KENTUCKY EDUCATION RIGHTS MISSION STATEMENT
Kentucky Education Rights is comprised of individuals who as advocates and attorneys have represented children with disabilities with school-related problems for a number of years. The endeavor of this organization is to provide this identical assistance, but to do so without families incurring financial hardships.
As parents and guardians, you are well aware of the difficulties experienced within the schools identification and treatment of children with disabilities. Our endeavor is to not only represent the rights of your children, but to ease your burden as well. It is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to understand the laws that govern the rights of your child, understand the dynamics of the medical disorder and how it relates to education, comprehend the format of a 504 or ARC meeting, and during all this remain objective.
The Mission of KERC is twofold:
Consultations are available:
For families who have issues regarding the education of their child or children and wish to determine their rights and the procedure(s) to secure those rights; and
For families who are about to participate in an Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) or 504 Committee to develop an IEP for the child and are soliciting suggestions as to the accommodations or services which should be explored and sought.
Advocacy Representation is available
For families who have attempted to represent their children and feel they have either failed in obtaining appropriate services, or have been intimidated by the process and need the services of an outside resource who is familiar with the process; the Education Advocate attends the ARC or 504 Committee meeting to ensure the child receives an appropriate education.
Legal Representation is available
When issues cannot be resolved within school-based committees and must be resolved in administration and legal forums as provided under IDEA or Section 504. While representation at these levels must be done so by an attorney, the Education Advocate and the attorney coordinate their efforts for the benefit of the families.
The education of parents and guardians about the federal and state laws which affect the education of their children is essential to a child’s education. Attending and participating in school-level meetings are often intimidating to experienced parents or guardians. Parents or guardians who have not educated themselves are even more intimidated as they are unfamiliar with the process. Workshops will be conducted as a means to prepare parents or guardians to attend school-level committee meetings as informed and appropriate advocates for their children in those situations when an Education Advocate may not be necessary. The workshops will involve individuals and organizations from a wide variety of related fields. Physicians, mental health professionals, special education personnel and assistive technologists can assist these families as they pursue the children’s needs.
Self-help publications must be produced to provide readily available information for these families. The publication will provide checklists, understandable explanations of the process involved, definition of the commonly used acronyms, and additional suggested resources concerning the impact a particular disability may have on a child’s ability to obtain an appropriate education.