October 2002 – Case Opened
May 2004 – Mediated settlement
A blind, multiply-disabled, 17-year-old high school student, C.C.’s educational program needs had to be met through a state school that serves blind children. Due to the fact that C.C. is not only blind but severely mentally retarded, the state school refused to properly serve his needs once he turned 16 years of age, and no longer allowed him to have a 1:1 aide in the age-appropriate classroom. C.C.’s mother contacted YELP to obtain services from the state school and the school district, and to have him properly assessed in order to obtain better services for him. Otherwise, the mother feared that her son would be pushed out of school without any meaningful education and enrichment. Her original goal was to have C.C. remain in the state school, because of his familiarity with the teachers and the vocational program, and because his home school district was unable to meet his needs as a blind student. His mother felt trapped and saw due process as the only alternative.
Clinic law students Barbara Llanes (’04), Ryanne Easley (’04), and Liz Fishman (’03) helped the parent obtain outside expert assessments, attended pre-hearing mediation and settlement conferences, and eventually secured an individualized program that combined educational and disability resources from the state school, the home school district, and the private sector. C.C. received enrichment courses including music and physical education and, to the delight of himself and his mother, he thrived in this multi-faceted placement until his promotion from high school.