Impact Feature Issue on Paraeducators Supporting Students with Disabilities and At-Risk

From the Editors

NOTE: This issue of Impact has been archived because some of the information it contains is out of date. (Effective June 2009) 

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2001 to be the International Year of Volunteers. Through activities sponsored by organizations around the globe, the value of volunteerism is being noted, and the contributions of volunteers are being honored. Among the goals of the year-long celebration are increased awareness of the many ways in which people can and do volunteer, and increased involvement of individuals and organizations in volunteering.

One group of people historically thought of exclusively as recipients of volunteer service, rather than providers of it, are people with developmental disabilities. Too often defined by their “dis”-abilities rather than their abilities, they have been overlooked in many efforts to involve individuals in the improvement of their communities through giving of time, talents, and energy on a voluntary basis. The result is that our communities have missed out on their contributions, and individuals have missed out on the rewards of rendering service.

In this issue of Impact are articles that seek to encourage steps toward the greater inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in volunteerism. The strategies and visions presented provide a wealth of ideas for supporting that inclusion, in this celebration year and in future years.