The Microboard Alternative


It is difficult to believe that a father with a 28-year record of active advocacy for the choice of facility-Bridgetbased care and adamant objection to community placement for his daughter with profound/severe intellectual disabilities would voluntarily remove his daughter with cerebral palsy from a state run facility where he was president of the parents’ association and place her in a community home.

Yet, Bill Haas, the former chair of VOR’s State Coordinator Committee and principal author of the VOR manual detailing how to effectively challenge forced community placement has in fact done just that.

The desire to find a permanent alternative to a state run facility that would permit his family to direct and control his daughter's care brought Bill Haas to consider the Microboard program. Like many community homes for people with mental retardation or developmental disabilities, the Microboard is paid with Medicaid dollars.

To read more about the Microboard model and how it is working for his daughter, Bridget, click here.


How IDEA Protects You and Your Child

Source: Understood * By Andrew M.I. Lee * January 19, 2015

At a Glance

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of eligible students with disabilities.
  • Schools must evaluate students suspected of having disabilities, including learning disabilities.
  • Not every child with learning and attention issues qualifies for special education services under IDEA.
Read full article here

Schools Obligated To Maintain IEPs When Kids Move


Disability Scoop * September 3, 2013

Schools have a special responsibility to provide continuity when students with disabilities move from one district to another, federal education officials say.

Officials said that under IDEA a child moving to a new school is entitled to receive services that are “similar or equivalent” to what was provided in their last placement. This mandate includes not only offerings provided during the traditional school year, but also any summer programming included in the student’s individualized education program, or IEP.

In cases where students transfer schools within the same state, such services must be provided until the new school either adopts the student’s IEP or develops and implements a new one. Similarly, when children move out of state, comparable services must be offered until an evaluation is conducted, if needed, and a new IEP is put in place, the letter said.

Read full article


IDEA and What it Means for Students with Disabilities

EP Magazine, September 2013
by Beverley H. Johns, Adjunct Instructor, Special Education, MacMurray College (Jacksonville, IL)


Three administrators at a high school recently got together and decided that they were going to place all the special education students with behavioral problems back in the general education classroom.  When I got an email from a very upset teacher who knew this was wrong, she asked what she could do. 

These types of situations and questions are too common today even after a law protecting students with disabilities was passed in 1975. There is still a lot of ignorance out there and it is important that all of us continue to advocate for students with disabilities and educate others about what the law really says.

What was wrong with what these administrators did?  

They clearly violated the principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), the federal law that protects the rights of all students with disabilities that impact their educational performance. 

Read full article


Special Education Study: Inclusion May Not Be Best After All

Disability Scoop
November 1, 2012

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students who qualify for special education are supposed to be served in the least restrictive environment. However, the study authors said their results call into question whether or not that requirement is associated with achieving the best long-term outcomes.

Read complete article
Read Study



Roadmap to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

WrightsLaw Newsletter
September 25, 2012

Do you know what IDEA really says about IEPs?

• Who may be excused from IEP meetings?
• Can I change my child's IEP without a meeting?
• What are the IEP requirements for transition?
• What happens to services when we transfer schools?
• What does the law say about developing, reviewing and revising IEPs?

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn about the legal requirements of IEPs. Get answers to your questions and find out what you need to know about IEPs, IEP teams, and IEP meetings. Learn how to use tactics and strategies to get quality services in your child's IEP.

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