We first met Jessica back in 2014 while hosting a table at the American Indian/Alaska Native Resource Fair. After she learned about Learning Rights’ work, Jessica, a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, decided to join our Beginning TIGER (Training Individuals for Grassroots Education Reform) Program. Jessica hails from the Native American tribe of Torres Martinez based in Commerce.
Before Jessica joined the TIGER Program, she thought she knew everything she needed to know about her son, James' educational needs. After a few sessions in the TIGER Program, however, she realized she had to reexamine James’ IEP (Individual Education Plan). For example, she hadn’t noticed that the School District had taken away her son’s behavior modification training sessions at school because they said James was not displaying behavioral concerns. Nor had she realized that James needed more hours of speech therapy. Jessica tells us that she feels confident about the future and is better equipped to advocate for James’ educational needs, now that she is one of our TIGER parents. After graduating from Beginning TIGER, Jessica worked with Learninig Rights to bring the same training to the Torres Martinez Tribe so that other American Indians could benefit as well.
Currently, there are more than 100,000 low-income students with disabilities in Los Angeles. Learning Rights’ outreach activities are designed to connect these low-income students with education-access issues to the necessary programs and services. In 2016we will outreach to thousands of individuals like Jessica and James all across Los Angeles.