Catholic organizations around the country are stepping up to offer children with disabilities an opportunity for a Catholic school education.

The Catholic Coalition for Special Education, formed in the Washington, D.C., area in 2004, has had a significant impact on local educational institutions, helping them begin or maintain special education programs. Francesca Pellegrino started the organization while raising her own son with special needs.

“Naturally the church is one of the first places you think of for support,” Pellegrino told NCR, “and as [my son] got a little bit older, I started thinking about preparation for the sacraments. I had early school experiences for him, and I wasn’t quite finding what I was looking for.”

Pellegrino quickly found that her experience was not

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