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Week 1:

Stephen Griffin, a 4th grader, has just been identified as a

student with exceptionality, primarily Autism, secondarily
Hearing Impaired. His parents are struggling to understand how
the law protects him, what their privacy rights are, where he will
be placed in the classroom, and how the major provisions of new
laws will support him in his learning.

My name is Melanie Dean and I am dual-certified in Elementary

Education PreK-Grade 4 and Special Education PreK-Grade 8. Im
currently pursuing my Masters Degree and will additionally be certified
in Grades 4-8 with an English Concentration. I am teaching at South
Park School District as the 2nd Grade Learning Support Teacher.

First and foremost, Stephen will be provided with a Free Appropriate

Public Education (FAPE) because of his primary disability of Autism and
secondary disability of Hearing Impairment. What this means is,
Stephen will be provided with a free education and any supports
necessary to meet the needs of his disabilities. Very similar to FAPE is
IDEA or The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, which is the
law that makes FAPE available to Stephen. Under IDEA and with
Stephens disability category, he is eligible under this law to receive
special education services and other related services based on his
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals, needs, and SDIs (specially
designed instruction.) IDEA also sets standards in his school to ensure
he will receive the related services he needs due to his hearing
impairment. IDEA will ensure Stephen receives all services he needs
throughout his time in school. Based on Stephens needs set forth in
his IEP, Stephen will be placed in his Least Restrictive Environment
(LRE) with being given his best possible change to succeed and meet
his goals.

Stephen will always be protected both under the Americans with

Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act. ADA is a civil rights law the will protect Stephen
from discrimination based on his disability categories. All physical and
mental impairments are protected under ADA. Additionally under
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Stephen is provided with certain
rights and ultimate protection legally. The legal protection ensures
Stephen is receiving what he needs in order to succeed in his
education and meet his goals set forth in his IEP. Another way Stephen
is protected in his education is under The Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA) and The Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA.) Under FERPA, Stephens educational
records, including demographic information is ultimately protected and
safe. This includes but is not limited to his name, phone number, email
address, and student ID number. Under HIPAA, Stephens medical
information and files are protected as well. All health information is
kept private, protected, and confidential within the school district he
attends. On a different end, Stephen is always protected under No
Child Left Behind (NCLB) by being provided with accommodations if he
qualifies as a disadvantaged student. Under NCLB, teachers are trained
appropriately, students are assessed in the most effective and
beneficial way possible, and funding is split as needed to focus on
student success in education. Under The Elementary Education and
Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Stephen is given a full educational
opportunity in his school district to ensure his unique needs are being
met and he is receiving a quality education based on his educational
level. Lastly, one of the more recent acts that were signed in 2015 by
President Obama known as The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),
immensely would benefit Stephen as well. Under ESSA, Stephen would
be protected as a high-need student by ensuring vital and important
information is provided to Stephens teachers and to the community.
Additionally under ESSA, Stephen will be tested annually through State
Assessments or Alternative Assessments (depending upon his IEP
recommendations) to ensure his progress is being measured and
monitored by his teachers and support staff.