A College Freshman with Learning Differences

In summer 2013, Brian L., who has learning differences, was interviewed about his recent graduation from high school and eagerly anticipated college experience. Here, he and his mom describe the last 12 months of his educational journey. Q: What was your first semester of college like? Brian: I loved the social aspect. The atmosphere was [...]


Blog Roundup: Service Dogs/Health Care Surrogates/Educating Kids in Nursing Homes

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with a wide array of issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of recent posts from member blogs. Service Dogs: What to Do if Your Service Dog is Denied Public Access Businesses are required under the Americans with Disabilities [...]


Blog Roundup: PI Settlements/College Supports/Eldercare/Employment/SNTs & SSI

SNA attorneys have daily involvement with a wide array of issues facing individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of recent posts from member blogs: High Expectations of PI Attorneys When Advising Clients During Settlement A recent client suit against personal injury attorneys illustrates the care with [...]


Preparation Pays at Special Ed Meetings

By Hyman Darling, Esq., Massachusetts  With special ed spending down 11 percent since 2010, parents may find meetings with the local Committee on Special Education (CSE) increasingly tense. When negotiating with educational experts, families often feel intimidated and outgunned, so it's important to arrive prepared. Prior to your first meeting with the CSE, talk to [...]


Graduating from Special Ed, Anticipating College

Brian L., 19, recently graduated from high school, having been in special education programs since kindergarten. He has a number of learning differences, including autism spectrum disorder. In August, he enters freshman year at Millersville University, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Here, he talks about his public school experience and his eagerness to start college. Q: [...]


Making School Sports Accessible

By Scott Suzuki, Esq., Honolulu, Hawaii The U.S. Department of Education recently published guidelines clarifying the responsibility of public schools to make sports more accessible to students with disabilities. Although both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have long mandated that public education include sports-related accommodations, many districts [...]


Music as a Healing Art

By Catherine Leas, CELA The arts are a gift to all of us, but for individuals with special needs, they hold special promise. When Willy, who has severe developmental disabilities, plays guitar in a country western band on Friday nights, he becomes another person. Willy (far right) plays with a country western band each week. Willy [...]


Special Education Under Siege

By Andrew H. Hook, CELA Federal law stipulates that all children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive setting possible. That's a broad—and vague—directive. As a result, special ed procedures and services vary widely throughout the U.S., sometimes differing markedly throughout a single state. What remains consistent, though, [...]


The Education Power of Attorney: Empowering Students with Disabilities

By Barbara Hughes, Esq. When individuals with disabilities reach the age of 18, they are legally considered to be adults and in charge of their own education decisions. At this point, some will need to have parents or another adult appointed as guardian, to handle all or most of the decision-making. On the other hand, [...]