Federation to honor Teresita Ramos, advocate for special needs children and their families with limited English language skills
Ramos is an education, disability and civil rights attorney at Ramos Law LLC in Wellesley.
The Federation selected Ramos for her dedication in representing children with special needs and their families, especially those with limited English language skills. She also has been a long-time member of the Federation’s Board of Directors.
“Tere has been a committed advocate to ensure special needs children receive the education and services they deserve. As a member of our Board, she has provided valuable knowledge in developing our programs and policies,” said Pamela Nourse, Executive Director of the Federation.
“On half of the Federation Board and staff, we are proud to honor Tere,” Nourse said.
The Federation created the award in recognition of Patricia Blake, a 29-year employee of the Federation who retired in 2004, in recognition of her legacy of advocacy for parents with special needs children.
Ramos has said her life-long mission is “to seek justice for low- and moderate-income families and those with limited English … people who are often underserved by the legal system.”
In addition to advocating for special needs children, she represents students who have faced bullying, harassment, or civil rights violations in school, and helps families access Social Security disability benefits.
She is an expert on language access rights, especially regarding students with disabilities and covered by the federal Limited English Proficiency (LEP) program. She has presented and published on both issues nationally.
Prior to establishing Ramos Law, Ramos was a civil rights attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), the commonwealth’s poverty law center. She handled discrimination cases on behalf of limited English speaking families across the commonwealth.
While at MLRI, she worked with a legal team suing the Holyoke Public Schools and the Massachusetts Department of Education for lack of proper language access to the education process.
Another member of that team, Dianne R. Phillips, will receive the Founders Award at the Federation’s Gala. Phillips is a Partner at Holland & Knight in Boston.
Before MLRI, Ramos was an attorney at the Disability Law Center (DLC) focusing on special education issues related to underserved Hispanic communities across Massachusetts. At DLC she filed a class action complaint against the Lawrence Public Schools for lack of access for Spanish speaking families in the special education system.
Previously to DLC, Ramos was the executive director of Special Education Advocates, a special education and disability advocacy focused on underserved communities.
Ramos served for three years as the Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Autism Commission’s education sub-committee.
She is a national speaker on issues related to children who are English language learners and who receive special education services. She has presented on accessing services for LEP students with disabilities at Ramos is the recipient of several awards for her work including an Equal Justice Works fellowship, Boston College Law School’s Dean’s Award for Diversity and Boston College Law’s Excellence in Pro Bono Service Award. She was a finalist for the Pro Bono Publico Award given by the National Association for Law Placement / Public Service Job Directory (NALP / PSJD) program.
In 2011, the Federation presented Ramos with its Parent Leadership Award.
Ramos received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her law degree from Boston College Law School.
She two daughters, one is autistic. Her website is www.ramoseducation.com.
Register to attend the gala for free at fcsn.org/gala2020