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The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
July 22, 2002

Issue - 172

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Al's Success Story: How I Got Compensatory Ed for My Son

Success Stories on

New Case: Damages Under Section 504 & ADA

Damages, Discrimination & Section 504

Flyer for College Students with Disabilities

Protecting Students from Harassment & Hate Crime

Subscription & Contact Info



At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need to navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at damages, discrimination and Section 504.

Highlights: Al's success story - how I got compensatory ed for my son; more success stories on; new case about damages under Section 504 and ADA; damages, discrimination, and Section 504; download new flyer for college students with disabilities; free pub about "Protecting Students from Harassment & Hate Crime."

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help!

Planning for the new year? Learn how you can start a FETA Study Group.

1. Al's Success Story: How I Got 140 Hours of Compensatory Ed for My Son

"One evening my wife mentioned that the school released the special ed kids earlier than the regular ed kids. In fact, the school released our son 27 minutes earlier than they released non-disabled students -- every day. I recalled reading about this practice on Wrightslaw - and that it was illegal."

"What did I do? How? What did I accomplish? What did I do wrong?"

Read Al's Success Story: How I Got 140 Hours of Compensatory Education.

2. New! Success Stories on

Learn how parents are using information from Wrightslaw and common sense to resolve problems and get better services for their children. In our new Success Stories Section, you will meet -

* A mom who used the school's test data to support her request for an ABA program,
* A parent who learned that asking the right questions
is a key to successful advocacy;
* The parent of a child with autism who devised win-win solutions and avoided a due process hearing.

Visit Success Stories.

The Search is On! Strategies for Successful Advocacy

We are collecting stories about successful advocacy from parents and advocates. Do you have a success story and advocacy strategy to share?

Learn more about our search for Success Stories.
Learn more about Parent Advocacy.

3. New Case: Damages Under Section 504 & ADA

Many people have questions about damages.
The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision about damages under Section 504 and ADA.

In Polera v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City Sch. Dist, the court ruled that the disabled child must exhaust her administrative remedies under the IDEA before she can sue for damages under Section 504 and ADA. This decision includes an extensive discussion of relief under the statutes, compensatory and punitive damages, the exhaustion requirement, and the futility exception to exhaustion.

Download the decision in Polera v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City School District

4. Damages, Discrimination & Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabiliation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Under the IDEA, parents may be entitled to reimbursement for costs related to the child's special education (to learn more, go to FAPE and IEPs).

Several courts of appeals have ruled that before bringing a damages case under Section 504 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), parents must first exhaust their administrative remedies under the IDEA.

Read articles and cases about Damages.
Learn about discrimination and Section 504.

5. Help for College Kids- New Flyer from Wrightslaw

The transition from high school to college is difficult - and this transition is usually harder for kids with disabilities. Although college students with disabilities are protected from discrimination under Section 504, some professors take a dim view of students who request accommodations.

How can you help your college-bound child make a successful transition to college?

College-bound students need to learn self-advocacy skills - how to present information about their disability and accommodations so professors want to help. If students master these skills, they are more likely to make a successful transition from high school to college.

The resources in our new Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer are divided into three categories:

  • Rights and Responsibilities under Section 504
  • Planning and Preparation
  • Keys to Success

Download our new 2-page Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer.

Your Strategy

We suggest that you make two copies of the Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer - one for your child, one for yourself. After you and your child have reviewed these resources, sit down and discuss what you learned.

More Flyers from Wrightslaw

6. Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools

Many children experience sexual, racial and ethnic harassment at school.
Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools provides guidance about protecting students from harassment and violence based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability.

Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools was published by the U. S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and the National Association of Attorneys General and is endorsed by the National School Boards Association.

Topics addressed in this comprehensive, step-by-step manual include:

* Developing the District's Written Anti-Harassment Policy
* Identifying and Responding to Incidents of Harassment
* Formal Complaint / Grievance Procedures
* Creating a School Climate that Supports Racial, Cultural, and other Forms of Diversity
* Addressing Hate Crimes & Conflicts in School and the Community

More Free Publications

Download dozens of free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline from our Free Pubs Page.

7. Subscription & Contact Info

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

To subscribe.

Read back issues.

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Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
ISSN: 1538-3202
Pete and Pam Wright
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
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