You are not alone if you are a California student with a disability that is adversely affecting your schooling when, with reasonable accommodation, it should not. Nationwide statistics indicate that about one out of five higher education students suffers a disability. Schools at other levels encounter students with disabilities in similar percentages. State and federal law, rules, and regulations stand behind you, though, if your California school is not recognizing and accommodating your qualifying disability. National education attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team are also ready to stand behind you in your dispute or your student's dispute with a California school at any level and in any program. Contact attorney advisor Lento and his team now for help with your California school disability issue.
Disabled Student Rights in California
Disability Accommodations in California
California schools at all levels, from primary through secondary to higher education, must comply with state and federal disability laws requiring accommodations for qualifying disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA is the primary federal law requiring California's elementary and secondary schools to reasonably accommodate student disabilities. IDEA requires those schools to maintain and implement individualized education plans or IEPs for students with qualifying disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a significant federal law requiring California's colleges and universities, including their graduate and professional schools, to reasonably accommodate student disabilities. Reasonable accommodations can include services, equipment, facility modification, schedule modification, and other resources and changes that can make enormous differences in a student's learning.
ADA Issues and Lawsuits in California
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act is another primary federal law requiring California colleges and universities to reasonably accommodate qualifying student disabilities. Department of Education regulations interpret and arguably expand those disabled student rights. Those disabilities can include not only physical impairments but also mental impairments like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and psychiatric conditions requiring psychoactive medication. In private lawsuits and civil actions, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division can enforce ADA disability rights in California. See, for instance, the Department of Justice settlement with a Los Angeles film school requiring the school to accommodate a service animal.
California State Disability Laws
California state disability laws generally track the above federal laws. In some instances, California laws expand those disabled student rights beyond the reach of federal laws. For example, California Education Code Section 56026 extends the age to which IDEA's individualized education plan rights apply from the federal age of 21 to California's age of 22. California agencies, like the Special Education Director's Office, also interpret and apply those California state provisions to ensure adequate accommodation of the disabled student's rights. If you or your student have a dispute with a California school over disability rights and accommodations, retain national education attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team.
Disability as a Mitigating Factor in California
Disabilities Affecting Academic Progression Issues in California
Disabilities don't just require reasonable accommodation like facility modification and special instruction, services, and equipment. Disabilities can also affect a student's academic progress. California schools may require disabled students to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards with reasonable accommodations. SAP standards typically include a grade-point requirement and requirements to complete a certain percentage of credits attempted and earn the degree within a maximum timeframe. But California schools, like schools in other states, sometimes fail to provide those accommodations, or the accommodations may need adjustment for the student to meet academic standards. Schools may ignore those disability rights and accommodations when applying their SAP standards. You may have received a SAP probation or suspension notice due to your school's failure to provide or adjust accommodations. Your disability rights could be a defense to your school's strict application of its SAP standards. Retain national education attorney Joseph D. Lento to evaluate and assert your disability rights in your SAP appeal for reinstatement.
Disabilities Affecting Misconduct Discipline in California
Disabilities can also affect misconduct proceedings in California schools. A physical, mental, or emotional disability could prevent the accused student from participating adequately in the misconduct proceeding. California and federal disability laws require schools to reasonably accommodate disabled students so that they can raise appropriate misconduct defenses. But school instructors and administrators can also easily misunderstand the conduct of students with autism, Asperger's syndrome, and other disorders affecting demeanor and social behavior. When a school fails to reasonably accommodate one of those impairments, the failure may force the student into misconduct that would not have occurred with appropriate measures. That concern is so significant that federal IDEA laws and equivalent California law require a