Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

On Wednesday, January 20th, Joe Biden was inaugurated. And I got the vaccine. It has been a momentous day. It feels like the beginning of the end of a dystopian novel, and I really hope this one isn’t a trilogy. I cried a few times that day. It has been so hard, the past four years of Trump’s presidency, and these past 10+ months of the pandemic. It has been hard for me, even as I recognize how many people have it harder than I do.

And so I share news of getting vaccinated with some hesitation. Did I really…

Simple drawing of a pair of hands with one on top of the other and the heading, “Quiet Hands.”
Simple drawing of a pair of hands with one on top of the other and the heading, “Quiet Hands.”

Today while cleaning out a cluttered corner of our living room, I found a large, laminated card that someone made for our son when he was very young, maybe four or five years old. The card shows a pair of hands with one resting on top of the other, and the words, “Quiet Hands.”

I immediately felt a pang of guilt and regret for allowing so many educators, speech, physical, and occupational therapists, behaviorists, babysitters, and others over the years to tell my now 14-year-old son to have “Quiet Hands” and “Quiet Body.” I have said those words myself but…

Comments made to the AUSD Board of Education on April 24, 2018 as part of the presentation of the draft strategic plan for special education. The recording is here; speech begins at 20.07.

This banana slug moment brought to you by inclusion!

My 11 year-old-son has had an extraordinarily challenging journey through the public special education system so far. He has had to change schools every year from Kindergarten through 5th grade. He has Fragile X, a rare genetic condition that causes intellectual disability and other issues, and has been educated primarily in special day classes. It has been very hard to find a classroom environment in which he…

After the election, some friends half-jokingly recommended that progressives teach Kindergarten so we can grow a generation that supports the ideals of diversity, social justice, and inclusion. Teaching young children is important work, and social change is a long game. But the diverse, passionate, dedicated students in our regional public universities need support, too, and they have the potential to be leaders in just a few short years — a much quicker return on investment. I urge progressives to take a second look at regional public universities for partnership and collaboration.

I work at Cal State East Bay (CSUEB), one…

On one of our first confused and jet-lagged August mornings in Australia, I heard very loud chirps, hoots, and other unfamiliar noises coming from what I thought was our son’s ipad. I was about to tell him to turn down the volume on his nature show when I realized the sounds were outside my window. It still didn’t seem real that we were very far from our home in California, at the start of a four-month stay.

Read the rest of the story on page 10 of the Fragile X Association of Australia March 2017 Newsletter.

The confirmation hearings for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the nominee for U.S. Attorney General, are being held this week. Many people in the disability community are concerned that Sessions may fail to uphold the educational rights of children with disabilities. In a 2000 speech to the U.S. Senate titled, Education Discipline and IDEA, Sessions argued that “special treatment for certain children…may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today.” He was referring to children with documented disabilities who meet the strict eligibility criteria for receiving special education services. …

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor, MSW, PhD, is a Professor and Chair in Social Work at CSU East Bay and a parent of a child with a disability. Views expressed are solely her own.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store