The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently published a report suggesting was for states and school district to increase opportunities for children with disabilities to participate in PE and athletics. The report is called Creating Equal Opportunities for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics.
Within the report, the DOE emphasizes the need for accessible facilities and equipment, professional development and a continuum of inclusive program options. Read the entire document here.
Remember, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes instruction in physical education as part of the definition of special education. Therefore, a student's IEP must include goals and accommodations for PE if such instruction is needed. This new DOE report recommends that general and adaptive physical education teachers participate in IEP team meetings and help develop IEP goals and accommodations for children whose disabilities affect their ability to access the general physical education curricula.
If you believe your child's school is not providing equal opportunities in physical education, contact the Boston area Law Office of Lillian E. Wong today.
On December 10, 2010 Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, proposed the following changes to Massachusetts' Special Education Regulations.
This proposed change would clarify parents' right to revoke consent to all special education and related services, and will eliminate the suggestion that a school may file a due process hearing or court action to challenge a parent's decision to revoke consent to all special education and related services.
Bureau of Special Education Appeals
The proposed change indicates that the BSEA is a subdivision of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals and no longer within the Department of Education.
The proposed change would require sign language interpreters to be registered with the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Independent Education Evaluations
The proposed change would clarify the five school day timeline for responding for a parents requesting an IEE under federal law.
Read the text of the proposed changes here.
If you have questions about your child's rights, contact Massachusetts special education lawyer Lillian E. Wong today.
Under IDEA, your child is entitled to:
A "Free Appropriate Public Education" (FAPE) in the "Least Restrictive Environment" (LRE).
An initial eligibility evaluation and thereafter, a yearly reevaluation.
An independent evaluation at public expense if you disagree with the school district's evaluation.
A written individualized education program (IEP).
An education as close to home as possible and in the school he or she would attend if not disabled.
Support services, called "related services," such as a one-on-one instructional aide, speech-language pathology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, transportation, and school nurse services.
Assistive technology such as a communication system, computer, or spell-checker.
Placement in a private school at public expense if the public school cannot provide a "free appropriate public education."
A transition plan and services.
If you need help advocating for your child's educational rights contact Boston area special education lawyer Lillian E. Wong today.
Are iPads and iTouches the next big thing in Assistive Technology?
Last week, Apple unveiled a new section of its application store on iTunes - “Special Education: Learning for Everyone." Within this section, the applications are conveniently organized into five subsections: communication, hearing, language development, literacy and learning and organization. Applications include text-to-speech software, graphic organizers, and handwriting tools. The applications themselves are fairly inexpensive (some are even free), and compared to other platforms, schools may consider the iPad or iTouch a good bargain.
Remember, the law requires schools to provide assistive technology devices or services to a student with a disability if the participants on the student's IEP team determine that the student needs such a device or service in order to receive FAPE.
If you need help asserting your child's special education rights, contact Massachusetts North Shore attorney Lillian E. Wong today.
Can Teachers Require Me to Put My Child on ADD/ADHD Medication?
No. Teachers and school administration cannot require you to put your child on prescription medication. 34 CFR 300.174 (a). Medication can never be a condition of attending school. Medication can never be a condition of receiving special education evaluations, services or accommodations.
Can Teachers Talk to Me About ADD/ADHD Medication?
Yes. The law explicitly allows teachers and school personnel to share their observations about your child's classroom behavior and performance. 34 CFR 300.174 (b). If a teacher believes your child exhibits signs of ADD/ADHD, it is permissible for the teacher to communicate that to you. Similarly, if your child's teacher notices that your child's behavior and attention is worse at the end of the day, they can share that information with you.
Can The School Refuse to Administer ADD/ADHD Medication?
No. If your child needs to take medication during the school day to participate effectively in his educational program, then the school is required by law to administer that medication.
If you have questions about your ADD/ADHD child's education rights, contact Massachusetts North Shore special education lawyer Lillian E. Wong.
Hold up on cuts to special needs
My response to those complaining that medical insurance should pay for disabled students' medical care while at school:
The laws and regulations governing what constitutes a special education cost are complex. For example, surgically implanted medical devices, like cochlear implants cannot be funded through special education. However, school nurse services such as catheterization or blood pressure monitoring may be considered a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) if such services are necessary for a child to access special education.
This question was originally posted on www.avvo.com.
My 8yr old G-son has AD/HD,ODD,OCD & rides a school bus to & from school with other special need children.(7yrolds to13yrolds) There have been problems on this bus (say's the attendant reports) Like calling each other names, getting out of their seat, bouncing up and down in their seat, or just talking to another student 4seats away, some of which are petty things, some are safety issues (getting out of seat while bus is moving), but it seems my grandson is the 1who is getting wrote up, not the other child/children who are involved . Some of these kids ride this bus 7-10miles 1way to school, due to lack of Special Needs School/Education Teachers.
We asked that they transfer him to another bus, Transportation Say's No, because he will do the same thing on other buses! They don't know this, How could they know this, if they Don't TRY /Transfer him to another bus! 11 other kids on that bus. My Daughter has tried to solve this problem by contacted Dept of Ed, Head of Dept. Transp,Legal Aid, Dept of Disab.advoc.(which says this could take 30-to-90 days to resolve), if it gets resolved. Sch Principal says they will pay my daughter $14. ady to transpt.him,14miles round trip to/frm sch. thats just wrong of them to even ask her, when there's the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND RULE/LAW! .Is there anyone who can point us in the right Direction to get help?
First, the most applicable law in your case is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and not No Child Left Behind.
Your child is covered by IDEA if he has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Because you refer to him being in special education, I'm assuming he does have an IEP.
Special education includes "related services" like transportation to and from school, for without transportation your child would not benefit from special education. See 20 U.S.C. §140 1(26). Simply stated: if your child can't get to school, he can't learn, if he isn't learning, the school is violating the law.
But the analysis doesn't stop there. The school has the right to punish your son if he misbehaves on the bus. However, if you believe your son's behavior is a result of his disability (e.g. ADHD causing poor impulse control) the school is required under IDEA to conduct a functional behavior analysis of your son and implement a behavior plan to help prevent and respond to your child's inappropriate conduct on the bus.
It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
The Law Office of Lillian E. Wong, LLC
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15 Morningside Drive
Topsfield, MA 01983