Family of a disabled child seeks compensatory from school district under IDEA
Sedona AZ (January 14, 2016) – Matthew Oskowis announced that the Due Process Hearings by the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing (Case # 16C-DP-012-ADE) being held at the Sedona Oak-Creek Unified School District’s (SOCUSD) Administrative Offices at 221 Brewer Road Sedona on Thursday, January 21st and Friday, January 22nd (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is to be “open” to the public.
A Due Process Hearing is a court-like review process governed by administrative law available to parents and school districts to resolve special education disputes under federal law. Usually Due Process hearings are “closed” to the public to protect the privacy of the child, but the parents can choose to make it “open” to the public if they wish.
Special educations disputes usually center around a document that is called an Independent Education Plan (IEP) that serves as a contract between a school district and a disabled child, ensuring that the school district delivers what they promise in terms of services to that disabled child. Sadly, more often than not, the school district falls short of reaching the mark defined by the IEP.
“By making the Due Process Hearings ‘open’ we wish to make people aware of SOCUSD behavior, so that public pressure can be brought to bear to change the attitudes that school district has toward their most vulnerable of students”, Mr. Oskowis stated.
Mr. Oskowis has actively advocated for his disabled child and has filed several legal actions against the school district, including two Federal District Court Case (CV-14-08166-JAT, CV-15-08064-DJH). Mr. Oskowis will be representing his disabled child by himself at the Due Process Hearing and the SOCUSD will be represented by attorneys from Hufford, Horstman, Mongini, Parnell & Tucker law firm based out of Flagstaff.
Mr. Oskowis has also gone as far as to pursue educational certifications in “Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Development Delays” and “Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills” so that he can better advocate for his child with a disability. Mr. Oskowis also belongs to the Council of Parent Attorney and Advocates (COPAA), an independent, nonprofit, national organization that seeks to protect the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families.
“I look forward to presenting my evidence that the SOCUSD has not been providing my disabled child with the education he not only deserves under federal and state law, but desperately needs as well. I hope the community rises and comes stand with me”, Mr. Oskowis concluded.