblind child/adult that provides a bridge between
their dark and silent world and the seeing hearing world.
We have been working for years to have the Intervener recognized in the
school districts. It is a proven model that if the child has these services
from the time of diagnosis, he or she will be able to live their lives to
their fullest potential.
There is also federal legislation - The Cogswell-Macy Act HB 35 that we are
advocating to be passed to have the Intervener put into IDEA. We believe
that system changes will force the school districts to include the Intervener
when planning the child's IEP. Included in our legislation, is the dire need
for Teachers of the Deafblind. Their role is to support the Interveners,
schools, and districts so these children have the services they need and
If you are not familiar with the Intervener- Helen Keller, the most famous
deafblind person in the world, was taught by her teacher Annie Sullivan.
I can forward your request to our list serve if you would like.
Please let me know how I can help.
Sent from my iPad
On Jun 23, 2016, at 12:40 PM, Rosenthal, Brian M.
I’m a reporter with the Houston Chronicle, and I’m writing in the hopes that
you can help with an article about special education in Texas.
Specifically, I’m writing about a Texas policy that has made it harder to
get into special education and easier to be prematurely removed from
services. I’m looking for parents of children with special needs who have
struggled to get evaluated and identified as needing services or who have
been prematurely removed from services.
I thought you might be able to help.
Can you? Please let me know.
Thanks a lot,
Brian M. Rosenthal
Austin bureau | Houston Chronicle
512-479-1407 | 765-586-1702