Make sure your child is not excluded from receiving services for their disabilities

Some disabilities are not apparent to school health administrators. In the Boston School District, Sickle Cell Disease was not identified as a disability that would warrant services and accommodations - such as extra time to make up work while a child was in the hospital or ill at home.

Parents can advocate for their children, who have illnesses particularly like Sickle Cell, which, while life-threatening, has periods of seemingly no symptoms. Congratulations to those who fought against the Boston School District and won!

This letter from the US Department of Education - Office of Civil Rights shows

"The District’s failure to identify and evaluate students with SCD has resulted in a denial of access to “instructional programs, supportive and related services, and the range of accommodations that they need to enjoy the same opportunities to success as students without disabilities”; and • the District has not notified parents of students with SCD of their rights under Section 504, including due process rights, and that the District has failed to notify parents whose first language is not English, of their rights in a language that they can understand."

It also shows the positive actions the schools must take to provide equal access to children with SCD.

Laws that protect disability rights are powerful and can make significant changes in people's lives.