ADVOCATE . EDUCATE . EMPOWER
The DLSI Mission
Disability Legal Services of Indiana, Inc. (DLSI) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing free and low cost legal services to Indiana’s children and adults with disabilities, primarily in education matters.
Who We Are
DLSI empowers Hoosier children with disabilities by providing low or no-cost legal advocacy to ensure access to education.
What We Do
DLSI provides legal consultation and representation in the areas of special education, including Section 504 Plans and Individual Education Plans.
Why We Matter
Indiana has more than 175,000 children receiving special education services, many of them living below federal poverty levels.
EMPOWER CAMPAIGN 2020
Defend education for Indiana's kids with disabilities. Your contribution enables DLSI to help children with disabilities living in poverty get appropriate educational services and makes certain they have all the support needed in the classroom and beyond.
PARENTS IN THE KNOW
Special Education Information for Indiana Families
The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released two Covid-19 guidance documents recently regarding the education of students with disabilities.
Since most schools are now back in session, pay extra attention to how your child is doing.
Schools have had the summer months to develop better distance learning processes to meet the unique learning needs of students with disabilities.
During an interview with WFYI, education attorney Catherine Michael notes that DLSI is a tremendous asset for the community.
SUCCESS STORY: Chronic Medical Issue
DLSI attorneys assisted a family who recently moved to Indiana. The single mother was overwhelmed with her son’s chronic medical conditions that required close monitoring. His conditions required medical treatment and often affected his ability to attend school. The student had missed many weeks due to his disabilities/medical conditions. His mother tried unsuccessfully to have her son identified as a student with special education needs. DLSI successfully advocated for the family, the student was properly identified as a student with a disability, and the school developed an individualized education plan that included homebound services allowing the student to receive educational services during his illnesses when he was unable to attend school.
SUCCESS STORY: Least Restrictive Environment
DLSI assisted a family in rural Indiana. Their son had significant educational and behavioral challenges and had been placed in a restrictive educational setting. The student’s public school abruptly changed the student’s educational placement. The family filed legal proceedings, but quickly became overwhelmed with the legal process and requested DLSI’s assistance. DLSI attorneys stepped in and successfully advocated for a new educational plan for the student, ensuring a smooth transition from a more restrictive setting to a less restrictive educational setting over the period of several months. DLSI’s involvement allowed the family and school to resolve their differences and work together to ensure a good result for everyone involved.
SUCCESS STORY: Adoptive Parent's Crisis
DLSI attorneys assisted a single woman who was given custody of her nephew after he was removed from his home following several years of trauma and instability. Her nephew, an elementary student with a reading disability, was struggling educationally and behaviorally and had been removed to a restrictive educational setting outside of his school district. His aunt tried unsuccessfully for over a year to have her nephew transferred to his local public school so that he could attend his neighborhood school with his non-disabled peers. DLSI worked collaboratively with the local school staff and their legal counsel and the client’s nephew was successfully transferred to his local public school within a month with an appropriate education plan in place to meet his educational and behavioral needs. He is thriving in his new environment.
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2019 ANNUAL REPORT
Since 2008, DLSI has pursued its mission to be the trusted source of information and advocacy for Hoosier students with disabilities. Our 2019 annual report tells how our first Executive Director, our new staff attorney and our new website have helped DLSI fulfill the challenges of 2020 and beyond.