Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Doctors, Lawyers Team Up to Help Special Needs Children”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Doctors and lawyers are double-teaming the Cleveland schools’ special-education office.  MetroHealth Medical Center pediatricians who suspect that their low-income patients suffer from learning disabilities are referring families to Legal Aid lawyers with offices in the hospital and three neighborhood health centers. The lawyers then pressure the school district to provide what can be costly services.  The collaboration, known as the Community Advocacy Program, began in 2002 but gained momentum as it added sites and attorneys. The advocacy program took on 117 special-education and other school cases last year, up from 37 in 2006. Up to three-fourths of the cases involved the Cleveland schools.

Read the full article with reporting from Thomas Ott.