Den­ver at­tor­ney to get na­tional award

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By John Aguilar

A Den­ver at­tor­ney who rep­re­sented a Dou­glas County fam­ily at the heart of a 2017 land­mark U.S. Supreme Court de­ci­sion that es­tab­lished the right of learn­ing-dis­abled stu­dents to re­ceive a higher stan­dard of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion will be hon­ored this week with a top honor from a na­tional dis­abil­i­ties rights or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Nashville-based The Arc, which ad­vo­cates for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual and devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, will give Jack D. Robin­son its 2018 Cat­a­lyst Award for le­gal advocate of the year on Fri­day. Robin­son, a found­ing part­ner at Spies, Pow­ers and Robin­son, P.C., rep­re­sented the fam­ily that sued the Dou­glas County School District claim­ing it didn’t pro­vide their autis­tic son with an ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tion as is re­quired by fed­eral law.

In March 2017, the high court ruled that it is not enough for school dis­tricts to get by with min­i­mal, or “de min­imis,” in­struc­tion for spe­cial needs chil­dren, but must in­stead of­fer pro­grams de­signed to let stu­dents make progress in light of their dis­abil­i­ties.

The par­ents of En­drew F., the boy at the cen­ter of the case, ear­lier this year re­ceived a $1.3 mil­lion set­tle­ment from the district. The cou­ple had sought re­im­burse­ment from the district for their son’s ed­u­ca­tion at a pri­vate school for stu­dents with autism.

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