As a parent of a child with a developmental disability, you are entitled to certain services provided in a voluntary, nondiscriminatory manner. These rights include the right to be evaluated, the right to be involved and informed and the right to consent.
In some situations, a parent may need a special needs attorney to help him/her fight for his/her child’s education. The system can be overwhelming; sometimes, it can feel like you are a small voice fighting against the wind. In these situations, a special needs attorney can help ensure the appropriate actions are taken to benefit you and your child.
It is advisable to seek advice from a special needs attorney in the event that a) your situation is complicated, b) you work full-time and don’t have enough time or energy to properly prepare for or attend court cases or c) your school district has its own attorney, therefore increasing your odds. Be prepared that attorneys can be costly; however, there are several pro bono attorneys available.
An attorney does not replace your role as the parent; rather, an attorney becomes your voice, a partner, an advocate and your source of knowledge in certain situations. The resources portion of this website lists private attorneys as well.
“A human being mints many coins from the same mold, and they are all identical. But the holy one, blessed by God, strikes us all from the mold of the first human and each one of us is unique.”
Disability Independence Group (DIG) Expands opportunities for participation, education, employment and acceptance of persons with disabilities through advocacy, litigation, education and training. Services run the life span, some are fee based while others are not.
Disability Rights Florida is the statewide designated protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities in the State of Florida. Disability Rights Florida is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that has authority and responsibility under nine federal grants. Their services are free and confidential.
Dade Legal Aid offers free legal help on a variety of issues.
Legal Services of Greater Miami provides free civil legal services for the low-income communities of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties and is recognized as one of the most outstanding legal services programs.
For referrals on pro bono attorneys, check the Florida Bar. Florida Bar Referral Line 1-800-342-8011
Dade County Bar Legal Aid and Dade County Bar Free Legal Help Line 305-371-2220
The Guardianship Program manages the affairs of court mandated individuals who have been deemed unable to manage their own affairs. With court orders, our guardians assume certain rights of the Ward to make decisions about many aspects of daily life. For 18+ click here.