Q: Why do you  charge at all? Don't you know families with disabilities already struggle?

A:  We absolutely get that.  All of our staff  have disabilities and/or  family members with disabilities too. Our staff who work with you need to be paid.  It's that simple.  At Bright Horizons, your fees are not paying for an office, or administrative staff that do not help clients.  Nearly 90 percent of our budget is payroll.  We do not receive government funding, or substantial grants to cover our costs, like many  agencies that provide free caseworkers do, but we are always exploring options to provide more help at less cost to our clients.

Q: Shouldn't schools pay you?  We already pay school taxes. 

A: If schools paid us, they would not want us to side with clients.

Q. Wouldn't a free lawyer be better than a paid advocate?

A. There are some excellent free legal services.  However, not all free services take all cases, and many have eligibility restrictions.  Our sliding fee scale offers discounted rates to people with much higher incomes than many legal aid programs.  In other words, while we have a cost, everyone is eligible for our help. If a free lawyer is not an option for you, you will find we charge between 10 and 25 percent of what an attorney charges per hour.

Q. If I  pay Bright Horizons or a lawyer that isn't free, can I get fee recovery and damages?  

A: Only in very, very, very rare circumstances.  Education and disability rights cases are not like the civil suits we  often see on TV. The compensation from the other party is usually only the actual service you are trying to get. You should always assume you won't get fees back.  With that in mind, we think you will find our fees reasonable.

You can help us help you too.  Our goal is always to keep fees low, but to get them even lower, we need everyone to spread the word about donating to Bright Horizons.  If you would like to help fundraise so fees could be lower, we welcome your help! Go to the home page for more information on the Frances Hamburg Memorial Fund, and let folks know about it on social media.

Thank you from the Bright Horizons family!


Update as of 8/1/2020


We offer 1 free initial consultation with an advocate up to 45 minutes. New clients who elect to use our services beyond the initial consultation will be billed a deposit of $50.00.  This deposit will be applied to future charges as explained below under the sliding fee scale section.


Billable services beyond the free consultation include:

  • Corresponding (texts, emails, and phone calls) with client or with relevant parties regarding client concerns

  • Attending meetings or appointments with client or on client’s behalf, if requested

  • Reviewing documents and researching issues

  • Drafting complaints

  • Conducting observations or consultations

  • Travel time will be charged for Bright Horizons staff to and from meetings, appointments, and observations.  This will be calculated based on the address of 6020 West Bancroft, Toledo OH. Travel time will be calculated at 1 minute per mile traveled. 

  • COVID 19:  Bright Horizons has the capability to use all major video meeting platforms.  Due to COVID 19, we highly recommend these options for safety.  We also encourage that you request this option from your school or other entity as opposed to a conference call.  We find conference calls tend to be much less clear for our clients.  If, however, a conference call or in person meeting is needed, we can certainly participate.  Bright Horizons staff will use all appropriate safety and social distancing measures recommended by the CDC.


Bright Horizons accepts third-party payments from sources such as county boards of developmental disabilities, mental health agencies, and other disability specific agencies. Due to limited funding, the sliding fee scale is only available to those clients without third-party funding sources. The third-party rate will be our standard fee rate of $65 an hour. If you are not sure what funds are available, or your agency caseworker needs documentation from Bright Horizons, we will assist with this.  However, completion of any personal application information the third-party agency may require is ultimately the client’s responsibility. In the event the third-party does not pay your invoice, you will be required to pay for your services at your sliding fee scale rate.



Determining Your Sliding Fee Scale Rate


Your sliding fee scale rate is determined by your household size, income, and benefits, minus your out of pocket disability related expenses.  The sliding fee scale rate is for families without third party funding options.

Resource or Deduction Sources and Verification Types

Gross wages (Before taxes and deductions)(Last two paystubs for all employed household members or most recent W2s)

SSI or SSDI or other cash benefits Excluding SNAP (Most recent benefits letter or proof of direct deposit for all recipients)

Child support (Proof of most recent deposit)

Receipts for disability related expenses, such as co pays for medications, specialist appointments or therapies, purchases of disability related equipment and supplies.


These documents may be faxed or emailed to us via cell phone scan (using Cam Scanner or Tiny Scanner, etc.), or securely uploaded via the  "Upload My Documents” button on this page.  A completed billing form and the $50.00 deposit must be received prior to staff beginning work beyond initial consultation.  To use the sliding fee scale instead of paying the full rate of $65.00, all documents must be received within 14 days of your intake call.


For clients who qualify for the sliding fee scale rate of $25.00 an hour, and who have NO access to third-party payment sources, an initial deposit of $50.00 split into two monthly payments of $25.00 shall cover up to 3 hours of service per the 12 month period. Additional hours will be billed at $25.00 per hour or an additional 3-hour $50.00 block may be purchased in advance. Block hours not used within the 12-month period are not refundable.

Clients must provide us with a payment method at the time of intake. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Clients will be provided their invoices by email, showing how many hours have been used and their balance due. Bright Horizons will charge the payment method on file each month for a minimum of 1 hour at the client’s hourly rate until the balance is paid in full.

Calculation of Payments

For example, if a client’s sliding fee hourly rate is $45 and the invoice is for $135.00, Bright Horizons will charge 3 monthly payments of $45.  Clients may pay in full or request a higher monthly payment at any time.

Within 50 Miles Sliding Fee Scale

1 Person - $0-$19,140 = $25/hour

1 Person - $19,141-$31,900 = $35/hour

1 Person - $31,901-$63,800 = $45/hour

1 Person  > $63,801 = $65/hour

2 People - $0-$25,860 = $25/hour

2 People - $25,860-$43,100 = $35/hour

2 People - $43,101-$86,200 = $45/hour

2 People  >$86,200 = $65/hour

3 People - $0-$32,580 = $25/hour

3 People - $32,581-$54,300 = $35/hour

3 People - $54,301-$108,600 = $45/hour

3 People  >$108,601 = $65/hour

4 People - $0-$39,300 = $25/hour

4 People -$39,301-$65,500 = $35/hour

4 People - $65,501-$131,000 = $45/hour

4 People  >$131,000 = $65/hour

5 People - $0-$46,020 = $25/hour

5 People - $46,021-$76,700 = $35/hour

5 People - $76,701-$153,400 = $45/hour

5 People  >$153,401 = $65/hour

6 People - $0-$52,740 = $25/hour

6 People - $52,741-$87,900 = $35/hour

6 People - $87,901-$175,800 = $45/hour

6 People  >$175,801 = $65/hour


Beyond 50 Miles Sliding Fee Scale

1 Person - $0-$31,900 = $45/hour

1 Person  > $31,901 = $65/hour

2 People - $0-$43,100 = $45/hour

2 People  > $43,101 = $65/hour

3 People - $0-$54,300 = $45/hour

3 People  >$54,301 = $65/hour

4 People -$0-$65,500 = $45/hour

4 People  > $65,501 = $65/hour

5 People - $0-$76,700 = $45/hour

5 People  > $76,701 = $65/hour3

6 people - $0-$87,900 = $45/hour

6 people  > $87,901 = $65/hour



Both Jennifer and Victoria are very knowledgeable about the rights of students with disabilities and were

an invaluable help when dealing with my child's school. Without their knowledge, expertise and assistance,

I truly believe my child would not

have received the services

they needed at school.

-- Christina

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