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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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News & Media


10.25.2012 | Today AFC testified before the Education Committee of the New York City Council, expressing concerns about the NYC Department of Education's network-based structure for supporting the City's 1,700 schools. Our concerns center on two different problems: (i) the structure diffuses accountability by separating the supervision of principals from their support; and (ii) it diminishes opportunity for collaboration and resource sharing between schools that are geographically close to each other. View testimony

10.22.2012 | In honor of National Pro Bono Week (October 21-27, 2012), AFC would like to thank our Pro Bono Partners. Our Pro Bono Partners Program significantly increases our capacity to provide as many families as possible with intensive assistance and legal representation so that their children can get the education they deserve. Last year, we co-counseled 74 cases with 118 volunteers.

We currently partner with the following New York City law firms:

Arnold & Porter LLP
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Dechert LLP
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Foley & Lardner LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Nixon Peabody LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Sedgwick LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Learn more about AFC’s Pro Bono Partners Program.

10.22.2012 | AFC has updated our guide to the "Turning 5" process. The guide provides a detailed overview of all families with children with disabilities need to know when transitioning from preschool special education to kindergarten, including information on eligibility, referral, evaluations, the kindergarten Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting, and placement. View the guide in English and Spanish.

10.18.2012 | Tell the New York State Department of Health that you oppose regulations that would prohibit the same agency from evaluating and providing services to a child and family in the Early Intervention Program.  The proposed regulations would make it challenging to serve English Language Learners and children with certain needs.

View action alert

Read AFC's public comments regarding this proposal

10.10.2012 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council Education Committee, expressing concerns regarding transportation for students with disabilities this school year. Transportation services remain a significant source of frustration for parents of students with disabilities. We have spoken to multiple families who reported delays, confusion, busses arriving hours late, busses not arriving at all, busses arriving but not accessible to students who use wheelchairs, or busses presenting other safety concerns. This is a matter of grave importance and signifies something much more than inconvenience to these children and families. When a child is kept from school for part of the day as a result of endless bus rides, or for all of the day, sometimes for weeks at a time, this is nothing short of a denial of that child’s legal right to receive a free and appropriate public education.  View testimony

10.03.2012 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Mental Health, expressing concerns about implementation of the NYC Early Intervention Program’s embedded coaching initiative.  View testimony [PDF]

10.01.2012 | Today AFC and The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released a paper entitled Policy Recommendations: Effective Accountability Mechanisms for New York State's English Language Learners. The paper sets forth key principles for a sound ELL accountability framework in New York State.  View the report [PDF

09.27.2012 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council's Committee on Education and Committee on Immigration regarding oversight of immigrant students in the NYC public schools and the Department of Education’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for ELL students. In the testimony, AFC recommends that the Council turn its attention to three areas, including:

  • Increasing transparency of the DOE’s progress toward meeting the benchmarks set out in the CAP, 
  • Monitoring the DOE’s creation and ongoing support of new bilingual programs, and 
  • Providing appropriate instruction and supportive programming to particularly vulnerable sub-populations of ELLs that the CAP fails to explicitly address.    

View testimony [PDF]

09.25.2012 | AFC has a new fact sheet for parents of preschool students with disabilities, explaining the process for assigning a related services provider to a preschool student and what to do if related services are not in place. View the fact sheet [PDF]

09.20.2012 | AFC has several new publications to help parents and the professionals who work with them understand students' rights and options in the New York City public schools. Our Guide to Education Records [PDF] informs parents of their rights regarding their children's education records and helps them understand how to use them. Our Guide to School Suspensions [PDF] explains when a student can be suspended, what happens at a superintendent's suspension hearing, and the student's rights throughout the process. And finally, our Guide to Assistive Technology [PDF] explains what assistive technology is and how to obtain it for a student with a disability. For even more guides and resources in your area of interest, search the AFC resource library.