Hickman Lowder

We meet the lifetime legal needs of children and adults with disabilities, the elderly, and their families.

Mary Jo O’Neill

Mary Jo O’Neill


  • Special Education Advocate


Mary Jo is a special education advocate who guides families through the education process to ensure that the educational needs of their children with disabilities are met.  Mary Jo is a licensed Intervention Specialist who reviews IEPs, 504 Plans, ETRs and sits alongside the family in team meetings to advocate together for the child’s needs.  Families rely upon Mary Jo’s expertise to help them navigate the special education process, obtain Independent Educational Evaluations, qualify for extended school year, secure Jon Peterson or Autism Scholarship funds, and manage specialized instruction within the Catholic/private school setting.

Mary Jo’s goal is to give voice to students with learning disabilities and their parents so they are heard and given access to the best educational resources and services in their school system. Mary Jo’s collaborative, relationship-building approach serves families well.  In rare cases where the district is not cooperative, Mary Jo is able to call upon the attorneys to pursue legal recourse.

Mary Jo enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, running, scrapbooking and hiking in the Metroparks.


  • Cleveland State University, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Vermont College of Norwich University, B.S. in Early Childhood Education
    • Cum laude


    • Notre Dame College, Academic Support Center Advisory Board
    • International Dyslexia Association: National Branch
      •  National Board Member
      • Branch Council Executive Committee Chair
    • International Dyslexia Association: Local Branch
      • Adviser Board Member
      • Past President
    • Julie Billiart School, Alumni and Alumni Parent Committee


    • Forward for Expect a Miracle: Understanding and Living with Autism, 2nd edition by David and Sandy Petrovic (2020)