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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Archive for December, 2012

Districts must draft a thorough IEP that accurately describes and addresses a child’s needs

Friday, December 28th, 2012

In re Student with a Disability, 59 IDELR 205 (SEA NY 2012)—On appeal, a State Review Officer (SRO) from the New York State Educational Agency confirmed that a New York school district denied a child FAPE by creating an unacceptably broad IEP that did not accurately reflect her special education needs. The student had auditory processing and written expression disorders and the parents filed for due process claiming that the IEP did not accurately address the individual skills and goals of the student. Interestingly, the SRO found that the parents did not unilaterally place the student in a private placement; the student had initially been placed in the approved nonpublic school by the district. The impartial hearing officer (IHO) had confirmed that the IEP was inappropriate and thus the district must pay for the private placement until a proper IEP was created.

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Least Restrictive Environment still applies when IEP team assigns Work Placements as part of Student’s Transition Program

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Letter to Spitzer-Resnick, Swedeen, and Pugh, 59 IDELR 230 (OSEP 2012): In a response to questions posed by school district members, the Office of Special Education Programs stated that the least restrictive environment (LRE) requirement applies to a student’s transition-related work placement. Although segregated employment is not prohibited, LRE is such a fundamental requirement that the IEP team must determine whether it is necessary to place a student in a segregated work program. The work placement may not be more restrictive than necessary to meet the student’s educational goals. The IEP must consider whether the student could work in an environment with nondisabled individuals. Further, if the work placement is part of the child’s IEP, the parents are entitled to prior notice before a change in the student’s work placement is made. When the work placement is part of the IEP, the IEP team must consider and the IEP include, as appropriate, any supplementary service and/or aides to allow the child to actively participate in the work placement.

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