New Bill Would Better Protect the Rights of Students with Disabilities

September 9, 2020
New Bill Would Better Protect the Rights of Students with Disabilities

For Immediate Release

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Mark DeSaulnier introduced the Protection and Advocacy in Education Act which will help students with disabilities receive appropriate educational services and ensure that students and families have a recourse when their rights are violated.

The bill expands the ability of the nation’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) network to enforce the rights that students are guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

“Too many students with disabilities are denied equal access to an education,” said Curt Decker, NDRN executive director. “This bill will help all students achieve their full potential by ensuring they get the education all students are entitled to.”

P&As were created by Congress to provide legal and other advocacy services to all people with disabilities, including children and adults seeking an education. P&As have represented students in need of Individualized Education Plans, students who are unable to access school facilities because of architectural barriers, students who were unfairly disciplined or expelled because of their disabilities, children abused by the unnecessary use of restraint and seclusion, and more.

“While P&As have been advocating for better educational opportunities for decades, this bill provides critical funding and support dedicated to safeguarding the rights of students with disabilities,” said Curt Decker, NDRN executive director. “We thank Representative DeSaulnier for introducing this legislation and call on both the House and Senate to pass it quickly.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.