#30 - Legal Rights After the Age of 18 for Students with Special Needs

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At 18, parents no longer have legal access to educational information. IEP consent, requests for assessments, and information from educators are just a few rights that transfer from the parent to the student. Today’s guest, a special needs attorney, offers insight on how to prepare and how to protect the rights of our adult child while at the same time offering supports s/he may still need. Our focus will be on education. The first half of the episode focuses on students with special needs who plan on attending college. The second half of the episode focuses on students with higher support needs who are likely to stay in transitional programs offered by the public school system. 

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Mentioned in This Episode

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  • Our guest, Amanda O'Neal, is an attorney who specializes in special needs law at Tollner Law Offices.  She is also the sister of two siblings who utilized the special education system growing up.
  •  Episode #4 and episode #24 of the LOMAH podcast give background on the host's nephew and his experience with special education supports in college. 
  • Episode #25, episode #27, and episode #28 focus on college programs for students with special needs.
  • Transfer of Educational Rights is the "Power of Attorney" for education. Each state has its own form.
  • Conservatorship is an involved and lengthy process that takes the rights (educational, medical, social, etc) away from an individual and appoints them to a conservator. 
  • If the cost of filing for conservatorship is an issue, look on your county's website for a petition to waive the filing fee. Here is an example from Santa Clara County, CA.
  • Amanda suggests starting early by educating yourself. One way to do that is attending seminars and viewing webinars. 
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