Special Education - Disability Rights Oregon

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Special Education: A Guide for Parents & Advocates

 2012 Disability Rights Oregon 610 SW Broadway, Suite 200, Portland OR 97205 Voice: 503-243-2081 or 1-800-452-1694 Fax: 503-243-1738 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.droregon.org Written 1999 by Chuck Levin, Attorney Annie Villegas, Advocate James Wrigley, Attorney Updated 2008 & 2012 by Joel Greenberg, Attorney Susana Ramírez, Advocate Chris Shank, Attorney McKenna Lebens, Communications Specialist Disability Rights Oregon is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible and will be used to promote the rights of Oregonians with disabilities. Portions of this Guide may be reproduced without permission of Disability Rights Oregon, provided that the source is appropriately credited. NOTICE: This Guide contains general information about legal issues and legal rights and is not a substitute for legal advice. For specific information about how special education law affects your child, contact Disability Rights Oregon or your attorney.

Disability Rights Oregon [DRO] and Family and Community Together [FACT] are pleased to bring you the 6th edition of “Special Education: A Guide for Parents & Advocates.” As Oregon’s designated Protection & Advocacy [P&A] System for 35 years, DRO has a unique role: to uphold the legal rights of people with disabilities. FACT is a family leadership organization working collaboratively to facilitate positive change in policies, systems, and attitudes, through family support, advocacy, and partnerships. By combining the legal expertise of DRO with FACT’s statewide contact with families, our organizations seek to make this invaluable information accessible to Oregon families experiencing disability. DRO and FACT share a vision: a vision of a future where people with disabilities will experience full equality of opportunity and full participation in society. One of the first steps to attaining this Guide goal is empowering families with information regarding their Purpose of this children’s education early on, so that they can advocate for the free and appropriate This Guide [FAPE] was written provide and advocates accuratewith information and education that to their child parents is entitled to in the with Individuals Disabilities answers to questions about special education for children enrolled in Oregon’s public Education Act. schools from Kindergarten to 21 years of age. The information in the Guide reflects recent changes the major federal state of laws regulations education that affect special education. Likewise,tounderstanding the and nuances an and individualized plan [IEP] and how to be an effective member of the team is critically important for families. If issues arise, While wewant maytomake references students in steps private school, disputes. parents of private you will be familiar with to your child’senrolled rights and to resolve school students should consult the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) website, which a section on Parentallyfrom Placed Private School Students: Parent has participation in Special the IEPEducation process isforimportant early intervention to the www.ode.state.or.us. transition into adulthood. FACT and DRO invite you to use this guide as a reference any time you have a question pertaining to your child’s special education services. Please see our websites (www.factoregon.org and www.droregon.org) for additional resources. We look forward to hearing from you!

Bob Joondeph Executive Director, DRO

Roberta Dunn Executive Director, FACT

Purpose of this Guide This Guide was written to provide parents and advocates with accurate information and answers to questions about special education for children enrolled in Oregon’s public schools from Kindergarten to 21 years of age. The information in the Guide reflects recent changes to the major federal and state laws and regulations that affect special education. While we may make references to students enrolled in p