PowerPoint Presentation - Academy of Special Needs Planners by hedongchenchen

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									    SPECIAL EDUCATION
          ADVOCACY:
 What every Special Needs Planner
          Needs to Know


Saundra M. Gumerove, Esq.
      42 Marian Lane
     Jericho, NY 11753
        516.822.3397
     smg@smgesq.com
     advokidsblog.com
      Why Should I Care About
      Special Education Issues?

   Clients frequently have children and grandchildren
    with special needs who are students.

   Individuals with special needs do not exist in a vacuum.

   There is an interconnection between planning, services
    and education where the skills of a special needs
    planner are invaluable.
What is Special Education?

The Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
        defines special education as:

   “Specifically designed instruction, provided at no
    cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of a
    child with a disability.”

   Purpose is to level the playing field between children
    with disabilities and those without disabilities.
         Purpose of the IDEA

   “to ensure that all children with disabilities have
    available to them a free and appropriate public
    education” in the least restrictive environment that
    “emphasizes special education and related services
    designed to meet their unique needs and prepare
    them for further education, employment and
    independent living.”

   “To ensure that the rights of children with
    disabilities and parents of such children are
    protected; . . .”
      Why are special education
          laws necessary?

   Compulsory Attendance Laws routinely excluded the
    mentally retarded and “feebleminded” as well
    as children with behavior problems.

   Parent organized in the late 1940s to
    establish schools

   The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s & 1960s

   Brown v. Bd. Of Education of Topeka 1954:
    “Separate but equal is inherently unequal”
   The Willowbrook Debacle in the early 1970s (although a recent
    Texas Case says Willowbrook still exists).

   PARC v. Pennsylvania 1971: consent decree: mentally retarded
    children cannot be denied an education.

   Education for all Handicapped Children Act, the first statute
    requiring special education, passed in 1975.

   Renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    (“IDEA”) in 1990

   Reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement
    Act (“IDEIA”) in 2004

   Special Education is an ever evolving discipline
             6 Principles of
            Special Education
   Guarantee of a free and appropriate public education
    (“FAPE”)
   Least Restrictive Environment (“LRE”)
   Nondiscriminatory Evaluations
   Development of the Individualized Education Plan
    (“IEP”)
   Parent Participation
   Procedural Due Process
    How Does the IDEA Work?
   Child Find

   Referral for an evaluation:
      Requires parental consent

      60 days from consent

      Assessed on all areas of suspected disability

      Team meeting to determine if meets disability

       criteria and that disability affects ability to learn
      Parent has right to ask for an independent

       evaluation at District expense.
      IEP Team meets within 30 days
   Development of the IEP

       Legally enforceable document

       Team must include certain members
        (Parent, generated teacher, special ed teacher,
        District decision maker, others with specific
        knowledge of child, someone to interpret
        test results)

       Considers child’s strengths, concerns of parent,
        evaluation results, academic, developmental and
        functional needs of the child and special factors.
        Components of IEP
   Present level of performance
   Annual Goal Development
   Specification of Related Services, frequency
    and duration
   Specification of Accommodations and
    Modifications
   Transition Services
    (beginning between ages 14 and 16)
   Determination of need for extended school year,
    etc.
   Placement
    FAPE: Free and Appropriate
        Public Education
   Parents do not pay for education or related services.

   Special education services must meet the child’s needs
    but do not have to provide the “best” education, only
    an appropriate one. (See Rowley case)

   There must be an educational benefit to the services

   Costs and district resources are not considered in
       determining special education services to be
    provided.
       LRE: Least Restrictive
          Environment

   Start with children can be educated in a
    general education classroom.

   Need justification for placement in segregated
    settings (classrooms or schools)

   Evaluations must support removal from
    general education setting
Non-Discriminatory Evaluations

   Evaluators must be properly trained to
    administer the evaluation

   Use a variety of assessment tools that are not
    racially or culturally biased

   Parents must be given notice

   Parent evaluations must be considered
Parents Are Equal Partners
   Parents of A child with a disability are
    members of any group that makes decisions
    for their child

   Can refuse special education services

   Must provide consent for evaluations

   Required member of the IEP Team

   Required for placement decisions
                  Placement

   Special education is not a physical place but the
    location of the delivery of services

   Placement is the means of carrying out the IEP.

   As close as possible to the child’s home

   Parents are required members of the team
    determining placement
    Transition Services - Ages 14-16
   Transition Services: a coordinated set of
    activities for a student with a disability that

      1)   is designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes
           movement from school to the post school activities, including
           postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated
           employment (including supported employment), continuing
           and adult education, adult services, independent living, or
           community participation;

      2)   is based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account
           the student’s preferences and interests; and

      3)   includes instruction, related services; community experiences,
           the development of employment and other post-school adult
           living objectives; and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living
           skills and functional vocational evaluation.
   IEP must include statement of transition
    services beginning at age 14/16

   Mandated that representatives of any other
    agency likely to be responsible for providing
    or paying for transition services be invited to
    the IEP meeting.

   Transition planning is the least understood
    and properly implemented portion of the
    IEP.
       Procedural Due Process:
        Fundamental Fairness
   5th Amendment: “No citizen will have his or her rights to life,
    liberty and property removed by the federal government without
    legal due process.”

   14th Amendment: “nor shall any state deprive any person of life,
    liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any
    person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.”

   The Constitution does not give a right to education; Right to Due
    Process is guaranteed in education because states gave the right in
    legislation. Compulsory public education = student’s right to an
    education which is protected by due process.
   Goss v Lopez (1975): Suspension without a hearing
    violates due process clause.
       “Having chosen to extend the right to an education . . .
        Ohio may not withdraw the right on the grounds of
        misconduct absent fundamentally fair procedures to
        determine if the conduct has occurred.”
       “Young people . . . Do not “shed their constitutional
        rights at the schoolhouse door.”
       Rights meaningless for those with disabilities who were
        systematically excluded from enrolling in public
        schools.

   PARC: Minimum due process requires
       Notice of school’s action resulting in a deprivation of a
        right given by state/federal law.
       Opportunity to present evidence in opposition to
        proposed school action.
   Mills: due process procedures must be followed
    in every case to protect the rights of children
    with disabilities.

   Court found:
       Before classification child must be evaluated
        by testing
       Must consider socio-cultural background to
        determine if testing is biased
       No child with a disability can be expelled or
        suspended for more than 10 days without
        a hearing
       Parents must be notified with opportunity to
        contest new placement
   Written prior notice: initiate or change or refuse to
    initiate or change identification, placement, FAPE

   Native language

   Opportunity for mediation

   Opportunity to present complaint and Notice of
    due process hearing

   Due Process Hearing

   IDEA sets forth required content of written notice
   Parents who prevail at an impartial
    hearing can recover attorney’s fees from
    school districts

   If the school district prevails the district
    may recover attorney’s fees in limited
    circumstances.

   Burden of Proof
                 Stay Put
   During a due process hearing and court
    review, child must remain in the
    “current educational placement” unless
    District and Parent otherwise agree
   Protects student from constant change
    in placement
   If hearing officer agrees with change in
    placement, it occurs immediately
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 §504

   Designed to protect the rights of individuals with
    disabilities in programs receiving federal funds

   To protect students with disabilities from
    discrimination for any reason related to their disability
    (i.e. extracurricular activities, disability harassment.)

   Students receiving services under the IDEA are
    automatically protected under Section 504. Students
    receiving services under a 504 plan do not have the
    same due process protections available to students with
    a disability and their parents under the IDEA
   Eligibility: An individual must have
     “a physical or mental impairment which
       substantially limits one or more major life
       activities. . .”

   An evaluation must be conducted by the school
    but is much less regulated than under IDEA.

   Plan under Section 504 can provide services
    and accommodations to students with
    disabilities but does not provide the same
    protections that an
    IEP provides.
             Why should
       Special Needs Planners
    care about Special Education?
   Clients have children who are students

   Planning for students requires an understanding of
    special education services

   Transition planning should be coordinated with
    special needs planning

   Life planning is not addressed by special education
    but can impact special education planning
    (the IEP).
        Saundra M. Gumerove, Esq., the mother of a daughter with
special needs, focuses her law practice to helping those with
special needs. Special education, guardianship, life planning
(including special needs trusts) or government entitlements, Sandy is
there to assist. Prior to opening her private practice Sandy was
counsel for a money center bank and served as General Counsel for
a national commercial finance company. Having practiced in the
area of special needs for over twenty years, Sandy further serves
the disability community as a Vice President of the Board of
Nassau AHRC, a member of the NYSARC Board of Governors,
Treasurer of the Brookville School for Children, and by authoring
articles of interest to the disability community. Sandy also authors a
website entitled Advokidsblog.com (http://advokidsblog.com) and
often speaks on subjects of interest to the disability community.

								
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