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Paige’s Story

Paige, a bright third grade student on the autism spectrum, sat at home for nearly two months waiting for a school placement that would meet her needs. 

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10.25.2013 | This afternoon, AFC is testifying before the Education Committee of the New York City Council regarding the Department of Education's special education reform. Our school system needs to change how it educates students with disabilities; however, change will not yield positive results unless it is well executed and adequately financed. Our testimony calls on the DOE to provide assurance of the following:

  • Students with disabilities, wherever they are served, will receive all the services they require; 
  • Schools welcoming students with special education needs will be prepared to provide the necessary individualized, research-based literacy instruction and behavior supports; 
  • Technology will be embraced throughout the school system to provide support to all students and to close some of the gaps in access to curriculum for students with special education needs; 
  • Instructional materials will be made truly accessible to all students; and 
  • Students with disabilities will have real access not only to their community schools, but also to some of the more competitive schools and programs.


Read our testimony
 
[PDF]

10.23.2013 | Today AFC is testifying before the New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice regarding the educational needs of students in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in non-secure placement through Close to Home. Our testimony expresses concerns about the quality and consistency of education across all of the non-secure placement facilities, and encourages ACS to continue to improve the initial placement process by ensuring that the educational needs of youth and a student’s grade and age are given due consideration during the placement process. Read testimony [PDF]

10.21.2013 | AFC has a new guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students in New York City public schools! It answers common questions about LGBTQ youth in public schools and lays out LGBTQ students’ rights and what to do if these rights have been violated. It covers topics such as bullying and harassment; school transfers; changing your name at school; starting a Gay-Straight Alliance; and the rights of students living in temporary housing. View the guide [PDF]

10.17.2013 | Today AFC staff are wearing purple in support of Spirit Day, an annual day in October when millions of Americans speak out against bullying and show their support for LGBTQ youth! Learn more at http://glaad.org/spiritday.

AFC staff wearing purple

10.09.2013 | AFC Board Member Kevin Curnin received the Champion of Justice Award from Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice on October 7! Kevin was honored for his work as founding Director of the Public Service Project at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan.

kevin and liz cooper
Kevin with Professor Elizabeth Cooper

10.08.2013 | AFC has a new guide to college! The guide provides information on the application process, financial aid, accommodations and services for students with disabilities, and resources for support. View the guide [PDF

10.02.2013 | AFC submitted testimony to the Education Committee of the New York City Council supporting a one-year moratorium on school closings and additional community notification, but opposing a resolution giving Community Education Councils veto power over proposed co-locations. Read our testimony [PDF]

09.26.2013 | J.G. et al. v. Mills is a 2004 federal court case brought by Advocates for Children of New York and the Legal Aid Society against the New York City Department of Education (DOE). The settlement requires the DOE to assist students going and coming from court-ordered facilities and the school system. Our updated fact sheet [PDF] explains students' rights under J.G.

08.29.2013 | We have updated our four fact sheets on charter schools and school co-locations. Questions and Answers about Charter Schools [PDF] (also available in Spanish [PDF]) provides an introduction to charter schools, questions to ask as you consider applying to charter schools, and the rights of parents and students in charter schools. Rights of Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools [PDF] (also available in Spanish [PDF]) explains the rights that students with disabilities have to receive special education evaluations and services at charter schools. Fact Sheet on the Legal Requirements for School Co-Location in New York City [PDF] and Appeals to the Commissioner of Education Relating to School Co-Locations [PDF] answer commonly asked questions about the requirements for school co-location and explain the process for filing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

8.26.2013 | New York State has been making changes to high school graduation options for students with disabilities. As before, students with disabilities may graduate high school with a Regents, Advanced Regents or Local diploma. Students who do not meet the requirements for a Regents or Local diploma may exit high school with either a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. These credentials replace the “IEP Diploma,” which is no longer being offered to students with disabilities when they finish high school. They do not have the same benefits as a diploma.

To learn more, download our new fact sheets, "High School Graduation Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which explains both diploma and non-diploma options available in New York State, and "New High School Credential Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which describes the SACC and CDOS Commencement Credential.