The education of children with disabilities is a top national priority. Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.
As a parent of a child who is or who may be receiving special education, you have certain rights which are guaranteed by the IDEA.This law outlines a process which ensures that you have the opportunity and right to be involved as an equal member of the team that makes decisions about your child.
Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.
Rules and regulations based on IDEA vary from state to state. The Utah Parent Center has created a handbook called Parents as Parents as Partners in the IEP Process – A Parent Handbook, fact sheets, and videos just for parents! This information provides an overview, information, and suggestions of what you as a parent can do to prepare to participate in and follow up on IEP meetings and for your important role as an equal member of the team that designs the IEP to meet your child’s needs.
For more information or assistance regarding the IEP, please feel free to contact one of our parent consultants at 801.272.1051 or 1.800.468.1160.
Since your role as a parent or guardian is so important, the schools are required to give you a copy of your procedural safeguards at least annually. The items covered in the Procedural Safeguards include: confidentiality of information; discipline; due process; children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools when free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) is an issue; and state complaint procedures. The Procedural Safeguards are provided in English, Arabic, Somali, Spanish, Tongan, Vietnamese and Navajo by the Utah State Board of Education.
Age 14 is an important year. The year your child turns 14 the IEP must include transition goals. These goals are geared to prepare your child for adult life. For more information on this subject, click here for the transition information and here for the IOTI/behavior pages.
The following are info sheets to help you become an effective member of the team at the school to ensure services for your child.
- IEP Team Building
- IEP Tips for Parents
- An Overview of the Special Education Process
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004
- McKinney-Vento Act
- Referral and Evaluation
- Sample Letter Requesting Independent Evaluation
- Eligibility for Special Education
- Developing the IEP
- Educational Goal Setting
- Student Participation in the IEP
- Behavior and Discipline and the IEP
- Transition Planning
- IEP Follow Up
- Parents Rights Summary