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The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, educational methods that work, and Internet links.
We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -
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(1) MEDIATION - What IS mediation? How Does it Work?
(2). NEW CASE! Peck v. Lansing (6th Circuit, June 29, 1998) - Can a child get special education services at a parochial school? Or does this violate the Establishment Clause?
(3) NEW LETTERS TO WEBMASTER - Debbie requests a due process hearing about her son’s placement; Jim and Mary go to mediation, a California lawyer wants to learn more about special education, and more.
(4) GUEST SERIES: DEE APPELL, ESQ. parent attorney from New York will be our guest.
(5) A NEW PROJECT - The NEW Special Ed Advocate Bookstore is Coming Soon!
(6) NEWS FLASH! "Understanding Special
Education," a 12 Week Series on AOL, on Wednesday at 9 pm, July 22
Through October 7
(1) MEDIATION -
What is mediation? How does mediation work? Should parents take a lawyer to mediation? A few days ago, we received this letter -
Dear Pete and Pam:
I hope you can help us. Our 8 year old daughter who is going into third grade is severely-profoundly hearing impaired, oral, and mainstreamed.
Although she is passing, we are very concerned about third grade . We have been doing so much work at home with her. My husband and I requested that she have an itinerant teacher next year. The school denied our request. They said she will have to flounder before they will provide her with any help. If we stopped working with her, she would flounder. We’re not willing to do this.
We are going to mediation about this issue.
We contacted an attorney. The attorney suggested that we go to mediation alone, or rather that it wasn't necessary to bring an attorney with us. The school is sending an attorney to the mediation. Is it wise for us to go without one?
We have letters from professionals, audiologists, psychiatrists, backing our case. We don't have an attorney to go with us.
What else can we do? What should we bring with us to mediation? Any words of wisdom?
Jim and Mary
To read our answer, go to
To read our new article about mediation, go to
(2) NEW CASE! Peck v. Lansing (Sixth Circuit)
Questions about special education services at private schools and parochial schools continue to be raised.
On June 29, 1998, the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in Peck v. Lansing.
Can a child with a disability get special education services and/or related services at her parochial school? Or would this be improper and a violation of the Establishment Clause?
To learn more, go to
(3) NEW LETTERS TO WEBMASTER -
Debbie from New York requested a due process hearing about placement for her 7 year old autistic son:
"Kevin has been in a "regular ed." first grade. I requested standardized testing in reading and math this year. He tests a full grade level behind in both areas. Yet his teacher describes the "good progress" he has made.
"I knew that Kevin's progress next year would hinge on his placement in a visually rich program. Fortunately, there is just such a teacher/room in our district. I approached the CSE chair about this concern. He told me that which teacher Kevin has is completely out of the CSE's hands because Kevin is in a "regular ed" program.
Over the last 3 months, I met with Kevin's (then) teacher, the elementary school principal, the district superintendent, and the Board of Education. All refused to place Kevin in the visual program, instead deferring to the recommendation of this year's teacher."
A few days ago, Debbie got some surprising news. To find out what Debbie just learned, go to
An attorney from California wants to learn more about special education law, a teacher is touched by Bill Matthew’s letter, and a parent wishes it would snow so she could spend more time at our website!
To read these new letters to the Webmaster, go to
(4) COMING SOON - OUR GUEST WILL BE DEE APPELL, ESQ. PARENT ATTORNEY FROM NEW YORK
New York attorney Dee Appell is a tireless
champion for the rights of children and their parents. Dee will provide
our guests with her insights into legal tactics and strategy. We’ll
be sending another announcement about Dee soon.
(5) NEW PROJECT - THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE BOOKSTORE IS COMING SOON!
If Oprah can do it, so can we.
From time to time, we suggest that clients, web visitors, family, and friends read a particular book. After we developed our website, we starting receiving messages that asked "Where can I get that book you recommended last year?"
Over the next few weeks, we'll be working on our new Special Ed Advocate Bookstore. We have associated with amazon.com. Amazon claims to be the biggest bookstore in the world. They are certainly the most successful bookstore on the Internet.
If you subscribe to our free online newsletter, you will receive an announcement about our Grand Opening. For updates about our progress on the Special Ed Advocate Bookstore, go to
(6) NEWS FLASH! "UNDERSTANDING SPECIAL EDUCATION"
With IDEA 97 bringing about significant changes to this law, it is an important time to understand what this amended law does and how it works. Several national experts on special education and civil rights disability law will be featured on AOL in the Better Health Conference Room.
The guest speaker schedule until the end of August follows:
July 29, 1998: Understanding IDEA 1997
August 5, 1998: FERPA, Transportation
August 12, 1998: Evaluations -What
Parents Need to Know About Tests and Measurements
August 19, 1998: Students Rights under
The ADA, Section 504
August 26, 1998: Your Rights in Mediation
and Due Process
This 12 Week Series is on AOL, Wednesday at 9 pm, from July 22 through October 7.