Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.


Education & Children's Rights

ABLE's Education and Children's Rights practice provides legal representation to children and their parents to ensure that their education rights are protected.  The goal of the practice is systemic improvement of the rights provided to students in Ohio. Attorneys in the Education and Children's Rights practice may be able to represent students in addressing the following matters:

  • Representation in school suspension and expulsion hearings;
  • Challenging the school's failure to provide appropriate special education services to students with disabilities; and
  • Advocating against restrictive placements for students with emotional disabilities.

Providing Gina* the opportunity to succeed.

When 21-year-old Gina came to ABLE, she was close to "aging out" of the school system where she had struggled for years because of learning and emotional disabilities. She had been unable to pass the Ohio Graduation Test, a requirement to receive a diploma, and as a result was not able to find job that would hire without a high school diploma. Gina's failure to graduate created additional difficulties for her, including extreme depression where she would stay in her room all day and cry herself to sleep at night.  Her mother had been making requests for a special education evaluation for years, but the school refused her requests. 

On Gina's behalf, ABLE argued that medical reports and other supporting documents clearly showed that the student had an emotional disability qualifying her for special education. Her ABLE attorney was successful in getting an evaluation for Gina, and once the school completed the evaluation, she was found eligible for special education.  As compensatory education for their failure to identify Gina earlier, the school agreed to provide private in-home tutoring services to prepare her for the science and math portions of the Ohio Graduation test, the last tests she had to pass. The school also agreed to accommodate her disability by providing Gina with a private room to take the test, a full day to complete each section, and a person to read the test to her.

(*not her real name)