Law Offices of
Thomas E. Kennedy III L.C.

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Transgender Student Rights


The inequalities members of the LGBTQ+ community face are immense. Correcting these problems is complex in our country, and has become even more so in our nation’s schools: both public and private.

In recent months, the rights of transgender individuals has been put at the forefront of national attention — especially involving which bathrooms these individuals are permitted to enter: the one that matches their biological sex or the sex in which they identify with. This question was posed to the North Carolina government — and they answered.

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Placing a focus on our Mental Health


Our mental health is something that is crucial to our wellbeing, but it is often overlooked and not discussed in our society. For students in elementary, middle, and especially high school, learning about and discussing mental health in a safe, comfortable environment can be essential to lessening the stigma surrounding mental health. According to the data gathered by student journalists at Clayton High School, mental health may not be getting the attention it needs. Read more

Putting a Price on Emotional Distress

For most of us, our job is not just a way of earning a living. It also plays an important role in defining our identity. Often, the success that we achieve in our career is directly tied to our sense of dignity and self-worth. Loss of employment can cause trauma that approaches what we experience in divorce or other highly disruptive personal events. Read more

DOJ Announces Important Olmstead Sheltered Workshop Settlement with Rhode Island

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a landmark settlement agreement with Rhode Island to resolve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act relating to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
This is the first statewide settlement to address the rights of people with I/DD to receive integrated state-funded employment and daytime services in the broader community, rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. Read more

Woman Suffering from MS Is Awarded Social Security Disability Benefits


The firm recently represented a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis in winning her appeal for Social Security disability benefits. This is wonderful news for our client who, in addition to receiving disability benefits going forward, will also get a payment for nearly four years of back benefits. Read more

Federal Government Shutdown Halts Firm’s Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

The federal government shutdown has real consequences for real people, including our firm’s clients. For example, a federal-court employment discrimination lawsuit that the firm is litigating with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been halted, at the EEOC’s request, until the shutdown is over. Read more

TEK Law Represents Nonprofit in Suit Against Hecker, IL to Build Group Homes

Our office represents nonprofit organization Human Support Services and two individual plaintiffs in their federal suit against the Village of Hecker over the Village Board’s denial of a special use permit required to allow the construction of two homes, which would each house four developmentally disabled residents in the Freedom Village subdivision. Read more

Novel Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Sheltered Workshop (Part II)

This post discusses the second novel claim in the lawsuit we brought for a young woman in a sheltered workshop who was raped by another workshop client. This claim alleged that the workshop was a federally-funded “education program or activity” that violated Title IX by failing to prevent this sexual assault. Read more

Novel Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Sheltered Workshop (Part I)

We recently settled a case for a young woman at a sheltered workshop who was raped by another workshop client. Our federal civil rights complaint raised two legal theories that are unique in this type of litigation and may be of interest to others. The lawsuit alleged, among other claims, a violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.
Find a copy of the complaint here. Read more

Survey shows abuse of individuals with disabilities widespread

A new survey by the Disability and Abuse Project reveals the harrowing prevalence of abuse of persons with disabilities, and the lack of effective responses. 40% of survey participants with disabilities reported experiencing sexual abuse and 50% said they had suffered physical abuse. Read more

Another Victory for Parents in Edwardsville

TK FREEZE Family Health Insurance[/caption] Following a four-day due process hearing, an Impartial Hearing Officer ruled that Edwardsville School District had violated the IDEA by removing a student with autism from a private placement and returning him to the district without a transition plan.

The hearing officer ordered a return of the student to the private therapeutic day school for not less than 18 months.

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Protecting disabled adults at work and school

TK FREEZESee news footage about a federal lawsuit filed by TEK on behalf of a woman with developmental disabilities who was raped at a developmental training program after her parents reported concerns about her attacker to the program’s administrator.

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Village of Alorton pays East St. Louis woman $110,000 for overnight stay in inaccessible jail

The Village of Alorton has settled with a partially paralyzed woman after holding her overnight, confining her to an inaccessible jail cell, and forcing her to move up and down the stairs to the basement police station below City Hall and the detention cells. Read more

Missouri considering new rules for hearing special education due process hearings

TK FREEZEThe Missouri House is considering a bill (SB 595) introduced in the Senate that would change the qualifications for hearing officers in special education due process hearings.

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Paralyzed Woman Sues Village of Alorton and Former Police Chief Michael Baxton

TK FREEZEThe Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy, III, L.C. filed ADA, Section 504, and Constitutional claims against the City of Alorton and former Police Chief Michael Baxton, Sr. on January 12 2012. The plaintiff is a woman paralyzed almost entirely from the waist down as a result of spinal cord disorder, who alleges she was falsely arrested and then forced to move up and down stairs without assistance, including the use of her arm and leg braces. Read more

Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy III L.C.

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