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Learning Disabilities

Family Rights

tutorFamilies of children with disabilities have the right to:

Be informed
Families must:

  • be fully informed by the school about their rights in the special education process
  • be notified in writing before an evaluation, re-evaluation or change in their child’s classification or placement
  • give “informed consent” (this means that parents understand and agree with the decisions) before an initial evaluation or placement
  • attend and participate in any meetings in which their child’s education is being discussed, including Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings
  • invite others involved in the child’s life to participate in the meetings
  • tape record meetings
  • request translations if English is not their primary language
  • be kept informed of their child’s progress at least as often as parents of non-disabled children
  • examine their child’s educational records, have them explained, and request that information that is inaccurate or inappropriate be corrected
  • Participate in decisions
    This includes decisions about:

  • whether the child should be evaluated by a team of professionals who have knowledge about the child
  • whether the child should be classified as disabled
  • what goals should be included on the child’s IEP or IFSP
  • what related services the child should receive
  • where the child should be educated
  • Disagree
    When families do not agree with the school’s recommendations about their child’s education, they have the right to:

  • request that their child be re-evaluated or be evaluated by someone outside the school (which may be done at the school’s expense)
  • refuse to consent to decisions about their child’s classification, evaluation or placement
  • refuse to sign an IEP document; parents have 10 school days to think about the IEP before signing it
  • participate in a meeting to resolve disagreements with the child’s IEP team within 15 days of notifying the team of their complaint in writing
  • request an impartial due process hearing; this means that an impartial hearing officer listens to all parties and decides what is to be done, according to the law
  • Back to Educational Rights Home

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