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Disability Related Legal Resources/Sites

A Guide to Disability Rights Laws (U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section from "about.com")

Action Alerts (The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law web site offers regularly updated "alerts" about legal and advocacy issues affecting people with mental disabilities.)

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (An independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents established to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities.

Department of Education/OSERS (This Department of Education/OSERS web site includes general information about IDEA '97 as well as the full text of the law and related articles, speeches, updates and other documents in WordPerfect and Adobe Acrobat formats.)

Disability Information Resources on the Internet Through DAWWN (Disability Advocacy Work With Networking)

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF) (Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF) is a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities.)

EDLAW (The EDLAW Center was established to provide assistance on a systemic level to attorneys who represent parents of children with disabilities. It is premised on the recognition that, while securing an appropriate education for any single child with a disability is important, changes on a systemic level are necessary to enable all children with disabilities to obtain the free appropriate public education promised them by the law. The Center works with parents, schools and attorneys representing both sides to identify problem areas and develop possible solutions at the systemic level. Cooperation is encouraged and preferred, but resort to the full spectrum of available legal remedies is never precluded.)

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) (Developed and maintained by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), this web site is designed to provide service providers and local administrators with information and support for IDEA-related concerns, issues, and strategies that work. A good source for IDEA news)

Education Law Center - PA (The Education Law Center-PA (ELC-PA) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to insuring that all of Pennsylvania's children have access to a quality public education. Our main office is in Philadelphia, with a branch office in Pittsburgh. We also operate the Pennsylvania School Reform Network (PSRN), which has its main office in Harrisburg. The PSRN Web site includes various links of use to parents and educators, as well as a section that describes education legislation currently under consideration by the Pennsylvania legislature.)

Family & Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) (Welcome to the Family & Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) Web site. The Partnership is a new project which aims to inform and educate families and advocates about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 and promising practices.)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students.")

Findlaw (FindLaw, the leading Web portal focused on law and government, provides access to a comprehensive and fast-growing online library of legal resources for use by legal professionals, consumers and small businesses. FindLaw's mission is to make legal information on the Internet easy to find. Visitors to the FindLaw site will find a broad array of features that include Web search utilities, cases and codes, legal news, and community-oriented tools, such as a secure document management utility, mailing lists, message boards and free e-mail.)

Hallex (The Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law Manual, from the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) of the Social Security Administration, conveys guiding principles, procedural guidance and information to OHA staff. Hallex includes policy statements resulting from an Appeals Council en banc meeting under the authority of the Appeals Council Chair. Hallex also defines procedures for carrying out policy and provides guidance for processing and adjudicating claims at the Hearing, Appeals Council and Civil Action levels.)

Lawcrawler (Search legal information. Additional LawCrawler Search Options LawCrawler International - search legal information within individual country domains. USA - includes searching of Government Departments, US Code, Federal Regulations, Supreme Court and Circuit Court Cases. California - includes searching of California and Federal Government databases and sites Other US States - search state government servers. FindLaw Web Guide of legal information and web sites on the WWW. Including Legal Subject Index, Cases and Codes, Law Schools, Law Reviews, Legal Associations and Organizations and more.)

List of Disabling Impairments (Listings of impairments which are considered to be disabling. To the left you will find the headings for the Adult Listings. Child Listings are to the right.) (Check this out!!)

National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) (NAPAS is an association which represents federally mandated programs that protect the rights of persons with disabilities)

National News (National News An excellent monthly report on news affecting the disability community from the Council for Disability Rights.)

REED MARTIN, J.D. Special Education Law (Informational Resource for Parents and School Personnel Advocating for Children with Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Behavior/Emotional Disorder, and More. Reed Martin is an attorney with 28 years experience in special education law. Reed has litigated under Section 504 and the ADA as well as the IDEA. He has also successfully pursued Section 504 complaints through the Office for Civil Rights in several regions.)

Gary Mayerson (Advocating for children and adolescents with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder and other developmental disorders and disabilities.)

March 12, 1999 issue of the Federal Register (The March 12, 1999 issue of the Federal Register, containing the new regulations in text and adobe format.)

Policymaker Partnership for Implementing IDEA PMP (PMP operates to increase the capacity of policymakers to act as informed change agents who are focused on improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities. Objectives - To infuse special education issues in all areas of educational decision making. To consider the policy implications of IDEA '97 in the context of general education and school reform. To communicate relevant research to policymakers. To foster innovative collaboration among policymakers. To disseminate the results of effective collaboration and promising practice)

SEVERE Social Security Disability Benefits Law Information and Resources (SEVERE is maintained by David A. Bryant & Associates , attorneys concentrating in Social Security Disability Benefits Law.) (This is a VERY GOOD site with tons of information and assistance. Make sure to go to the Hallex and Listings hyperlinks at the top of the page header!!)

The Special Ed Advocate (The Special Ed Advocate is our free online newsletter. Each issue includes information about special ed law, new decisions, research, internet links, and other special education topics. We will publish this newsletter occasionally, not on a set schedule. Back issues of the newsletter are archived in The Advocacy Library. The Special Ed Advocate is an on-line newsletter - it is not available by mail.) (MUST SEE!)

THOMAS (US Congress) (Legislative Information on the Internet.)

USA law (Interactive Bulletin Board,Lawyers on the Internet, Inner Circle of Advocates,Expert Witness on the Internet,State of Maryland - Md Law.net,USA*States Court System Links, AweSum Links 'Helpful to all' Search the Search Engines,Support Services)

Villanava Law (Judicial opinions from federal and state courts, home pages of federal and state government agencies, and United States tax law materials. An assorted collection of information useful for the legal community.)

Wrightslaw (Because advocates need accurate information, parents, educators, experts, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for up-to-date information about effective advocacy for children with disabilities. You'll find hundreds of articles, cases, newsletters, and other information about special education law and advocacy in the Wrightslaw Libraries.)

Using Applied Behavioral Analysis for Children with Autism: The Court as Referee Between Parents and School Districts. Written by Cheryl Marcella May 1998

U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act ADA HOME PAGE

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (check this one out...)


Legal Case Opinions

Whitted, Cleary + Takiff (have a publications page that has TONS of decisions and info!)

NEWS FLASH! Florida Jury Awards $600,000.00 to Parents of Handicapped Child School District Fails to Provide FAPE; Retaliates Against Parents and Child

State of Florida The Division of Administrative Hearings Special Education Hearing
Andrew K. Whitehead, et.al,         Petitioner,
v. Hillsborough County Sch. Bd.         Respondent. No. 93-4021E 21 IDELR 191

The "Inside Story" About the $600,000 Verdict (This letter is from Laura Whiteside, attorney for Keith and Nikole Whitehead, and Andrew Whitehead. Laura tells "The Inside Story About the $600,000 Verdict")

Cesnik v. Edgewood Baptist Church

Still v. DeBuono (Two decisions by the United States Supreme Court have interpreted language in the Education of the Handicapped Act, the IDEA's precursor, as well as part B of the IDEA to grant reviewing courts the authority to order reimbursement of expenditures made by parents to obtain appropriate educational services for their handicapped children where the services provided by the state are inappropriate....)

SUSAN N. v. WILSON SCHOOL DISTRICT

Rodiriecus L. v. Waukegan Sch. Dist. No. 60

Malkentzos vs. DeBuono (Summary: *. This is an appeal from the entry of a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Motley, J., ordering defendants (1) to reimburse plaintiff for retrospective out-of-pocket expenses incurred in compensating uncertified providers for in-home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy as of the date of the injunction

JONARLEN HALLEN, by his parents and next friends,JOHN HALLEN and WENDY HALLEN vs. Civil No. 97-2842 (JHR) UNION BEACH BOARD OF EDUCATION (,BARRY WEINER, Director of Special Services, Union Beach Board of Education, in his official capacity, NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, BARBARA GANTWERK, Director, Office of Special Education Programs, New Jersey Department of Education, in her official capacity)

Yibing Dong; Huizong Lin, as next friends on behalf of their daughter, Lisa Dong,   vs. Board of Education of the Rochester Community Schools; Angelynn Martin (ELECTRONIC CITATION: 1999 FED App. 0421P (6th Cir.)File Name: 99a0421p.06 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT. RALPH B. GUY, JR., Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs, Yibing Dong and Huizong Lin (the Dongs), as next friend of their daughter Lisa, appeal from the entry of judgment in favor of defendants, the Board of Education of the Rochester Community Schools and Angelynn Martin, the supervisor of a program for autistic impaired children operated by the Birmingham Public Schools. Plaintiffs challenged the individualized education program (IEP) developed for Lisa for the 1996-97 school year as failing to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and sought to recover the costs of providing one-on-one education for her at home.)

ADAMS vs.STATE OF OREGON 9935190 LUCAS ADAMS, by and through his parents; DAVE ADAMS; LISANDRA ADAMS, vs. D.C. No.CV-98-06055-MRH STATE OF OREGON; DOUGLAS COUNTY EDUCATIONAL SERVICE OPINION DISTRICT; CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER (U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court of appeals affirmed a judgment of the district court in part and reversed in part. The court held that under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents of a child entitled to early intervention services (EIS) are not entitled to reimbursement for costs associated with supplementing a state's plan for developmental services, when the plan is designed and implemented to confer a meaningful benefit on the child.)

KUNIN v. BENEFIT TRUST LIFE INS. CO., 910 F.2d 534 (9th Cir. 1990) (Benefit Trust Life Insurance Company ("Benefit Trust") appeals the decision of the district court awarding benefits to Daniel Kunin ("Kunin"). Kunin, the Senior Vice-President of Maxim's Beauty Salons, Inc., incurred over $50,000 in medical bills for the treatment of his child for autism. Kunin sought reimbursement of his expenses under a group health insurance policy issued to his employer; the parties agree that this policy is itself an "employee welfare benefit plan" governed by ERISA, and that Benefit Trust functioned as both insurer and plan administrator. Following a brief investigation, Benefit Trust agreed to pay $10,000, but no more, on the ground that autism fell within the policy's limitation for "mental illness." The district court concluded that autism is not a mental illness and that the denial of benefits was arbitrary and capricious, and ordered that the claim be paid in full. We agree that Benefit Trust was obligated to pay the full amount of the claim)

HARTMANN vs LOUDOUN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION (OPINION WILKINSON, Chief Judge: Roxanna and Joseph Hartmann brought suit on behalf of their disabled son Mark against the Loudoun County Board of Education under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. The Hartmanns alleged that the Board had failed to ensure that Mark was educated with non-handicapped children "to the maximum extent appropriate" as required by the IDEA's mainstreaming provision, 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B). The district court agreed, rejecting the findings of both the local hearing officer and the state review officer. The Board appeals, contending that the court's decision is contrary to the law and the evidence in the record. We agree. As Supreme Court precedent makes clear, the IDEA does not grant federal courts a license to substitute their own notions of sound educational policy for those of local school authorities, or to disregard the findings developed in state administrative proceedings. Upon careful review of the record, however, we are forced to conclude that this is precisely what has occurred in this case. Accordingly, we reverse and remand with directions to dismiss.)

Brian Renner, Kim Renner, Individually and as Parents and next Friends of Martin Renner vs. Board of Education of the Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor (UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 98-1162 Argued: March 11, 1999 Decided and Filed: July 26, 1999) (OPINION-HARRY W. WELLFORD, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs, Brian and Kim Renner, suing on behalf of their son, Martin ("Marty"), challenge the grant of summary judgment by the district court in favor of the defendant, Board of Education of the Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor ("AAPS").(1) They contend that the individualized educational plan ("IEP") adopted by AAPS to deal with the special problems of young Marty, an autistic child who was born in late 1991, was inadequate. For the following reasons, we AFFIRM the district court)

Debra Hutchison, for Donald Hutchison vs. Shirley S. Chater, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (No. 96-1509. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa) (Debra Hutchinson, on behalf of her son Donald Hutchinson,appeals from the district court's judgment affirming the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Commissioner), that Donald Hutchinson is liable for an overpayment of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.Donald Hutchinson is a nine-year-old boy who suffers from autism, microcephaly, poor growth, and developmental delays. Debra Hutchinson applied for benefits on Donald's behalf on April 19, 1989, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) awarded on May 18, 1989, with Ms. Hutchinson becoming Donald's representative payee.)

UNION SCHOOL DIST. v. SMITH, 15 F.3d 1519 (9th Cir. 1994) ( U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Argued and Submitted May 12, 1993. Decided February 1, 1994. This case concerns the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., which guarantees handicapped children a free appropriate public education. Union School District ("District") appeals the district court's entry of summary judgment awarding reimbursement of expenses to a family who placed their handicapped child, Bernard Smith, in a private counseling facility after the District failed to offer Bernard a free appropriate public education. The California Department of Education ("CDE") also appeals, on narrower grounds, disputing the power of the district court to award a family reimbursement to maintain a second lodging so that Bernard could live within daily commuting distance of a non-residential education program.)

ERICKSON v BOARD OF EDUCATION U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (Argued: October 27, 1998, Decided: December 10, 1998. This case presents the question of whether attorney's fees are to be awarded for the legal services performed by an attorney in obtaining special education benefits for his child under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The district court held that there was no enti- tlement to fees in these circumstances. We affirm.

ANN DOE ET AL v BOARD OF EDUCATION U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals AMENDED OPINION (This case presents the question of whether attorney's fees are to be awarded for the legal services performed by an attorney in obtaining special education benefits for his child under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The district court held that there was no entitlement to fees in these circumstances. We affirm. )

G. v CUMBERLAND VALLEY U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (Filed August 25, 1999, Argued June 2, 1999, Filed August 25, 1999 WARREN G.; GRANT G., by and through their parents and nearest friends, Tom G. and Louisa G., Appellants in 98-7512 v. CUMBERLAND COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellant in 98-7517 On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania D.C. Civ. No. 97-cv-00946 (Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo) (Plaintiffs Grant and Warren, through their parents, brought this action against the Cumberland Valley School District (District) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400-1491o (1994), to recover reimbursement of private school tuition and the cost of independent educational evaluations (IEEs) of plaintiffs. The District Court, on cross-motions for summary judgment, affirmed the decisions of a Special Education Appeals Panel (Panel) granting the request for tuition reimbursement but limiting the amount on equitable grounds, and reversed the decision denying reimbursement forthe cost of the IEEs. Plaintiff

appeal and the District cross-appeals. We hold that the IDEA did not permit reduction of tuition reimbursement to which plaintiffs are otherwise entitled based on an assessment of the relative reasonableness of the parties' conduct. We further hold that plaintiffs are entitled to reimbursement for the IEEs, the District having failed to establish that its evaluations were appropriate. )

WALCZAK v FLORIDA UNION FREE [CORRECTED COPY, MAY 8, 1998] UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT (Appeal from the Order of Summary Judgment entered by Judge Charles L. Brieant of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in favor of Robert and Karen Walczak, the parents of a learning disabled child, who filed suit under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to challenge the adequacy of the education plan and placement proposed for their daughter by defendants-appellants. Reversed and Remanded.

T.R.; E.M.R., ON BEHALF OF THEIR MINOR CHILD, N.R., Appellants v. KINGWOOD TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION, HUNTERDON CO., NEW JERSEY (Opinion Filed: March 9, 2000. Plaintiff N.R., through his parents, T.R. and E.M.R.,brought this action against the Kingwood Township Board of Education ("the Board") under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C.SS 1400-91 (1994), requesting reimbursement for private school tuition and support services. N.R. claims that the Board's proposed placement failed to provide him with a meaningful educational benefit in the least restrictive environment, as required by the IDEA. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Board. We affirm the District Court's holding that the Kingwood placement provided N.R. with a sufficient educational benefit to constitute a "free and appropriate public education." However, we vacate the court's holding that the Kingwood placement constituted the least restrictive environment, and we remand for a determination of whether the Board failed to consider any appropriate, state- qualified alternate placements within a reasonable distance of N.R's residence.)

REBECCA H. HOLMES, a minor by parents and natural guardians ED HOLMES and DEBBY HOLMES, his wife; ED HOLMES; DEBBY HOLMES, in their own right v. MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT (Opinion filed February 24, 2000) Appellees Ed and Debbie Holmes brought an action under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. SS 1400 et seq ., to recover attorney's fees and costs. These fees and costs were incurred by the Holmeses in challenging the re-evaluation of their daughter, Rebecca Holmes, which was to be done by the Millcreek Township School ("School District"), and in protesting the qualifications of a sign language interpreter whom the School District had assigned to work with their daughter. In addition, the Holmeses sued for reimbursement by the School District of the costs of the 1994 Independent Educational Evaluation ("IEE"), which the Holmeses had had performed on Rebecca. After a bench trial, the District Court held that the Holmeses were entitled to attorney's fees and certain costs associated with the 1994 IEE and with the Holmeses' challenge to the interpreter's qualifications. The School District appealed the award of fees and costs to the Holmeses. We will reverse the District Court's conclusion that the Holmeses were entitled to reimbursement for the 1994 IEE, but we will affirm their entitlement to an award of attorney's fees and costs. Because we find the amount of the award excessive, however, we will reduce it.


Due Process

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY Special Education Due Process Hearings Decisions with search keyword autism

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY Special Education Due Process Hearings Decisions with search keyword FAPE

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY Special Education Due Process Hearings Decisions with search keyword Lovaas

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY Special Education Due Process Hearings Decisions with search keyword Inclusion

Family Education Network : Special Education and the Law

NEW JERSEY Special Education Administrative Code

Maine Department of Education

2001 Due Process Hearing Decisions

2000 due Process Hearing Decisions

1999 Due Process Hearing Decisions

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Special Education. About Due Process Hearings