Special Education

Ninth Circuit Takes California Department Of Education (CDE) To Task

Ninth Circuit Takes California Department Of Education to Task in Major and Unprecedented Ruling for State’s Schoolchildren

December 15, 2016

The Ninth Circuit affirmed U.S. Northern California District Court Judge Thelton Henderson’s orders that the California Department of Education (CDE) must implement a corrective action plan designed to ensure that its special education monitoring system would comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Consent Decree in the case, a class action brought to protect the special education rights of students with disabilities. The decision is the culmination of nearly 20 years of attempting to reform failed local and state-level special education policies.
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Do More Than Worry About Disability Rights — Fuel Our Fight This #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday
In case you have not heard, #GivingTuesday is an annual global day of giving that celebrates generosity and kindness.

As disability civil rights advocates — and people with disabilities — we remain profoundly worried about health care and education (among other issues). We know you are, too.
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Educational Equity Parent Advocate for Community Parent Resource Center

Title: Educational Equity Parent Advocate
Supervisor: Executive Director
FTE: .80

Summary: Through training and individual assistance, the Educational Equity Parent Advocate assists, educates, supports, and encourages parents from isolated and traditionally un-served families to become effective advocates for their children with disabilities so that they can make informed decisions as a member of school IEP teams. The Educational Equity Parent Advocate must have a strong connection to the community served and be knowledgeable about resources, services and supports for families.
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DREDF Demands Action After State Fails To Protect Children From Abuse In Special Education


January 15, 2016

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of the State Superintendent
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Chris Drouin
Interim Director
Special Education Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 2401
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

RE: Call for Immediate Action to Protect Children with Disabilities from Abuse in California Schools

Continue reading DREDF Demands Action After State Fails To Protect Children From Abuse In Special Education

2014-15 Community Impact Highlights

2014-15 Community Impact Highlights

Four photos. See description.

Thank you for joining — again — with
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
in the fight for cross-disability equality and inclusion.

Your shared commitment to disability justice allowed us to be vigorous advocates who were prepared to bring disability rights to the table — whether that table was in the courthouse, the schoolhouse, or the White House.
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FREE Special Education Clinic

equal justice worksDREDF is holding a free special education clinic for Yolo County residents on Friday, June 6th, at the Woodland Public Library – 250 1st St., Woodland, CA. The clinic will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and appointments are highly recommended. If you are a Yolo county resident and have questions or concerns regarding your child’s education, call and make an appointment today.

The special education clinic is a collaboration between DREDF, One Justice, and Fenwick & West as part of the Justice Bus Project. The Justice Bus Project takes teams of attorney and law student volunteers from urban areas to set up free legal clinics for low-income Californians living in rural and isolated communities. These clinics provide life-changing legal assistance to low-income veterans, vulnerable seniors, children with disabilities, low-wage workers, immigrant youth, and families.

For questions or appointments, please call:

Robert Borrelle
(510) 644-2555 ext. 5253

Arlene Mayerson Interviewed for Investigative Report

No More Delay and Deny

Arlene Mayerson Interview“For parents, there’s an absolute feeling of betrayal. The system is not working the way it’s supposed to work,” said DREDF Directing Attorney Arlene Mayerson in this in-depth investigative story by NBC Bay Area News on the state of special education. Focusing on the problem of public schools’ tactic of “delay and deny,” the piece features Mayerson and Education Advocate Ann McDonald-Cacho.

There is a captioned version of the video following the article.

DREDF represents the American Diabetes Association in the California Supreme Court

news iconAs you may know, DREDF is representing the American Diabetes Association (ADA) with co–counsel Reed Smith, LLP, as intervenor in a case of critical importance to California schoolchildren with diabetes and their rights to diabetes health related services in school and during school–sponsored activities. The case is set for hearing before the California Supreme Court on May 29, 2013, and a decision will issue within 90 days. In American Nurses Assn. et al. v. Tom Torlakson as Superintendent of Public Instruction et al. (American Diabetes Assn., Intervenor), No. S184583, the issues involve whether designated school personnel who are not licensed nurses are allowed to administer insulin to students.
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Opposition to SB 462

April 25, 2011
Honorable Sam Blakeslee
California State Senate Capitol Building, Room 4070
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: SB 462 (Blakeslee) Statement of Opposition

Dear Senator Blakeslee:

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) opposes SB 462. DREDF is a national disability civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities. Our mission is to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.

SB 462 proposes a voluntary certification process for non-attorney, paid or unpaid special education advocates who want to participate in IEPs or mediations. The bill would require special education local plan areas to provide alternative dispute resolution training, and the Office of Administrative Hearings to administer a test, to persons seeking certification. The bill would require a fee for the training and testing, and would also require advocates to disclose detailed information about their advocacy, areas of expertise, as well as personal relationship with the parent or child.

DREDF opposes SB 462 because it would mislead parents into believing only “certified” advocates have the qualifications to assist in mediations or at IEPs. The requirement that the Office of Administrative Hearing post a registry of “certified” advocates would reinforce this misinformation. We are also concerned that the development of training and testing, and the listing of “certified” advocates, by SELPAs and OAH, ignores the important role and expertise that Parent Training and Information Centers, Family Empowerment Centers, Disability Rights California and Community Parent Resource Centers have in special education advocacy. The bill fails to state that SELPAs and LEAs already have (but largely ignore) a responsibility and the means to refer parents to trained and qualified advocates at these agencies. The legislation favors local education agencies in an already unbalanced system.

For these reasons, we oppose this bill. Please contact me if you have any questions about DREDF’s position on SB 462.

Sincerely yours,

Susan Henderson
Executive Director

cc: Honorable Chair and Members of the Senate Education Committee
Senator Loni Hancock
Lynn Lorber, Principal Consultant, Senate Education Committee