I had the honor of participating in a ground breaking initiative at OppLoans in Chicago called Oppt for Accessibility. The initiative is shedding light on the many ways in which OppLoans can be an inclusive environment for employees of all abilities.
My presentation explored how being parents of children with disabilities could impact company employees, particularly when navigating the administrative process at schools. These parents seemed to have very academically talented students who also need supportive services and accommodations to fully realize their potential. This situation could cause an insufficiently trained school team to conclude that the students' academic potential is proof that accommodations are unnecessary. To the contrary, academic talent is not inversely correlated to the need for accomodations. These situations may be best resolved by having attorneys participate in your meetings with the school.
After this meeting, I am hopeful that employers like OppLoans might establish educational consulting as an employee benefit. Having regular access to an attorney like me to coach employees through the process of documenting the need for accomodations, working the process to establish an appropriately robust accommodations plan, and monitoring and managing the plan to ensure their students thrive at school. In addition to the immediate educational needs, parents need guidance on the processes to ensure a smooth transition to college and other postsecondary options so that their children develop into the capable adults they are meant to be.
If my services sound like they may be helpful to you and your child, please contact me.
Mari Franklin is a counselor at law who specializes in helping students secure accommodations at school.