Brittany Whittle

  • Hosted by Disability Rights Texas
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location San Antonio, Texas
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Brittany advocated for parents and students to ensure that a student’s race does not influence their special education identification, evaluation, placement, and services through direct representation and systemic advocacy.

Students of color are disproportionately identified for certain special education classifications, misidentified, and subject to more restrictive environments and disproportionate discipline than their similarly situated white peers. This issue is exacerbated in San Antonio because many school district lines have been drawn to increase economic and racial separation, concentrating the poorest students in districts with the fewest resources. Services available to white students are often unavailable to students of color. Inadequate and disproportionate special education services contribute to both lower graduation rates and higher incarceration rates for youth of color. Additionally, San Antonio communities of color have been moving their students to public charter schools at an increasing rate.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Brittany has:

  • Represented 40 families, helping them to advocate for access to appropriate evaluation, services, and supports. Filed thirteen complaints addressing issues including restraint and seclusion, discipline, evaluation, services and supports, and child find.
  • Developed a relationship with the Juvenile Probation Department to increase advocacy for children who are referred by their schools due to the school’s failure to identify and meet their needs as a child with a disability
  • Led twelve Special Education Rights trainings to parents and community stakeholders

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Brittany plans to relocate to Austin to work with survivors of human trafficking.

Meet Other Fellows Like Brittany

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Margaret Wakelin

Host: Equip for Equality

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation

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Amelia Huckins

Host: Mississippi Center for Justice

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern

Tovah Pentelovitch

Host: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Teresita Ramos

Host: Disability Law Center

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give