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

Posts Tagged ‘1:1: aide’

District could not deny access to afterschool program to child with autism based on mistaken belief that he required a 1:1 aide

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Wilson County (TN) School Dist., 60 IDELR 111 (OCRIV, Atlanta (TN) 2012)—the parent in this case brought suit against the school district alleging discrimination against her child with autism when the district refused to allow the student to participate in an afterschool program. The parent was informed orally and informally by the program site director that the program staff could not handle the student because of his disability and a shortage of staff. Subsequently, the parent submitted multiple applications but never received a formal response. Although the student’s IEP showed that he would have equal access to all extracurricular activities, the program personnel did not consult with the student’s teacher regarding what accommodations would allow the student to attend the program. The district claimed that the program could not accommodate the student and it would be an undue financial hardship to pay for a 1:1 aide. However the IEP did not state that the child even needed a 1:1 aide. OCR found that the student’s participation in the program would not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or impose an undue financial burden on the district and therefore, the exclusion of the child constituted discrimination based on disability in violation of Section 504.

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District can be held responsible for private school tuition when it fails to consider an inclusion setting with a 1:1 aide

Monday, April 15th, 2013

G.B. and L.B. ex rel. N.B. v. Tuxedo Union Free Sch. Dist., 60 IDELR 2 (2d Cir. 2012)—the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision that a school district denied FAPE to a student with pervasive developmental disorder by offering an overly restrictive placement. Thus, the Federal Court upheld the parent’s entitlement to tuition reimbursement for the child’s private inclusion preschool program. The school district should have considered whether the child could participate in an inclusion classroom with the help of a 1:1 aide. NOTE: this decision has not been released for publication in official or permanent law reports, per court order. To view the blog posting regarding the lower court case, see N.B. v. Tuxedo Union Free Sch. Dist., 55 IDELR 228 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), posted on April 28, 2011.

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Reimbursement denied where unilateral placement did not adequately address student’s related services needs, and need for 1:1 aide.

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

L.S. v. New York City Department of Education, 59 IDELR 159 (S.D.N.Y 2012):  A federal district court upheld a State Review Officer’s determination that parents of a student with Angelman syndrome, and classified with multiple disabilities, are not entitled to reimbursement for their child’s unilateral private placement.  There was no dispute that the school district failed to offer the student an appropriate program, however the private program selected by the parents was also not appropriate.  The district’s recommended IEP included 6.5 hours each week of related services (including speech and language therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy), whereas the private school only provided 4.75 hours.  Also, there was no dispute that the student required the services of a 1:1 paraprofessional to adequately ambulate around his school environment.  However, the private program failed to provide such paraprofessional (1:1 aide services were provided by the district as per a pendency order).  In light of these failures, the private program was not appropriate to meet the student’s needs and, therefore, reimbursement was denied.

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School district violates least restrictive environment requirement when it fails to fully consider an integrated setting for a student with an autism spectrum disorder.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

N.B. v. Tuxedo Union Free School District, 55 IDELR 228 (S.D.N.Y. 2010):  A U.S. District Court overturned the New York State Review Officer in relation to a child with an autism spectrum disorder who the school district sought to place in a self-contained out-of-district program.  The student’s parents argued that the student needed to be with her non-disabled peers, which required placement in an integrated class.

The student, while in preschool, attended a program that was essentially integrated since the preschool chosen by the school district ultimately included four non-disabled children in its program.  However, the student’s parents removed her from that program due to the school district’s failure to provide the 1:1 aide the student needed.  The parents placed the student in a private, integrated preschool program, paid for a 1:1 aide, and the student made significant progress.

The school district recommended a self-contained out-of-district BOCES program following preschool, where the student would have little interaction with her non-disabled peers.  The parents argued that the student required interaction with non-disabled peers, since she modeled the behavior she observed and it was crucial to her development.  Several experts supported the parents.  The district relied on the student’s standardized testing to argue she required the self-contained class to reduce distractions.  The recommendation included “boilerplate” and “conclusory” language about rejecting an integrated class.

The Court found that the school district did not properly review the student’s ability to participate in an integrated class with supports (here, a 1:1 aide).  As a result, it violated the least restrictive environment requirement and its proposed IEP was inappropriate.  Since the private placement chosen by the parents was appropriate, they were entitled to reimbursement (although reimbursement was to be reduced in part due to the parents’ failure to timely notify the district of their intention to remove the student and place her privately).

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