A nonprofit special education law firm that assists parents/guardians and their special needs children
WELCOME TO HOPE4FAMILIES
Our goal is to help families obtain vitally important services from their school districts; services every child needs to thrive in an educational setting and in everyday life. Hope4Families offers legal services at little to no costs to most families.
In The Community:
Check back for workshops and information sessions with a Q&A with an attorney and an advocate. There will be information and resources available. Sign up for a free appointment for a one on one intake with an attorney.
Free Special Education consultation
Special Education Law:
Hope4Families is a nonprofit special education public interest law firm that assists parents/guardians and their special needs children.
What is Special Education Law?
There are laws such as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) which ensure children with special needs receive a free and appropriate public education. Students with special needs may require certain accommodations or services to make sure that they are developing and making meaningful progress from grade to grade. When a student is not given the appropriate services and support however, parents may need to seek the assistance of an experienced Special Education Attorney.
How can a Special Education Attorney Help You?
There are many situations where a special needs child may not be getting the services they need. Whether a need for a service has not been properly identified, or if the child’s school has not been able to deliver the services they had previously promised in an IEP, parents might be confused about what rights they have, and what actions they can take to help their child.
An experienced Special Education Attorney can guide parents through the myriad of complex laws and regulations and take a series of legal actions to compel the schools to provide the proper accommodations and supports. Our years of experience in this field can give parents the best opportunity to get the services their children need. Having learned various legal strategies from years of assisting parents deal with school districts, Hope4Families can help guide you through this potentially confusing and stressful time.
What Rights do Special Education Students Have?
Most parents are unaware of the laws and regulations that have been put in place to assure the rights of children with special needs. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was drafted and officially became federal law in 1975, provides a number of legal rights and protections for students as young as 3, and potentially up to the age of 22. The IDEA established that every student is entitled to a free and appropriate public education, and that parents and legal guardians should have some input in determining their child’s educational curriculum.
Even with these laws and protections in place, many parents find that services their children are entitled to are not being provided by school districts. Hope4Families is here to assist you and your family, and make sure that your rights are protected under both state and federal laws.
Find Out How We Can Help
Reach out to Hope4Families today with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the commonly asked questions that we’ve come across in our practice. You can use the following FAQ or click here to download a pamphlet with more information about Hope4Familes.
1. What is IDEA?
In 1975 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was created. Initially referred to as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, the purpose of the law was to ensure that all children are provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE), and to give parents and/or legal guardians the right to be part of the decision-making process in determining their child’s educational curriculum.
2. What is FAPE?
FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education. A FAPE, as the IDEA defines it, includes specially designed education and related services that meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.
- 3. How Do I Know If My Child Is Eligible For IDEA And Specially Designed Educational Services??
- Any student whose educational needs cannot be met by a regular education program qualifies for special education services. There are many categories through which a student can qualify for special education. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the California Education Code, students must meet one of the following criterion to qualify for Special Education.
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Other Health Impairment (includes ADHD)
- Emotional disturbance
- Visual Impairment Including Blindness
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Specific Learning Disability (includes Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and Other Learning Differences)
- Established Medical Disability
- How Do I Request Services For My Child?
If your child has been diagnosed with any of the disorders mentioned previously, or if you believe your child has one of these disabilities, the first step is to have your child assessed by the district. The district is required to have your child evaluated at no cost to you. Present your request to the district in writing and keep a record of that request.
5. What Are Some Issues That Children May Experience, Which Might Require The Assistance of an Attorney?
- Speech and Language Deficits
- Inappropriate Classroom Placement
- Suspension and/or Expulsion
- Lack of Support in the Classroom
- Issues With Navigating the School Campus
- Lack of Behavioral Support
- Social and Emotional Problems
- Difficulty Concentrating and Focusing
- Difficulty With Writing
- Lack of Behavioral Support
6. What if The School District Claims My Child Does Not Qualify?
If, after assessment and an IEP meeting, the District disagrees with your opinion on your child’s need for special education, there are several steps you can take. You may pay for independent educational evaluations (which can be reimbursed by the district after a legal process). You may also contact an attorney and file a due process request with the district to re- evaluate your child if you feel the assessments were not sufficient.