When Priscilla, a Care Coordinator at Person Centered Services, first began working with Devyn and her family, they were in the middle of a long battle with a school district that discriminated against her and her service animal. Devyn’s dog, Rubin, was needed to assist with her neurological disability by detecting Devyn’s seizures before they occurred. The school would not let her bring the dog to class, although Rubin required minimal assistance.
During this difficult time, Devyn and her service dog relocated to a new school district that was able to meet her needs. This greatly contributed to her happiness and health, even as the legal battle continued.
“Prior to COVID, I would occasionally visit Devyn at her new school and could see the joy and excitement in her eyes now that she was provided with inclusive services, with Rubin by her side,” says Priscilla, “Her school staff were always happy and energetic when supporting her. She began to thrive with their support, and she improved greatly in her communication skills while utilizing her communication device.”
Priscilla also notes that throughout the pandemic, Devyn’s teachers and one-on-one support staff would drop off activities to address her needs as she learned skills from home.
Recently, the Justice Department found Devyn’s original school district in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. An agreement was reached that has led to the school revising its Service Animal Policy and updating staff training. The family has been compensated and families in similar situations will be better accommodated in the future. Priscilla has stood by the family during this experience, helping ensure Devyn has the support she needs.
“With ongoing support from Devyn’s family, Care Coordination services, the Justice Department and many others, Devyn finally received justice by winning the settlement with the school district!” says Priscilla.
We’re proud to support and advocate for Devyn, her dog, and her family!