Navigating the challenges of the special education system is no easy task, whether your child is just preparing to enter public school, or a teenager struggling in a regular classroom setting. Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC advocates for students with learning barriers in need of special education services to which they are entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

This important legislation is designed to ensure that every child with special needs has access to free public education in the least restrictive environment which is appropriate for their particular needs.

Our attorneys offer compassionate support and advocacy to client families in Albany and the greater New York area, and take pride in helping children secure an appropriate education that is supportive of all their needs, paving the way to a brighter future.

Special Education Advocacy Team
Jacob D. Verchereau

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Physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities impact a child’s ability to make meaningful academic progress in many different ways. The New York public education system has a responsibility to help students reach their full potential, regardless of a child’s special needs.

We empower parents and guardians with knowledge of state and federal special education laws and advocate for the support services that students need to thrive. A special education advocacy lawyer is an invaluable asset to any family who wants to secure the best possible education for their child.

Principles of IDEA for Special Needs Accommodations

The primary goal of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act is to provide a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE) to special needs students. This translates to an educational setting that caters to the student’s unique disability circumstances, and may encompass the use of classroom aides, special therapy, or instruction in a general classroom in tandem with other supportive amenities.

IDEA addresses the special education of students ages 3 to 21 whose disability adversely impacts their education and has specific criteria for eligibility. Qualifying conditions include the following:

  • Deaf-blindness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Autism
  • Visual Impairment
  • Blindness
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Hearing Loss and Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • ADHD
  • Learning Differences such as Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Other Established Medical Disability

When a teacher, counselor, or other school professional suspects a student has a disability that will affect or hamper their learning and functioning at school, they may refer them for evaluation for an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan. The IEP is a detailed proposal that outlines the actions and support services used by educational providers to help children with disabilities advance. Even with these laws in place, many parents have found it difficult to secure the accommodations and support their child is entitled to have. A special needs planning lawyer can help ensure that your child receives a free and appropriate education (FAPE) that is guaranteed by law.

Rehabilitation Act: Section 504

Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in public schools that receive financial assistance from the US Department of Education. This anti-discrimination legislation covers individuals with mental or physical impairments and ensures they have equal access to a quality education through special modifications and accommodations.

Unlike IDEA, Section 504 does not require school districts to develop student-tailored IEPs, but it does require a plan for assessment and placement of students with disabilities.

Helping NY Families Exercise Due Process Rights

Our experienced lawyers provide a number of services for parents of children with special educational needs:

  • Review educational records to ensure a school district is tracking measurable progress year to year
  • IEP analysis and development
  • Advocating for special accommodations as needed
  • Identify if appropriate programming in the least restrictive environment has been made available
  • Representation at CSE meetings and student disciplinary hearings
  • Advocacy for appropriate transition planning for students aging out of secondary education
  • Legal representation at impartial hearings and appeals

For over four decades, Pierro, Connor & Strauss has provided sound legal counsel to clients in all stages of life. Whether you need a special education or estate planning lawyer, you can count on our law firm for skilled advocacy and compassionate representation.

New York Special Education Lawyer

Many families seek our guidance when a child fails to reach developmental milestones or is facing disciplinary concerns in the classroom that stem from unmet special education needs. We are steadfast advocates for protecting the educational rights of students with disabilities throughout New York.

If you have a child with a disability in need of special education advocacy, we invite you to arrange a free consultation with an attorney at Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC.

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