Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekly Question!

As we run our: an Introduction To Special Education Law, what do you think are the easiest ways for a school district or its staff to get into special ed legal trouble?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

ADA is 26 Years Old

On July 26, 1990, The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law.  The Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations (including schools) and in state and local government services.

Here is the post honoring ADA's birthday at the CEC. Here is a link to a guest post by Sen Tom Harkin on Disability.gov. Here Disability Scoop reports on President Obama's observation that the ADA fight is not over.

In honor of the twenty-sixth anniversary of the ADA, here are some fun facts from our friends at the Census Bureau:

Population Distribution
56.7 million
Number of people in the United States in 2010 with a disability, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation
. People with disabilities represented 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. People with a disability have a physical or mental impairment that affects one or more major life activities, such as walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home or doing housework. A disability can occur at birth or at any point in a person’s life. Source: Americans with Disabilities: 2010 <http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf
>

15.7 million
According to data collected from the American Community Survey
 from 2008 to 2012, the number of people 65 and older — 39 percent of the population in this age group — with at least one disability. Of this group, two-thirds had difficulty in walking or climbing. The second-most cited disability was difficulty with independent living, such as visiting a doctor’s office or shopping. Source: Older Americans With a Disability: 2008-2012

20.2%
Percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in West Virginia in 2013 with a disability — the highest rate of any state in the nation. Utah, at 9.5 percent, had the lowest rate. Source: 2013 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810 <http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_GCT1810.US01PR&prodType=table
>

31.7%
Percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in Pike County, Ky., in 2013 with a disability — the highest rate in the nation among counties with populations of 65,000 or more (although not statistically different from the rate for Walker County, Ala., which was 29.4 percent). Loudoun County, Va., at 5.5 percent, had among the lowest rates. Source: 2013 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_GCT1810.US05PR&prodType=table
>

22.4%
Percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in Merced, Calif., in 2013 with a disability — among the highest rates in the nation among places with populations of 65,000 or more. Johns Creek, Ga., at 4.0 percent, had among the lowest rates. A place is a city, town, village or borough, either legally incorporated or not. (The rate for Merced is not statistically different from that for West Virginia.) Source: 2013 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_GCT1810.US13PR&prodType=table
>

Services for those with Disabilities
2,794
The number of business establishments providing special needs transportation in 2012, up 19 percent from 2,347 in 2007. Such businesses may use specially equipped vehicles to provide passenger transportation. These businesses employed 62,221 people in 2012 and generated revenues of $3.6 billion. Employment was up 25.3 percent and revenues increased 31.5 percent since 2007. Source: 2012 and 2007 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 485991
>

14,042
The number of business establishments that provided pet care (except veterinary services) in 2012. These businesses generated revenues of $3.5 billion. Among these businesses are those that train assistance dogs. Source: 2012 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 812910
>

25,899
Number of business establishments providing services for the elderly and people with disabilities in 2012. These businesses employed 911,331 workers and generated $34.4 billion in revenues. In 2007, there were 20,433 such establishments, employing 621,545 and producing $25.3 billion in revenues.These establishments provide for the welfare of these individuals in such areas as day care, nonmedical home care or homemaker services, social activities, group support and companionship.Source: 2012 and 2007 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 624120
>

7,834
Business establishments providing vocational rehabilitation services in 2012; these businesses employed 311,798 people and generated revenues of $12.5 billion. In 2007, there were 7,631 such establishments, employing 303,713 people and producing revenues of $11.5 billion. These businesses provide job counseling, job training and work experience to people with disabilities.Source: 2012 and 2007 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 624310
>

2,338
Business establishments providing translation and interpretation services in 2012; these businesses employed 20,248 people and generated revenues of $3.9 billion. In 2007, there were 1,975 such establishments, employing 14,546 people and producing revenues of $1.9 billion. Among these businesses are those that provide sign language services. Source: 2012 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 541930
>

3,594
The number of business establishments providing home health equipment rental in 2012, down  4.5 percent from 3,762 in 2007. Such businesses rent home-type health and invalid equipment, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen tanks, etc. These businesses employed 33,899 people in 2012 and generated revenues of $5.4 billion. Employment was up 2.7 percent while revenues decreased 8.0 percent since 2007. Source: 2012 and 2007 Economic Census Industry Series (NAICS 532291
>

Specific Disabilities
Note: All the data in this section come from Americans with Disabilities: 2010
, which contains data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation
.

·         7.6 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 who had a hearing impairment. Among people 65 and older, 4 million had hearing impairments.
·         8.1 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 with a vision impairment.
·         30.6 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 who had movement impairment, such as walking or climbing stairs.
·         3.6 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 who used a wheelchair. This compares with 11.6 million people who used canes, crutches or walkers.
·         2.4 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 who had Alzheimer’s disease, senility or any form of neurocognitive disorders.
·         12.0 million: Number of people 15 and older in 2010 who required the assistance of others in order to perform one or more basic or instrumental activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, doing housework and preparing meals.
Older People with a Disability
Note: The source for the data in this section is Older Americans With a Disability: 2008-2012
, a report which uses data collected form 2008 to 2012 during the American Community Survey.

25.4%
Among the population 65 and older with a disability, the percentage who were age 85 and older, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
More than One-Third
The proportion of people 85 and older with a disability who lived alone, compared with one-fourth of those age 65 to 74, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
54.4%
Percentage of the older population who had not graduated from high school and had a disability, twice the rate of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (26.0 percent), according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
12.6%
Percentage of the older Americans living in a household with a disability living in poverty, compared with 7.2 percent of older household population without a disability, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
Earnings
$20,885
Median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This is 68 percent of the median earnings, $30,928, for those without a disability. (Both figures pertain to the civilian, noninstitutionalized population 16 years and older, with earnings in the past 12 months.) Source: 2013 American Community Survey, Table B18140 <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_B18140&prodType=table
>

Mobility
Note: The source for the data in this section is Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011
, a report which uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation
.

12.5%
Percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence, higher than the corresponding figure of 8.2 percent for those without a disability. Those with mental disabilities were the most likely to desire to move (20.6 percent).
17.3%
Percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence and actually did so over a one-year period.
9.3%
Percentage of all householders with a disability who moved to another residence over a one-year period.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekly Question!

As we run our: an Introduction To Special Education Law, what do you think are the easiest ways for a school district or its staff to get into special ed legal trouble?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Special Education Law 101 - Part XIV #ExpensesAttorney'sFees

This is another in our ongoing series on the basics of special education law.  These posts are meant to be an introduction for those new to the field and a refresher for the seasoned veterans.

Attorney's Fees

A prevailing parent can generally get their attorney's fees from a court. IDEA §615(i)(1)(3).  They are not awarded by hearing officers but are awarded by the court.  Since 2004, a prevailing school district may get attorney's fees from a parent or parent's attorney if the case was frivolous or filed for improper purposes. IDEA §615(i)(1)(3)(b)(ii)and(iii).

Expenses-Expert witness fees

                             In Arlington Cent. Sch. Dist Bd. of Educ v. Murphy   540 U.S. 291, 126 S.Ct. 2455, 45 IDELR 267 (6/16/06) the Supreme Court ruled that a parent who prevails in an IDEA case is not entitled to recover expert witness fees under the Act’s provision allowing recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. The parents cited the legislative history of the Act- including the joint statement of the House/Senate Conference Committee which stated that “The conferees intend the term ‘attorney’s fees as part of the costs’ to include reasonable expenses and fees of expert witnesses...”  The 6-3 majority of the Court, however, rejected the parents’ argument, holding that “costs” is a legal term of art which does not generally encompass expert witness fees.  BecauseCongress used the legal term of art “costs,” rather than “expenses,” the Court found that there is no need to review the legislative history.  Thus the Court held that a prevailing parent in an IDEA case is not entitled to be reimbursed for expert witness fess.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekly Question!

As we run our: an Introduction To Special Education Law, what do you think are the easiest ways for a school district or its staff to get into special ed legal trouble?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Only 19 States Meet Requirements For IDEA Part B (ages 3 to 21) #

More than half of the states have failed to meet their obligations under the special education law. A report by the U S Department of Education finds that only nineteen states meet requirements for compliance with IDEA Part B. You can read the Department of Education statement on determination letters to the states here.

Here is the report on the Disability Scoop blog.

Here is a list of states and the federal government's conclusion regarding their compliance with IDEA:
IDEA PART B DETERMINATIONS: Following is a list of each State’s performance in meeting the requirements of IDEA Part B, which serves students with disabilities, ages 3 through 21: 

 MEETS REQUIREMENTS Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming 

 NEEDS ASSISTANCE (one year) Delaware, Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Ohio, Virgin Islands 

 NEEDS ASSISTANCE (two or more consecutive years) Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia 

 NEEDS INTERVENTION (two consecutive years) Texas 

 NEEDS INTERVENTION (four consecutive years) Bureau of Indian Education 

 NEEDS INTERVENTION (nine consecutive years) District of Columbia