Our Schools

Resources & Guides

The MISD Special Education Department is pleased to announce a free nine-week employment skills training series, starting March 2, to any person with a disability ages 14-22. The training series, provided by Flexing Independence Retaining Employment (FIRE), will be held virtually on Tuesdays from March 2 through April 27 at 6 p.m.

FIRE 9-Week Training Series Graphic

The training series will provide introductory training to help future applicants entering the workforce make a good impression upon employers. Topics include information on accessing job search services and community resources as well as virtual interviewing do's and don'ts, workplace readiness and money management tips. 

Interested? For more information and to register, please visit www.iddcouncil.org/fire. Participation in all sessions is encouraged, but not required.

Student & Parent Resources

People Language First

Language is a reflection of how people see each other. It is often the reason that the words we use can hurt others. We need to choose language that reflects the dignity of people with disabilities. Choosing words that put the person before the disability can have a more positive and helpful dialogue.

  • Think “people first”. Say, “a student who has mental retardation” rather than “a mentally retarded student.”
  • Never refer to a person as “confined to a wheelchair.” Wheelchairs allow people to escape confinement. A person with an orthopedic impairment “uses” a wheelchair for mobility.
  • Try to describe people without a disability as “typical” rather than “normal.”
  • Avoid words like “unfortunate,” “victim,” or “afflicted.” Try to avoid casting a person with a disability as somehow a superhuman because they “overcame” their “problem.” Most people with disabilities do not want to be thought of as tragic figures. They just want to be thought of as people.
  • Use common sense. Try to avoid using negative words like “crippled,” “slow,” or “deaf and dumb.” These terms are not usually relevant to any conversation about people and are never accurate. If you do not know how to refer to someone with a disability, ask.

Some helpful examples:

  • The handicapped or the disabled becomes…People with disabilities
  • My child is autistic becomes….My child has autism
  • She’s in Special Education becomes…She receives Special Education services
  • Afflicted with…suffers from…is stricken with becomes…Person who has
  • Confined to a wheelchair or wheelchair bound becomes…Uses a wheelchair
  • Handicapped parking is accessible parking