Attorneys Michael P. McKeon, Mark J. Sommaruga and Melinda B. Kaufmann of Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice hosted the firm’s semi-annual Special Education Legal Issues Forum on October 28, 2016, at The Hartford Club. This dynamic program is designed specifically for school district special education leaders and professionals and covers current legal developments affecting this area of school law, and practical ways to comply with school district regulations. The program includes the opportunity for ample audience questions and interaction, and allows for us all to have a greater understanding of the practical application of often mysterious legal commands.
The October 28 program covered the 2016 Connecticut legislative session, and addressed recent cases including CCJEF v. Rell and B.C. v. Mount Vernon School District. Other topics included disciplinary removals, due process hearings and parent consultants, as well as Section 504 and ADHD, concussions, food allergies, bullying and gender dysphoria.
Of particular importance and interest was the discussion of the most recent guidance from the US. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights [“OCR”] concerning the applicability of Section 504 to ADHD students with respect to evaluations, eligibility determinations and accommodations. Here is the link to this federal guidance, which came from OCR’s “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD.” We also discussed whether this guidance reflects not only OCR’s views on the applicability of Section 504 to ADHD students, but also a more expansive interpretation of Section 504 in general.
The next Special Education Legal Issues Forum will take place in the Spring of 2017. Stay tuned.