Special Ed Legal Consults
Charting a Course Toward A Better Outcome

Companies

Supporting Parents by Offering Special Education Legal Consultations

Why should your company consider offering special education legal consultations to your California employees?

When a company focuses on improving the physical and emotional health of its employees, the entire company benefits.  Providing your California employees with a two-hour special education legal consultation at your Bay Area workplace is one of the most family-friendly perks you can provide.

Parents of special needs children are stressed when their children struggle and fall behind.  A parent’s anxiety and stress over a child’s welfare impacts efficiency and productivity at work.  Your lending a helping hand will go a long way toward increasing your employee’s productivity, focus, and loyalty, and can help to improve your retention metrics.

How can special education legal consultations support your employees? 

On top of the daily difficulties of raising a child with disabilities, parents face the enormous challenge of obtaining an appropriate education for their child. 

Parents of children with disabilities are often consumed and distracted by the stress of trying to navigate through the maze of the confusing special education system.  They often don’t know how to advocate effectively for their child in their dealings with their school district.   Parents may feel intimidated and overpowered when faced with a large school team that can seem to be working against them instead of with them.

And, frequently parents do not know how to get support through their school district and find themselves trying to do it all — providing community-based services after school and during work hours — so their child will receive the services the child needs.

A private, confidential special education legal consultation can point parents in the right direction by focusing on the most pressing issues and developing an action plan to improve the child’s educational program.  Your full financial support of this perk demonstrates your commitment to your employees who are facing these obstacles. Contact us to get started.

Why are special education legal consultations provided only to California employees? 

In addition to the federal special education laws, each state has its own version of special education law. California special education law has its own particular provisions, which may differ from other states’ laws. Your employees will consult with a California attorney licensed by the State Bar of California.  

Don’t parents already have enough information to help their child?

Surprisingly, no.  All too often, parents are overwhelmed with day-to-day issues at home and at work. Without time or guidance, parents often wait too long to seek targeted assistance, and lose valuable time in obtaining an appropriate special education program for their child.  Parents can’t help but despair when watching their special needs child languish, and, unfortunately, they frequently receive incorrect information from school staff about how to correct the problem.   Some parents may be unaware that school districts are required by law to provide a free appropriate public education to eligible students with disabilities, and instead take on the financial and time-consuming burden of putting together the child’s needed services.

So without the proper guidance, parents often do not know their rights, and delay getting help.  They may know that change is needed but delay taking action because they are unsure how to solve the problem, and become paralyzed when coping with work and other family demands. They often simply lack the time or energy to do more.  

Unfortunately, this delay can cause the problems to snowball, and then families are often thrust into time-consuming and expensive litigation. Getting focused legal advice earlier can jumpstart action and help prevent a concern from turning into a crisis.

Aren’t online resources or workshops sufficient?

A great deal of general information is available online, and of course the quality of such information varies. Although web-based resources may provide referrals, treatment best practices, reference material, and disability information as useful tools, parents often lack the expertise to recognize the relevant legal issues, to correctly apply the law to their child’s situation, or to identify and overcome the barriers to their child’s progress.

Workshops and classes are widely offered through parent support groups and community organizations. Speakers address an audience of parents whose special education concerns may vary widely--different disabilities, different needs, different legal issues, and different concerns. These trainings can paint a broad brush and provide an overview with general information, but may not provide legal guidance for any specific child.    

But special education services are, by definition, based upon the needs of the individual child.  Web-based resources and group trainings are not specific enough. Each family needs targeted information to address its own concerns.  Even parents who have tried to educate themselves about the special education arena too often lack the strategic knowledge to advance their concerns effectively.  Experienced in-person, hands-on legal guidance will help parents learn how to credibly document their concerns and advocate for their child to succeed.

Why not send your employees to a legal plan?

Legal plans typically do not include services addressing the very complex and highly specialized laws relating to special education.  Legal plans usually cover basic matters, such as straightforward estate planning, real property, family law and traffic matters.   

Special education law is a complex maze of laws, regulations, and case law, and relatively few attorneys in California practice special education law.  Unlike legal plans, we are not seeking to engage your employees in full representation.  Our consultation services focus on charting a course of action and do not include full representation.

And, unlike the attorneys in legal plans, we are not seeking new business or a “loss leader”.  Your employees will get straight answers and specific strategies to become more persuasive and effective. We will not engage in representation beyond one or more special education legal consultations—we are not trying to “stir the pot” by agitating for litigation.  We offer initial guidance to help parents help themselves to the extent possible -- to navigate their way to a better outcome for their child.How many of your employees would benefit from this new perk?

Based upon data compiled by the California Department of Education for the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 12.5% of California students who are enrolled in public schools receive special education services.  Many more students are not included, such as children who have not yet been found eligible for special education (who should be), or their parents chose to enroll their children in private schools because they were not satisfied with the public school option.  While your affected employees may be a discrete segment of your employee population, the impact of our services can be powerful.  And all of your employees will see that your company supports the disability community.

What would a special education legal consultation accomplish?

Federal and California state special education law are based upon the individual needs of a child.  In a two-hour consultation, your employee and our attorney would discuss:

  • The legal framework relating to the child’s specific issues

  • Dynamic review of the child’s key educational records and chronology

  • Determination of the issues that would help the child as quickly as possible

  • Development of an action plan for next steps

  • If selected by the company, followup consults are available to review progress on the action plan, review parent drafts of important communications, and discuss new issues

We aim to provide peace of mind for the parents by giving them the tools they need to interact firmly, yet collaboratively, with school personnel to obtain an educational program that meets the child’s educational needs.

Solution:

Contact us for more information to establish a program to help your California employees receive special education legal consultations at your Bay Area workplace.  We offer a two-hour confidential special education legal consultation as an employee perk.  If desired, additional legal consultation blocks of two hours can be added to benefit your employees.