Student Disability Advisor — Wyoming

While enrolled in school, students with disabilities will contend with obstacles like demanding academic work, fulfilling requirements to graduate with a degree or diploma, and becoming a part of the school's social environment. Yet, obtaining disability accommodations will be something most other students won't have to deal with. However, students with disabilities are not alone in that challenge. For example, one study asserts that nearly 20 percent of students attending colleges and universities nationwide have a disability. No matter what type of impairment a student lives with—emotional, mental, or physical—state and federal laws require schools to provide reasonable accommodations for qualifying disabilities. Although accommodations are a federal guarantee, Wyoming schools sometimes decline to grant legally-required program modifications to disabled students, putting their dreams of graduation at risk. If your primary or secondary school, an institution of higher education, or another academic program refuses to acknowledge your disability and provide accommodations, contact national education lawyer Joseph D. Lento. He and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team stand ready to defend your disability rights and ensure your equal education access.

Disabled Student Rights in Wyoming

Disability Accommodations in Wyoming

The U.S. government plays a vital role in providing and protecting disability accommodations for students. The Department of Education's (USDOE) Office of Civil Rights states that students enrolled in primary and secondary schools are assured of receiving a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE). In their acquisition of FAPE, students with disabilities must be taught in the "least restrictive environment." Such a provision means that disabled students can't be excluded from other children in the school, better facilitating their integration into majority in-school groups. A major federal law offering students access to disability accommodations is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under the act, primary and secondary schools must recognize student disabilities and address alterations to a student's academic load and educational environment through an individualized education plan (IEP). Moreover, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act directs Wyoming's colleges and universities to give accommodations to students with qualifying disabilities, including equipment or service to augment a student's senses or mobility, classroom conversions, schedule modifications, alternative assessment procedures, and other provisions guaranteeing FAPE.

ADA Issues and Lawsuits in Wyoming

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a further federal law compelling Wyoming's institutions of higher education to accommodate qualifying disabilities. The ADA covers various physical disabilities concerning the cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Yet, the act also protects students with intellectual and emotional disabilities, including anxiety disorders, learning incapacities, and psychiatric conditions requiring medication or therapy. The U.S. government's guidelines and disability rights will be enforced through formal lawsuits or civil actions. For example, the state of Wyoming is alleged to have misappropriated funds given to them by the federal government, which has the USDOE threatening to pull funding from special education programs.

Wyoming State Disability Laws

Wyoming's state disability laws generally track with federal laws. Wyoming Statutes Title 21 §21-5-502 states that any disabled student receiving services within district facilities who reaches the age of 21 during any school year will be provided the opportunity to complete that school year. As a part of FAPE, the Wyoming Department of Education's (WDE) Chapter 7 Rules Revised §4(a), 4(c)also provides accommodations in the forms of transportation, recreation, occupational training, and parental counseling. The WDE also allows parents and guardians to dispute IEP findings and educational placements through mediation and due process requests. If you or someone you love is a Wyoming student with a disability, no matter how tight the state's laws regarding disabled students are, you can secure program or service access.

Disability as a Mitigating Factor in Wyoming

Disabilities Affecting Academic Progression Issues in Wyoming

While students with disabilities have the right to access any academic program and pursue an education of their choice, they must also remain compliant with a school's academic progression policies. Generally called satisfactory academic progress (SAP), the guidelines are encompassed by semester or cumulative benchmarks. Some standard SAP provisions at schools across Wyoming may include minimum grade point averages, course credits attempted and passed, and a maximum time frame for graduation. Unfortunately, schools may fail to modify their academic standards for disabled students or reject requests to alter their criteria. If such a situation occurs, a student's disability rights are a solid defense against unjust treatment that can derail graduation prospects. National education lawyer Joseph D. Lento can fight for your right to SAP accommodations, ensuring you can gain a valuable education.

Disabilities Affecting Misconduct Discipline in Wyoming

Disabilities don't just affect program access and evaluation. When students with disabilities are alleged to have committed misconduct, their impairments influence how they handle disciplinary procedures. The investigative, hearing, and sanctioning stages of the process are typically fast-paced and stressful. Any emotional, mental, or physical disability can affect a student's capacity to defend themselves effectively. Nevertheless, state and federal disability laws oblige schools to provide accommodations for students with