There are many types of discrimination in our society and one of the most insidious is discrimination against people, especially children, with disabilities. People regularly underestimate the abilities, intelligence, and competence of individuals with disabilities, intentionally or unintentionally excluding them from activities and responsibilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Their protections extend to protect people with disabilities from discrimination by employers, by local and state government, in places of public accommodation and by agencies (and entities) that receive federal money.
To qualify for protection as an individual with a disability, a person must have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. A person with such a disability not only has a right to be treated the same as those without disabilities, but also may be entitled to receive extra accommodations – in order to “level the playing field.”
Discrimination against children with disabilities may also take the form of inadequate assistance or accommodation in the classroom. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) addresses this form of discrimination, requiring educators to provide special services for children with disabilities who need them. KSLN is committed to helping families of children with disabilities fight discrimination in all its forms.
If a lawsuit is necessary to protect one’s rights, and if you prevail, the laws provide for the right to have the discriminating party pay for the attorneys’ fees of the person with a disability.
Protecting Children from Discrimination
Ideally, parents and educators together create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that should protect against discrimination by ensuring that a student with disabilities receives all necessary help and assistance while being socially included and challenged to his or her full potential. Unfortunately, some IEPs fail to strike this delicate balance and may not fully address discrimination and exclusion directly. In addition, teachers and administrators may fail to properly implement a well-balanced IEP, resulting in discriminatory practices.
If you have a child with a disability, the disabilities education lawyers of KSLN have the understanding and experience necessary to help you protect your young learner from discrimination in education. We are committed to defending the rights of disabled people, working to ensure that students with disabilities are able to reach their highest academic and personal potential for success.
Discrimination Outside of School
Discrimination against individuals with disabilities happens in non-educational settings as well, and KSLN is equally committed to stopping discrimination in those areas. Workplace discrimination is one of the most common challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. As in schools, supervisors and managers routinely underestimate the capabilities of disabled co-workers. Therefore, workers with disabilities may be denied pay raises, promotions, and other benefits.
Wheelchair accessibility and accommodations for individuals with physical challenges is lacking in many public places, institutions, and private businesses. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws require accessibility in most settings, older buildings and non-compliant businesses and institutions still present major challenges for wheelchair users. Still other places may lack appropriate Braille signage or safety equipment such as visual fire alarms for the visually impaired. Our anti-discrimination lawyers will help you take the necessary steps to fight for accessibility and accommodation for individuals with disabilities.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.