Kasowitz Obtains Additional Tutoring and Life Skills Training Services Denied to Special Education Student
Kasowitz Benson Torres represented pro bono an 18-year-old student with severe autism in a three-day hearing in May 2022 before the Impartial Hearing Office (“IHO”) of the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) challenging the DOE’s refusal to provide him with sufficient special education tutoring and life-skills training. On September 22, 2022, the IHO found that, by denying him those services, the student’s school had failed to provide him the free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) required under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). In particular, the IHO found that the DOE had wrongfully failed to provide an individualized education plan to address the student’s needs and failed to adequately apprise the student’s mother of the student’s right to continue receiving special education in school through the age of 21, notwithstanding that the student received a diploma at age 18 without any further testing or evaluation, as provided under a temporary arrangement instituted by the New York State Education Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kasowitz pro bono team representing the student included associates Henry K. Parr and Lena Youness, and was supervised by partner and Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee David J. Abrams.