Disabled student wants transportation solution

By  | 

GAYVILLE, SD Carson Podzimek has a rare chromosome disorder called Xq28. He was diagnosed at age two, and Carson's muscles slowly deteriorate.

Being mobile is not the easiest thing for him, but that doesn't stop him.

"We're going to live life to the fullest, and we're going to enjoy everything we can," Carson’s guardian, Ashley DeBlauw said.

Carson is an active kid, who helps out at school and local functions in the Gayville-Volin area.

He and his family want him to remain included in these events and be part of the camaraderie involved in sports and other social aspects of growing up.

A 2017-2018 Individualized Education Program should have incorporated transportation for Carson at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, but that did not happen.

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, transportation as a related service is required if the child cannot safely walk to school or ride a regular bus as a result of the child's disability; however, in a letter from Superintendent Jason Selchert, he said he and the district are open to having a conversation involving the accommodation of Carson's attendance for extracurricular activities. Another opportunity to meet will take place May 13th.

Selchert previously said in part "…The district continues to make that offer, but the district's stance is and remains to be that Carson is a wheelchair bound student, who cannot under any normal accommodations participate meaningfully in sports activities. Any district resources that could be given are fruitless. Carson has served in the pseudo capacity as a student manager for the girls' basketball team. Just by the nature of being in attendance, there is no meaningful participation and/or ability to service in an actual capacity as student manager…"

When DeBlauw was asked if simply moving Carson to a different school was a better option, she thought otherwise.

"It's kind of hard for us to just take the easy way out and just move to another school district. We've revamped this whole house for him,” she said.

The dialogue is still ongoing between both parties, and Benchmark Human Services said Carson's 2019-2020 IEP, transportation, and Extended School Year services need to be reviewed.