Parent-Teacher Conferences: GO!

Many of you are probably getting notices about parent-teacher conferences approaching.  We know it’s yet another thing to add to your already busy schedule, but we highly encourage you to participate! Even if the parent-teacher conference is a virtual planform it still can be productive.

Conferences are your opportunity to gather data and feedback in between progress reports, which typically come out every nine weeks. Nine weeks is a long stretch if things aren’t going well.  You’ll want to discover problems sooner rather than later so that changes can be made.  COVID has made school more difficult for sure, but the school is still obligated, under IDEA law, to meet your child’s needs and make sure that he or she is making adequate progress in light of his or her unique circumstances.  Keep your eye on your child’s progress!

Keep reading ...

Meet the Team: Linda Gorczynski – Attorney

Linda concentrates her practice on special education law, where she works with families and school administrators, to see that each child’s needs are properly identified and then met, in their least restrictive environment.  Linda has been at the IEP team table as a parent, as counsel for the school district and as counsel for the student, so she has a diverse understanding of the concerns, needs and barriers from each perspective.

📜 Graduate of Akron School of Law
👦🏻👧🏻👦🏼 Proud Mom of three
🏖 Beach Lover
🎥 Netflix Binge Watcher

Keep reading ...

Introducing Getting Up to SPeED

We are excited to introduce Getting Up to SPeED, with Attorney Linda Gorczynski and Special Education Advocate Mary Jo O’Neill.  Working together they listen to your concerns, assess your child’s educational needs and act as your support and guide when interacting with your school district.  You may not know whether you need a lawyer; you may have just one question that needs to be answered, or you may want someone to represent your family every step of the way. Wherever you are in your journey, we are here for you. Working together as partners, we can make great strides towards accomplishing your goals for your child at school and beyond.


Keep reading ...

Meet the Team: Mary Jo O’Neill – Special Education Advocate

As a Certified Intervention Specialist Mary Jo works together with the attorneys to listen to your concerns, assess your child’s educational and personal needs, and act as your support and guide when interacting with the school district. Working to make a seamless experience for you and advocating on your child’s behalf.

🎓 Cleveland State University Graduate
📜 Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
📚 Lifetime learner
🍝 Enjoys cooking
👦🏻👧🏻 Proud mom

Keep reading ...

Special Education Advocate Mary Jo O’Neill wrote the forward for Expect a Miracle

Special Education Advocate Mary Jo O’Neill wrote the forward for the 2nd edition of Expect a Miracle, Understanding and Living with Autism by David & Sandy Petrovic. Co-authored from separate viewpoints of an autistic young adult and his mother, it chronicles challenges and victories of each development stage.  Mary Jo states, “Professors should have all new teachers read this book, parents will benefit, typical students will learn from it and students struggling with autism will grow because of the author’s guidance”.

Keep reading ...

FAQ: Special Needs Estate Planning

What is a Special Needs Trust?

What is a Medicaid Payback Trust?

What is a Pooled Trust?

What is a Supplemental Services Trust?

What is a Discretionary Trust?

What are the responsibilities of a Trustee?

What types of supplemental services can be paid for from a Special Needs or Medicaid Payback Trust?

What is a Special Needs Trust?
A Special Needs (Medicaid Payback) Trust is a trust arrangement which allows an individual with disabilities to have funds available for his or her needs without the funds counting as a financial asset for benefit eligibility purposes. Many government programs that provide income or payment for medical services and assistance to individuals with disabling conditions have strict financial eligibility limits. Without careful planning, assets received by a child or adult who is enrolled in or may be eligible for these benefit programs (such as Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid) can jeopardize eligibility for those programs. [Top of Page]

What is a Medicaid Payback Trust?
A Medicaid Payback Trust is funded by assets received by a person with a disability through a personal injury settlement, jury award, or an inheritance.  It may also be used when a person receives a lump-sum from Social Security or simply when the person’s income or resources are too high and could jeopardize the financial eligibility for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.  The beneficiary of a Medicaid Payback Trust must be under 65 when the trust is established, the individual must meet the definition of disability

Keep reading ...