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Leslie J. Cohen, JD Director Sonoran UCEDD Assistant Professor FCM.

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Presentation on theme: "Leslie J. Cohen, JD Director Sonoran UCEDD Assistant Professor FCM."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leslie J. Cohen, JD Director Sonoran UCEDD Assistant Professor FCM

2  University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities  DD Act mandates that every state has at least 1 university center – federally funded by Administration on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities  Engaging in interdisciplinary training, research and evaluation, model services and programs, and information dissemination/technical assistance.

3  Education and Training: interdisciplinary training program  Model programs: health care, aging, employment, youth transition  Research and Evaluation: children with Down Syndrome, Autism, Aging and End of Life, Youth, community needs.  Information Dissemination on state and national disability developments.

4 “They fired me after I had one seizure at work” “Other kids didn’t want to hang out with me…the teacher told them I might act funny sometimes” “I was arrested because the cop thought I was drunk – I was having a seizure.” “They wanted me to take on-line courses instead of on campus…they told me it was a liability issue”

5 Education Employment Services and Benefits Community Life

6  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) epilepsy is impacting educational progress eligible for special education related services  Section 504 epilepsy not impacting educational progress but needs accommodation

7  Children with epilepsy eligible for IDEA if adversely impacts ability to learn: category is “other health impairment”  IEP Cornerstone of services: health services/medication administration specialized recreation services counseling other non-instructional services.  Specialized instruction may also be necessary to compensate for accompanying learning disabilities or other cognitive impairments resulting from frequent losses of consciousness or other impairment of attention or learning ability.

8 Legal Rights of Children with Epilepsy in School and Child Care (2 nd Ed)  Does the epilepsy affect the student’s progress in reading? Math? Other academic areas?  Does the student’s cognitive ability fluctuate depending on seizures and side effects from medication?  Does the student have memory impairment from seizures?  Does the student have particular dietary needs?  Does epilepsy affect the student’s social relationships in the school setting?  How old is the student?  If the student is approaching or is of transition age, is he or she able to manage medical care independently or is that an attainable transition goal?  Where will the student live after he or she leaves school?  What will he or she do during the day?

9  Medication Administration should be listed in IEP (dosage, times of time, signed medication authorization)  Transfers from neighborhood school to one with a nurse must have individualized assessment of the necessity of the transfer and other less restrictive ways to handle  Lowered Expectations for youth advocating for transition planning & real futures

10  Federal Anti-Discrimination Law  Student is not adversely impacted academically by epilepsy  Student Needs Reasonable Accommodation  Must develop “504 Plan”

11  Medication Administration  Seizure Action Plan  Dietary Restrictions  Modified Schedule  Training for Staff / Education for Class Model for a plan at:

12  Colleges, trade schools, other post-high school training programs: ▪ Governed by ADA not IDEA ▪ If federal funding – Sec. 504 applies Principles – non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation

13  ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all aspects of employment.  Hiring  Benefits  Terms and Conditions  Promotion  Job Duties  Discipline

14  The individual’s impairment qualifies as a disability within the meaning of the ADA;  The individual is qualified to perform the job’s essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations; and  The individual has suffered an adverse employment action owing to the employer’s act or omission against the individual.

15  Individuals with a physical, mental or sensory impairment which substantially limits one or more life activities.  Most individuals with epilepsy would be considered as “an individual with a disability” and covered by ADA due to 2008 amendments.  May also be covered as “regarded as” an individual with a disability.

16  Pre-Hire: Employer is prohibited from asking applicants about a disability or need for an accommodation.  Applicant can voluntarily disclose but is under not obligation to do so. When would it make sense/not make sense to disclose????

17  Once a Job is Offered: Can require job-related medical exam (if required of everyone in similar position) Ask about disability if ability to perform is an issue Individual can disclose – if needs accommodations

18  Seizures at Work carpeting or rubber floor mats quiet place to recover seizure action plan lighting (photosensitivity)

19  Memory, cognitive impairments or fatigue day shifts or modified schedules written instructions handheld electronic organizers/alarms (smart phone) waive non-essential job functions No requirement to provide first aid or personal care!!

20  Job Description includes having a valid drivers’ license: is driving an essential function of the job?  Drug Testing: if testing shows the presence of lawfully prescribed medication must keep information confidential. However, if such medication may impact job performance and safety – employer can ask for further information from employee’s physician.

21  Employer claims epilepsy constitute a direct threat:  is there a significant risk of substantial harm to the individual or others?  can the risk be eliminated or reduced through reasonable accommodation?

22  File complaint with the EEOC or ACRD  After agency investigation/findings – right to sue in court  Compensatory and punitive damages available and injunctive relief (getting job or promotion or accommodation)

23  Job Accommodation Network https://askjan.org/  Epilepsy Foundation Legal Defense Fund  EEOC Q & A for Individuals with Epilepsy  Legal Rights of Children with Epilepsy in Schools nual.pdf nual.pdf

24 Leslie J. Cohen, JD Director Sonoran UCEDD Assistant Professor FCM


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