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Special Education Advocacy

If your child requires significant supervision and support beyond the school day, they may be eligible for services from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Guide to Being a Parent of a Special Needs Child

Should You Refer Your Child with a Disability for OPWDD Services?

By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education/Special Needs Advocate Some students who receive special education services are indistinguishable from their typical peers once the school day is over. Others have physical, medical, or neurodevelopmental differences that affect their lives, and those of their families, every day. They require far more supervision and support than their same-aged peers,…

Special Education Advocacy

Office for Civil Rights Reminds School Districts of Important Obligations in Ongoing Pandemic

by Marion M. Walsh, Esq. The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (“OCR”) has delivered a Report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on students in K-12 and in higher education, Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students (“Report”). Not surprisingly the Report concludes that the…

GIrl lying on stomach using tablet
Special Education Advocacy

Initial Referrals to the Committee on Special Education

by Arshi Pal, Esq. The pandemic has been a real eye-opener for many parents. As we transitioned to remote learning, many parents became part-time instructors to ensure that their children engaged in instruction and completed assignments. Many parents witnessed firsthand the struggles their children were having with paying attention, completing assignments, understanding concepts and communicating…

Special Education Advocacy

Recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week

by Marion M. Walsh, Esq. In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week.  The week runs through Sunday, October 10, which is World Mental Health Day. Mental Illness Awareness Week assumes more relevance today than ever, due to challenges raised by the pandemic and increased isolation and…

Special Education Advocacy

What Parents Need to Know About New York State’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As the school year begins, school districts in New York State will be examining new policies on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and parents should be aware of these policies.  As a first step, in April 2021, the Board of Regents released a draft Framework on Diversity,…

Student with Special Education Teacher in New York City
Special Education Advocacy

New York State Issues School Reopening Guidance

By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education / Special Needs Advocate As schools reopen in the coming weeks, all have worries about the COVID-19 virus and its highly transmissible Delta variant. School administrators continue to plan for the safety of students and school personnel and develop new policies and protocols amid continuing concerns about the COVID-19 virus…

Boy Wearing a Mask at Desk in Classroom
Special Education Advocacy

CDC Recommends Staff and Students Wear Masks in K-12 Schools

By Marion Walsh, Esq. While school districts will likely continue in-person learning this Fall, many school districts and private schools may mandate masks for both staff and students. As of Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its Guidance for K-12 schools across the country. The CDC now recommends all…

Special Education Advocacy

New York State Rules on Aging out of Special Education

By Sandi Rosenbaum and Marion Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP It is important for parents and students to understand when the entitlement to special education ends.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that states must provide a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities residing in the state between the ages…

Special Education Advocacy

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Littman Krooks is a long-time sponsor of NAMIWalks and has participated for the past five years, in torrential rain, in sunshine, and virtually in 2020. Our “Team LK Marion’s Marchers” will be taking part in the 2021 NAMIWalks Your Way: A United Day of Hope, on May…

Special Education Advocacy

Understanding the Differences between the IDEA and Section 504  

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) protect the rights of students with disabilities in public schools. Often, parents have confusion about the two laws, as there is some overlap, and the terms and protections can…