Wichita, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/27/2018 -- Attorney Kari D. Coultis, founder of Coultis Estate & Special Needs Law, testified before the Kansas House of Representatives, Children and Seniors Committee in Topeka, KS. A recognized authority on special education law, she spoke regarding her personal experience with restraint and seclusion laws.
Coultis' testimony also included changes that need to be made to the Kansas State Department of Education's reinterpretation of such laws. In April 2013, Kansas implemented new rules and regulations that limited the use of seclusion and restraint for students, reserving those tactics only as a means of emergency safety intervention. The new regulations represent a significant step forward, but still leave room for flawed interpretation.
For students with disabilities the effects of restraint and seclusion can be especially traumatizing. A 2012 study by the National Disability Rights Network indicated that students with significant disabilities subjected to those methods are at a greater risk of serious injury and even death.
Coultis is a legal expert in special education law, an area of expertise that developed and grew as she fought to protect the rights of her own son with special needs. Parents often don't understand the rights to which their children are entitled, how to protect those rights, and the procedures for ensuring those rights are met.
Laws are in place to protect special needs students, but serious complications arise in regard to how those regulations are interpreted. Under restraint and seclusion laws, the Kansas State Department of Education stipulates a student must present a danger of injury to himself or others, but that determination is typically left to the discretion of the instructor.
The multi-year battle Coultis fought for her own child is indicative of what parents encounter with their special needs child. Challenges can encompass multiple school placements, IEP meetings, and endless conferences and consultations with school staff. Coultis was eventually forced to defend a Manifestation Determination Review and file a formal complaint with the state's Department of Education.
Coultis' testimony before the Kansas House of Representatives, Children and Seniors Committee, is part of her ongoing work to protect and advocate for the rights of special needs students. An expert in the field, Coultis provided key testimony and provided concrete solutions and changes that need to be made in the interpretation of restraint and seclusion laws.
About Coultis Estate & Special Needs Law
Located at 1999 N. Amidon Ave., Ste. 105 in Wichita, KS, the law firm specializes in estate planning, Medicaid planning, VA pension planning, guardianships and conservatorships, trust and estate administration, business planning and special needs law. Individuals can connect with the practice on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Kari D. Coultis
Coultis Estate & Special Needs Law
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