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Old 01-23-2011, 05:48 AM   #1
bookwormde
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Ada 2009

I attended a special ed law seminar yesterday (excellent law professor), and was interested that we spent a lot of time on ADA/504 and the impact of the 2009 revisions.
The impact of the additional classifications is significant to our kids and for those who are adults with some of the non visable disabilities that we discuss. While obviously there are not a lot of decisions from the bench yet, but the impact could be well beyond what I had perceived.
One item which has been discussed extensively here was service dogs in school and apparently this has been largely resolve in favor of children with disabilities with a lot a practical implementation policy guidance (which I need to look up).
Some of new classes of covered disability include, thinking, sleep, reading, concentration and a whole host around eating and digestion.
The other big change is that the baseline for comparative impact of the disability and if it is significant is now based on the natural condition without support, and accommodations including medication or assistive devices.
Just wondering what others knowledge and perception of the changes are and what experiences everyone has had.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #2
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Bookwormde, I haven't had time to post exactly how my OCR complaint mediation meeting went and the whole long story, but it turns out these 2009 changes were the crux of the trouble the school district was in. I don't know the full extent of the changes that happened but OCR was very firm in detailing how the district here had failed to comply with those changes. I believe the real sticking point was the changes in definition and identification of a "child with a disability". The principal's position that she had not "read" the medical reports that I had provided them but then it came to light that she was a member of the ARD committee and as such, testified that she had reviewed all of those same documents then. There was a lawyer there that the school had hired-one that specializes in Sp Ed cases and she stated that the district was not informed of the 2009 changes. That wasn't a very good answer for OCR. It turns out after about 3 hours of negotiating that we agreed to many things including district wide training by a specialist on 504 and the new changes, a new district 504 Specialist was hired, restructuring of the Sp Ed Dept will be completed including intermeshing of 504 and Sp Ed teams and information, and people that were in charge of this were "relived" of those duties. They have to complete the training by Spring and I can attend and must be sent proof of the training. I did not have to drop my complaint in return for these things-the agreement is part of the permanent record and no complaint "goes away" or is dropped (this was a major sticking point in the meeting-the attorney wanted me to drop the complaint-and actually OCR rep said I didn't have to). There were also other things in the agreement including many assurances for dd should she ever return to the district.

Anyway, whatever changed in 2009 was pretty significant because whatever loophole they were using to disqualify 504 closed up. It was pretty clear the attorney knew there was some issues at the district and was very forthcoming with admission of fault. They wanted to offer IEP and services which extend to private school but I declined.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:34 AM   #3
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I know it does not do a lot for your daughter but you cnan be proud of the differnce you have and will have made in the lives of countless children.

If you have time and can email me the formal complaint, any transcript and final agreement (redacted as needed) that would be great as I can use it as an example in my state (since it is a federal agreement).

way to go

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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I Pm'd you the relevant parts

A funny story: when I went to the meeting they made me wait in the Sp Ed Dept for awhile (my mom was there with me) and I said to her that I bet the attorney was in there reading the file for the first time. This attorney was not local and was called in from a major city. Boy, was I wrong! I walked into the room and there were 2 five inch binders on the table (as well as the binders everyone else had with them). During the meeting I looked at those binders and they had my dd's name on the covers. I asked the attorney and she told me that was what they were required to send OCR in response to their complaint investigation. Turns out, that attorney had been working on this case since September. Perhaps I didn't win this case with a slam dunk (the principal refused to admit any wrongdoing to the bitter end-and was excused from the meeting) but I can think at least they were really sweating this whole thing and maybe they'll think twice before they do this to another student.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
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Well I went o PM you and my cut and paste deleted the stuff so I will have to do it again when I get the chance-my scanner is broken so I typed it all out then lost it.
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