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Lawyer helps parents work with schools on special-ed services

Frederick lawyer Earl W. Bartgis Jr. works on the solution before he knows if there will be a problem.

As a pro bono special education advocate, he sits in on Individualized Education Program meetings between school officials and the parents of children who are seeking services under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“I used to help out after the fact, when parents became dissatisfied” with the IEP results, said Bartgis, most of whose cases involve schools in Frederick or Washington counties. “I realized it was much more beneficial if I participated in the meetings instead. It gets [the schools’] attention.”

Bartgis said he takes about three such cases per year from the Maryland Disability Law Center, which awarded him its first Breaking Barriers legal advocacy award in the spring for championing disability rights.

read more at » Pro Bono: A helping hand in designing the plan.

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