Introduction to Federal Protections for Students with Special Needs

(226 Ratings)

Produced on: August 07, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act (“IDEIA”) affords specific protections to school-aged children with special needs impacting the child’s ability to access education. It looks to whether a child is progressing academically, socially, and emotionally. This lecture, presented by education attorney Bonnie Spiro Schinagle, explains the basics of qualification for protection under the IDEIA - called ‘classification’ - and the rights conferred upon a classified student and their parents under the Act.

The course will address the obligations that public schools have to students suspected of qualifying for classification and the new standards provided by the recent Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas Cty, addressing the qualitative objectives of the statute. Lawyers will learn about remedies available under the IDEIA. Practice tips on developing a factual record to illustrate whether a child’s needs are or are not being met will be offered. Remedies will be discussed, as well as the circumstances when the statute’s fee-shifting provisions apply to permit attorney fee reimbursement.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) provides protection for people, including school-aged children, whose disabilities interfere with ‘major life activities,’ including learning and concentrating. The rights conferred to school aged children under Section 504 will also be addressed, including recovery standards. The issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies and the recent Supreme Court Decision in Fry v. Napoleon Comm. Schools will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Discuss the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act (“ IDEIA”), and the basic qualifications for protection under IDEIA
  2. Understand the remedies available under IDEIA and when IDEIA’s fee-shifting provisions apply to permit attorney fee reimbursement
  3. Explore best practices for developing a factual record under IDEIA
  4. Review Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the protections and remedies it offers for school-aged children


Bonnie Spiro Schinagle

Schinagle Law

Bonnie Spiro Schinagle is a special education lawyer admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut. She holds Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws degrees from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

She clerked for Magistrate Judge Linea Johnson, U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and for Judge Barry J. Stone,Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida. Her scholarly articles about various facets of the IDEIA have been published in the C.U.N.Y Law Review and Children’s Legal Rights Journal. See, The Strained Dynamic of the LRE Concept in the IDEA 35 Children’s Legal Rights Journal 229 (2015) Dr. Marilyn Bartlett, co-author; Considering the Individualized Education Program: A Call for Applying Contract Theory To An Essential Legal Document, 17 C.U.N.Y. Law Review 195 (2013).

Bonnie has delivered case law updates at Wrightslaw conferences in the New York area and has presented lectures on special education law to parent and professional groups, including the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Bonnie currently represents families seeking to assert their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut. She serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Council for Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA) and the board of Child Abuse Prevention Services of Long Island.


Andrew S.

Extremely well informed attorney.

David D.


Van J.

Ms. Spiro Schinagle did an excellent job. Thanks!

Matthew W.

Great course!

Julian G.

Excellent presentation and materials. Thorough and well organized.

Lori B.

huge topic and good overview although certainly there seems to be much more to delve into

Scott F.

Very informative. Excellent presentation.

Julia L.

Excellent program.

Vincent D.

Nice overview of the law and parents' options. Bonnie is clearly knowledgeable.

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$ 59 Education Law, Disability & Social Security Law, Administrative Law, and Public Interest Law In Stock


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