There has been a revolution in the past 50 years in the United States in the care and education of children born with disabilities. The revolution started with the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, first passed and lightly federally funded in 1975 and now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reauthorized initially in 2002. These transformations have not been without enormous costs, both human and financial.

A society that requires that these children go to school, despite the challenges they bring to education, will also require that they have the assistance that they need to get through the school day. Some of this assistance is in the form of aides in the classroom, and other kinds of assistance may translate into a need for wheelchairs for certain individuals. If the system breaks down, as it did in Long Island,...

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