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

“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 …Read more

DOJ Finds GA Violates ADA by Segregating Students with Disabilities

On July 15, 2015, the United States sent its findings to the State of Georgia stating that the State’s administration of the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS) program violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily segregating students with disabilities from their peers in school. The State fails to ensure that students with behavior-related disabilities receive services and supports that could enable them to remain in, or return to, the most integrated educational placements appropriate to their needs. Read more at ADA: Information and Technical Assistance DOJ Findings (PDF) U.S. probe into Georgia special …Read more

Delivering the Promise of ADA in Our Schools

A Denver charter school disenrolled a kindergarten student after finding out on orientation day that he had a mobility issue that would require him to use the school’s elevator. The school officials told the department it only handles ‘mild disabilities,’ and that they couldn’t ensure there would be an adult to ride the elevator with the student. ‘Well, they can now.’ Another student, with brittle-bone disease, was barred by her school from going on a field trip, because the school said it couldn’t guarantee her safety. The civil rights office intervened, and the school has purchased a special vehicle to …Read more

School’s Conduct Is an “Attack Upon Child’s Dignity as a Human Being”

in  F.H. et. al. v. Memphis City Schools (2014), the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a precedential opinion that favors parental rights to seek relief for non-educational injuries and to enforce settlement agreements.  – Hat tip to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) F.H., endured physical and emotional abuse from aides who were not properly trained or supervised by the school district for ten years. In 2011, despite a Settlement Agreement, the abuse by F.H.’s aides continued. When F.H.’s parents filed suit in federal court, the district court held that the parents were required to exhaust …Read more

How Can I Get My Son’s IEP Updated for College?

My son’s IEP was last updated in 3rd grade. He is now a senior at a private christian school. How can I get his IEP updated for college? There are several issues in your question. Private Schools and IEPs Does a private school have to provide an IEP for a child with a disability? Answer: No. IDEA 2004 does not apply to private schools. Private Placement and IEPs Does the public school have to provide that child with an IEP?

New! at Wrightslaw: Allergies / Anaphylaxis

A child with an allergy, asthma, even diabetes, has an “episodic” condition which, as a result of the amendments to ADA, normally qualifies the public school child for the protections of 504 and the private school child / day care youngster, for the protections of ADA. New at Wrightslaw!  We have created a new Allergies / Anaphylaxis page at http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/allergy.index.htm Food Allergy Research and Education At the Food Allergy Research & Education Association (FARE) annual conference, I did a 5 hour presentation about allergies and anaphylaxis. The focus was on 504 and ADA and very little on IDEA. Conference attendees …Read more

College Accommodations: What are My Child’s Rights?

Where can I find out my daughter’s rights to accommodations in college? We asked for testing to be done out of the classroom in a quiet location. All of her tests in high school were done this way. We also asked for copies of notes, PowerPoint slides, and teacher outlines to help her follow lectures. These were all denied. We have a section about college issues and problems on the Wrightslaw College: Continuing and Higher Education page at http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/college.index.htm. Start with these two free publications. Preparing Your Child For College: A Resource Book for Parents This resource book is designed …Read more

Accommodations on the Bar Exam: Federal Judge Rules

In 2009 when Stephanie Enyart, a blind law school graduate, requested assistive tech to take the bar exam, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) refused to give her the tech aids she requested. NCBE offered other accommodations that, they said, met ADA requirements. Enyart asked for a combination of visual and auditory aids because she could not rely solely on her hearing or Braille.  NCBE said her plan would be a financial and administrative burden. In October 2011, a U.S. District Court judge ruled NCBE violated the ADA and CA civil rights law.  This judgement came after the 9th …Read more

Some Students Don’t Receive Needed Test Accommodations

Disability Scoop reports that “too little is being done to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations on the SAT, ACT and other standardized tests, according to a new government report. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act requires test companies to provide accommodations like extra time or different formats, the Government Accountability Office found that many students with disabilities face significant barriers. Students say test companies ask for too much documentation to prove their special needs. Many students were frustrated because the test companies refused to provide the accommodations that they received at school.

IDEA 2004 and Private Schools

I work at a small private school and two of our students have a current IEP.  The staff was told that because we are a private school, we are not obligated to service the IEP. This doesn’t sound right, is it correct? It depends. IDEA 2004 does not apply to private schools. Private schools are not covered under IDEA, the special education law. If a public school places a child with an IEP in a private spec ed school as a part of the IEP, then the public school remains responsible for ensuring that the private school implements the IEP.