Frequently Asked Questions About Special Education
The special education attorneys at Leigh Law Group are experienced and trusted by many families in the San Francisco Bay Area. We understand the challenges your family may face every day. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to your story to provide you with individualized representation and care. Call 800-768-2168 today for a consultation to discuss any legal concerns you may have. We help clients with the following common questions.
Is My Child Eligible For An Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
An IEP is a carefully crafted special education plan designed specifically for each child. You may already know your child could be eligible for an IEP if he or she has a medically diagnosed disability, including blindness or deafness. If this is so, you can provide the school with medical documentation. However, there is still a legal process to see if a child is eligible for an IEP. Schools follow federal standards as they conduct:
- An educational evaluation: Professionals, including psychologists and other educators, will analyze your child’s ability and performance through tests and observations.
- An eligibility determination: If the evaluation determines your child has a disability and would benefit from an IEP, they then determine need and eligibility.
After these two steps, your child may be eligible for an IEP.
How Do You Obtain Services For A Child With A Learning Disability?
Children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia qualify specifically in California for an IEP when their dyslexia affects their ability to access their education. You can obtain services through an IEP by requesting an educational evaluation to determine your child’s eligibility and need for special education services. That request should always be in writing and triggers the evaluation process. 504 Plan Process. Services through a 504 plan require a slightly different process. This plan comes from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which obligates public schools to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Though outlined in federal law, it is often the parent who is responsible for obtaining 504 services by:
- Recording their child’s needs
- Meeting with coordinators and educators
- Formally requesting a plan
- Helping to create the education plan
There is still an evaluation process to determine eligibility for a 504 plan.
What If The District Or Board Denies Special Education Services?
If your child’s school or education board denies the special education services or eligibility, you can contact Leigh Law Group to support you. We will strive to protect your as well as your child’s rights. Our attorneys can help you:
- Obtain outside regional center education services
- Explore an independent educational evaluation (IEE)
- Challenge the denial by filing a special education complaint or a CDE complaint
- We are also well version in discrimination and failures to appropriately accommodate
We will stand by you against any challenges you may face. Our goals are to get you the help you and your child need and to protect your child’s future.
Can My Child Apply For Special Education Programs In Higher Education?
No. However, many institutions are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Eligible students must create an academic support plan that includes the services colleges and universities provide for Section 504-eligible students. An academic accommodation plan can cover many areas of need, including:
- Class substitutions
- Note takers in each class
Many higher education institutions nowadays also have specific services to assist students with disabilities or certain needs.
How Can An Attorney Help Me?
Since many disability accommodations fall under specific laws and civil rights, an experienced education law attorney offers essential support and representation. We can help you and your family with a wide range of matters, including:
- Filling out the correct benefit forms
- Reviewing education or medical records
- Assisting with placement services
- Advocating for you at meetings with counselors and academic disability staff
- Communicating with schools on your behalf
- Challenging removals from a university or college when the student has been wrongfully removed for academic issues or behavior
- Challenging failing grades due to failure to accommodate
- Claims of behavioral misconduct such as plagiarism or harassment