Disability Accommodations: Ensuring Equal Access to Education in New Jersey
In the United States, one in five higher education students has a disability. With this statistic in mind, government administrations have put legal obligations to ensure that schools provide reasonable accommodations to protect their right to equal education for students with impairments. Unfortunately, some schools in New Jersey fail to grant reasonable accommodations or reject disabled student rights.
If you are challenged by a K-12 school, institution of higher education, or any other educational programs regarding your disability or failure to grant reasonable accommodations, do not hesitate to contact attorney-advisor Todd Spodek and the Spodek Law Group’s Student Defense Team. Their specialized help will cater to all disabilities and other related school issues, rectifying any wrongs and restoring your access to any program and resource like any other student.
Rights of Disabled Students in New Jersey
The Office of Civil Rights underlines disabled student rights as they protect a student’s right to receive a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) at every stage of education in both primary and secondary schools across the state. Every reasonable accommodation must be provided according to the qualifying disabilities determined whatsoever. As per section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act operational governance over degree-seeking students’ complete welfare falls under their respective colleges or universities.
IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act manages how schools should identify disabilities in students who need individualized plans so their education progress is maintained appropriately without limiting themselves into specific rigid learning schedules; also called an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Since it has been mandated that disabled students must be offered schooling within regular classrooms according to suitable adaptability thereby maintaining their least-restrictive environment (LRE).
ADA Issues and Law-Suits
As mentioned above, every disability is considered fair game for providing aid as required by said student(s) through various means like physical aids for mobility, digital equipment for ease of communication, schedule alterations, alternative assessment arrangements or any other deemed fit to create an equitable learning experience.
In addition to the federal system’s comprehensive undertaking through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990. This law endorses prohibiting disability-based discrimination and relays upon IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, further extending coverage of individual rights through enforcement on educational institutes through formal lawsuits or civil actions at institutions in New Jersey.
New Jersey State Disability Laws
Congressional reports claimed that New Jersey was lagging behind in state inclusion efforts covering only 44.6 percent of students that face disabilities experiencing “least restrictive environment” (LRE) environments. A lack of accommodations causes remaining students to spend time separated from a majority-student populations’ desirable spaces without any motive.
Mitigating Factors – Disabilities Effecting Academic Progression Issues
To meet academic progression requirements, SAP standards must be met by all students enrolled in respective schools. Regardless of whether they face certain impairments, but accommodating their needs to easily cope-up is necessary to achieve success at par with others following said standards. Many times it has been observed that reasonable accommodations were not provided to disabled students leading them towards a decline in SAP which can result in disciplinary action leads them further down the path towards academic misconduct charges against them.
Misconduct Discipline Issues – Disabilities Office Accommodations
Students facing mental, physical, or emotional disabilities may find it hard to defend themselves consequently requiring alternatives methods during grievance proceedings. Schools must keep state and federal disability laws’ provisions and interpret student action considering their situation’s nature carefully as conditions like depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc., can cause behavioral problems.
If punitive measures are suggested during disciplinary hearings for K-12 schools seeking permission for altering an IEP or placing that student(s) under different programs called “alternative education”, according to laws like IDEA and Section 504, before any such action takes place, manifestation determination reviews are a must. This is observed to ensure that the disabled student is accommodated properly before being pronounced guilty.
Attorney-Advisor Services in New Jersey
In conclusion, understanding and providing for disabled person needs should be prioritized taking into consideration their rights mandated through state and federal law as mentioned throughout this article. Attorney-advisor Todd Spodek and his team have vigorously worked on singular cases or other various interventions over bureaucratic hurdles created by educational institutes on behalf of students needing attention in regards to disability accommodations, misconduct allegations, academic SAP requirement issues or lack of reasonable accommodations. If you need assistance from legal professionals who understand your situation’s nature affecting progressions and mental health so you can get ahead with your education without any hindrances due to disabilities, please contact their services today at 212-300-5196.