S.L., a minor, by and through her guardian ad litem, MARY L. v. Downey Unified School District - Summary Judgment Order.pdf (2015)
A California high school violated the ADA by failing to provide accommodations to an 18 year old female student with epilepsy from July 2011 until her graduation in 2015. The complaint alleges that Downey High School failed to plan for and respond appropriately to S.L’s seizures, failed to accommodate her related academic needs and excluded her the school’s competitive Jazz Choir. The case settled before trial. The Downey Unified School District agreed to pay S.L. $250,000 in damages and agreed to pay a separate amount to cover attorney’s fees. See, the Press Release announcing the settlement.
U.S. v. Milwaukee Montessori School (2014).
The Department of Justice reached a settlement agreement with Milwaukee Montessori School, a private day school in Wisconsin for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement resolves allegations by the DOJ that the school failed provide reasonable modifications to its policies and disenrolled a young child whose disability caused him to stumble and fall more frequently than his peers. The consent decree will require the school to adopt a disability nondiscrimination policy, including procedures for handling requests for reasonable modifications to school policies for children with disabilities; train teachers, administrators, and board members on ADA requirements and report to the Department on its compliance with the agreement. The terms also require the school to pay compensatory damages to the child and his parents and pay a civil penalty to the United States.
R.K. v. Bd. of Educ. of Scott County, Kentucky (No. 11- 5070, 2011).
Did the District Court fail to apply the correct legal standards in analyzing whether defendants compiled with Section 504's free and appropriate education (FAPE) and general non-discrimination requirements and whether under the Supremacy Clause, a school district may avoid its obligations under federal law even if compliance might violate state law. The Department of Justice addressed these issues in this amicus brief filed in June 2011.
Garvey v. San Francisco Unified School District, No. 2331 (CA Special Education Hearing Office 2002).
In this case, a hearing officer issued a decision determining that the school district must ensure that qualified school personnel administer Diastat (an emergency anti-seizure drug) to students with epilepsy, in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The school district refused to administer Disastat and was only willing to call 911 in response to a prolonged seizure. The hearing officer found that the implementation of the protocol provided by the student's neurologist for the administration of the medication by qualified school district personnel is necessary to make public education accessible to the student. See, the brief filed on behalf of the student (PDF) by Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
Akers v. Bolton, 531 F. Supp. 300 (D. Kan. 1981).
Are school age children with epilepsy entitled to appropriate special education and related services? The Epilepsy Foundation argues "yes" in this Amicus Brief, explaining that these children are covered under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (now called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305 (1988).
Are local school districts prohibited, by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (now called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA), from unilaterally changing the placement of a child with a disability in response to behavior that is caused by the disability? The Epilepsy Foundation and other disability rights organizations argue "yes" in this Amicus Brief.
Irving Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984).
Is a school required to provide Clean Intermittent Catheterization service, a procedure used to void the bladder of a child who cannot do so on her own, as part of the child's IEP? [Clean Intermittent Catheterization does not require a special environment or sterile equipment, takes only a few minutes to perform, and can be performed by an individual with no medical training.] The Epilepsy Foundation and other disability rights organizations argue "yes" in this Amicus Brief.
Bd. of Educ. of Hendrick Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist., Westchester County v. Rowley, 454 U.S. 961 (1981).
Is a school required to provide a sign-language interpreter to a deaf child as part of her "free appropriate public education" under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (now called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA)? The Epilepsy Foundation and other disability rights organizations argue "yes" in this Amicus Brief.
* For additional cases, see Legal Rights of Children with Epilepsy in Schools and Child Care: An Advocate's Manual in the Epilepsy Legal Resources section of this website.