Because my child is autistic, I know first hand how difficult it is to work with school districts in making sure that a child recieves a free and appropriate education under IDEA, the federal law that mandates that school
districts give special needs children the right mix and kind of services. I’ve seen many families simply fall through the cracks because they don’t have the money or the knowledge to hire an attorney while the school
district denies the child services.
The greedy school districts, at the administration level, only care about one thing – the bottom line, and that is how much it will cost them to give the child the services that him or her
needs? What happens is that the child just doesn’t get the services necessary while the district administration has taxpayer funded trips, phones, retirements and other goodies.
Because of the specialized nature of special education law, there are few,if any, attorneys that will work for free or on contingency. The subject matter is complex and there and contingency fees are allowed by law in only a few situations. The fees are expensive and it is a rare family that can afford to retain an attorney. The parents (and the children) end up being at the whim of the school district – they get whatever the district feels like gives them. It is heartbreaking to see this happen.
This can go on from kindergarten all the way to 12th grade. Because of my background in law and my love for disabled children, it has been my dream for some time to start a non-profit law group in California where parents can get the help they need, based upon a sliding scale. Those who can pay a bit more, do and those that can’t pay anything at all, won’t pay a dime but in each case, they will recieve the help they need. I’m not sure how much it will take to get this off the ground, but I am excited to see if it is possible.
We would need funds to first create a website and to recruit quality attorneys who would be willing to work for the group to help needy special education kids. I’d like to start an
outreach group as well, so that we can let parents, grandparents, anyone who has a special needs child, that there IS help available. Do something good for needy disabled kids and donate today!
Thanks so much for your time and consideration!