Law Offices of Alexis Casillas




The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization that works to protect the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. COPAA welcomes parents, advocates, attorneys and related professionals who work primarily for families. Members have access to a wide array of resources, including check-lists, research papers, sample pleadings and letters, trainings, and a listserv. Members are also eligible to request support from COPAA's respected Amicus Committee, and can locate and connect with professionals in their area. 

If you are interested in joining COPAA or attending the annual COPAA Conference (in Monterey, California in 2018) or a webinar, please visit

California Department of Education

As you consider any school-related issues, you should familiarize yourself with your state educational department of education website.

The California Department of Education (CDE) provides a number of resources on its website, including CDE's curriculum frameworks and Content Standards, the local educational agency Accountability Model & School Dashboard, the Local Control Funding Formula, School Accountability Report Cards, information about the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, information about grade spans, graduation requirements, Common Core Standards, and the state's special education obligations and programs.

Families may also, as needed, refer to the original language of the California Education Code. The Code can be searched on the California Legislative Information website.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the primary federal law governing special education rights. The full text of the statute is here. IDEA Regulations Part B (governing children aged 3 to 21) can be found here, and IDEA Regulations Part B (governing children aged 0 to 3) are here.

The federal Department of Education makes available a number of useful resources regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the primary federal law governing special education rights. Visit the Department of Education's IDEA resource page at

Another federal agency, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, offers another resource page with useful information about the IDEA.

Division of Juvenile Justice

The California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) provides education and treatment to California’s youthful offenders up to the age of 25.  Students who are in custody are entitled to the same education they would otherwise received under the law. 

For information about the educational services the DJJ provides, click here

You can access information about Youth Rights in the DJJ's Youth Rights Handbook

There are also a series of articles regarding the school-to-prison pipeline that can be read and downloaded here.

Lanterman Act

The Lanterman Act is a California statute that entitles individuals with developmental disabilities to supports and services for the entirety of their lives.

The text of the Lanterman Act can be downloaded here, and the Consumer's Guide to the Lanterman Act can be downloaded in English or in Spanish.

The Lanterman Act authorized the creation of Regional Centers across the state. Regional Centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to provide and/or coordinate services for individuals with disabilities. A searchable list of Regional Centers by county is available here.  

The DDS's website provides information about who is eligible for services and what kind of services are provided by Regional Centers, as well as more general information about services and supports available to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Families may also, as needed, refer to the original language of the California Education Code. The Code can be searched on the California Legislative Information website.


The California Courts website defines a conservatorship as " a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances." The California Courts website also provides more information about the various types of conservatorships (General, Limited, and Lanterman-Petris-Short Conservatorships), conservator's duties, and other key issues related to conservatorships.