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Headshot of Madisyn Puchebner

Madisyn Puchebner

  • Hosted by Arizona Center For Disability Law
  • Sponsored by Martha Huckins
  • Service location Arizona
  • Law school Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education, Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Through direct advocacy, educational outreach, and policy reform, Madisyn (she/her/hers) will advocate for Arizona K-12 students with chronic physical and mental health conditions who were denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Children with chronic health conditions face substantial barriers to obtaining an education, let alone an appropriate education. They are discriminated against solely because their conditions may be more complex or require more individualized care than their peers, neither of which justify denying a child the aid and accommodations needed to ensure they receive an appropriate education. Yet Arizona K-12 students with chronic conditions are increasingly being denied FAPE—an issue only worsened by teacher shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because any denial of an appropriate education is an egregious violation of a student’s rights and could substantially impact the student’s long-term academic trajectory, every case is urgent.

Madisyn’s project was inspired by her own experience as a student with chronic conditions and the concomitant challenges. She is committed to ensuring that all students receive an appropriate education.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Madisyn will represent students with chronic conditions against schools that have denied them FAPE. She will develop accessible “Know Your Rights” resources for students and parents regarding students’ rights to an appropriate education, including presenting in local communities to reach as many people as possible. Additionally, Madisyn will advocate for statewide policies that better support students with chronic conditions—particularly behavioral and mental health conditions—through research and communication with state representatives.

I’ve had to learn how to advocate for myself as both a patient and student. I can’t think of a better use for my education than helping others do the same.

Madisyn Puchebner /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Madisyn

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Christina Beeler

Host: Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

Lashawnda Woods-Roberts

Host: Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice

Sponsor: Anonymous

Annie Kanzow

Host: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc.

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation

Photo of Amelia Huckins

Amelia Huckins

Host: Mississippi Center for Justice

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern