How Are People With Disabilities Protected When It Comes To Education?
Federal and state education law is actually quite extensive and complex when it comes to protecting students with both physical and mental disabilities and allowing them to receive essentially customized educational programs that are appropriate to their medical needs. A word of caution that I always use with my clients that are seeing me for the first time in connection with an education matter is, to be very clear, the law doesn’t entitle a student with disabilities to the best possible education. The law does entitle the student with disabilities to an individualized education program that is appropriate to the student’s medical and emotional needs. That can sometimes involve being placed in a therapeutic school separate from the mainstream student population if it can be determined that the therapeutic school is the most efficient way to enable the student to benefit from instruction, to benefit from education.
Schools all over the country, and in New York in particular, which what I’m most familiar with, are required by the federal department of education and by federal regulations to have an elaborate dispute resolution system in place in the event that the parents of a child who’s classified as a child with disabilities have a dispute with the school regarding the placement or the individualized instruction that the child is receiving.
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