The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

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A Good Time to Say “Thanks”

by Wrightslaw

Young boy with a thank you signThis is a good week to take the time to say thank you to those who are helping your child –

a wonderful teacher, a positive counselor, a helpful classroom aide, or a thoughtful bus driver.

There are many people working in the system who help you and your kids. We need to do what we can to give them positive feedback.

Too often people who work with us hear complaints but not praise.

When someone does a good job, let them know. Help keep them energized and prevent them from burning out.

You can create positive parent school relationships in just 2 minutes, by writing a quick “thanks”.

If you have a little more time, Special Needs Educational Advisor, Meredith Warshaw gives us advice about how to do more in Preventing Burnout in the People Who Help Us.

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Wrightslaw Training Coming to Bowie, MD on May 5, 2016

by Wrightslaw

Join sponsors, Loud Voices Together Educational Advocacy Group, Inc., and presenters Pete and Pam Wright, on May 5, 2016 for a One-Day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training.

The training will take place at the Comfort Inn Hotel and Conference Center.

Conference fee includes all day beverage bar, buffet sandwich lunch, a Wrightslaw highlighter pen and the four Wrightslaw books which retails for $77.80. The May 4, 2016 Meet and Greet function is included in the registration fee also. Question & Answer Session to include Heavy Hors d’oeuvres and featuring Pete and Pam Wright! The Meet & Greet is for paid conference attendees who have RSVP’s. See Entire Agenda!

Register Online Today!

Download and share the conference flyer.

The sponsors have arraigned a special room rate of $121.50 per night stay with the Comfort Inn Hotel and Conference Center. Call the front desk at 301-464-0089 and use the name Loud Voices Together. Give contract number 2247770 to receive the discount. The special rate ends April 4, 2016.

See you in Bowie, MD!

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Feds Sue NY District for Discrimination & Violating Service Animal Requirements of ADA

by Wrightslaw

“It is no longer acceptable – if ever it was – for a district to refuse reasonable modifications to a child who seeks to handle her own service dog … Certainly since passage of the American with Disabilities Act in 1990, such failure not only violates the dictates of conscience, it also violates the law”

On September 29 2015, the Department of Justice filed suit against the Gates-Chili Central School District for refusing to allow a third grader with disabilities to attend school with her service dog unless her parent provides a separate adult handler for the dog.

Devyn’s Story

In preschool, the district allowed Devyn to bring her dog, Hannah, to school and allowed school staff to help.

But when Devyn entered Kindergarten, the district changed their policies and procedures, and would not allow Devyn to bring Hannah to school unless her parent provided a separate adult handler. [Read more →]

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FREE Wrightslaw Training Just Outside of OKC on December 3, 2015

by Wrightslaw

The 13th Annual Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training in Edmond, OK takes place on December 3, 2015. This FREE training is sponsored by The Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. and Partners in Education Advocacy.  The sponsors welcome Pete Wright, Esq. to the University of Central Oklahoma for this special event.

Registration is FREE to parents, family members, and individuals who work with children with disabilities and are residents of Oklahoma. Out of state registrants are welcome, but will be charged for the cost of the books ($78).

Download the In-State Registration Form.

Download the Out-of-State Registration Form.

Fax your registration form to 405-525-7759. Registration includes four books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments.

See you in Oklahoma!


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Enforcing State Compliance with IDEA 2004

by Pam Wright

gavelIDEA outlines procedural safeguards to protect children and allow their parents to be equal participants.

The problem is little or no enforcement of the IDEA.  This has allowed school district staff to create rules on the fly.

The response from my state Department of Education?  “We know our system is flawed and broken. But, our hands are tied.”

Really? Who tied their hands? Seriously.

This is good example of how to use the IDEA, the federal special education law and the implementing regulations …
[

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Reminder – Wrightslaw Training in Sunny California!

by Wrightslaw



Who: Pete Wright, Esq.

What: Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training

When: Monday, December 7, 2015

Where: Pechanga Resort and Casino, Grand Ballroom in Temecula, CA

How: By Train, Plane or Automobile!

For all conference details, please click here.

See you in California!


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Do I Have to Tell If I Tape-Record the IEP Meeting?

by Pete Wright

tape recorderCan I tape record the IEP meeting without telling the CSE committee?  Is it legal?

Without regard to any particular state or federal law, except for law enforcement personnel, in general if someone records a meeting or a telephone call without knowledge of the other person, frequently it is not admissible evidence in any litigation. It may be a crime committed by you.

The question then is… what would you be able to do with it? Quite possibly nothing!

A Better Way

What I always told my clients, NEVER tape record someone without their knowledge, whether over the phone or face to face.

Once people know that you’ve taped without knowledge, even those on your side of the fence will always wonder if you are taping their conversation with you.

They will always be cautious and distrustful of you.

For a meeting, a better approach is: [

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Don’t Miss Out! Wrightslaw Training Coming to Bradenton, FL on November 7, 2015!

by Wrightslaw

Join sponsors, Family Network on Disabilities of Manatee\Sarasota, Inc. and speaker, Pete Wright, Esq. for this one-day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

The conference will take place at Woodland Community Church, located at 9607 State Road, 70 East in Bradenton, FL.

Registration includes light breakfast, boxed lunch, a Wrightslaw highlighter pen and four Wrightslaw books which retail for $77.80.

Register online.

Download the flyer/registration form.

Download and share the Save-the-Date flyer.

See you in Bradenton, FL!

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Yes or No? IEP Meetings Can Only Be 1 Hour Long

by Pam Wright

teacher and classI’ve been a special ed teacher for 25 years.  I have questions about two things my Supervisor told me this year.

1. An IEP meeting cannot last more than one hour.  If the time runs over, I must stop the meeting and reschedule another one.

2.  No times were completed on the IEP, but I must sign it anyway.

You’ve been a sped teacher for 23 years so you’ve probably heard or been told things that you later learned were not accurate.

I’m glad you decided to check this out.

When you say the “times on the IEP were not complete,” I assume you are referring to duration of services.

Duration is the the amount of service time for special education, related services, and supplementary aids and services for the child.

The IEP is not complete until the information about services that will be provided is complete and correct.

The USDOE published a Model IEP form so people can see what should be included. [Read more →]

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Wrightslaw Training Coming to San Jose, CA on February 25, 2016

by Wrightslaw

Parents Helping Parents is sponsoring a Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at the Westgate Church in San Jose, CA. Peter W. D. Wright, Esq., is presenting this one-day training.

Conference fee includes morning coffee, afternoon snacks and four Wrightslaw books. 6.0 CLEs (continuing legal credits) have been approved for this conference. 0.6 CEUs (continuing education units) are pending for this conference. The units are provided by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education. They provide both graduate credit for practicing teachers and CEUs for a variety of professionals who need to document their professional development hours.

Wrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education. The program is not disability specific.

Register Online Today!

See you in San Jose, CA!


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