Your article "Job skills, and a lesson" [Business, Oct. 12] is very timely, with so many changes at the New York State Education Department that affect students with disabilities.
New Regents testing regulations make it more difficult for a student with a disability to receive an actual high school diploma. There has been a strong reaction from parents about these changes, which affect those who entered ninth grade last year.
The Bellmore-Merrick school store cited in the article -- one of many school projects in which South Oaks Hospital is involved through its Career and Educational Counseling Center -- meets a need by teaching skills that a student can use to become an independent member of our community.
Although some individuals may not achieve the scores needed to receive a local, non-Regents diploma, they will certainly learn practical life skills that will point them in the right direction. Perhaps state education officials would consider to a greater degree these practical skills toward earning the local diploma.
Kristie Golden, Amityville
Editor's note: The writer is the vice president of ambulatory and community services at South Oaks Hospital.