Subj: THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, Vol. 1, No. 9, July 24, 1998
Date: 7/24/98 2:26:28 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: (Pete+Pam Wright)

The Special Ed Advocate

The Online Newsletter About
Special Education and the Law

July 24, 1998 Vol. 1, No. 9

Visit us today at:


The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special
education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective
educational methods, and Internet links.

We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues
of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive
announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Contact,
copyright, and subscription information can be found at the end of this

IN THIS ISSUE: July 24, 1998

(1) MEDIATION - What IS mediation? How Does Mediation Work? A short
article about mediation and what good mediators do . . .

(2). NEW CASE! Peck v. Lansing (6th Circuit, June 29, 1998) - Can a
child get special education services at a parochial school? Or does this
violate the Establishment Clause?

(3) NEW LETTERS TO WEBMASTER - Debbie requested a due process hearing
about her son’s placement; Jim and Mary go to mediation, a California
lawyer wants to learn more about special education, and more.

(4) ANNOUNCING - DEE APPELL, ESQ. parent attorney from New York will be
our next GUEST

(5) ANNOUNCING A NEW PROJECT - The NEW Special Ed Advocate Bookstore is

(6) NEWS FLASH! “Understanding Special Education,” a 12 Week Series on
AOL, on Wednesdays at 9 pm, July 22 Through October 7

(7) The Special Ed Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 8 (July 13, 1998) is now
available in the Newsletter Archives.

(8) Subscription Information

IDEA 97 encourages parents and school districts to use mediation to
resolve conflicts. What is mediation? How does mediation work? Do
parents need to take an attorney to mediation? A few days ago, we
received this letter from North Carolina parents-

Dear Pete and Pam:

I hope you can help us. Our 8 year-old daughter who is going into third
grade is severely-profoundly hearing impaired, oral, and mainstreamed.

Although she is passing, we are very concerned about third grade . We
have been doing so much work at home with her. My husband and I
requested that she have an itinerant teacher next year. The school
denied our request. They said she will have to flounder before they will
provide her with any help. If we stopped working with her, she would
flounder. We are not willing to do this.

We are going to mediation about this issue.

We contacted an attorney. The attorney suggested that we go to mediation
alone, or rather that it wasn't necessary to bring an attorney with us.
The school is sending an attorney to the mediation. Is it wise for us to
go without one?

We have letters from professionals, audiologists, psychiatrists, backing
our case. We don't have an attorney to go with us. What else can we do?
What should we bring with us to mediation? Any words of wisdom?

Jim and Mary

To read our answer, go to

To read our new article about mediation, go to


Questions about special education services at private schools and
parochial schools continue. On June 29, 1998, the Sixth Circuit issued
the newest decision about this issue in Peck v. Lansing.

Can a child with a disability get special education services and/or
related services at her parochial school? Or would this be improper and
a violation of the Establishment Clause?
To learn more, go to


Debbie from New York wrote that she had to request a due process hearing
about placement for her 7 year old autistic son. This is her dilemma:

“Kevin has been in a "regular ed." first grade. I requested standardized
testing in reading and math this year. He tests a full grade level
behind in both areas. Yet his teacher describes the "good progress" he
has made.”

“I knew that Kevin's progress next year would hinge on his placement in
a visually rich program. Fortunately, there is just such a teacher/room
in our district. I approached the CSE chair about this concern. He told
me that which teacher Kevin has is completely out of the CSE's hands
because Kevin is in a "regular ed" program.”

“Over the last 3 months, I met with Kevin's (then) teacher, the
elementary school principal, the district superintendent, and the Board
of Education. All refused to place Kevin in the visual program, instead
deferring to the recommendation of this year's teacher.”

A few days ago, Debbie got some surprising news. To find out what Debbie
found out, go to

An attorney from California wants to learn more about special education
law, a teacher is touched by Bill Matthew’s letter, and a parent wishes
it would snow so she could spend more time at our website!

To read these new letters to the Webmaster, go to



New York attorney Dee Appell, tireless champion for the rights of
children and their parents, will be our next guest. Dee will provide our
guests with her insights into legal tactics and strategy. We’ll send an
announcement about Dee’s plans soon.


If Oprah can do it, so can we.

From time to time, we suggest that clients, web visitors, family, and
friends read a particular book. After we developed our website, we
starting receiving messages that asked "Where can I get that book you
recommended last year?"

Over the next few weeks, we'll be working on the new Special Ed Advocate
Bookstore. We have associated with Amazon claims to be the
biggest bookstore in the world. They are certainly the most successful
bookstore on the Internet.

If you subscribe to our free online newsletter, you will receive an
announcement about our Grand Opening. For updates about progress on the
Special Ed Advocate Bookstore, go to


With IDEA 97 bringing about significant changes to this law, it is an
important time to understand what this amended law does and how it
works. Several national experts on special education and civil rights
disability law will be featured on AOL in the Better Health Conference

The guest speaker schedule until the end of August follows:

July 29, 1998: Understanding IDEA 1997
Guest: John Capasso Esq

August 5, 1998: FERPA, Transportation and COPAA
Guest: Jim Rosenfeld Esq

August 12, 1998: Evaluations -
What Parents Need to Know About Tests and Measurements
Guests: Pete & Pam Wright

August 19, 1998: Students Rights under The ADA, Section 504
Guest: Matthew Cohen Esq.

August 26, 1998: Your Rights in Mediation and Due Process
Guest: Sonja Kerr Esq.

This 12 Week Series is on AOL, Wednesday at 9 pm, from July 22 through
October 7. For more information about this series, go to


(7) SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, VOL. 1, NO. 8 (July 13, 1998)

The most recent issue of The Special Ed Advocate is now available in the
Newsletter archives.

Contents: IDEA Regs Delayed Again; Update on the Missouri ABA/Lovaas
case; Plans for the 2nd Annual COPAA Conference - We Hope to See You in
San Diego; more about our new slide show - and how to use visual aids to
show educational progress or regression.


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Copyright 1998 Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright.
All rights reserved.

The resources at this site are copyrighted by the authors and/or
publisher. They may be used for non-commercial purposes only. They may
not be redistributed for commercial purposes without the express written
consent of Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright.

Appropriate credit should be given to these resources if they are
reproduced in any form.

Pete and Pam Wright,
P. O. Box 1008,
Deltaville, Virginia 23043.

The Special Ed Advocate
Pete and Pam Wright