The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards.
As a parent, you are entitled to information about the rights provided under IDEA. These procedural safeguards will be made available to you, at least one time a school year. This typically occurs during the annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and you may be asked to sign that you have received this document. However an additional copy must be given to you during the following:
• Upon an initial referral or parental request for a multi-factored evaluation
• In accordance with the discipline procedures when a change in placement occurs
• Upon receipt of the first complaint made to the state in a school year
• Upon the receipt of the first request for a due process hearing in a school year
• When an alternative assessment is determined to be more appropriate for your child rather than the mandated state assessments
• Upon parental request to receive a copy
Parents may elect to receive a copy of these safeguards and required notices by email if the school district makes that option available. A district may also place a current copy of the procedural safeguards notice on its Internet website.
This copy of procedural safeguards helps parents to understand the rights that go along with programs for students with disabilities. It includes a description of those rights that apply to students with disabilities enrolled in public schools as well as those that apply to students enrolled by their parents in non-profit private schools.
The written notice of procedural safeguard must include the following information:
1. Describe the action that your school district proposes or refuses to take;
2. Explain why your school district is proposing or refusing to take action;
3. Describe each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report your school district used in deciding to propose or refuse the action;
4. Include a statement that you have protections under the procedural safeguards provisions in Part B of the IDEA;
5. Tell you how you can obtain a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards if the
action that your school district is proposing or refusing is not an initial referral for evaluation;
6. Include resources for you to contact for help in understanding Part B of the IDEA;
7. Describe any other choices that your child's individual educational plan (IEP) team considered and the reasons why those choices were rejected; and
8. Provide a description of other reasons why your school district proposed or refused the action.
This notice must be in understandable language in that it must be written in such a way as it is understandable to the general public and provided in parent’s native language or other mode of communication.
Additional information on procedural safeguards will be provided in upcoming articles.