Special Education Law and Disability Advocacy
"Protecting Special Needs Children And Their Families"
Special Education Law Services
- IEP Meetings
Special Education Services
As a Special Education Law Attorney I am comfortable attending an individualized education plan ("IEP") meeting to explain the law to a school and show why your child is entitled to the services you are requesting. Choosing to have an attorney attend an IEP meeting can send a powerful message to a school district that you are not willing to back down until your child receives the proper services. At the same time, injection of an attorney, no matter how cordial, will almost certainly be interpreted by the school district as "lawyering up" and is likely to cause a similar response by the department. For that reason in most cases I prefer to work with a qualified educational advocate - a non-lawyer (often a former special education teacher) who is trained in special education law and specializes in developing an IEP that can help your child succeed. I will attend IEP meetings once requested by the parent and recommended by the advocate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education Law
What is a 504 Plan?
A “504 plan” with regard to students is a plan of accommodations and modifications required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA). Both of these federal statutes specify that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities. This specifically includes elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. The term disability in the context of a 504 Plan is different (and in many ways not as stringent) than definition applied for an IEP. In the context of a 504 plan, a disability refers to a “physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This can include any type of physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems.
A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that a child needs to have in order to have an opportunity perform at the same level as his or her peers. This can include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder, extended time on examinations, preferential seating, or a keyboard for taking notes or other assistive technology devices.
What is an IEP?
IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a legally binding document that defines what special education and related services your child will receive and why. The document includes your child’s classification, placement, services such as a one-on-one aide and therapies, academic and behavioral goals, a behavior plan if needed, percentage of time in regular education, and progress reports from teachers and therapists. The IEP is planned at an IEP Team Meeting.
When do I need to get a Lawyer involved in advocating for my child?
The answer to this question is always case specific. Some of the reasons to contact our firm are: When you suspect there are academic, social or emotional problems or delays that are impacting on any aspect of your child’s functioning. Some examples of this can include:
Fabisch Law, L.L.C.