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Practice Areas: Overview

Section 504

Federal and state laws work in unison to ensure that children with a wide range of physical, medical, and mental health disabilities are provided a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE). Section 504 protects children with disabilities from discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulates educational institutions that receive federal funding and contains provisions that protect students from discrimination on account of any disability. Piper Paul Law is well-versed in ensuring that your child is on an appropriate plan and is receiving the needed accommodations to level the playing field. We handle a variety of issues under these laws, including:

  • 504 Plans/504 Meetings
  • Health Plans (e.g. for concussions, migraines, PANDAS, Lyme, etc.)
  • 504 Hearings
  • State or federal complaints
  • OCR Complaints
  • Requests for accommodations at the post-secondary level
  • Appeals for accommodations on standardized testing at all levels, including post-secondary and professional testing

Piper Paul Law works tirelessly to make certain that appropriate criteria and methods of administration are used in relation to your child to ensure that he or she receives appropriate and comparable benefits, services, and reasonable accommodations.

Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that must be followed by states that give children with disabilities the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Each child is entitled to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that may include related services such as speech and language support, occupational therapy, reading support, and physical therapy. The law is applicable to children with disabilities from birth potentially until the age of 21. Piper Paul Law has expertise in assisting children with obtaining appropriate IEP plans, identifying primary categories of disability, and resolving conflicts via resolution sessions, mediation, or due process. Outcomes include appropriate programs both in and out of a district, including private day programs and private residential programs.

Suspension/Expulsion and Juvenile Court

Disciplinary matters can have long-lasting effects on your child’s educational progress and future. That said, walking into a hearing alone may leave you unprepared and without options to deal with the outcome, which is a problem that it is often exacerbated by inequity in decisions handed down to low-income students, as well as those of color.

Further, children who are under IEP or 504 plans have certain rights when it comes to disciplinary matters. For instance, students who are on 504 or IEP plans cannot be expelled without a manifestation determination. Legal representation at a manifestation determination PPT is very important. It is also important to know that if children are arrested on or off school campus it can lead to an arrest or summons to appear in juvenile court. Don’t risk their future. Piper Paul Law has extensive experience in the area of education law and school disciplinary matters, including expulsion hearings and juvenile court. Make sure your child’s rights are protected. Piper Paul Law not only represents students in juvenile court and post or secondary educational hearings but also ensures that students’ records receive appropriate legal protection.

Special Education Transition Planning 

Congratulations! You’ve reached a major milestone, and high school graduation is drawing near. The question many parents now face is: what happens next? A transition plan can ensure that special needs or disabled children continue to receive services through their 21st birthday to enable them to live independently, be gainfully employed, and/or go onto higher education. The law requires transition planning begins when the student is 16. Assessments should be part of the process to identify the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests to develop an appropriate plan. Transition plans are part of a student’s IEP.

Special Needs Students Over 18

Although a special needs child will be legally recognized as an adult upon turning 18, he or she may not yet have the capability to make adult decisions. This is where the guardianship process comes into play. Guardianship is the legal process by which parents can maintain control over major decisions affecting personal and property rights of their adult children. Piper Paul Law is skilled in handling guardianships, as well as alternative options parents can consider.

Testing Accommodations

Piper Paul Law works with persons with disabilities to apply for needed accommodations on standardized testing and we also file appeals for denied testing accommodations. Persons with disabilities who have to take standardized tests at secondary and post-secondary levels, and for professional licensing, may qualify for a variety of accommodations to level the playing field. Accommodations under the law can include extra time on tests, alternative testing sites, use of special equipment, and more. Piper Paul Law is your voice in applying for accommodations, as well as appealing denials for accommodations on standardized tests for a person with disabilities. Call us now.



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500 Post Road East, Suite #239
Westport, CT 06880

Phone: (203) 280-1885 - Fax: (203) 285-3186
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