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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities.

The IDEA addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from ages 3 to 18 or 21, in cases that involve 14 specified categories of disability. The IDEA, lists 13 categories of special education, each with its own detailed requirements. Special education pertains to student’s aged 3-22 who attend a Public Schools.

Having a disability does not automatically qualifi a student for special education services under the IDEA. The disability must result in the student needing additional or different services to participate in school.

The IDEA defines a “child with a disability” as a “child.., with an intellectual disability, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance…, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; AND, who… [because of the condition] needs special education and related services.”

The mission of Special Education is to improve educational outcomes for children and youth with disabilities by providing and promoting leadership, technical assistance and collaboration state-wide. Special Education provides oversight and implementation of federal and state laws that ensure a “Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for all children and youth with disabilities in New York.

The IDEA is a law designed to give special -needs students access to a free public school education. The Act gives students and their parents the right to request a needs assessments and testing; to hold an annual individualized education program (JEP) meeting with educators; and to have disputes resolved through a fair legal process. If your child suffers from autism, a visual or hearing impairment, mental retardation or a learning disability, then special education attorneys can help advocate on your family’s behalf and get your child the appropriate education resources and necessary assistance. Your lawyer can work with you to request and prepare for an IEP meeting, and resolve disputes with the school district.

We provide special education legal representation to parents who are not satisfied with how their school district is handling their child’s special education needs. An attorney specializing in special education law knows your rights and what services are required to be provided by law. Consulting an attorney first, or bringing an attorney to a meeting with the special education team, takes away the intimidation factor and evens the playing field.

When parents find they are in disagreement with the program or services offered by the public school in an IEP, and cannot reach an acceptable compromise, a parent should. consider consulting with a special education lawyer. In my practice, I consult with parents of children with autism throughout the country. Many times, a parent can improve the educational program and services by taking a few simple steps.

Special education is governed by a unique set of state and federal laws that are ever changing. Make sure the attorney you select is qualified to represent your child’s needs in special education.

Attorneys for the school districts are well versed in education law and will have a tactical advantage over an attorney who just dabbles in the area. Select a special education law attorney who understands your child’s disability, his/her needs, and the services required. Lawyers who practice in the special needs area provide important assistance to children and parents. As experts in the applicable law, we help parents translate their understanding of their child’s needs into specific legal obligations which must be met by educators. We guide parents through the process of identifying their child’s needs in terms which connect them to the world
of special education.

Our mission is to vigorously represent students with special needs in all facets of special education law through advocacy, negotiation and litigation to allow our clients to accomplish their educational goals. Our practice focuses exclusively on special education issues. We provide our clients with the personal attention and the professional effort they deserve. We provide effective and efficient legal representation with the goal of improving the lives of the children we represent.

Special Education Lawyers have extensive experience in court litigation at the trial and appellate levels, school disciplinary hearings, special education planning and appeals, and supportive advocacy for all levels of mediation and alternative dispute resolution. We maintain a focus on constructive problem solving and sensitivity to the issues that challenge both adults and children.