Educational Rights means that every child in this country who has a disability – no matter the nature of the disability – has the right to a public education at no cost to their families.
The federal law that gives children with disabilities from birth to age 21 the right to a free and appropriate education is called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under this law, an appropriate education means that educational services must be individually designed to meet a child’s unique needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This is written in a child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides
The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education provides IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Hmong, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, Burmese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Somali.
Procedural Safeguards Notice
Schools provide families with a document called the “Procedural Safeguards Notice” that describe the rights that families have in the special education process. This document is lengthy but includes important information. There are several resources available to help families understand the contents of this document and their rights that you can access on this page.
ConsultLine, Office for Dispute Resolution
ConsultLine is a toll-free information help line for families and advocates of children with disabilities who have questions or concerns about the education of a school-aged child. ConsultLine specialists answer questions and provide information about special education, gifted education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. More information about ConsultLine here.
You can reach the ConsultLine at the following telephone numbers: 1-800-879-2301 (in Pennsylvania) and 717-901-2146 (outside of Pennsylvania).
In collaboration with HUNE, the Spanish HelpLine Plus is available for callers who would like to speak with a specialist in Spanish.