A school bus driving through a city

A Matter Of Civil Rights

“In these days, it is doubtful that any child may be reasonably expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”

Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing for the unanimous United States Supreme Court, Brown vs. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954)

Our firm's dedication to helping children with disabilities reach their potential and secure a bright future stems from Sarah and Todd’s personal experience navigating the complex special education system to obtain services for their son, who was diagnosed with autism in 2002. We are passionate about the federal mandate under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that all children are entitled to a free appropriate public education to prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.

We are accomplished litigators with the necessary skills and experience to enforce students' and parents' rights through the legal system. However, we strive to settle disputes before litigation, if possible.

Our Services Include:

Parent Education and Advocacy

Consulting with parents and navigating the special education system; obtaining and reviewing educational records; advocating for students to be found eligible for special education and related services; assisting in filing special education complaints with the Virginia Department of Education (DOE); assisting in the development of IEPs; assisting in the development of “504 Plans” (under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) that provide accommodations to students with disabilities who are not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”); negotiating with School Districts to obtain private placements.

Manifestation Determinations

Advising clients regarding expulsion and suspension issues; representing students and parents in manifestation determination reviews.


Representing students and parents in mediations and resolution sessions.

Due Process Hearings/Litigation

Representing students and parents in due process hearings and litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Rehabilitation Act. 

Ratner Law