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Monday, July 25, 2016
MEGAN SPICER OF THE CT LAW TRIBUNE REPORTS AS FOLLOWS:
"Connecticut's disability rights agency says the state is cutting off school a year too soon for some special education students.
The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities filed a federal class action July 15 against the state board of education, alleging that it is treating disabled students differently from their peers by terminating education services at age 21.
General education students can obtain their high school diplomas via adult classes at any age. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Act requires that schools provide the same opportunities to special education students at least until their 22nd birthday, the suit contends..."
Thursday, April 14, 2016
JOSH KOVNER OF THE HARTFORD COURANT REPORTS THAT THE OFFICE OF PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY IS HOPELESSLY PARALYZED BY ITS POLITICAL INVOLVEMENTS!
ACCORDING TO JOSH KOVNER OF "THE HARTFORD COURANT":
"HARTFORD — The office charged with protecting the rights of Connecticut residents with disabilities is severely compromised by its ties to state government and politics and could lose its federal funding if it does not take immediate steps toward independence, a federal audit has concluded.
The review of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons With Disabilities noted a series of deeply seated conflicts of interest.
For example, the agency for years has considered requests from building owners to waive handicapped-access requirements in certain circumstances, and grants most of the waivers it sees. Yet, the agency is also charged with representing people who encounter difficulties over access to those same buildings.
The "entanglement with state responsibilities and state hiring and staffing structures undermines" the agency's ability to meet the federal advocacy mandates, the audit said. "The lack of structural safeguards [against political interference] limits its real and perceived abilities to pursue remedies of rights violations..."