Children with special needs often face challenges to learning but with appropriate accommodations are capable of remarkable educational achievements.
To help these students, federal law requires that public schools in New York and elsewhere provide individualized educational plans and accommodations designed to help children with special needs succeed educationally.
While each student is different, common examples of educational accommodations include modified homework assignments, work space free of distractions or access to specialized staff to provide individual assistance.
Parents of children with special needs have a number of rights to protect their children’s access to educational accommodations. Among these rights are:
- The right to be fully informed about their child’s educational plans and accommodations
- The right to participate in meetings about their child’s plans and progress, including the right to provide input about their child’s needs
- The right to request mediation with a school district to discuss disagreements about their child’s educational plans
- The right to challenge a school’s decision about your child’s education by requesting a hearing before a neutral hearing officer to resolve any disagreements
The process for obtaining special education services for a child can be confusing and overwhelming. If you have concerns about a school’s unwillingness to provide educational accommodations or special education services, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can assist in advocating on behalf of your children.
Remember, all children with special needs are guaranteed access to educational accommodations designed to help them learn and be successful in school and beyond.