Special Services Department
The Sumner Bonney Lake School District promise to know, value, and support every student comes with a commitment to promote a district culture of fair and inclusive practices, where each student receives equitable access to the opportunities, resources and supports to succeed and thrive.
Ensuring the SBLSD promise for students with disabilities and special needs
The Special Services Department is comprised of two specific areas that support students: Special Education and Section 504. The focus of the department is to provide students with disabilities the tools and resources to benefit from their educational program.
What is Disability?
“Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society.” — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400(c).
All human beings have strengths and challenges. When an individual has a challenge or impairment, physical or mental, that is significant enough to limit their ability to participate in activities of daily life, it is defined as a disability.
About 54 million Americans — one out of every five individuals — have a disability. People with disabilities constitute our nation’s largest minority group, which is simultaneously the most inclusive and the most diverse. Everyone is represented: all genders, all ages, all religions, all socioeconomic levels and all ethnic backgrounds. The disability community is the only minority group that anyone can join at any time.
'People First' Language
What is People First Language? It's a way of speaking that emphasizes the person, not the disability. This is one way to recognize that disability is just one part of the person and not their single defining characteristic.
People First Language helps us avoid stereotypes and generalizations about individuals. It can be as simple as rearranging the words, like saying "a person with a disability" instead of "a disabled person."
Of course, it's essential to remember that some people may prefer identity-first language. If you do not know an individual well enough to be certain of their preferences, it is usually better to ask politely rather than to avoid conversation altogether. Be respectful, but not disengaged.