The Office of Special Education is responsible for improving results for children and youth with exceptionalities, primarily through leadership and financial support to local education agencies and for the administration of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA).
Accommodations and modifications are both strategies used in education to support students with diverse needs, but they have distinct purposes and implementation methods.
West Virginia is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society and as such the Legislature has designated the third week of October as Disability History Week. Each public school (including charter schools) is required to provide instruction on disability history, people with disabilities, and the disability rights movement. Instruction may be integrated into the existing school curriculum through supplemental lesson plans, holding school assemblies, or other whole school activities intended to promote awareness and understanding of disability history and the disability rights movement.
The WV Disability History Essay Contest is a partnership between the WV Statewide Independent Living Council, the WV State Rehabilitation Council, and the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services that coincides with WV Disability History Week and is open to all WV high school seniors. This annual contest is designed to provide WV high school seniors with an opportunity to showcase their writing skills, share what they have learned about disability issues in their community, use their ability to form and express opinions, and perhaps to earn some money! In addition to an award certificate, authors of the winning essays received an engraved personalized key chain and a check for the amount of their award as follows:
- State Winner – $3,250
- District 1st Place Winners – $1,750
- District 2nd Place Winners – $1000
Congratulations to Lingjian Zheng, Parkersburg South High School senior and state winner of the 2023 Disability History Essay Contest!
Entries were received from high school seniors throughout the state and winners were recognized by the geographic districts served by the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services.
For more information on this writing contest and to learn about the winning entries, please visit WV Disability History Essay Contest.