It is an honor to work with students, their families, their schools, and their medical teams. While the branch of law I practice is commonly known as "disabilities law" or "accommodations law," I see more as a practice of discerning the amazing person that is each student.
The students are I work with are incredibly talented, creative, strong people. They also might be crabby, exhausted, and frustrated by life. But they are not inherently disabled. Nor are they people who are asking for any special favors by being accommodated. These kids are just asking to get a fair chance to secure their education and pursue a satisfying and productive adult life.
This is why I dedicate my law practice to helping students secure school accommodations.
This drawing is by an incredible young woman who is battling back from her third episode of limb paralysis in two years. It is a weird and scary situation that doctors are puzzling over.
In the meantime, she is finishing up her middle school career and working to get her arms, legs, hands and feet working again. Her mom is a genius at inspiring her to do the hard work of rehabilitation. In addition to therapy with professionals, there is incredible occupational therapy that happens at home.
She just completed this incredible still life ... amazing and beautiful, and even more impressive when you realize she does not yet have control of her grip. Honestly, most of us could not do half as good a job even with control of our fingers.
I am honored to know this young lady who has so much incredible talent and strength. She is going to do great things in this world. Please keep her in your prayers.
Thank you. I promise I will do my best to ensure that Angeliana completes her free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. If this young lady can create these amazing works of art with only parts of her body working, just imagine what problems she will be able to help the world solve once she becomes an adult.
Mari Franklin is a counselor at law who specializes in helping students secure accommodations at school.