By Taher Kameli and Chathan Vemuri The switch to virtual learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a process of adjustment for most grade-school students. Yet the challenge has been particularly acute for students with special needs. Given the particular demands of the disabilities involved, the difficulty of providing specialized instruction via virtual schooling and the challenging priorities of parents under the stress of the pandemic (particularly if they are of lower income), grade school students with special needs are left at a disadvantage as their specialized form of instruction may not be effectively conveyed via virtual learning
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri The protective measures taken against potentially crowded facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many special needs parents in the Chicago Public School system anxious as to when to partake of these interpersonal activities again. While many parents recognize the importance of social distance learning at this time, parents of very young children or special needs children are particularly concerned that remote learning is not meeting the distinctive needs of their children and could fundamentally disrupt their education in the long term.
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri Educating children with special needs requires a heightened degree of specialized training, experience, individualized attention, patience and above all empathy beyond that required for children in general. Missteps and errors by those who do not know what they’re doing can potentially cause serious damage to both that child’s educational as well as their emotional well-being. As such, the relationship between adult supervisors/teachers/principals and children with special needs is an unequal one where the child is potentially vulnerable to errors or wrongful actions by the adult. This is painfully apparent with the phenomena of physical abuse
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court reached a decision on what advocate\s have described as “the most significant special-education issue to reach the high court in three decades.” The Supreme Court finally set out the standard by which a free appropriate public education (FAPE) could be defined under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1990. In a landmark ruling, Endrew F. v. Douglas Cnty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, the Supreme Court ruled that in order “[t]o meet its substantial obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools ruled that a claim involving the right of a disabled child to rely on a service animal in her elementary school did not involve education specifically and therefore did not require exhaustion of administrative remedies under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA) before filing a private lawsuit. This ruling was of special significance to those combatting discrimination in educational spaces outside of the confines of IDEA. Specifically, the Court made an important distinction between claims involving