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Why the ACT, College Board are Denying Your Request for Accommodations and How To Turn That Around


Being granted accommodations for high-stakes standardized tests is no easy task, especially if your child is a high-achiever who has learned to successfully compensate for a disability.  Fortunately, during the Obama administration there were some positive legal developments that have made the law both clearer and more favorable to high-achieving applicants. When testing companies deny accommodations to high-achievers, the reasons are usually the same.  Here are those reasons and several strategies to combat those denials. "Eleventh Hour" Disabilities Testing companies to which you submit an accomodation request get hundreds of applications for extended time for every test sitting; they often don’t [...]

Why the ACT, College Board are Denying Your Request for Accommodations and How To Turn That Around2018-03-16T12:31:44+00:00

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!


Today our triplet clients had another huge win against the Miami-Dade County School District - the fourth largest in the country.  We're so thrilled to report that Judge Joan Lenard of the Federal District Court of the Southern District of Florida denied the school board's motion to dismiss our case.  Our clients, who won a due process case against the district under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, filed a complaint in federal court to enforce that win and the school district tied to get the case dismissed.  Today that motion to dismiss the case was denied.  This is a great development because if [...]

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!2018-03-21T18:52:28+00:00

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd


In my role as a special education advocate working primarily in Miami-Dade – the fourth largest public school district in the country – I’ve participated in hundreds of school meetings.   Naturally as an advocate, I meet lots of dissatisfied parents, but I also see very unhappy teachers and administrators who are equally frustrated with a special education system laden with laws and red tape that often doesn’t result in even adequate educational achievement. One bright light in Miami is an emphasis on high quality online education options for struggling learners which they can access at home and in school.  Virtual ed [...]

The Promising Future of Virtual SpEd2013-12-02T17:34:57+00:00

Bullying May Violate Disabled Child’s Civil Rights


Bullying is a hot topic in the news lately as well it should.   And as a special education attorney I hear about students with disabilities being bullied frequently.  See this article from StopBullingNow.com and this site EyesonBullying for good advice about what to do if your child is being bullied. The Obama administration is pressuring schools to help curb bullying, particularly when the victim it targeted because he or she has a disability, is gay or is part of another protected group (such as a racial or ethnic minority).  Last week, the U.S. Department of Ed. released some formal federal [...]

Bullying May Violate Disabled Child’s Civil Rights2013-01-26T14:18:20+00:00

Charter Schools Have a Great Opportunity to Serve Sped Students Well


As many of you may have heard, last spring the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a study concluding that charter schools enroll a lower percentage of special education students than traditional public schools.  The latest is that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has deployed “several broad compliance reviews” to address enrollment as well as legal compliance in charter schools, and that some state legislatures have placed enrollment “targets” resembling quotas in charter schools to “fix” the enrollment problem. This GAO report has gotten a tremendous amount of attention over the last several months.  Some of that attention [...]

Charter Schools Have a Great Opportunity to Serve Sped Students Well2012-11-06T07:53:43+00:00

If RtI Isn’t Working for Your Child: Knowing Your Legal Rights


Response to Intervention (RtI) is a 3-tiered process of research-based instruction, which is part of federal law (IDEA 2004). Before RtI, in order to get considered for special education services (an "IEP") the main thing your struggling learner needed was a psycho-educational evaluation (conducted by a private or public school psychologist). The evaluation needed to show that he or she had unexpectedly low achievement in reading or math (known as the "discrepancy formula"). RtI is a multi-step process of increasingly intensive and individualized instruction above and beyond what usually happens in the classroom. It will hopefully be more effective for struggling learners than [...]

If RtI Isn’t Working for Your Child: Knowing Your Legal Rights2009-08-12T11:56:28+00:00