EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Parent advocacy group hosting rally, pushing for inclusion for kids with intellectual disabilities

Sep 17, 2023, 4:04 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — A parent advocacy group pushing for inclusion in schools across the state calls on the community for support.

The group We All Belong focuses on helping kids with intellectual disabilities and will be hosting a rally on Monday night.

“We advocate for them to be a part of their community and specifically a part of their boundary schools to have the option to go to school with their community rather than be bussed away,” said Oakley Peterson, founding member of We All Belong.

The group was created after the Jordan School District planned on moving the Life Skills program out of two high schools. Thousands of people signed a petition that ultimately stopped the move by the district.

“Some are allowed this opportunity, and others are denied it, so we do fight and advocate for all children across the state. Parents reach out to us all the time,” said board member Katheryn Wittwer, who has an 11-year-old son with Down syndrome.

The 2023 “We All Belong Rally” taking place on Sept. 18.

Monday’s night rally is set to be a fun atmosphere but also a chance to educate those around them.

“While I think the generation has a leg up on inclusion and acceptance…you can’t do that if the representations not there,” Peterson said.

The rally will feature food, games, and performances by several groups, along with guest speaker Tim Harris — an entrepreneur from New Mexico with Down syndrome.

There will also be prizes raffled off. The group will be raising funds for area teachers to attend a conference in November to help kids with intellectual disabilities.

The rally will be held Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Daybreak’s Soda Row, 11274 South Kestrel Rise Road in South Jordan. To learn more, visit the We All Belong Facebook page.

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Parent advocacy group hosting rally, pushing for inclusion for kids with intellectual disabilities