All children with a disability that affects their ability access to public education have a constitutional right to accommodations. Determining whether a student receives accommodations and services depends on the child's individual needs.
For a time, the state of Texas had set a maximum percentage for students participating in special educational services. Even once the state eliminated the cap, the school system continued to exclude students from necessary services simply because they had trained teachers and administrators to deny services. It created a culture where services were automatically denied. The state has been ordered to remedy the situation, and have already started securing the resources to do so. New York Times, January 11, 2018.
“Every child with a disability must have appropriate access to special education and related services that meet his or her unique needs,” Ms. DeVos said in a statement announcing the regulatory action. “Far too many students in Texas had been precluded from receiving supports and services.”
Our children need parents to establish an appropriate 504 Plan or IEP when appropriate. Any time you have school policies, classroom and homework rules, testing environments, physical layout, or other aspects of "doing school" that get in the way of your child being their best student, it is appropriate to stop and consider whether "doing school" requires some ability with which your child struggles. Disability does not refer to your child's ability to be an amazing student; rather, it just means that the school did not anticipate the flexibility required to unleash your child's ability. Please contact me if I can be of assistance in that process.
Mari Franklin is a counselor at law who specializes in helping students secure accommodations at school.