Award from the Impact Fund will support DRO’s lawsuit on behalf of special education students in Ohio
Disability Rights Ohio recently received a $15,000 grant award
to support ongoing legal advocacy in Doe v. State of Ohio – litigation addressing the inadequate funding system for special education students in Ohio.
The grant award is provided by the Impact Fund, a national organization dedicated to advancing social justice through impact litigation conducted by high-performing non-profit legal advocates. Disability Rights Ohio is one of nine non-profit organizations throughout the nation selected to receive an award from the Impact Fund in this grant cycle.
“It’s cases like the one brought by Disability Rights Ohio that go to the core of our mission: to stand up for justice for marginalized communities,” said Jocelyn D. Larkin, Executive Director of the Impact Fund.
“Disability Rights Ohio appreciates the Impact Fund’s recognition of our legal advocacy on behalf of students with disabilities,” said executive director Michael Kirkman. “The Doe v. State of Ohio litigation is just one piece of a larger effort to ensure that all Ohio children with disabilities become full and equal members of society and enjoy the rights and opportunities of all people.”
Law firm Steptoe & Johnson, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law join Doe v. State of Ohio case as co-counsel
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Disability Rights Ohio announces that law firm Steptoe & Johnson and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, both based in Washington, D.C., have joined its Doe v. State of Ohio lawsuit as co-counsel. Their addition will help Disability Rights Ohio bring this 20-year-old case to a successful resolution for Ohio students with disabilities.
Doe v. State of Ohio, filed in 1993, seeks to enforce state officials’ obligations to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
The plaintiffs in the case allege that inequities in and underfunding of special education results in discrimination and denial of the appropriate education of Ohio students with disabilities.
“We are excited to have Steptoe and Bazelon onboard,” says Disability Rights Ohio Director of Advocacy Kerstin Sjoberg-Witt, who is also an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Their expertise in complex cases complements Disability Rights Ohio’s in-depth knowledge about the problems with funding for special education in Ohio.”
Read more: Law firm Steptoe & Johnson, Bazelon Center join Doe case