When you have a child with specialized education needs, you’ve likely encountered an Individualized Education Program (IEP). At its core, an IEP is a legally binding document that provides accommodations for students with disabilities.
Knowing your rights as a parent is crucial in the creation and execution of your child’s IEP. There are six rights you should learn and advocate for:
1. Right to Information: You have the right to be informed about the special education process, including eligibility, evaluation procedures and IEP development. Schools must provide written notice before any changes occur.
2. Right to Participation: You can actively participate in meetings and decision-making related to your child’s education. This includes attending IEP meetings, contributing to goal setting and collaborating with school personnel.
3. Right to Consent: Schools require written parental consent for evaluations or changes in services. You can review evaluation reports, receive copies of the IEP and provide input on services and supports.
4. Right to Independent Evaluation: If parents disagree with the school’s evaluation or services, they can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense. The IEE results must be considered.
5. Right to Review and Revise the IEP: You can review the
IEP annually and request changes as needed. You can also request additional meetings to address concerns, propose modifications or discuss progress.
6. Right to Dispute Resolution: If disagreements arise, you have the right to pursue dispute resolution options such as mediation, due process hearings or filing complaints.
While creating and implementing an IEP may have its challenges, you’re never alone in the journey. FACT Oregon, a nonprofit, is a go-to for providing families exceptional guidance. With a little know-how, navigating the IEP process is less intimidating and more empowering for parents in supporting their child’s education experience.
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Audrey Benson Behavior Supervisor
KIDS NW connects families with compassionate caregivers, specially trained in serving individuals with disabilities.