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Gender Identity and Special Needs

The Trump Administration’s February 2017 reversal of an earlier Obama decision ensuring that transgender students under Title IX should be allowed to use the school restrooms of the gender to which they identify has thrown school policies with regards to...

Stop Cuts and Caps to Medicaid

The following is an action alert from COPAA: On Monday, the U.S. Senate will begin debate its bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, to replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill is being touted as better than the House bill...

Call Congress Immediately to Save Medicaid

The following is a reproduced statement as to the critical need to save Medicaid from Trumpcare. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) jeopardizes healthcare for the nation’s most vulnerable children: students with disabilities and students in poverty. Specifically, the AHCA...

Endrew F. Decision: 8-0 Decision for Parents

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a huge victory for parents in resetting the Rowley standard for the first time in more than 30 years. See decision--http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/endrew-f-v-douglas-county-school-district/. The Court ruled that schools to "meet its substantive obligation under the Individuals...

Comprehensive Transition Guide from OSERS--Bring It to Your Next Transition Meeting

The U.S. Department of Education in January 2017, just released a very comprehensive guide to transition services. Download Postsecondary-transition-guide-2017-3. Transition planning is one of the most vital functions of having an IEP for all students. An IEP is not an...

Fry v. Napoleon Resounding Victory for Parents in Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a victorious ruling for parents in Fry v. Napoleon Download Fry decision that will open up avenues of judicial enforcement of rights without the need for taking cases through due process first, and then...

Action Needed to Save ESSA in Senate Before February 17, 2017

Here is an urgent action alert from COPAA to save ESSA from repeal. ACT NOW – before February 17, 2017! Tell the Senate to vote NO on Resolution to Rollback ESSA Accountability Regulations this week! ISSUE: Congress passed the Every...

Judge Gorsuch No Friend of Special Education Students

Judge Gorsuch, who has served for the last 10 years on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. In this capacity, Judge Gorsuch has heard several cases related to special education and disability, which has enabled those...

DeVos Voted In, But the Fight Goes On

Here is a statement just issued from COPAA on the vote for Betsey DeVos. Today, in response to the U.S. Senate’s vote on the nomination of Elisabeth ‘Betsy’ DeVos as Secretary of Education, Denise Marshall, executive director for the Council...

Making Our Voices Heard on Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos, a unqualified and terribly dangerous person for public education and special education even more so, cannot become the next Secretary of Education. Keep in mind once the damage is done it will be very hard and likely impossible...

Stuttering and Related Disorders

It is difficult enough for young children to be faced with a significant speech impairment like stuttering. As discussed in this blog, the effects of stuttering are often co-morbid with other learning issues. Most children who develop a stutter in...

Illinois Needs Do More to Protect People with Disabilities

The following is a statement from the Equip for Equality addressing the hate crime against the man with a disability that happened last week. I am reprinting the statement in full and please write to your Illinois Representative and state...

Ms. DeVos: Here Is The Trouble with Vouchers

According to the September 2015 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools, only 31% of Americans favor allowing vouchers to be used to pay for private and religious schools. Numerous other polls show higher ratios...

Teaching Your Child to Read: Read 180, System 44 and Beyond

It is remarkable to me how many IEPs provide for reading programs that are not individualized to the student’s needs and do not produce meaningful results. A one-size-fits all approach simply doesn’t work for students with reading disabilities. What may...

Defending Public Education under Secretary of Education DeVos

President-elect Trump offered few specifics about his education policy during the campaign other than promising $20 billion in federal money for school choice initiatives in response to our “failing government schools.” Where this money is to come from is unclear,...

Parental Guidelines for Access to Athletics, Field Trips and Extracurriculars

Parents frequently raise issues about schools denying access or failing to accomodate students who need support to participate in non-academic parts of the school experience including field trips. Frequently, children who require aides during the school day are told that...

Getting Informed for the Presidential Election 2016

I have always adhered to the adage that reasonable people can reasonably disagree, whether it is in the context of an IEP meeting or even our current political debate. With this in mind, I discussed in a recent blog how...

Best Cities for Persons with Disabilities

Where to live in future years is an issue never far from my mind especially living in Illinois that ranks close to the bottom for services for people with disabilities. Download Case-for-Inclusion-2016-FINAL-3. For families that do not have a loved...

It is Time for People with Disabilities to Show Their Collective Power Through Their Votes

Persons with disabilities now represent the single largest minority group in our country’s electorate. According to a report from the Rutgers School of Management, 35.4 million people with disabilities, which represents one sixth of the US electorate, are eligible to...

Parental Guidelines for Testing Accommodations

I have blogged previously about how essential it is for parents to ensure that any informal accommodations received by their child, particularly those related to testing, are documented in the child’s IEP or 504 Plan. Memorializing these accommodations will hopefully...

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