2018 Workshops are now being scheduled. Visit our Workshops page for more info...

Legal Specialties for Children and Adults with Disabilities and Their Families

Click on any of the substantive legal specialties below to learn more.

Publications and other resource material for families and professionals.

Robert H. Farley, Jr. writes and publishes on disability and disability law regularly. Below is a sampling of currently available articles and publications.

Special Education Glossary of Terms and Issues

Special Education - Understanding the Process

Click here to view more on our main publications page.

Publications and articles are available for reprint by not-for-profit agencies and parents groups; please see reprint requirements on our publications page.

Workshops, Seminars and Presentations

Robert H. Farley, Jr. is available to speak to parents groups, organizations, and agencies on a wide variety of issues related to disability advocacy and disability services. Popular topics include:

  • Adult Services for Developmentally Disabled Persons
  • Waiting List for Services: Fact or Fiction

Click here to visit our main workshops page.

video snaphot of Mr. Farley speaking

Click here to view video of Mr.
Farley's presentation, Obtaining Funding or Services for Children & Adults with DD in the State of Illinois.

Special Education for Children with Disabilities

Parents and guardians should know and understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the special education services to which their child is entitled.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, children with disabilities from age 3 through 22 are entitled to a "free appropriate public education" in the least restrictive setting that provides special education and related services designed to meet unique needs in preparation for employment and independent living. These services are to be provided during the child's school day and, if necessary for the child, to extend after school as the extended school day (ESD) and during the summer as the extended school year (ESY).

No necessary or appropriate service can be denied the child because of cost. School districts may not claim they cannot afford a program for a child or do not have staff or other resources to provide the necessary services.

Federal law provides parents and guardians of children with disabilities certain rights regarding their child's education, including the right to participate as an equal member of the school's child study team that identifies and evaluates the child's appropriate educational program. Parents are also entitled to examine all records relating to their child and to request independent evaluations at the schools district's expense, and to present complaints relating to the child's placement or elements of their educational program.

The law also prescribes procedures, timelines and responsibilities for both parents and school districts for communicating information, reviewing the educational program, and requesting or making changes to the child's educational program.

Click here to read more about the process of finding special education services.

Click here to read our special education glossary of terms and issues.