Nevada students with disabilities pursuing educational certificates, diplomas, or degrees aren't alone in their efforts. An official study shows that nationwide, nearly one in five students enrolled in higher education programs have a disability. Numerous state and federal laws and regulations compel schools to provide students with disabilities reasonable accommodations for equal access to education. However, sometimes Nevada schools fail to act in accordance with the law. If your K-12 school, institution of higher education, or educational training program won't recognize your disability or refuses to grant you reasonable program adjustments, contact national education attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento. He and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team are ready to defend you or your student in their challenge against a Nevada school at any grade level, degree concentration, or educational program. Contact attorney-advisor Lento and his team for help with your Nevada school disability dispute.
Disabled Student Rights in Nevada
Disability Accommodations in Nevada
Nevada schools at all levels must comply with state and federal disability laws requiring accommodations for qualifying disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the primary federal law requiring Nevada's primary and secondary schools to reasonably accommodate student disabilities. IDEA mandates that schools identify, implement, and maintain individualized education plans (IEPs) for affected students. IDEA states that public schools must give all students with disabilities an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment." Therefore, a school must instruct students in a way designed for their disability and cannot separate them from students without disabilities without good reason. Moreover, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act compels Nevada's colleges and universities, including graduate, professional, and vocational schools, to provide similar program changes and modifications for students with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights administers the acts and oversees school districts in their move to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability. Reasonable accommodations can include augmentative communications devices, mechanical equipment, facility conversion, schedule modification, and other changes that will provide students with disabilities equal access to education.
ADA Issues and Lawsuits in Nevada
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an additional federal law requiring Nevada institutions of higher education to reasonably accommodate qualifying student disabilities. In preventing discrimination against students with disabilities, the ADA covers a wide range of impairments. They include not only physical disabilities like reduced mobility, cancer, hearing loss, or HIV but also mental and emotional disabilities like ADHD, autism, depression, epilepsy, and other psychiatric conditions requiring physician-prescribed medication. Through private lawsuits and civil actions, the U.S. government can enforce ADA disability rights in Nevada. For example, the Clark County School District violated federal education disability law by not providing services that would have adequately met the needs of a student with dyslexia, a federal judge ruled.
Nevada State Disability Laws
Nevada state disability laws generally track with federal laws. Yet, in some instances, Nevada laws expand disabled student rights. For instance, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §388.417 extends the age to which IDEA's IEPs apply from the federal age of 21 through the student's 22nd birthday. State agencies, like the Commission on Services for Persons with Disabilities, apply Nevada's legislative state provisions to ensure students are adequately accommodated. If you or your student have a dispute with a Nevada school over disability rights and accommodations, retain national education attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team.
Disability as a Mitigating Factor in Nevada
Disabilities Affecting Academic Progression Issues in Nevada
Reasonable accommodations can include anything from hearing aids to wheelchairs to modified classrooms. However, disabilities can also affect a student's academic progress, thus requiring alterations within a school's educational policies. Nevada schools may require disabled students to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards but with reasonable accommodations. SAP standards typically include minimum thresholds of cumulative grade point averages, semester credit hours, completing a certain percentage of credits, and a maximum timeframe for graduation. Nevertheless, Nevada schools, like those in other states, may fail to provide those accommodations to students or duly adjust requirements to acclimate a student living with disabilities to meet the school's academic standards. Consequently, a disabled student may have violated a school's SAP policy and received an academic probation or suspension notice due to the institution's failure to provide or adjust their lawful accommodations. In that case, the student's disability rights could be a defense to their school's strict application of its SAP criteria. National education attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento is available now to affirm your disability rights and work with you to appeal to the school's governing body against disciplinary action or for reinstatement.
Disabilities Affecting Misconduct Discipline in Nevada
Disabilities can also affect misconduct proceedings in Nevada schools. A physical, mental, or emotional disability could prevent an accused student from participating adequately in the misconduct proceeding. State and federal disability laws require schools to reasonab