Systemic Reform

Center for Children’s Advocacy is reforming justice for Connecticut’s most vulnerable children and youth.

 

Sheff v. O’Neill

Sheff v. O’Neill is a landmark civil rights lawsuit that seeks educational equality. The plaintiffs continue to advocate for the State of Connecticut to uphold the constitutional rights of children in Hartford to an equal educational opportunity.

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Alicia B.

Substandard alternative education offered to expelled children disproportionately affects students of color and violates equal protection guarantees of both the state and U.S. constitutions. Alicia B. names Bloomfield, Hartford and Manchester’s public school districts, the state Department of Education and the state Board of Education as defendants. 

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KinderCare: Daycare Access for Children with Diabetes

KinderCare Education of Portland, Oregon, has entered into a settlement agreement to resolve allegations that KinderCare’s child care programs and other services were not accessible to children with Type 1 diabetes who are dependent on insulin injections, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). KinderCare operates approximately 1,800 facilities in the U.S., and the settlement agreement applies to all of KinderCare’s facilities.

The complaint was filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut by the Center for Children’s Advocacy alleging violations of Title III of the ADA.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that KinderCare refused to assist two children who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes with insulin administration.  A third complaint against KinderCare by the parent of another child with Type 1 diabetes was filed by CCA during the course of the investigation.  The government determined that KinderCare’s national policy and practice was that KinderCare staff would not directly administer insulin to children via a syringe or pen.  Instead, KinderCare required parents of the children identified in the complaint to appear at its facility to administer the insulin to their children or hire another person, at the parents’ own expense, to do so.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.  KinderCare is a private entity that operates child care facilities that are places of “public accommodation” within the meaning of Title III of the ADA. 

Under the agreement, KinderCare is obligated to take critical steps toward improving access for children with Type 1 diabetes, including revising its policies and procedures, revising its training, and performing ongoing assessments of the need for reasonable accommodations. 

Press (Hartford Courant 9-27-18)

 

Norwalk Public Schools

The Connecticut State Department of Education ordered Norwalk Public Schools to provide speech and language services and compensatory hours of education to students who did not receive needed support. SDE also directed the school system to review its system for providing disabled students adequate time with nondisabled peers .. Complaint (October 2018) and SDE Decision (July 2019) are linked below. The Complaint was filed by CCA attorney Kathryn Meyer, Norwalk attorney Robin Keller, and educational advocate Jill Chukas.

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Bridgeport Public Schools

Bridgeport Public Schools have failed to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students as a result of violations of Child Find obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Child Find requires that at the beginning of each school year, districts must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in effect for each child with a disability. Special education and related services must conform to the IEP for the individual student.

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Medical Transport for Low-Income Families

Complaint filed against the Connecticut Department of Social Services and LogistiCare Solutions for ongoing violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act that jeopardize the health and well-being of low-income children who need non-emergency medical transportation.

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New Visions

Hartford Public Schools systematically and pervasively denies expelled special education students their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by failing to provide special education and related services to confer meaningful educational benefit.

Legal Documents

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CT Technical High School System

The Center for Children’s Advocacy and Greater Hartford Legal Aid filed a complaint against the Connecticut Technical High School System alleging that CTHSS applies admissions policies in ways that discriminate against students with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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Emily J.

Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit to challenge the conditions of confinement in Connecticut’s Juvenile Detention Centers and the treatment of children confined in those facilities. Overcrowded conditions at Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven Juvenile Detention Centers , lack of adequate medical and mental health care, classification system, staffing, recreational, visitation, and educational opportunities, the lack of alternative placements and the lack of appropriate planning for these children violated their rights.

Legal Documents

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