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What are my child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Randy Chapman The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older.

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Presentation on theme: "What are my child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Randy Chapman The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older."— Presentation transcript:

1 What are my child’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? Randy Chapman The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People Pamela Bisceglia AdvocacyDenver

2 What is the purpose of the procedural safeguards? Informs you of your rights under state and federal special education law Defines the authority of the parent (or school district) to protect the educational interests of the child

3 When will I be given a copy of the procedural safeguards? One time a school year, except that a copy must be given to the parents: 1. upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation; 2. upon receipt of the first State complaint or first due process complaint in a school year; 3. when a decision is made to take a disciplinary action that constitutes a change of placement; and 4. upon parent request

4 The teacher said the school is providing “FAPE” what does that mean? Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): The right of the child with a disability to receive the special education and related services outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) public expense (without charge) under public supervision and direction ages 3-21

5 Will my child’s right to FAPE continue if she goes to college? Your child’s right to FAPE ends: at the end of the semester in which she or he turns 21; or when the student graduates with a regular high school diploma. if the IEP team determines that he/she is no longer eligible as a student with disabilities under IDEA. if you choose to withdraw your consent for the provision of special education and related services.

6 What is a Prior Written Notice? The school district must provide you with written notice whenever the district: proposes an action concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of FAPE to your child; or refuses your request with respect to any of these items.

7 Examples (Prior Written Notice) Following the IEP meeting the school sends a letter to the parent that summarizes the IEP decisions and provides the date that the decisions will be implemented Parent requests that the school physical therapist increase the amount of time that they work with their child: written notice states action to be taken by the school

8 Parent Consent The school must obtain informed written consent before: conducting an initial evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services provide special education and related services when your child is initially identified under the IDEA Subsequent years, no requirement that you consent for ongoing services Conducting a reevaluation Documentation of reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent

9 Parent Consent The school district does not need to get your written consent to: Review existing data as part of your child's evaluation or a reevaluation; or Give your child a test or other evaluation that is given to all children unless, before that test or evaluation, consent is required from all parents of all children.

10 Parent Consent Information regarding your right to consent will be provided in your native language or other mode of communication. You should understand: the reason your written consent is being asked your consent is voluntary; you can revoke your consent at any time.

11 Student Records The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines parents rights regarding their child’s education records: to review and inspect your child’s education records. explanations and interpretations of the records; 1. representative inspect and review the records; and 2. copies of the records

12 What do I do if some of the information in my child’s records is wrong? request that the school district amend the information district must decide whether to amend the information if the district refuses to amend the information, it must inform you of the refusal and of your rights

13 What if I don’t think that the school’s special education evaluation is accurate? If a parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation of their child they may request that the school district pay for an independent evaluation submit request in writing the school district must: provide notice that the district will pay for the evaluation provide you information about where an IEE may be obtained and the school district’s criteria and qualifications of the examiner; or initiate a due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate.

14 Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) If it is determined that the school district’s evaluation is appropriate, or you seek an examiner that does not meet district criteria, you still have the right to an IEE, but not at public expense. If you obtain an IEE either at public or private expense, the results of that evaluation must be considered by the IEP team in any decision made with respect to the provision of a FAPE to your child, and may be presented as evidence at a due process hearing regarding your child.

15 What can I do if I disagree with the school about the way my child will be educated? At times, you may disagree with the school district’s identification, evaluation or proposed placement of your child or how it delivers services to your child. Attempts should be made to resolve these differences with school and district staff. If you are not satisfied, you may do any of the following: Mediation State Complaint Due Process Complaint

16 Mediation The parent and the public school district jointly have the right to request an impartial mediator to help reach a mutually agreeable solution. Mediation is: voluntary conducted by a qualified, impartial mediator at no cost to the parent cannot be used to delay or deny your right to a due process hearing or deny any other rights afforded under special education law. confidential and may not be used as evidence in subsequent due process hearings or civil proceedings. Agreement reached by the parties is legally binding CDE Mediation Coordinator

17 State Complaint Procedures You have a right to file a written complaint with the Colorado Department of Education if you feel the school district has violated special education rules or regulations. The written complaint must: include a statement that the school district has violated IDEA regulations or ECEA rules and the facts on which the statement is based. allege a violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date the complaint is filed.

18 Where would I file a State Complaint? Exceptional Student Leadership Unit State Complaints Officer Colorado Department of Education 1560 Broadway, Suite 1175 Denver, CO or

19 Due Process Complaint You have the right to file a Due Process Complaint regarding: the identification of a child suspected as having a disability the evaluation of your child; the educational placement of your child; the provision of a free appropriate public education The complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years prior to the date the complaint This time limit does not apply if the school district misrepresented that the problem forming the basis of the complaint was resolved or information required to be provided to the parent was withheld.

20 Due Process Complaint Before a hearing is initiated, you or your attorney must provide a written complaint for due process to the school district providing the following information: 1. name of your child; 2. address of residence of your child; 3. name of school your child is attending; 4. description of the problem(s), relating to the proposed or refused initiation or change, including related facts; and 5. a proposed resolution to the problem to the extent known and available to you at that time.

21 Who do I send my due process complaint to? The Director of Special Education for the District in which your child is enrolled; and Dispute Resolution Office Colorado Department of Education Exceptional Student Leadership Unit 1560 Broadway, Suite 1175 Denver, CO Fax:

22 RESOLUTION PROCESS Resolution meeting Resolution period Adjustments to the 30-calendar-day resolution period Written settlement agreement Agreement review period

23 Civil Action Any party aggrieved by the findings and decision made in a hearing, who does not have the right to appeal, and any party aggrieved by the decision of a reviewing officer has the right to bring a civil action in State or Federal Court. The party bringing the action shall have 90 days from the date of the decision being appealed to bring a civil action.

24 Contact Information The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People RandyChapman’s Ability Law Blog randychapman.wordpress.com AdvocacyDenver


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