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Special Education Volunteer Training

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Title: Special Education Volunteer Training


1
Special Education Volunteer Training
  • Equip for Equalitys
  • Special Education Clinic
  • October 2010




2
Equip For Equality
  • Protection and Advocacy Agency for the State of
    Illinois www.ndrn.org
  • www.equipforequality.org
  • Private non-profit 501(c)(3)
  • Provide training, self-advocacy assistance, legal
    representation and public policy advocacy
  • Most services are free at this time
  • Multiple teams within the agency

3
What does Equip for Equality (EFE) Do?
  • Offers People with Disabilities and their
    families
  • Information
  • Self Advocacy
  • Resources
  • Legal Representation
  • Trainings

4
Special Education Clinic
  • HELPLINE
  • SELF - ADVOCACY ASSISTANCE
  • OUTREACH
  • TRAINING
  • NEGOTIATION
  • MEDIATION
  • REPRESENTATION

5
Special Education Helpline Attorney Telephone
Consultation
  • Identify issues
  • Identify goal
  • Discussing parents options
  • Strategies for effective advocacy
  • Resources
  • Research
  • laws regulations

6
Pro Bono Support
  • Since October 2007, we have been working with
    some pro bono attorneys at Chicago-area law firms
  • Attorneys represent Equip For Equality clients on
    a pro bono basis
  • Equip For Equality assigns a back up attorney to
    support each case that a pro bono firm accepts

7
Special Education Laws
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA)
  • Section 504
  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Act
    (FERPA)
  • State Laws and Regulations
  • Illinois Student Records Act
  • www.isbe.net

8
504 VS IDEA
  • 504
  • If a child has a disability that substantially
    impairs a major life activity
  • Does NOT need specialized instruction
  • Usually only modifications/accommodations
  • 504 plan no IEP
  • 504 plan fewer protections/procedural
    safeguards
  • Office for Civil Rights of Department of
    Education enforces
  • Mark Weber at Disability Rights Consortium
    October 27, 2010 www.illinoislegaladvocate.org

9
Special Education Laws
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA)
  • 20 USC 1400 purpose
  • 1401 definitions
  • 1412 child find, LRE,FAPE
  • 1414 evaluations, consent, eligibility, IEP,
    Placement
  • 1415 Procedural Safeguards

10
Purpose of Special Education
  • Purpose
  • To ensure that all children with disabilities
    have available to them a free appropriate public
    education that emphasizes special education and
    related services designed to meet their unique
    needs and prepare them for further education,
    employment, and independent living

11
How long does a student receive special education?
  • The IDEA COVERS
  • 0-3 Early Intervention Services (EI)
  • IDEA Part C
  • IFSP
  • Not governed by school district
  • 3-22 School District Provides
  • 3-5 Part B IEP/IFSP
  • 6-18 Part B IEP
  • 18-22 Part B IEP
  • A student receives special education until the
    day before his/her 22nd birthday in Illinois or
    until he or she receives a high school diploma.
  • IDEA does NOT cover college
  • High School Diploma ends IDEA coverage

12
LEGAL STANDARDS
  • FAPE
  • Denial of FAPE
  • LRE
  • Methodology
  • Related Services
  • Burden of Proof

13
FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
  • FAPE

13
14
FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
  • FAPE
  • SPECIAL EDUCATION DEFINED
  • Specially designed instruction, at no cost to
    parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with
    a disability,
  • Important case Bd. of Educ v. Rowley, 458 U.S.
    176 (1982)

15
DENIAL of a FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
  • Substantive Issues
  • At the time the IEP was written was it reasonably
    calculated to provide meaningful educational
    benefit
  • Procedural Inadequacies limited
  • Impeded right to FAPE
  • significantly impeded parents opportunity to
    participate in the decision-making process
    regarding FAPE
  • caused deprivation of educational benefits

16
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) 20 USC
1412(a)(5)
  • To the MAXIMUM extent appropriate children with
    disabilities are educated with children who are
    not disabled.
  • Removal
  • nature and severity of the disability of a child
    is such that education in regular classes
  • with the use of supplementary aids and services
  • CANNOT be achieved satisfactorily.

17
Basis for Services / Methodology
  • IEP must include a statement of special
    education, related services and supplementary
    aides and services, based on peer-reviewed
    research to the extent practicable (1414
    (d)(1)(A)(i)(IV))
  • This puts methodology on the agenda for the IEP

18
Related Services
  • Related services
  • any non-medical service necessary for the child
    to benefit from instruction, including speech,
    counseling, social work, parent training,
    transportation, physical and occupational
    therapy, mobility and orientation training, and
    any other service necessary to benefit from
    education

19
Burden of Proof
  • Filing Party has the burden of proof
  • Schaffer vs Weast 546 U.S 49 (2005)

20
Remedy
  • Denial of FAPE
  • Remedy Compensatory Education
  • Student should be brought to the level the child
    would have been at but for the denial of FAPE

21
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROCESS
  • How to get a child an IEP
  • Request
  • Consent
  • Case Study Evaluation (CSE, FIE)
  • Eligibility Meeting
  • IEP Meeting
  • Services

22
Special Education Services
  • 1. Request
  • Written Request by Parent, State agency, or
    school may initiate request for initial case
    study evaluation
  • 2. Consent
  • Parent can include consent in request letter or
  • School must provide parent consent form within 14
    days of request
  • Domain Meeting

23
Special Education Services
  • 2. Consent
  • for Case Study Evaluations
  • Parental Consent, not request, starts the Case
    Study Evaluation (CSE) timeline, which must be
    done within 60 CALENDAR days (IDEA) a different
    timeline may be set by the state. (IL Admin Code
    60 SCHOOL days from Consent)

24
Special Education Services
  • Request
  • Consent
  • Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
  • Eligibility Meeting MDC
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting

25
Special Education Services
  • 3. Case Study Evaluation
  • Variety of assessment tools must be used
  • Testing must be done in the language and form
    most likely to yield accurate information on what
    the child knows and can do academically,
    developmentally, and functionally.

26
Special Education Services
  • Request
  • Consent
  • Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
  • Eligibility Meeting MDC
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting

27
Special Education Services
  • 4. Eligibility Meeting Multidisciplinary
    Conference
  • Team of qualified professionals and parents
    decide
  • Whether child is a child with a disability
  • 1. Disability mental retardation, hearing
    impairment, speech or language impairments,
    visual impairments, serious emotional disturbance
    (emotional disturbance), orthopedic impairments,
    autism, traumatic brain injury, other health
    impairments (OHI), or specific learning
    disabilities (LD or SLD) AND
  • 2. who, by reason thereof, needs special
    education and related services

28
Special Education Services
  • Request
  • Consent
  • Case Study Evaluation (CSE)
  • Eligibility Meeting MDC
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting

29
What is an IEP?
  • Legally binding
  • Like a contract but not exactly
  • If it isnt written correctly school will not be
    responsible for providing support
  • Parent cannot sue based on breach of contract if
    child doesnt meet goals
  • Every special education student has an IEP but
    not every child with a disability has an IEP

30
SPECIAL EDUCATION RULE
  • IF ITS NOT WRITTEN DOWN
  • IT DIDNT OR WONT
  • HAPPEN

31
Special Education Services
  • 5. Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting
  • IEP meeting held at least annually
  • IEP TEAM
  • Parents
  • Not less than ONE regular ed teacher (if child IS
    or may be participating in regular education)
  • Not less than ONE special ed teacher, or where
    appropriatespecial education provider of such
    child
  • Representative of Local Education Agency (LEA)

32
Special Education Services
  • 5. Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting
  • IEP TEAM Continued..
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional
    implication of evaluation results
  • Other individuals who have knowledge or special
    expertise regarding the child, including related
    services personnel as appropriate and
  • whenever appropriate, the child with a disability

33
IEP Meeting
  • Case manager will run the meeting
  • Informal meeting
  • Sit around conference table at school
  • Intimidating for parents
  • Advise parents to bring an expert or friend if
    possible
  • Best for parents not to go alone

34
Whats in an IEP?
  • Present Levels of Performance
  • Goals Objectives/Benchmarks
  • Special Education Services/Supports
  • Progress Reports
  • Related Services
  • Supplementary Aids and Services

35
Present Levels of Performance (PLOP)
  • A Statement of the childs academic achievement
    and functional performance Present Level of
    Performance PLOP

36
IEP Goals
  • A statement of measurable annual goals including
    academic and functional goals designed to
  • Meet the childs needs that result from the
    childs disability to enable the child to be
    involved in and make progress in the general
    education curriculum and
  • Meet each of the childs other educational needs
    that result from the childs disability
  • SMART goals specific, measurable,
    action-oriented, realistic, and time-sensitive

37
Progress Reports
  • The parents need to know about their childs
    progress
  • The IEP should specify how the parents will be
    notified of their childs progress

38
Special Education and Related Services
  • IEP includes information about types of services
    a student receives
  • Examples of related services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Social work
  • Transportation

39
Supplementary Aides and Services
  • Accommodations/Modifications
  • Extra time on tests list amount (ex double
    time)
  • Extra time on assignments
  • Change in amount of work
  • Change in grading scale
  • Change in promotional criteria
  • Change in graduation requirements
  • Change in policy ie. Can carry cell phone
  • Extra set of books at home
  • Assignment notebook staff writes assignments
  • Copies of notes/study guides
  • Can include staff training

40
Whats in the rest of the IEP?
  • See sample CPS IEP.

41
Reevaluation - every 3 years
  • Meet to discuss what information the school
    already has and what information is still needed
  • reevaluation every 3 years UNLESS parent and
    school agree it is unnecessary
  • EFE generally recommends agreeing to reevaluation
  • It should provide information to show FAPE or
    Denial of FAPE

42
CONFLICT RESOLUTION OPTIONS
  • What to do when the parents
  • do not agree with the school

43
Conflict Resolution Options
  • Documentation Paper Trail
  • Independent Educational Evaluation
  • School can file due process against parent if
    parent requests school to pay for IEE
  • Request an IEP Meeting
  • State Complaint
  • Mediation
  • Due Process Hearing

44
DOCUMENTATION TIPS
  • PARENT REPORT
  • KNOW WHATS NEEDED
  • Expert Support
  • THANK YOU LETTERS
  • REVERSE LETTERS
  • PROPOSAL/REQUEST SHEET
  • FOLLOW UP LETTERS
  • ORGANIZE DOCUMENTS
  • TAPE RECORDING MEETINGS

45
IEP Meeting
  • Determine realistic goals of parents
  • Discuss arguments parents can make to accomplish
    those goals,
  • Draft a letter to the District
  • requesting an IEP meeting
  • argue for what the student needs in order to
    receive meaningful educational benefit
  • HELPLINE
  • ghost write for parent
  • Discuss the above with parent/offer to edit their
    letter
  • Refer parent to www.wrightslaw.com Letter to a
    Stranger

46
IEP Meeting
  • Send the letter requesting IEP meeting to the
    District Superintendent and school principal (or
    if there is a lawyer on the case, then to the
    lawyer)

47
How should you prepare for an IEP meeting?
  • Have a detailed conversation with the parent and
    student prior to the meeting.
  • Know strengths/weaknesses of your arguments as to
    why the student needs what the parent and student
    are asking for.
  • Shadow an EFE attorney at an IEP meeting prior to
    your meeting, if you would like.

48
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • Review New Evaluations
  • Discuss Evaluations with parents
  • Evaluations Not provided before
  • Arrive Early for IEP
  • Request evaluations
  • Request private space to review and discuss with
    parent
  • If HELPLINE Parent can request to meet with a
    school person to review the evaluations prior to
    the IEP meeting
  • Strategy Request Records specifically list new
    evaluations 15 school days to provide records

49
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • Negotiating
  • If the attorney is willing to talk with you
    before the meeting (either the day of the meeting
    or prior to that day) about the Districts
    position on the case, try and find out what the
    District is willing to do with the case. If the
    District is going to agree with what you want,
    you will not have to do as much at the meeting.
  • Helpline
  • If parent can speak with someone at school about
    schools position before the meeting this can be
    helpful too.

50
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • The IEP should be completed at the meeting.
  • Ask for draft of what is done so far if IEP is
    not finished.
  • If the IEP is completed, do not leave the meeting
    without a copy for yourself and the parent!
  • If you disagree with anything at the meeting,
    inform the IEP team that you will be writing a
    dissent on behalf of the parent and make sure
    that it is noted on the IEP that you will be
    writing a dissent.
  • Helpline Advise parent to draft a dissent
    letter if they disagree
  • Parent/attorney can dissent letter even if it is
    not stated at meeting

51
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • Negotiation
  • There will always be an EFE backup person
    available for you to call during the meeting if
    necessary.
  • Helpline
  • You may offer to be available, by phone, during
    the parents IEP meeting if your schedule allows.
    (Fact Specific)

52
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • 1 week is a good goal for dissent letter NOT a
    requirement
  • Negotiation
  • fax/email the EFE backup Attorney copy of the IEP
    if you would like advice on writing a dissent.
  • Helpline
  • Offer to review IEP and/or edit dissent letter
    that parent drafts

53
What should you expect at the IEP meeting?
  • If the meeting was not successful, speak with the
    parent about what steps you think should be taken
    (if any)

54
STATE COMPLAINT
CONFLICT RESOLUTION
1 YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 1 YEAR EVEN IF
COMPENSATORY EDUCATION REQUESTED FILE
COMPLAINT WITH THE ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF
EDUCATION WWW.ISBE.NET MUST HAVE PAPER TRAIL TO
SHOW VIOLATION
55
Mediation
  • A meeting between parents and school district
  • Try to resolve problems without a hearing
  • Mediator (impartial person) helps both sides try
    to resolve the problems
  • Voluntary (optional) Confidential
  • LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT
  • Enforceable in any State court or district court
  • Due process not required
  • State pays for this including interpreter
  • NO Stay Put

56
DUE PROCESS
  • DUE PROCESS HEARING PROCEDURES

57
Due Process Hearing
  • Statute of Limitations
  • 2 YEARS
  • From the date the parent or school knew or
    should have known about the alleged action that
    forms the basis of the complaint
  • Remedy available for past 2 years only

58
Filing a Due Process Complaint
  • The due process hearing request should include-
  • The students name, address, date of birth,
    parents name, telephone number, and the school
    the student currently attends
  • A factual history describing the nature of the
    problem
  • Legal issues in the case
  • Requested relief See sample due process
    complaints in your training manual, Section 3.

59
What should you expect when you file for due
process?
  • The District will respond to your request within
    10 days.
  • ISBE will assign a hearing officer who will
    contact you to schedule the prehearing conference
    and due process hearing dates.
  • You have a right to strike one hearing officer
    without cause within 5 days.

60
Due Process Hearings Similarities to Trials
  • A due process hearing is an administrative
    hearing that is similar to a trial.
  • You will prepare and proceed like you would with
    a trial
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Opening statements
  • Directs and crosses of witnesses
  • Exhibits
  • Closing arguments or briefs
  • The District must pay for a court reporter for
    the entire hearing.
  • Prehearing Conference minimum 14 days before
    hearing
  • 5 days before hearing all documents and final
    witness list due

61
Due Process Hearings Major Differences from
Trials
  • There is no right to discovery.
  • The rules of evidence are loosely applied.
  • The structure is more flexible and relaxed.
  • The proceedings usually take place at a school.

62
HELPLINE PROCEDURES
  • 1-866-KIDS-046

63
HELPLINE
  • Attorney chooses time slots to take Helpline
    calls.
  • EFE will transfer live calls to your desk during
    that time frame.
  • Attorney will complete appropriate Helpline
    Questionnaire
  • Attorney, once familiar with these cases reviews
    the decision tree and provides the self advocacy
    assistance suggested.

64
Helpline Questionnaire
  • Date of Birth
  • Race
  • Income (familys gross)
  • County
  • Federal Private Funders require aggregate data
    on these questions so we must collect it.

65
HELPLINE
  • Attorney Emails questionnaire to
    Debra_at_equipforequality.org and
    Melinda_at_equipforequality.org
  • EFE assesses case and emails back a case
    assessment decision which could include
    questions, a document request, self advocacy
    assistance, needed research, or referrals
    information.
  • Helpline Attorney provides self advocacy
    assistance as determined above to the family.
  • Attorney requests any additional information or
    documents if needed

66
HELPLINE
  • Attorney shall provide copies of all emails,
    letters, notes to barbaraw_at_equipforequality.org
    for her to place in EFEs computerized file
    system.
  • CLOSING CASE
  • Helpline Attorney will send a closure letter with
    our grievance brochure
  • Helpline Attorney will complete a closure note
    and email to BarbaraW_at_equipforequality.org

67
Questions????





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