A Law Practice Dedicated to Representing Children and Adults with Disabilities
"The way we challenge school district programs is by making a compelling case, and we just happen to be enormously successful at doing it."
- Tracey Spencer Walsh
Tracey Spencer Walsh is a 1994 graduate of the Fordham University School of Law and has also taught the “Special Education Law" course as an Adjunct Law Professor at Fordham Law School. Tracey also is the Co-Founder and Vice Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Special Education.
Tracey has litigated and settled hundreds of IDEA cases for private school tuition reimbursement on behalf of students with disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, genetic disorders, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbance. Tracey has also been successful in cases involving compensatory education.
Tracey also is experienced in arguing sophisticated special education law appeals in federal courts, including in the Circuit Courts of Appeals. Tracey is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut and also is admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
379 West Broadway
New York, NY 10012
Areas of Practice
Special Education Law
Tracey Spencer Walsh helps clients throughout New York and Connecticut to ensure that students with a disability receive the special education services to which they are entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"). When a child has a disability, including learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, a serious illness, emotional challenges or another disability, he or she deserves a thoughtful, comprehensive and appropriate education that will facilitate a bright future.
Families with special needs children need to especially plan ahead with a solid estate plan. Our office provides estate planning to help give families some peace of mind about the future for their children.
Securing Educational Services and Private School Tuition Reimbursement
If your child has been denied educational services and/or you are considering placing your child in a private school, consulting with Tracey at the beginning of the process can help you avoid mistakes. Planning ahead, and that includes cooperating with your school district, could be the key to successfully securing an appropriate education for your child.
Special Needs Trusts
Planning for the future for your child with special needs is an important and necessary consideration. Ask Tracey what your next "best steps" are regarding planning for your child's future.
Constitutional Rights of Children
While the law treats children differently from adults in many respects, children have legal rights. Furthermore, while children’s rights are not necessarily less than those of adults, they are often different. Tracey can help you understand what are your child's constitutional rights.
In the eyes of the law, even a person with a significant developmental, cognitive, or mental health disability is legally permitted to make decisions on his or her own behalf at the age of majority (18 in most states, including NY). The only way parents can continue making decisions for their child is to become their legal guardian. “Families need to keep in mind that guardianship is not the same as serving as a substitute parent. A guardian is an individual that is truly person-centered and focused on the needs of the individual with disabilities. They will not be required to provide parental types of support”. Guardianship is a court-ordered arrangement in which one person is given the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person whom a court has deemed to be“incapacitated.” The guardian’s decision-making authority extends to all areas specified by the court.
ALL CHILDREN CAN LEARN
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