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College of Education

Professor Mitchell Yell receives commendation from the United States Department of Justice

Yell served as an expert witness for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on two anti-discrimination cases. These cases investigated if school districts discriminated against students with disabilities in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services.
  • Yell visited school districts to assist in determining the case outcomes. 
  • Yell also participated with the Department of Justice to assess follow up recommendations. 

“I think school districts oftentimes do not fully understand how these laws apply,” Yell says. “I am proud to aid in understanding and create better learning environments for students with disbalities.”

Megan Abbot, a trial attorney at the DOJ, worked on the case. She shared a note of appreciation with Yell and thanked him for his time and insight. Yell’s commendation cites “outstanding performance and invaluable assistance in support of the activities of the Civil Rights Division.” 

Prior to working in higher education, Yell taught special education for 14 years in Minnesota. He currently serves as the Fred and Francis Lester Palmetto Chair in Teacher Education and Professor in Special Education at the University of South Carolina College of Education. He has been awarded more than $17 million in grants, published more than 142 journal articles, 8 textbooks and conducts workshops for educators interested in special education law, classroom management and progress monitoring.

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