“I’m part of this fight today so that my daughter can have the best education. So that there are resources for her education. I don’t want my daughter to feel different. I don’t want her to feel less.”
Perla S. is a Latinx, immigrant mother of three in Boston, Massachusetts. She is an active member of her community, active in improving public education with a group of mothers in Boston. As a mostly-Spanish speaker, Perla has a first-hand account of the difficulty of navigating the school system, including in attempting to ensure her daughter obtained an IEP for speech delay and social anxiety.
Initially, the IEP coordinator did not want to conduct an evaluation. Because Perla primarily speaks Spanish and the school did not provide translation services, Perla struggled to advocate for her daughter with the IEP coordinator. The entire process was in English and it was only at the end that the IEP was translated into Spanish. Perla did not feel that she could give input during the IEP process because of language injustice. During the pandemic, things worsened for Perla’s daughter; her speech therapy lessened in time and services. Additional funding for IDEA would allow for mothers like Perla to give input in her primary language; and ensure that students like her daughter are not left behind due to lack of translation, personnel, and overall services.