New York Special Education Lawyer
If you are caring for a loved one with disabilities, a special education lawyer from The Sanders Firm is your best ally in securing the best educational services to ensure a bright future. Many parents feel they have nowhere to turn when the New York school district veers from their child’s Individualized Education Program or begins making authoritative decisions that seem like the wrong fit.
Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Education gave New York one of the lowest ratings for special education services, classifying that the state’s school system as one that “needs intervention.” With looming special education budget cuts on the horizon, parents may feel as though this has become an excuse for failing to meet their child’s educational needs. Often, a parent merely “has a hunch” that something is amiss. Let our skilled attorneys delve into the matter and go to bat for your child.
A special education advocate can assist you with everything from determining the adequacy of your child’s Individual Education Plan and examining school placement appropriateness, to securing after-school tutoring and assistive technology to help your child learn. The compassionate staff at The Sanders Firm is here to help if you feel your child is not receiving the type of education he or she deserves.
The Sanders Firm advocates for your rights
The Sanders Firm is one of the largest and most experienced personal injury law firms in New York. Our special education attorneys have been taking cases to trial and negotiating agreements between parents and educational institutions for more than 45 years. Our lawyers are members of reputable professional organizations such as the American Trial Lawyers Association, American Association of Justice and Super Lawyers. We approach each special education case with empathy and concern to be your best advocate. You can call our offices any time of day, any day of the week for a complimentary case evaluation with a knowledgeable education lawyer.
New York state special education laws
By law, you have certain rights in securing the best special education for your child. For instance, you have the right to a procedural safeguards notice. If your child is referred for special education or if you request an evaluation, the Department of Education must provide you with the procedural safeguards necessary to contest their decisions regarding your child.
The Department of Education must also send you prior written notice within a reasonable time frame if any changes are being made to your child’s Individualized Education Program, placement, classification or evaluation. If you disagree with a decision or feel your special needs child’s rights are being violated, you may file for mediation or an impartial hearing. During this time, your child has the right to remain in his or her current placement until a final decision has been reached.
An experienced special education lawyer from The Sanders Firm can help you file a formal complaint with the New York State Education Department. If the state finds the school district failed to provide adequate services to your child, it may be required to provide services, correct the violation or award reimbursement. Formal complaints are resolved within 60 days.
We can also help you file a request for an impartial hearing. This will help you sort out any disagreements about classification, placement, services, evaluations or eligibility. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in New York is two years from the time of the disagreement or alleged special education rights violation. It may take three months or more to reach a final decision, but our attorneys can often get you a suitable resolution much faster. Sometimes you can have answers within a few weeks with no need for a hearing.
Placement problems within special education in New York
Some children with severe language delays make very little progress — even after the Department of Education enrolls them in speech therapy. The DOE may say that’s all they can do, but parents know there is more to the story than meets the eye. A legal team can help you cut through the excuses and arrange a more suitable school for your child at no cost to your family.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 5,000 hearing requests are filed in New York City to settle special education issues such as private-school placement. The newspaper tells the story of Debbie Quintero who had to borrow $50,000 to cover her daughter’s tuition until they were finally reimbursed – a year later.
“The city must pay for tuition if school officials can’t prove they have offered a child an appropriate education, and if the private school placement is appropriate,” says WSJ. Many New York parents challenge the public school educations offered to their children. Without an advocate for special education, these cases can last years.
Other special education lawsuits in NYC
In addition to helping parents resolve placement disputes, The Sanders Firm also handles cases involving:
- Inadequate bus service – In September 2013, the Department of Education was alerted of “persistent problems with transportation” for special needs kids in New York City, including excessively long commutes, changing schedules without informing parents, late deliveries and causing kids to miss speech therapy classes.
- Discrimination – In October 2013, a 14-year-old boy with autism in Northport, New York was unfairly suspended when he questioned the school as to why his Individualized Education Program hadn’t been implemented a month into the school year. In other cases, the student was not allowed to use the assistive technology listed specifically in his IEP because it would be considered “cheating.” Day after day, students are marginalized for their disabilities, rather than educated and fostered in a positive environment where they can thrive.
- Abuse – In November 2013, a teacher grabbed 7-year-old Xavier Gomez and threw him down a flight of stairs. The special needs boy was so shaken up he cries before school each day. Despite having four other formal reprimands for physical or verbal abuse, the teacher received nothing more than a warning letter for his cruel actions.
Consult with our New York special education attorneys
At The Sanders Firm, our attorneys have seen significant jury awards and settlements when schools fail to appropriately educate special needs students. If found liable, an educational institution may be required to pay for alternate education, tutoring, career training, assistive technology, speech therapy, occupational therapy or other services.
Over the past five years, we have secured millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. Call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY to speak with a special education lawyer in New York who will stand by your side when it seems like you are the only one who cares about your child’s future.
- Education Week – State Ratings In Special Education http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/infographics/36idea_map.html
- Advocates for Children of New York – 2013 Guide To Special Education http://www.advocatesforchildren.org/sites/default/files/library/guide_to_special_ed.pdf?pt=1
- NY Times- Special Education Programs Brace For Possible Cuts http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/education/special-education-programs-brace-for-possible-cuts.html
- WSJ – School Settlement Near http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304243904579198404013714412
- NY Daily News –Special Ed Parents To DOE: Fix This Bus Fiasco http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/special-ed-parents-doe-fix-bus-fiasco-article-1.1448322#ixzz2r9aKZGIj