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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, Equity and Inclusion in New York’s Schools:  A Call to Action and then adopted the …

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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 and its highly transmissible Delta variant.  The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has just …

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Managing Virtual Learning for Students with Special Needs

Closeup of a young girl getting piggyback ride with father

 Reprinted with permission of the Special Needs Alliance (www.specialneedsalliance.org) This post was authored by attorney Amy C. O’Hara, CELA of Littman Krooks, LLP, New York. Amy focuses her practice on special needs planning, elder law, trusts and estates, and personal injury settlement consulting. She serves on SNA’s Board of Directors. If the pandemic has been difficult for student learning, the situation has only been more difficult for students with special …

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Guardianship: Fact vs. Fiction

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By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP In recent months, television viewers have been captivated by docuseries and fictional portrayals of conservatorship, known in New York as Guardianship. As with most on-screen productions, there may be more dramatic fiction at work than factual portrayal. A reasonable viewer would be worried about the prospect of guardianship, and maybe with good reason. A guardianship proceeding is an involved and often expensive process …

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Senior Father With Adult Son Relaxing On Sofa At Home

By Arshi Pal, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers allow individuals who are otherwise eligible for Medicaid to receive supports and services in the home and community setting, instead of being served in an institution-like or more restrictive setting. HCBS waivers provide, among other things, supportive employment, integrated day services, direct personal assistance, services to promote independence and participation in the broader community, transportation …

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By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education/Special Needs Advocate Parents must make important decisions when their child with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD) turns 18 and legally becomes an adult.  Should parents apply for guardianship or consider less restrictive measures such as Supported Decision-Making (SDM) and/or have the young adult execute advance directives such as power of attorney and a health care proxy? Guardianship in New York under Article 17-A The …

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This article for The Voice® was written by Mark B. Heffner, CELA, a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. He is the principal of Heffner & Associates, a firm with offices in Warwick and Barrington, Rhode Island, focusing since 1992 on elder law, special needs planning, and estate planning. Mark is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, and became a member of the Special Needs Alliance in 2004. …

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OPWDD Rallies

By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education Advocate, Littman Krooks LLP Will everyone be free on Independence Day? As COVID-19 cases have dropped and New York has opened up, region by region, people with developmental disabilities have been left out. The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has not updated its March 24 guidance suspending all home visits and community outings for residents of certified group homes. Residential …

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Special Needs Planning Benefits All Siblings

The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) is the premier organization in the country for advising families on special needs issues. Littman Krooks LLP partners Bernard A. Krooks (Past President) and Amy C. O’Hara (Current Vice President of the Board) are the only two members in the Hudson Valley and NYC area. The following is a guest blog from their SNA colleague Benjamin A. Rubin, Esq., of Rubin Law in Illinois. This …

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