Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eliza - SOU - Not good news

Dear friends and family,

We received a response to our formal grievance from SOU President, Mary Cullinan. It was not the response we were hoping for. Instead of 2 pages of why Eliza isn't appropriately placed we now have 10. There are many thoughts we have about the whole situation. It will take a little time to sift through our thoughts and get clarity on how best to proceed - for Eliza and for others who merely want a chance to follow their dreams and
be given the opportunity to learn along side their peers.

There is so much at stake for having people better understand the errors in procedure and thinking that were made and for putting heads together who can make positive choices that will benefit all. Thanks for your patience and your caring. The future will certainly be brighter than what we are experiencing now. What we know right now is exclusion stinks. And finding an educational community that embraces everyone is what Eliza, and we, want.

For all the insensitivity that SOU has exhibited, the opposite is true from the community at large.

A few of weeks ago, Eliza invited friends and family to her first ever person centered planning (PCP). She shared her hopes, dreams, strengths and how she would like to be supported with the group - and the circle of friends gathered added to her lists. I'd like to share her thoughts and those of the group with all of you - Eliza's Person Centered Plan. The idea behind a PCP is to then take this information and think of concrete actions anyone who so desires can do to support Eliza in reaching her dreams.

As you sift through your feelings and look at your life, please consider reaching out to the people in your community who may be different but are people who need only your acceptance, love, support and caring to expose their gifts and value to the world - This sounds a lot like what we all need. We greatly appreciate your support and will be back in touch with comments on what action(s) we feel are appropriate to take next.

Deb and Ron


  1. Hi Deb,
    What happened to Eliza and her class? Am I correct in thinking that she was not allowed to finish even after all of the public support? We were rooting for her the whole time.

    Is there anything I can do to help you continue to fight to change SOU's policy? My best, Vanessa Houk

  2. Are you willing to post both the 2 page letter as well as the 10 page letter from SOU? I'd be more interested in hearing both sides of the story before forming an opinion on this subject.

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