NYLPI staff advocates for education policy reform that represents the needs of students with disabilities at both the state and city level. NYLPI has played a leadership role in numerous coalitions, helping to coordinate parents, advocates, and educators working towards a common goal. NYLPI attorneys and advocates also testify at government hearings and provide comments on proposed regulations in the effort to encourage fair legal reform.
Examples of policy advocacy activities:
- Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE)
For over a decade, NYLPI has provided organizing and legal support to Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE), a group of parents, educators, and advocates who came together to make inclusion a more viable option for children with disabilities in the city’s schools.
- The High School Report
In 2006, NYLPI released The High School Report, a 53-page report documenting policies and practices that exclude students with special education needs from the benefits of New York City’s “small schools” high school reform initiative. The report led to changes in Department of Education policy that now allow students in District 75, who were previously denied any opportunity for high school choice, to participate in the selection process.
- Transition Services
In 2005, NYLPI released a report entitled, Missed Opportunities: The State of Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities in New York City. NYLPI staff now conducts training programs on transition for parents, educators, and other service providers and provides the New York City Department of Education with policy recommendations for improving transition services.
- Burden of Proof
NYLPI staff has provided significant legal support to a coalition of diverse entities advocating for state legislation to restore the burden of proof to school districts in special education impartial due process hearings. The advocacy effort is in response to a November 2005 Supreme Court case that shifted the burden to parents in most cases.