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Special Education

Children with disabilities have a guaranteed right to receive an education that meets their unique needs.

Parents of children with disabilities need help navigating the legal complexities of the special education system. We work to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. All children with disabilities must be in an educational setting that allows them to make meaningful progress based on their particular circumstances.


in ongoing yearly education benefits secured last year


Our lawyers collaborate with parents to ensure students receive the educational services to which they are entitled through consultation and representation at impartial hearings, appeals, and court actions. We address the following issues:

  • Assessing the adequacy of a child’s Individual Education Program (IEP), appropriateness of school placement, and need for paraprofessionals, tutoring, or related services, including occupation therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language therapy
  • Obtaining assistive technology
  • Enabling children who would otherwise regress to be in a 12-month program (as opposed to the usual 10-month school year)
  • Obtaining placement in private schools, when necessary
  • Obtaining independent educational evaluations, thereby allowing parents to have their child evaluated by a professional who is not affiliated with the Department of Education

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NYLAG protects and advances the rights of New Yorkers.​

Testimony: Supporting Students with Dyslexia in New York City Public Schools

For NYLAG’s middle and high school aged clients, it is not uncommon for members of the IEP team, including NYCPS educators and parents, to agree that a student with Dyslexia is struggling to read and requires additional supports to learn how to read. However, where discrepancies arise between NYCPS educators and parents is in the stage of suggesting services.

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Testimony: The Quality of Education for Immigrant Students in NYC Public Schools

Jessica Selecky, the Director of the Special Education Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), spoke before the New York City Council Committee on Immigration and Education regarding the challenges students and their families face in accessing the public education they’re entitled to—all while navigating language barriers and destabilizing shelter policies.

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