Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or student, learning about special education law can be a helpful tool to ensure that you’re aware of what you need to know and what you can expect. Here are a few key areas of special education law that you should be familiar with. Go now
Due process hearings
During a due process hearing, the parties have the opportunity to present evidence to resolve a dispute. Generally, the hearing is used to resolve disagreements about the identification, evaluation, placement, and FAPE (free appropriate public education) of a child. The hearing can also address procedural protections.
The process is a bit complicated. It usually begins with a complaint filed on behalf of the child. The complaint should include the child’s name, the name of the school district, and a statement of what the problem is. The complaint is filed with the state department of education and is reviewed by a review panel.
The most important thing to remember during the process is that the complaint system is available to anyone. It can be used to resolve any procedural violation related to special education.
Eligibility for special education services
Whether your child qualifies for special education services depends on the criteria used by your state. Fortunately, the United States Department of Education provides guidance on the proper evaluation of a child with learning disabilities. In addition, most special education funding is allocated on a “hold harmless” basis, based on the 1998-99 federal funding formula.
The first step in determining whether your child qualifies for special education services is a comprehensive evaluation. Your child’s IEP team will work with you and your child’s teachers and administrators to determine if your child is able to benefit from specialized instruction. Specialized academic instruction may include speech therapy, counseling, physical therapy, or behavioral intervention. If your child has a learning disability, you may receive a special education plan that includes goals designed for your child’s specific needs.
Protection from disability-based discrimination
Whether you are seeking employment, attending school, or using public transportation, you are protected from disability-based discrimination. There are many federal laws that protect people with disabilities. It is important to understand these laws and take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The ADA covers employment, education, public programs, and public services. This law was amended in 2008 and significantly expanded its protections.
This law covers public accommodations, including libraries, museums, and other public areas that are open to the public. Attendant services such as food service, housing, and camping grounds are also covered. The law defines a disability as an “impairment in physical or mental function that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
The law also includes intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and chronic illnesses. In addition, the law ensures that disabled students are provided an education free of charge that is appropriate for their abilities.
Protecting a student’s right to privacy
FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, is the federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This law applies to public and private schools, educational institutions, and educational agencies that receive federal funding. The law gives parents a leg up on the disclosure of their child’s personally identifiable information.
The law isn’t as simple as it sounds. Schools must be FERPA compliant, and they must follow the rules. FERPA requires that school districts obtain a written consent before disclosing information. In the case of health records, schools must determine on a case by case basis whether the information is necessary. In the most basic sense, a student who is suffering from a medical emergency must be given priority over other students.
Rights of students with disabilities
Whether you are a parent of a child with a disability, a teacher, or just interested in the law, there are many important facts to know about the rights of students with disabilities in special education law. These laws are designed to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination, and ensure that they have access to services, programs, and facilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of three major laws in the United States that protect people with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, public accommodations, state and local government programs, and public schools. It provides civil rights protections for all individuals with disabilities in programs that receive federal funding.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees free appropriate public education for children with disabilities. It also provides discretionary grants for state educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to educate children with disabilities.