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Deaf School To Offer Special-Needs Class

Publication Date: 
September 13, 2007
The Argus
Linh Tat

Professor William Koski, Director of Stanford Law School's Youth and Education Law Project (YELP), is quoted in The Argus describing details of the settlement of a lawsuit YELP filed on behalf of an autistic child against the California School for the Deaf and the State Department of Education:

Putting J.C. in a program for hearing students would cut off her primary mode of communication, thereby stifling her development, said Bill Koski, an attorney for the plaintiffs and the director of Stanford Law School's Youth and Education Law Project, a clinic where law students work on cases on a pro bono basis.

"A major part of any kind of learning is communication. ... Communication directly with peers — social interaction and the like — is especially important for people with autism," he said.


"I'm very much looking forward to this being a new chapter in the way the (Department of Education) thinks about how to work with deaf children with moderate to severe disabilities," Koski said.

"The idea is to try to develop a model of a way to work with a very difficult-to-serve population," he added.


As part of the agreement, J.C., who is enrolled in classes through the Fremont school district, will be placed in the new program at the deaf school for at least three years. Also, the Department of Education will pay $196,500 to J.C.'s attorneys — a fraction of the actual costs incurred, Koski said.