About Susan Marks’ Services and Practice Areas
Susan Marks provides legal, advocacy, and educational consultation services to improve the quality of life of families and individuals with disabilities. Her services can be provided to parents, community advocates, and adults with disabilities either through direct representation or through consultation.
Susan also offers free phone consultation (brief call with no records review) to those who call. If a records review is needed, Susan offers recommendations based on a review of the documents provided at a flat rate of $300 (please make that request by completing a request for services).
Susan is also available to provide free presentations on the IDEA, ADA, and Section 504. She has presented to parent groups and community organizations throughout the state. You can make a request by completing a contact form or by calling the office.
Together with her extensive educational and training background in special education and disability-related programs plus her legal background, the following are the types of issues that Susan typically handles:
- IEP (Individualized Education Program) violations. Examples are when an IEP has not been implemented as written or an IEP is inadequate to meet the needs of the individual student. This could involve a failure of the school team to conduct all the necessary evaluations/assessments in order to identify all areas of need. It could also involve a failure of the school team to provide necessary behavior supports resulting in a student being removed such that the student is missing out on educational opportunities. As a former BCBA-D, Susan can also provide consultation on Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). Susan is also available to attend Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) meetings. Susan can also be retained to file a state complaint, if needed, or provide guidance on how to submit one.
- School’s failure to provide services in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Students should receive their educational services and have opportunities to participate in their education with nondisabled peers. Unfortunately, many students with IEPs are placed in segregated settings or are pulled away from the general education setting for more time than is necessary. This seems particularly true for preschool-aged children. If you are seeking a more inclusive education for a child, Susan is committed to helping with that!
- School’s failure to evaluate a student for 504 Plan or IEP. Under Child Find, schools have an obligation to evaluate all students who they suspect may have a disability. Unfortunately, parents do not fully understand how this process works and schools may delay the provision of important services.
- Failure of public accommodation (i.e., day care center, after school program) to provide necessary accommodations. Sometimes individuals with disabilities are denied access to important programs, such as daycare or summer camp, because the program refuses to provide accommodations to support the individual. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, most public programs must engage in a process for determining necessary accommodations and/or program modifications. Susan can either write a formal letter to the institution (i.e., demand letter) advising them of their obligations and the needed accommodations, or provide advice on how to submit a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), or if preferred, she can be retained to draft and submit the OCR complaint on behalf of the individual.
- Failure of college/university to provide appropriate accommodations. Postsecondary institutions must provide accommodations to college students with disabilities. If there are questions regarding the specific accommodations, Susan can help to sort through what and how to make such requests.
- Denial (or Adverse Benefit Determination) by the Division on Developmental Disabilities (DDD) or Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). There are various reasons that an individual might be denied DDD or ALTCS benefits. Susan will review the decisions and records to provide advice and guidance on the steps towards accessing those services, or provide explanation as to why an individual may not meet the statutory criteria for eligibility. Often times, parents and individuals need guidance on what is needed in order to receive a positive outcome.
Susan’s Practice Areas include the following:
- Special education complaints/due process matters under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (i.e., IEP violations), with special emphasis on students with complex needs (i.e., multiple disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and autism) and access to the least restrictive environment.
- Access to Arizona services and benefits (i.e., DDD and ALTCS).
- Disability Discrimination, such as discrimination and denial of accommodations covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504.
- For a breakdown of fees, click here.