Advocating for Kids with Disabilities

Home / News / Advocating for Kids with Disabilities

Matthew is a young student with Down syndrome and a hearing impairment.  After surviving Hurricane Harvey, Matthew, his mother, and his sisters left Texas and moved to Virginia with hopes of a normal life.  When Matthew started school in Virginia, the school couldn’t seem to get the right assistance in place.  Matthew’s mom called dLCV in hopes of getting help with his Assistive Technology (AT) as well as some basic help regarding his IEP.

Matthew’s individualized education program (IEP) included the use of a Frequency Modulation (FM) system, but Matthew could not use the system because it was not charging properly.  dLCV successfully advocated for a functional FM system at school.

Everyone, including the school, noticed a vast improvement in Matthew’s communication during school once he had access to his FM system.

Mom is thrilled with the work dLCV did with the family, and she agreed that she would not have achieved as much without our support.  Matthew now has the proper tools to grow and succeed in the classroom!

Children and Youth with Disabilities are routinely denied an appropriate education in Virginia.

UDPATE: The client’s mother called dLCV a second time because she still did not feel that the school was using her son’s assistive technology appropriately. dLCV observed Matthew in the room and with his peers on two occasions so that we could learn more about where he was struggling. We noticed that handwriting was particularly difficult for Matthew and showed the school index cards with letters traced on them where we added sand so that Matthew could trace the letters with his fingers.  We advocated for an assistive technology evaluation, and the evaluator suggested many different things that dLCV already had shown to Matthew’s mother.

We also noticed that at times, the FM system was too loud for Matthew, so we asked the school to get some assistance and training on how to adjust the FM system.  Mom was happy with the results from this assessment, and she was grateful to dLCV for being involved. Matthew is no longer  in Virginia, but his mother e-mails dLCV on occasion to update with updates on how he is doing, and still thanks dLCV for our support.

Advocates are available, at no charge to you, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Call 1-800-552-3962 (toll-free) or 804-225-2042 to request assistance OR complete the Online Request for dLCV Services.  If you don’t speak English, we have access to a “language line” that helps us communicate with you in your own language.

We offer information about education rights, services available, and resources for people with disabilities in Virginia.  For more information, visit our online Special Education page.