Raising a child with a disability presents a host of challenges for families. There are often significant financial burdens, along with heavy demands on time in the form of therapy and medical appointments. Moreover, the emotional toll that comes with feelings of uncertainty about your child and their future can be overwhelming.
And then there’s school.
The laws governing the education of students with disabilities are complicated. Procedural protections for students are not always obvious nor widely understood. Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) spell out the program of special education instruction, supports and services students need to learn, but these are typically jargon-heavy and can be difficult for families to understand and navigate.
All of this makes the promise of meaningful participation by families and students – recognized as equal partners in special education decision-making under the law – at times an illusory one.
A new law (Senate Bill 5532) proposed by State Sen.