Podcast: Diary of a part-time special ed lawyer

Being a lawyer can sometimes seem like an all-consuming obsession, but for those with responsibilities outside the law office, working part-time can help solve some of those struggles. In this podcast from the Legal Talk Network, Caitlin Peterson talks to attorney Melissa Waugh, who specializes in the legal needs of disabled children with a focus on special education. Waugh talks about how being an adoptive mother of two children with special needs helps her empathize with her clients, along with the advantages of focusing on a niche area of the law.

Helping young disabled people transition into adulthood

A new program in the South Side of Chicago is helping young disabled students make the often-difficult transition into living independently as an adult. Politico Magazine describes it as sort of a community college for special education students. Southside Occupational Academy was created to help students with intellectual and developmental disabilities prepare for living on their own and possibly getting a job. Read more about this unique school in this article at Politico Magazine.

Supreme Court raises the bar for educating students with disabilities

A unanimous Supreme Court decision on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 will raise the bar for millions of disabled children previously denied educational benefits. In what the Washington Post called “one of the most significant special-education cases to reach the high court in decades,” the justices ruled “…that a child’s “educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances” and that “every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives” even if the child is not fully integrated into regular classrooms. Emma Brown and Ann E. Marimow have more details in this article at the Washington Post.