Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
September 21, 2004


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278
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. Special Education Due Process Hearings

2. How to Resolve Disputes: Negotiate, Mediate, Litigate

3. How to Prepare for a Due Process Hearing by Brice Palmer

4. How to Put on a Special Education Case by Sonja Kerr, Esq.

5. Surviving Due Process: When Parents & School Board Disagree - Special Offer Ends 9/28

6. Do Parents Have Any Rights in the Workplace?

7. Find Help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

8. Wrightslaw Programs: CT, VA, OK

9. Subscription & Contact Info 

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Special education due process hearings; how to resolve disputes - mediation, negotiation, litigation; how to prepare for a special ed due process hearing; how to put on a special education case; prepub offer on Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board ends 9/28; do parents of disabled children have rights in the workplace?; find help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities; Wrightslaw programs in CT, VA, OK.

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)


1. Special Education Due Process Hearings

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes rules of procedure for resolving disputes between parents and schools. These rules include mediation, due process hearings, and appeals to state or federal court. (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, page 71)

A due process hearing is usually a forma trial. From an attorney's perspective, special education cases are similar to medical malpractice cases, with battles of expert witnesses, and bitterly contested divorce cases, with intense emotions and feelings of betrayal on both sides.

Before you request a due process hearing, you should be familiar with the federal statute and regulations and your state special education statute and regulations. You should also read the Rules of Adverse Assumptions. (Chapter 21, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy)

New! The Surviving Due Process: When Parents and the School Board Disagree - Stephen Jeffers v. School Board DVD takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparations to testimony by the final witness. The cast includes Pete Wright who represents the parents and Kathleen Mehfoud, the nationally-known attorney who represents the school board. Learn more l Prepublication Offer


2. How to Resolve Special Education Disputes: Negotiate, Mediate or Litigate

In How to Resolve Special Education Disputes: Negotiate, Mediate or Litigate, Pete and Pam Wright discuss reasons for conflict between parents and schools. They describe how to use negotiation, mediation and litigation to resolve disputes - and the pros and cons of each strategy. Read article

Learn more about due process hearings
Learn more about mediation
.


3. How to Prepare for a Due Process Hearing

"If you do not plan and organize the pursuit, you are likely to wind up as road kill."

In How to Prepare for a Special Education Due Process Hearing, Vermont advocate Brice Palmer offers advice about how to prepare for a due process hearing or review. He lists steps to take and focuses on the need to plan and organize:

"Although you may not think you have advocacy skills, you probably do. A well-planned presentation, a calm attitude, a predetermined goal, and control over any anger you harbor will achieve more for your child than anything else." Read article

Mr. Palmer also wrote Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process.

Learn more about effective advocacy.



4. How to Put on a Special Education Case by Sonja Kerr, Esq.

In How to Put on a Special Education Case, parent attorney Sonja Kerr offers good advice to the attorney who is preparing for a due process hearing. Learn why you should not fly solo. Remember whose job it is to educate. This article includes tips about building the "perfect case."
Read article.

Ms. Kerr also wrote How to Handle Disagreements at IEP Meetings (or Playing 20 Questions with the Devil)

More articles about special education law & litigation.


5. Stephen Jeffers v. School Board DVD - Special Pre-pub Offer Ends Sept 28

Surviving Due Process: When Parents and the School Board Disagree - Stephen Jeffers v. School Board DVD takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparations to testimony by the final witness.

As you watch Surviving Due Process, pay attention to your reactions to the witnesses. What impression did each witness make on you? Who did you trust most? Least? Why?

Three witnesses testified for the School Board - which witness gave the most persuasive testimony? Three witnesses and Stephen's mother testified for the parents - which witness was most persuasive? Least persuasive? Why?

Did you have different ideas or feelings about special education due process hearings after you viewed Surviving Due Process? How did your perspective change?

Read the Story
Meet the Cast
Internet Orders
Mail & Fax Orders
Prepublication Offer - Free Shipping on ALL Wrightslaw Products - (Ends 9/28)


6. Question: Do Parents Have Any Rights in the Workplace?

Barbara writes, "Do parents of disabled children have any rights in the workplace? I have a child with William's Syndrome, another with Type I diabetes. My shift has been changed - this is wreaking havoc on them."

Yes. Read Employment Law Protections for Parents of Disabled and Ill Children by attorney Loring Spolter. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides important job protections to parents who take time off from work to be with children receiving medical and psychiatric care or are recuperating from serious health concerns. Read article.

Learn more about parent advocacy.


7. Find Help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

The most common question we receive at Wrightslaw is "I need to find a . . . psychologist OR educational consultant OR tutor OR advocate OR attorney. Please help me!"

If you are looking for help - or a helper - visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities. Your state Yellow Pages has many resources - evaluators, speech language therapists, tutors, special ed schools, advocates, attorneys, organizations, and support groups.

These articles will help you find help or a helper:

What to Expect from an Evaluation of Your Child

Working with Independent Evaluators and Educational Consultants

Strategies to Find a Support or Study Group

Free Listings in the Yellow Pages: If you help parents get services for children (i.e., an evaluator, educational consultant, academic tutor, advocate, attorney, special ed school, etc.) or you facilitate a support or study group for parents, please submit an application be listed in the Yellow Pages for Kids. Send an email to app@yellowpagesforkids.com for more info. Listings in the Yellow Pages are free.

Help Others: Please print and distribute Flyers for Your State Yellow Pages for Kids.


8. Put Wrightslaw Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training on Your To-Do List

"The Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder, PLC

Wrightslaw legal advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests and measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies. Participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, as part of their registration (Value: $59.90).

Northeast: Hartford, CT (September 21-22)

Mid-Atlantic: Virginia Beach, VA (November 12-13)

South Central: Oklahoma City, OK (December 4) FREE to Oklahoma parents & educational caregivers

Don't procrastinate - register now! These programs are often "sold out" ahead of time.

No Child Left Behind Seminars

Sue Heath, co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, is providing training on No Child Left Behind. Sue also writes about creative advocacy strategies in her column, Doing Your Homework, which appears in The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter and on Wrightslaw.com. Learn more

I
f you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for Fall 2005 and 2006.)


9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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