Education/ Special Education Law

As parents, our number one responsibility is to our children and every child has the right to a meaningful education.  Unfortunately, certain disabilities can interfere with a child's ability to learn in a traditional school environment. Fortunately, there are laws to protect the rights of those individuals.

In Connecticut, the special education system is based on the federal special education law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004), in combination with the State's special education law.

Special education is provided to children with an identified disability who need specially designed instruction to meet their unique needs.  A child who is eligible for special education services is entitled by federal law to received a free appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE ensures that all students with disabilities receive an appropriate public education at no cost to the family.

Your child is eligible for special education if:

  • He or she is between the ages of 3 and 21, and is found to have a disability, and
  • because of this disability, he or she needs special classes, special instruction or special services to succeed in school.

Disabilities that enable a child to receive special education include:

  • Autism
  • Hearing impairment including deafness
  • Intellectual disability
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Neurological impairments
  • Orthopedic disabilities
  • Physical impairments
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Speech and/or language impairments
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairments including blindness
  • Other health problems such as; asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder/ADD, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia and Tourette Syndrome


Section 504

Section 504 isa  federal law that protects students with disabilities from being discriminated against at school.  It requires the school to give your child the same opportunities as students without disabilities who go to school.  The school does this through a "reasonable accomodation or modification."  Children with disbilities who do not qualify for special education under IDEA may qualify for Section 504 services and accommodations if their disability impedes a major life activity such as learning, self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working and performing manual tasks.


If your child is not receiving the educational opportunities he or she is entitled to and you do not know where to turn, we can help.  From legal advocacy to representation in court, the Law Offices of J. William Gagne, Jr. & Associates will work with you to navigate special education laws and help you take control of your child's educational future.

Contact Us at 860-522-5049 for a free consulation.

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Contact Information

J. William Gagne Jr. & Associates

1 Congress Street, 3rd Floor
Hartford, CT 06114

Phone: 860-522-5049
Fax: 860-561-6204


Business Hours: 
9 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appointment