IDEA: DO SPECIAL ED LAWS APPLY TO A CHURCH DISABILITY PROGRAM?

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Wendy:  I was the volunteer director of a church special needs ministry. I have left that church to help other churches…and since I left they are doing some things differently and I was concerned. I am an OT so I understand laws for schools but am not sure about churches. They are meeting to discuss a behavior plan for a student with multiple people present..but not the parents. Is this allowed in this setting?

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Sophie
10/05/2016 1:08 am

It’s allowed but I don’t think it’s required unless the program receives federal funding. However, I have been able to pressure private programs to provide accommodations similar to what my child receives in school by citing laws in slightly vague or misleading ways. Don’t pound your fist, but do “take time to teach” to quote Faber and Mazlish, (authors of “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk”).

You can also point out that the plan will stand the best chance of success with involvement by the parents.

One other idea — see if you can find some documents of the national organization this church is part of, talking about parent involvement. If you don’t find anything there, quote the national PTA.