DISABILITY ACCESS: Empowering Tribal Members with Disabilities & Their Families
Provided by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
The law guaranteed that EVERY child was entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). It did not matter how severe his or her disability.
IDEA also mandated that all students had to have a written Individual Education Plan describing assessment results, goals, educational services and the amount of time a student would spend in the regular classroom. (IEPs are discussed in detail in the special education workshop.)
Parents' rights under IDEA include the right to be informed before any evaluation of their child for special education, to obtain an independent evaluation, to see all of their child's records, participate in the development of the IEP and request a due process hearing if differences with the school cannot be resolved.
Children have the right to be tested in the language they know best. The law also stated that children should be educated in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE). The least restrictive environment possible would be to live at home and attend regular classes with students who do not have disabilities. People with disabilities can only be removed from the regular classroom when their disability is so severe that, even with assistance, they cannot achieve their educational goals in the regular classroom. Under the original law it was required for students to be evaluated every three years, the most current law allows for this to be waived in some cases. We strongly recommend that you insist your child be evaluated every three years.
In plain English - the school district must provide a free education for your child. If they cannot meet your child's needs within the school, they, not you, are required to pay for services from some other school, school district or professional. The tests your child was given and they services they are to receive must be in writing. You can get a second opinion if you don't agree with the school's recommendations.
Click here for more information on special education law from Caring for Our People staff training, also offered by Spirit Lake Consulting.
Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
Email us at: Info@SpiritLakeConsulting.com