When school districts and families disagree over special education issues, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect a parent’s right to request a due process hearing or mediation.
Preparing the evidence about the disputed issue is a critical step to making a winning argument. The lawyers at The Education Lawyers of Jacobson & John LLP have a wealth of experience representing families in these difficult matters.
While everyone’s situation is different, in most cases obtaining legal representation to pursue your child’s rights under the IDEA is far more affordable than you might think. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, there may be options available to lessen, or even eliminate, the direct cost to you.
How Due Process Hearings Work
At a special education due process hearing, parents and the school district prepare and submit evidence about the disputed issue. Witnesses are called to testify before a hearing officer, exhibits are presented, and at the end of the administrative hearing, the hearing officer issues a decision.
Parents commonly request due process hearings when:
- They recognize a failure to identify their child as eligible for special education support under Section 504 or the IDEA.
- They feel their child has been denied a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
- They believe their child’s IEP or 504 Plan is not being implemented appropriately.
- They believe that their child has not made appropriate progress with academic and/or functional skills.
- They believe the school district has failed to provide necessary related services such as speech, physical or occupational therapies, psychological counseling, or other behavioral services.
- They have been unable to resolve the differences with the school district and feel an impartial third party needs to get involved.
- The District is seeking to discipline their child for conduct that is a manifestation of his or her disability.
Regardless of the circumstances that has led you to seek out legal counsel, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to support your efforts to obtain a just outcome for your child.
Attorneys Strengthen Your Case
Advocating for the creation of and adherence to an IEP and 504 Plans, however, can be challenging. Families and school districts often disagree over whether a child’s needs are significant enough to warrant the implementation of an IEP and 504 Plans. Or, even if the school district agrees on the necessity of an IEP and 504 Plans, a district may attempt to argue for a level of services that is inappropriate to a child’s needs.
Our team of education lawyers can consult with parents before, during, and after any communications or interactions with the school regarding the formation or modification of an IEP and 504 Plans, including joining them at IEP and 504 Plans meetings.