On Wednesday, a $500,000,000 federal class action lawsuit was brought against the New York City Board of Education on behalf of tens of thousands of current and former students with disabilities in the city.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that New York City and the city's Department of Education have failed to comply with federal and state mandates that require vocational and related transition training and assessments.
According to federal and state law, students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are entitled to ongoing and well-coordinated vocational assessment and vocational/transition training and services to help prepare them for adulthood when services provided by the school district are no longer available.
"Parents are not informed by the city about what transition is," attorney Gary Mayerson told NBC New York. "In fact, most parents walk out of the IEP meeting not knowing anything about transition." Mayerson's law firm, Mayerson & Associates, represents the plaintiffs in the suit.
According to Mayerson, the suit seeks the establishment of a compensatory victims fund for assessment and training, injunctive relief, as well as the appointment of a federal monitor to ensure ongoing compliance with the law.
Autism Speaks is committed to providing resources for individuals with autism preparing for adulthood, including our popular Transiton Tool Kit and a Community-based Skills Assessment designed to help parents and professionals assess the individual's current skill levels and abilities in order to develop a personalized and comprehensive transition plan. Learn more here.