Finally in the mail a response to the complaint. I had prevailed on the Least Restrictive Environment issue. (http://nichcy.org/schoolage/iep/iepcontents/participation) As a result my son began moving out of the self-contained classroom and back into the regular education classrooms for portions of the day.
He excelled in subjects that were not language intensive like math and science. The complaint resolution did not address the placement in the special school but only the class placement within the school. This would not bring him home but it did get him back into the regular education setting and also allowed some of his classmates to move into the regular education setting with him. Although unintended, I learned that my actions on behalf of my son were also providing benefit to others.
I had been given guidance from Mr. Flood of the Advocacy Center (http://www.disabilityrightsflorida.org/). I shared with him the results of the complaint investigation and corrective actions. He was very supportive in saying that I shouldn’t be discouraged despite the frustration I was experiencing and encouraged me to continue my efforts.
Having tried and failed to use IDEA as a remedy to return my son to his neighborhood school, and given that State law under the multi-district agreement supported the legality of placing him in a school outside our district, it was time to find another way. Giving in was just not an option.
We still went to every school board meeting and continued to lobby for the development of a program to serve the deaf and hard of hearing in the county they lived in.
As I began to learn more about the rights of my child my presentations to the board began to be taken more seriously. It seemed that there was a decrease in deep sighs and eye rolls now that my presentations were peppered with references to federal and state statute.
The next approach was to turn to another federal law and see if that would make a difference. It was time to look more closely at section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (http://nichcy.org/laws/section504)