Your Basic Special Ed Rights


Your Basic Special Education Rights

  1. Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • Meets the individual unique needs of the students in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The goal of the least restrictive environment (LRE) is to integrate special needs children into the general education children’s pool as much as possible.


  1. Appropriate Evaluation
  • Use knowledgeable and trained evaluators
  • Employ an array of tests and procedures to obtain information about the student


  1. Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • An IEP is an individualized education program for a particular child.
  • The IEP team includes parents, and relevant school personnel

-Together the team develops an IEP that includes:

  • Description of current level of functioning.
  • Yearly objectives.


  1. Parent and Student Participation in Decision-Making
  • Parents and students have the right to really participate in the meeting
  • Parents and students have the right to have all the materials presented at an IEP meeting explained to them
  • Parents and students have the right to have IEP information discussed at the meeting translated into their primary language.


  1. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Act) wants students with disabilities to be with their non-disabled peers, in general education classrooms, whenever possible.
  • Determinations about the most appropriate environment for a student are made by the IEP team.
  • Self-contained classrooms, separate schools, and/or homebound or hospital services continue to be available when the nature or severity of a student’s disability is such that a less restrictive placement cannot be achieved adequately, even with the assistance of special education services, modifications, and accommodations.


  1. Procedural Due Process
  • School districts must obtain parental consent before testing a student for special education, or before exiting a student from special education.
  • School districts must provide written notice to parents before initiating, changing, or refusing to change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student.
  • School districts must provide parents, upon request by parents, with information about independent educational evaluations, including where they can be obtained. School districts must consider any independent educational evaluation presented by a parent at an IEP meeting.

Parental consent is required before an IEP can be implemented.

  • Parents have the right to file Compliance Complaints when school districts do not provide services and supports as agreed to in an IEP, or otherwise violate IDEA.
  • Parents have a right to a formal legal process, the Due Process Hearing, to resolve disputes about IEP eligibility, supports, and services or placement.




  1. AbilityHub Assistive Technology Solutions

  • This is a website indexes and describes assistive technology for people who find it difficult to operate a computer.


  1. Apps for Children with Special Needs

  • This site maintains a large list of educational applications for children with special needs.


  1. CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) Learning Tools

  • This website provides free multimedia tools for students, teachers, and parents.


More Resources:

  1. Disability Rights California:
  2. Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF):
  3. California Statutes and Training:
  4. Recent case decisions (California):

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