Her school had failed her. We helped her learn to succeed. #AdvocacyMatters

May 12, 2017 / #AdvocacyMatters

A white woman with long brown hair looks at the camera while holding an orange folder and carrying a gray backpack in front of a university building

Sometimes the only thing standing between people with disabilities and success is the systems that are meant to serve them. Disability Rights Ohio provides legal advocacy to help our clients overcome the barriers that keep them from making decisions about where, how and with whom they will live, learn, work and play.

In 2012, Alexis had a behavioral incident at school. The school removed her, even though the incident was related to her disability. DRO stepped in and represented Alexis in a due process hearing through the Ohio Department of Education. In these hearings, parents and students can challenge a school district's failure to provide special education services to a student with a disability and present evidence to an independent hearing officer. As part of this process, DRO also worked with Alexis' school district and parents to locate and bring in behavioral specialists to craft an effective behavior plan. This allowed her to return to school.

Because DRO represented her in due process, and with the help of the behavioral specialists we recommended to the school, Alexis has had no major behavioral issues in the last few years. She graduated from high school and is now living in an independent apartment within her parents' home. She works part-time, attends school and actively participates in Special Olympics. She plans to purchase her own home in the next few years.

For more information about advocating for students, see the Special Education page in our Resource Center.

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