Introduction to the National Agenda
The foreword introducing the National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities in 1995 by then-Assistant Secretary of Education, Judith E. Heumann of the federal Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, expressed her vision that children with disabilities can and should achieve educational goals commensurate with the goals being achieved by their nondisabled counterparts in preparation for life and work in the 21st century. Well, the 21st century has arrived, and although it is only a few years old, it is time to reprise our commitment to the achievement of the goals of the National Agenda. We may not have fully achieved all the original goals, but we have seen considerable progress and a determination on the part of professionals and parents concerned about the education of children and youths with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities, to work toward success.
In this revision of the National Agenda, readers will find the most recent changes to the original eight goals and the addition of two new ones. The National Agenda is a grassroots effort, and its principles and activities can be applied on behalf of an individual child as well as in advocacy at the local school district, regional collaborative, state and national level. Readers interested in further information and in joining our efforts can visit the National Agenda web site (www.tsbvi.edu/agenda) and find examples of state plans, as well as products and publications, that can be downloaded and used by parents, teachers, and administrators. Although much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. Please join us, the National Agenda Co-Chairs and Steering Committee, as we work to implement the National Agenda for the Education of Children and Youths with Visual Impairments, Including Those with Multiple Disabilities.
Kathleen M. Huebner
National Agenda Co-Chairs