Education - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Pre-school to 12th grade: 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public school districts provide each child with a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”).  While there are many ways to define an “appropriate education”, it generally includes the following:

  • That educational services will be provided to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability;
  • That the student with a disability will participate in classrooms with non-disabled students to the greatest extent possible;
  • That non-discriminatory evaluation and placement procedures are in place to identify students who need special education services and determine what services are appropriate; and
  • The establishment of due process procedures to ensure that parents and guardians receive the proper notices, can review their child’s records and challenge identification, evaluation and placement decisions and provide for an impartial hearing with the opportunity for participation by parents and representation by counsel and a review procedure.

The school systems are required to pay for the initial testing of a student who has been identified as potentially needing special education services.  Once a need has been identified, an Individualized Educational Plan (“IEP”) is developed with the input of the school administrators, appropriate mental health practitioners and the parents or guardian.  The IEP, as its name implies, is designed to meet the unique needs of the individual student.  Students are eligible to receive special education services until the age of 21 or upon their date of graduation.  Students are also eligible to receive services upon reaching the age of 16 to assist them in making the transition from high school to college or employment.

If you feel that your child is being denied special education services or the services that are being received are inappropriate and are not meeting the needs of your child, then e-mail or telephone us for a complimentary case evaluation.

Post-Secondary Education:

Accommodations for individuals with disabilities in post-secondary education are governed by Title II and Title III of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and forbids colleges and universities from discriminating against otherwise qualified individuals on the basis of a disability. 

Unlike the IDEA, the student is required to alert the college or university’s student services office (usually there is a specific office or person assigned to assist students with   disabilities) of the nature of the disability, the need for services, and the types of services required.   A student should be prepared to provide appropriate documentation regarding his or her disability, and information about the special education services that were previously provided during his or her educational career.  Accommodations can include extended time on tests, providing a note taker in class, or relocating a classroom to a wheelchair accessible building.

If you feel that you have discriminated against on the basis of a disability and that your rights have been violated, then e-mail or telephone us for a complimentary case evaluation.

Standardized Testing or Training Courses           

Organizations that provide testing services for admission to graduate schools or courses related to licensing or certification for educational, professional or trade purposes must offer these services in accessible locations and buildings.  This includes, but is not limited to tests and courses for certified public accountants, law school admission exams, medical college admission tests (MCAT), real estate licensing, and financial services exams, such as Series 7.         

It also requires the organizations that provide these testing services to offer auxiliary aids and services when necessary unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service or cause an undue burden.  This includes altering or extending the time for someone to complete a test, or changing the manner in which the test if given, such as allowing someone to use a computer to type answers to questions.  Before providing such an accommodation, however, the testing service can require the person to provide documentation of his or her disability and the need for the accommodation.   We have successfully worked with clients in obtaining auxiliary aids and services to accommodate their disability so that they could successfully take and pass accreditation examinations and courses.

If you feel that you have been wrongly denied an accommodation, then e-mail or telephone us for a complimentary case evaluation.

Maxwell & Barke LLC
51 Monroe Place, Suite 806, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Telephone 301.309.8300   Telecopier 301.309.8303
Adjacent to Montgomery County Courthouse  |  Across from Rockville Metro Station