Washington, DC – In response to The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof’s December 7 op-ed, “Profiting from a Child’s Illiteracy”, The Arc released the following statement:
“Mr. Kristof’s take on how to break the cycle of poverty completely misses the mark. Our nation doesn’t have to choose between providing two essential supports for low-income children with significant disabilities: early childhood programs and Supplemental Security Income, a lifeline. We must do both. Children with severe disabilities must have access to robust, timely supports to help make the most of their early development, while at the same time, many who are low-income also need Supplemental Security Income to ensure a quality of life that isn’t crushed by economic circumstances. If the Supplemental Security Income lifeline is slashed thanks to articles like this one, it’s those most in need – the children with significant disabilities and their families, who face unimaginable day in and day out financial and personal struggles – who will suffer,” said Peter V. Berns, CEO of The Arc.