In Disabilityscoop.com’s report, Feds Find Fewer States Meeting Special Ed Obligations, the annual review conducted by the U.S. Department of Education resulted in a failing grade. Federal education officials discovered that a total of only 22 states were capable of meeting obligations to adequately serve students with disabilities, following a mandatory assessment of state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
This determination is based on the overall quality of student performance and functional outcomes for students with disabilities, along with each state’s ability to follow through with procedural responsibilities such as the completion of special education evaluations. In a drop from last year’s satisfactory designation, previously awarded to 24 states, this decline reflects the unfortunate reality of the state of special education in the United States. More importantly, it also represents an opportunity for change, which in turn can promote innovation and progress.
The current inadequate state of American special education is the result of several factors, from lack of funding for staff to an inability to provide substantial resources. And it is these very elements that have led RoboKind to create and encourage the use of their new program, Robots4Autism, and their advanced social robot, Milo.
Intended to support educators, therapists, and para-professionals as an additional teaching tool through robot-generated instruction, Milo is able to teach students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, social understanding that enhances a learner’s ability to recognize, interpret and use social behaviors in natural contexts. Through Robots4Autism, Milo employs a friendly demeanor and offers quick engagement without exhibiting frustration. He can also document and record sessions with children for review, which has proven effective through observable increases in students’ body language, eye contact, and overall friendliness.
The progress that Robots4Autism and Milo represent is a goal that RoboKind shares with a great many institutions, including the Supreme Court, which recently unanimously ruled in favor of requiring public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards than those previously in place.
This ruling will increase the rights and improve the lives of millions of students with learning disabilities. With the stage set, schools must now weigh their options, of which Robots4Autism is certainly a worthwhile one.
For more information on Robots4Autism and Milo, visit https://robots4autism.com/.