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Washington Post: Court Rules DC Underserves and Under Identifies Preschoolers with Disabilities

June 24, 2016

The DC government is appealing a May court decision that ruled the city isn’t providing adequate services for young children with special needs. The decision says the city must serve at least 8.5 percent of DC residents between the ages of 3 and 5.

Washington Post reporter Perry Stein asked Judith Sandalow, Children’s Law Center executive Director for her take.

If the city does not comply, the judge wrote, he will call for significantly more court oversight and monitoring than his current opinion ordered.
Judith Sandalow, the executive director of the Children’s Law Center, celebrated the decision and said she constantly sees children who are several grades behind in school whom the city has not yet identified as having a learning disability.

“The city is too quick to blame the child or the family for the child’s ability to learn,” Sandalow said.

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