Thursday, January 2, 2014

Special Education Regional Associate

“We often get caught up in our own reactions and forget the vulnerability of the person in front of us.”   ~  Sharon Salzberg

When we are trying to work through challenges with our school district's special education department to get our our child's needs appropriately met, there are resources at the state level designed to intercede on our behalf.

Often times, school districts will tell parents right off the bat, if they're in disagreement, there is always "due process".  Due process is extremely arduous and stressful for many parents.  The cost to hire an attorney is out of reach for many parents and if we don't prevail, we're at risk of incurring not only our own personal attorney fees but the school districts as well.   Going to due process should be the absolute last resort whenever possible and should never be wielded as a weapon of intimidation.

Parents have legal rights and state level liaisons are just a phone call away.  Special Education Associates are paid with our tax dollars and in place to assist when necessary.  They have expertise, well versed in the special education regulations and are required to work with the special education chair person in our districts when the going gets rough.  I think one of the most important roles of the liaison is putting the district on notice when they are not adhering to the law.

Do you know who your New York State Regional Associate is?  If not, it's a good idea to get acquainted and have that person's contact information in the event you need assistance when coming up against a brick wall.    Go to this link to locate your associate by region:  New York State Special Education Regional Associate

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”  ~ Helen Keller