A New Jersey Special Education Lawyer Representing the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Whether you suspect your child may have special needs that are not being met, or you already know that your family needs help enforcing the special education laws, the process of securing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as promised by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can be overwhelming. As a parent, you deserve to have all of the relevant information regarding your child’s rights so that you can take an active role in their educational planning, and ensure they are receiving the services they need to thrive in school. Unfortunately, schools do not always automatically provide the special education and related services to which your child is entitled under the law. However, the law provides recourse for parents so that you can take the steps necessary to challenge the school’s decisions and advocate for the needs of your child.
Whether you need information regarding eligibility for special education, want assistance with the IEP process, or need representation in a mediation or due process hearing, Lori E. Arons, Esq. is here to help. Lori has extensive knowledge of special education law and has represented the rights of many special needs children in New Jersey, so please call to learn more about how we can help you today.
Advocating for the Rights of Children with Special Needs and their families
Federal and State laws provide educational rights for children with disabilities. Under New Jersey Administrative Code Title 6A, Chapter 14, students between the ages of 3 and 21 are eligible for special education and related services if they meet the criteria for one or more of fourteen enumerated categories, which are as follows:
- Auditorily Impaired
- Intellectually Disabled
- Communication Impaired
- Emotionally disturbed
- Multiply Disabled
- Orthopedically Impaired
- Other Health Impaired
- Preschool Child with a Disability
- Social Maladjustment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visually Impaired
It is important that you know your rights when seeking special education and related services for your child.
Right to a Free Appropriate Public Education
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. §1400, et seq and the New Jersey Administrative Code for Special Education, N.J.A.C. 6A:14 confer upon children with disabilities the unequivocal right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE has a variety of aspects and includes the specialized accommodations, services, and instruction needed to prepare a child for further education, employment and independent living. Schools have a legal obligation to provide these accommodations, services and instruction at no cost to the parents. In addition, a student must be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) appropriate to meet their unique needs.
Parents have the right to participate in meetings with teachers and other school personnel, and to play an active and equal role in designing a special education plan. Students who need accommodations but not specialized instructions may require a 504 Plan, while students who require specialized instruction or services may need a more detailed Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is easy for all of these terms and requirements to become confusing and overwhelming for parents. You may not know how to effectively stand up for your child’s right to receive appropriate services, or you may not be sure if an existing or proposed plan is adequate for your child. It can be extremely helpful to have the assistance of an experienced special education attorney who understands the process and the requirements under the law.
It may be that you disagree with the school’s assessment of your child’s needs and believe the school wants to provide inadequate services, or that the school wants place your child in an unnecessarily restrictive environment. When a dispute arises over these or other issues, the law gives parents the right to file for due process. Due process is a way for you to appeal the school’s decision and resolve your dispute with the school. This process can include the following:
- Resolution Meeting
- Due Process Hearing
- Filing a claim in state or federal court
Due Process can be complex with many different deadlines and procedures, so it is essential to have skilled representation by an experienced special education lawyer throughout this process.
Call Today for a Consultation with Attorney and Advocate Lori E. Arons, Esq.
Advocating for your child with special needs can be a challenge and NJ special education attorney Lori E. Arons, Esq. understands that on a personal level. Not only has Lori helped many parents enforce their educational rights and obtain services that the law promises to their children, but she has also been through the IEP process as a parent advocating for her own children. Lori’s perspective as both a legal advocate and as a parent allows her to provide compassionate assistance while taking every step possible to assist you and your child. Lori has the skill and resources needed to find solutions with the school in a cooperative setting, or to take your case to due process and the federal courts if necessary. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to call Lori E. Arons, Esq. at 201-388-9533 today.