By Michael J. Martirano
The writer is superintendent of the Howard County Public School System.
As we mark Disability Awareness Month, it is an optimal time to reaffirm and amplify our commitment to providing exceptional special education services and supports.
There has been much community discussion recently, including media coverage about special education services in Howard County. I am immensely proud of the progress we have made in serving our students receiving special education services and in building a culture and climate of meaningful inclusion in our schools.
It wasn’t always this way, in fact, special education has evolved tremendously in our country over the last 50 years. Children with disabilities were once treated differently than their typically developing peers. Some may have been kept at home; others sent to institutions. Those who attended so-called “regular” schools were routinely taught in classrooms separate from their typically