Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Welcome to the “Educational Advocacy for MDA Families” Webinar Presented by: Marie Ritzo, Clinical Social Worker Jill Castle, Arizona Department of Education.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the “Educational Advocacy for MDA Families” Webinar Presented by: Marie Ritzo, Clinical Social Worker Jill Castle, Arizona Department of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to the “Educational Advocacy for MDA Families” Webinar Presented by: Marie Ritzo, Clinical Social Worker Jill Castle, Arizona Department of Education Teleconference call-in number: (650) Access code:

2 Marie Ritzo Marie J. Ritzo is a clinical social worker at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Ritzo provides social work services for the MDA clinic and the Surgical Care, Trauma and Burn Unit at Children’s. Ritzo received her master’s degree in of social work degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning, with a concentration in clinical work with children and families.

3 Jill Castle Jill Anne Castle is a parent specialist for the Arizona Department of Education where she helps parents navigate the special education process. She is currently finishing her Masters of Education degree in Educational Psychology and is a candidate for BCBA (board-certified behavioral analyst) Certification. Castle has a 12-year-old son, Anthony, who is Affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and is dedicated to helping children with special needs get the support they deserve.

4 Federal Laws Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) **Because these are federal laws, they pertain to every state

5 Tips & Suggestions One is civil rights; one is special education One is civil rights; one is special education For 504 compliance, one would contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) – Denver, Colorado For 504 compliance, one would contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) – Denver, Colorado For IEP, you would work with your school, then the state department of education For IEP, you would work with your school, then the state department of education

6 Section 504 An antidiscrimination law; as such, it is a civil rights law. An antidiscrimination law; as such, it is a civil rights law. Requires that obstacles to education be removed, modifications and accommodations made. Requires that obstacles to education be removed, modifications and accommodations made. Goal: To provide a child with special needs the ability to perform at the same level as his or her peers. Goal: To provide a child with special needs the ability to perform at the same level as his or her peers.

7 Tips & Suggestions The easiest way to remember is Access. The easiest way to remember is Access. Q: Does my child have access to what everyone else has? If it’s physical, sometimes your city Fire Marshall has useful tips or solutions to help the school comply. If it’s physical, sometimes your city Fire Marshall has useful tips or solutions to help the school comply. Educational access means access to the same educational curriculum as peers. Educational access means access to the same educational curriculum as peers.

8 IDEA IDEA is an entitlement law. It requires schools to meet unique learning needs of students and to prepare them for further education, employment and independent living. IDEA is an entitlement law. It requires schools to meet unique learning needs of students and to prepare them for further education, employment and independent living. Guarantees a fair and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Guarantees a fair and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

9 Tips & Suggestions Free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) Free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) Least restrictive environment (LRE) Least restrictive environment (LRE) Each child has the right to start the special education conversation in the regular setting with supports. Each child has the right to start the special education conversation in the regular setting with supports. You must have both the criteria for the category AND the need for “specialized instruction” You must have both the criteria for the category AND the need for “specialized instruction”

10 Tips & Suggestions cont... Special education is NOT a place. It is a set of services. Special education is NOT a place. It is a set of services. Often, teams or parents will start the conversation with placement; however, there are many steps before that is determined. Often, teams or parents will start the conversation with placement; however, there are many steps before that is determined.

11 Eligibility Autism Autism Deafness Deafness Emotional Disturbance Emotional Disturbance Hearing Impairment Hearing Impairment Intellectual Disability Intellectual Disability Specific Learning Disability Specific Learning Disability Orthopedic Disability Orthopedic Disability Deaf-Blindness Developmental Delay Multiple Disability Visual Impairment Speech/Language Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury Other Health Impairment A child is eligible for special education services and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if the disability falls into one of 14 categories:

12 Steps to the IEP Request made that child be evaluated Request made that child be evaluated Child evaluated by multidisciplinary team Child evaluated by multidisciplinary team Eligibility decided Eligibility decided Child deemed “eligible” Child deemed “eligible” IEP meeting scheduled IEP meeting scheduled IEP meeting held and IEP written IEP meeting held and IEP written Services provided Services provided Progress measured and reported to parents Progress measured and reported to parents IEP reviewed IEP reviewed Child re-evaluated (every three years) Child re-evaluated (every three years)

13 Tips & Suggestions Parent a can request a psychoeducational evaluation in all suspected areas of disability – do so in writing. 60 day starts. Parent a can request a psychoeducational evaluation in all suspected areas of disability – do so in writing. 60 day starts. If the school declines, they must give you a form called a “prior written notice” - it must be very comprehensive as to why they won’t evaluate. If the school declines, they must give you a form called a “prior written notice” - it must be very comprehensive as to why they won’t evaluate. Parent should request a draft copy of the eval before the meeting. Parent should request a draft copy of the eval before the meeting.

14 Tips & Suggestions cont… Remember, behavior is part of functional performance; if a child has behavior issues, it may warrant an evaluation as well. It’s called an “FBA.” Remember, behavior is part of functional performance; if a child has behavior issues, it may warrant an evaluation as well. It’s called an “FBA.” Make sure the meeting to qualify and go over results are separate than the IEP meeting. Many schools combine and that’s too much information for one meeting. You have the right to slow it down. Make sure the meeting to qualify and go over results are separate than the IEP meeting. Many schools combine and that’s too much information for one meeting. You have the right to slow it down.

15 The 504 Plan Defines a person with a disability as having a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activity Defines a person with a disability as having a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activity Requires that a child be able to access an education, free of barriers that would otherwise exclude the child from the school, classroom, school work or activities Requires that a child be able to access an education, free of barriers that would otherwise exclude the child from the school, classroom, school work or activities

16 What’s the Difference? Purpose Purpose Requirements for providing services Requirements for providing services Funding Funding Evaluation Procedures Evaluation Procedures Independent Evaluation Independent Evaluation Protections Protections Due Process Due Process

17 Purpose IDEA ensures a free and appropriate education for students, ages 3-21 years, with disabilities defined by law IDEA ensures a free and appropriate education for students, ages 3-21 years, with disabilities defined by law Section 504 is a civil rights law and protects Section 504 is a civil rights law and protects all individuals from discrimination

18 Requirements for Providing Services IDEA requires a written Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that identifies the disability and specifies the services to be delivered to address it. The IEP also mandates a transition plan for students 16 and over and a Behavior Plan if there is a behavioral component to the disability. IDEA requires a written Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that identifies the disability and specifies the services to be delivered to address it. The IEP also mandates a transition plan for students 16 and over and a Behavior Plan if there is a behavioral component to the disability. Section 504 does not require a written document. It requires that “reasonable accommodations” be made so that the child can participate in the curriculum. Section 504 does not require a written document. It requires that “reasonable accommodations” be made so that the child can participate in the curriculum.

19 Funding IDEA funds states to provide services for eligible students IDEA funds states to provide services for eligible students Section 504 does not provide funding Section 504 does not provide funding

20 Evaluation Procedures IDEA requires a multidisciplinary assessment of the child and re-evaluation every three years IDEA requires a multidisciplinary assessment of the child and re-evaluation every three years Section 504 is a less formal assessment process and is reviewed periodically Section 504 is a less formal assessment process and is reviewed periodically

21 Tips & Suggestions Although the school does an eval every 3 years, a parent can request it once a year. Although the school does an eval every 3 years, a parent can request it once a year. Feel free to encourage the school to draw up a 504 in writing. Feel free to encourage the school to draw up a 504 in writing. Use a parent-friendly letter to give to staff to educate everyone disability and accommodations. Use a parent-friendly letter to give to staff to educate everyone disability and accommodations.

22 Independent Evaluations IDEA allows parents to ask for an independent evaluation – at the school district’s expense – if the parents disagree with the evaluation performed by the school district IDEA allows parents to ask for an independent evaluation – at the school district’s expense – if the parents disagree with the evaluation performed by the school district Section 504 does not allow independent evaluation at the school district’s expense. Section 504 does not allow independent evaluation at the school district’s expense.

23 Protections IDEA requires written notice to parents before any changes take place and due process rights to be followed at all times for discipline procedures. IDEA requires written notice to parents before any changes take place and due process rights to be followed at all times for discipline procedures. Section 504 requires written notice only if there is a “significant change in placement” Section 504 requires written notice only if there is a “significant change in placement”

24 Tips & Suggestions Tips & Suggestions Informed consent: You are part of the team Informed consent: You are part of the team For IEP, they must try to contact of you a minimum of three times in a variety of ways to include you. For IEP, they must try to contact of you a minimum of three times in a variety of ways to include you. Meeting notices Meeting notices Prior Written Notice (PWN) Prior Written Notice (PWN)

25 Due Process IDEA requires the school district to provide resolution sessions and due process hearing for parents who disagree with the IEP or placement IDEA requires the school district to provide resolution sessions and due process hearing for parents who disagree with the IEP or placement Requires the school district to provide a grievance procedure. Compensatory damages are possible. Requires the school district to provide a grievance procedure. Compensatory damages are possible.

26 Tips & Suggestions for IEP Follow chain-of-command for IEP: Follow chain-of-command for IEP: SPED teacher (case manager) SPED teacher (case manager) District liaison (school psychologist) District liaison (school psychologist) Special education director for district Special education director for district Dispute resolution/State Department of Education Dispute resolution/State Department of Education Each state has a Parent Training & Information (PTI) center that offers free advocacy.

27 Tips & Suggestions for 504: Follow chain-of-command for 504: Follow chain-of-command for 504: Regular Ed teacher Regular Ed teacher Designated 504 campus rep (often VP) Designated 504 campus rep (often VP) Superintendent Superintendent Office of Civil Rights (OCR) – Denver Office of Civil Rights (OCR) – Denver

28 Court Decisions Private school tuition must be covered by the public school district if it fails to provide an appropriate education (Forest Grove) Private school tuition must be covered by the public school district if it fails to provide an appropriate education (Forest Grove) The school system does not have to reimburse private school tuition if the child is placed in a private school before eligibility is determined (Schaeffer v Weast) The school system does not have to reimburse private school tuition if the child is placed in a private school before eligibility is determined (Schaeffer v Weast) The school system has to provide a RN if the child needs one to attend school (e.g. student uses a ventilator) (Cedar Rapids) The school system has to provide a RN if the child needs one to attend school (e.g. student uses a ventilator) (Cedar Rapids) Parents who prevail in disputes over services are not entitled to recoup expert witness fees (Arlington v Murphy) Parents who prevail in disputes over services are not entitled to recoup expert witness fees (Arlington v Murphy) Parents can represent themselves in school hearings (Winkleman v Parma City) Parents can represent themselves in school hearings (Winkleman v Parma City)

29 Things to Consider IDEA might be the stronger law for your child because it requires specific information, a specific plan, review and due process. It is comprehensive and provides funds to implement. IDEA might be the stronger law for your child because it requires specific information, a specific plan, review and due process. It is comprehensive and provides funds to implement. Section 504 is the simpler of the two laws. It is not implemented with the same rigor and safeguards. Section 504 is the simpler of the two laws. It is not implemented with the same rigor and safeguards. Schools are more likely to provide services to younger students so it is advisable to get the IEP in place during the early years of the child’s education. Advocates are available to help families negotiate with the child’s school.

30 Protections IDEA requires written notice to parents before any change takes place and due process rights to be followed at all times for discipline procedures. IDEA requires written notice to parents before any change takes place and due process rights to be followed at all times for discipline procedures. Section 504 requires written notice only if there is a “significant change in placement” Section 504 requires written notice only if there is a “significant change in placement”

31 Tips & Suggestions Assistive Technology (AT) Assistive Technology (AT) Box on the IEP to determine whether AT is applicable Box on the IEP to determine whether AT is applicable Almost always is: ranges from pencil grip to dragon, to head switches Almost always is: ranges from pencil grip to dragon, to head switches IEP funds AT IEP funds AT 504 allows its use 504 allows its use

32 Tips & Suggestions cont… Building rapport; don’t wait until once a year, show up, volunteer, etc. Building rapport; don’t wait until once a year, show up, volunteer, etc. Keep open communication with teachers Keep open communication with teachers “Marketing” plan for your child “Marketing” plan for your child Build in social skill goals Build in social skill goals Do kid-friendly disability awareness Do kid-friendly disability awareness fire boots fire boots spaghetti experiments examples spaghetti experiments examples

33 Tips & Suggestions cont… Ask your child, allow them to be part of the decision making Ask your child, allow them to be part of the decision making Very powerful for a child to attend a meeting (even via video) Very powerful for a child to attend a meeting (even via video) Bring work samples Bring work samples Always have a list for a meeting to stay on task Always have a list for a meeting to stay on task

34 Tips & Suggestions cont… Remember it’s a work-in-progress. Your signature only means you were in attendance. Remember it’s a work-in-progress. Your signature only means you were in attendance. This is a relationship that needs to be fostered. We are in the grief cycle and feel differently as different stages. This is a relationship that needs to be fostered. We are in the grief cycle and feel differently as different stages. Our child’s needs will continue to change; try not to sweat the small stuff. Our child’s needs will continue to change; try not to sweat the small stuff.

35 Questions?

36 Thank You! Today’s webinar will be archived and available for viewing on MDA’s website at For additional questions, please contact the MDA Health Care Services Department:


Download ppt "Welcome to the “Educational Advocacy for MDA Families” Webinar Presented by: Marie Ritzo, Clinical Social Worker Jill Castle, Arizona Department of Education."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google