Group of School Children Faces Unique Obstacles After Hurricane Harvey

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

CONTACT:
Edie Surtees, Communications Director
Disability Rights Texas
(512) 407-2739 or esurtees@DRTx.org

Three weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the storm’s impact rages on, especially for families who have children with disabilities.

Families forced to relocate and enroll children in a new school face an array of challenges. These obstacles are even more complex for students receiving special education and 504 services due to many factors, including an interruption in services, temporary or permanent loss of records, unfamiliarity with a new school’s administration and teachers, and more.

Though public schools are bound to certain guidelines in such circumstances by federal laws, parents need to know their children’s rights and what they need to do to ensure their children continue to receive what they need to succeed in their new school.

On Sept. 21, 2017, from 12:30 to 12:50 p.m., Disability Rights Texas and parent-led Texans for Special Education Reform will host a Facebook live event to provide guidance and answer questions about special education for students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“The stress facing Harvey-displaced families can be compounded for families of children with disabilities. We are here to help children who need special education and/or 504 supports access critical school services and supports as quickly as possible,” said Cheryl Fries, Co-Founder of Texans for Special Education Reform, a grassroots parent-led organization that promotes quality special education. “This is an opportunity for families, advocates, and educators to get the information they need to support student success.”

Advance questions can be submitted through messages to the Disability Rights Texas or Texans for Special Education Reform Facebook pages or through posts on the event page.

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Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) is the federally designated nonprofit legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit www.DRTx.org for more information on the scope of its services.

Texans for Special Education Reform (TxSER) is a newly formed confederation of parents, advocates, educators, citizens and disability service organizations in Texas. Its mission is to ensure that the educational civil rights of children with disabilities are enforced and implemented, and that the construction and implementation of IEPs and 504 plans for children with disabilities is centered on the best educational outcomes for children.