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Thread: Seeking recommendations for 504 Attorney in NYC

  1. #1

    Default Seeking recommendations for 504 Attorney in NYC

    Hi, we've sucessfully navigated preschool and kindergarten accomodations using all the great resources on the ADA website, etc. However, my daughter is starting 1st grade next year, and I know exactly how far I can get with setting up a 504 plan and having the school follow it, and it's time to engage an attorney to help finalize the 504 plan. She'll likely stay at this next school through 8th grade at least, and I want to get it right.

    I reached out to a few attorneys I found online, and sent a note to the ADA (whose advocacy program was very helpful when we needed advice at the beginning). Our local JDRF chapter has not been very helpful in the past, but I'll try asking them too.

    But I thought I'd reach out here and see if anybody has any recommendations, or knows of anyone. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Funny: we are in the same exact situation as you are, our son is entering 1st grade next year (in Brooklyn) and we really need to make sure to get our 504 buttoned up (i've heard horror stories) and avoid some of the pitfalls of the bureaucracy.
    We had a wonderful experience in a small private school in K this past year, alas, this can't last and we are going to public next year.
    I have a few requests out to friends on specialized lawyers in NYC, I will definitely post back once I hear more, but would also love to hear what you find.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Jersey City, NJ
    Posts
    371

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    So is it typical to involve an attorney when setting up a 504 in NYC, even if there have been no previous issues?
    I just ask because I set up my daughter's with the team from the school and it was a relatively straightforward process. We are in VA though so I'm not sure if its different from state to state.
    daughter diagnosed 5/15/12, now 9 yrs old
    pumping with animas ping as of 10/13
    dexcom G5 5/16

  4. #4

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    Not sure if it's typical, but i have heard stories from other parents over the years on difficulties securing a para, dealing with a revolving staff in the nurse office, how meals are managed etc... Some people have great experiences in the public system, some others not so much. It's a bit of a lottery and our goal re: Lawyer is to make sure we are equipped to be the best advocates for our son when dealing with the school administration.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    711

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    Can't help but think going in straightaway with an attorney might make your child labeled a "problem" from the outset. Might just be me. We used a private school for most of our daughter's education, then she went to a public charter school for the last couple years of high school. We had a few minor issues over the years, but they were fairly easy to resolve with a cooperative approach.
    Kim
    Mom to Danielle, age 18, dx'd type 1 age 3 in 2001. MM 630G pump with cgm. dx'd celiac 6/09
    She will be a sophomore at University of Utah in the fall 2017.
    Go Utes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    238

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    Quote Originally Posted by kim5798 View Post
    Can't help but think going in straightaway with an attorney might make your child labeled a "problem" from the outset. Might just be me. We used a private school for most of our daughter's education, then she went to a public charter school for the last couple years of high school. We had a few minor issues over the years, but they were fairly easy to resolve with a cooperative approach.
    I feel the same way as you. Here in CA, bring in lawyers is the last resort, and thankfully rare, as this usually involves a serious issue that a school refuse to accommodate. Most schools already have students with medical conditions there, and might have experience and 504 plans in place that work with families.

    When my daughter was first diagnosed in 5th grade, she was in a public school. The school nurse, office staff, and teachers were all wonderful to us. Our nurse offered us a 504 plan, but I never bothered to get one done, because we discussed what our needs were for that time, and they met our needs.

    My daughter is now in a private school, so there isn't a 504 plan. We had one minor issue to work around, otherwise, the office staff, all her teachers, and extra activities staff were all incredibly accommodating and easy to work with. I too recommend start with a cooperative approach first, you might be pleasantly surprised, and save yourself some money and a lot of stress.
    Mom to a sweet 14 year-old child, was diagnosed at age 10 on 12/4/13
    Started with Humalog and Lantus.
    Diagnosed with Celiac on 2/18/14
    OmniPod since 3/26/14
    Dexcom G4 since 4/11/14

  7. #7

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    Yeah, I wouldn't go in there all guns-a-blazing with an attorney before you know that there's a problem. (And I'm an attorney.) Really, a lot of this is figuring out what works with your child's particular teacher, their class schedule for that year, the distance between their classroom and the nurse, your child's willingness/ability to do some self-management, etc. Your child shouldn't need their own para unless they have other issues, and I'm of the (legal) opinion that a 1-on-1 is not a reasonable accommodation under the law for a child with T1.

    Meet with them and see how it goes. You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Mom to J., age 13
    Dx 2007 @ age 3
    Medtronic pump and CGM (4/2008-6/2013)
    Tandem t:slim and Dexcom G5 CGM (current)

  8. #8

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    Eh, 1 on 1 para is actually the standard in NYC, due to various DOE and state regulations about what school staff can and cannot do In fact, the enocrinologist writes a letter with all the standard accomodations, and thats one of them--usually through about 2d grade. It's also totally normal to have an attorney at a 504 meeting. Not "guns a blazing".

    You do what works for you, I am looking for attorney recommendations, since I have in fact done this before and I know how far I can get. And since we need to have the 504 in place before the school year, and all the DOE staff vanish once the school year ends, time is something of the essence.

    So, if anybody reading this forum has any suggestions along those lines, that would be great.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellows View Post
    Eh, 1 on 1 para is actually the standard in NYC, due to various DOE and state regulations about what school staff can and cannot do In fact, the enocrinologist writes a letter with all the standard accomodations, and thats one of them--usually through about 2d grade. It's also totally normal to have an attorney at a 504 meeting. Not "guns a blazing".

    You do what works for you, I am looking for attorney recommendations, since I have in fact done this before and I know how far I can get. And since we need to have the 504 in place before the school year, and all the DOE staff vanish once the school year ends, time is something of the essence.

    So, if anybody reading this forum has any suggestions along those lines, that would be great.
    I hope you get an attorney rec and it sounds like you know what you need. If you had a para in kindergarten, I would think the district's concession on that point would help you get the same in first grade (unless there's something substantially different about staffing in the new school).

    But wow, I'm still struck by how you describe the larger context -- a 1-on-1 para is the standard in NYC, and it's normal to start with attorney representation? At our local public school, my first grader's care is handled by the front-office assistant, who doubles as health aide with responsibility for about 20 kids with various medication needs. My only complaint about this is that care largely happens in the office, but I feel like her T1D health needs are well-addressed this way. It sounds like NY needs to modernize its regulations, not to mention make the 504 process easier for parents! Good luck!
    Snowflake
    Mom to
    DD TR, age 7. Dx-ed with T1 04/04/2012. Omnipod & Dexcom user. Dx-ed with celiac 12/23/2013.
    DS1, age 5.
    DS2, age 1.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    1,314

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    Quote Originally Posted by kim5798 View Post
    Can't help but think going in straightaway with an attorney might make your child labeled a "problem" from the outset.
    I highly recommend not becoming litigious until/if it becomes necessary. Use all the resources at your disposal first. One can force their child's school to do the right thing, but nicely persuading them is the preferable option. Because if involving an attorney becomes necessary, school officials have ways of retaliating that you may have no way to fight against.
    Mother of two wonderful daughters:
    *T age 14 - dx'd 01/24/2014 at age 11.5
    MDI: Humalog & Lantus 01/24/2014 - 06/04/2014
    Dexcom: G4 05/02/2014; G4 with Share 03/11/2015; G5 10/07/2015
    OmniPod with Humalog 06/05/2014; Apidra 09/12/2014
    *C age 27 - reactive airway disease; married 08/30/2014

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