A Child With Disabilities Can Now Participate Fully in Her Education


Cristina, a pre-K student with a complex medical condition, was referred to FAP by her pediatrician because she wasn't getting the support she needed to participate in school. Because of her significant physical impairments, she needs special equipment in school to help her participate in class, which she has both the desire and ability to do when given the appropriate supportive services. 

Cristina has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) stating that she should have a stander, and other equipment to help her in school, but by January of the school year the equipment was not yet in place. Without it, Cristina could not fully participate in her school activities. For example, the district did not put Cristina on stage in her wheelchair to participate in the December holiday performance with her classmates, instead leaving her alone and devastated while the rest of her class was singing to their parents. 

Frustrated with the situation, Cristina's parents sought help from FAP and Legal Aid. FAP wrote a letter describing how the lack of equipment contributed to Cristina's lack of real inclusion in the classroom, and requesting that the equipment be ordered and her teachers trained on how to use it. 

The school district immediately placed the order for Cristina's equipment, and agreed to train her teachers to use it. FAP was also able to connect the family to pro bono attorneys who can continue to help with Cristina's ongoing special education plan, and she is finally able to fully participate in school.

To protect client confidentiality, all client names have been changed.