Laws and regulations provide guidance and clarification about what is and is not acceptable when providing supports to individuals with disabilities. A number of Federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These laws cover access to a wide range of facilities and services, including housing, transportation, employment, telecommunications and voting. Knowing one's rights under the laws, or complying with their requirements, typically means getting the right information from the proper source.
Sometimes you can do it alone; sometimes you need guidance and expertise in order to get the job done right. Filing your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is a process that may require professional assistance. When advocating for your child, do your research and get support from a professional or a friend.
The Macks Center for Jewish Education offers MDSNAP to help you with this. MDSNAP provides free educational advocacy services for Jewish children with special needs, from birth to age 21. In addition, MDSNAP:
- Listens to concerns and helps parents help their children
- Assists families to navigate the special education system
- Works with parents to prepare for IFSP and IEP meetings and will accompany them to these meetings
- Educates parents about their legal rights (does not provide legal counsel)
- Offers information, resources and referrals
- Maintains confidentiality at all times