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Resources on Special Education Laws
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
ERIC EC Minibib EB26
Compiled by Barbara Sorenson
Anderson, Winifred and others. (1997). Negotiating the Special Education Maze: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Woodbine House, 6510 Bells Mill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. 264pp.
Designed to assist parents and teachers in understanding the complex procedures of special education, this book describes the process for obtaining school services for children with disabilities. It reviews six major provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that relate to children's rights to a free, appropriate public education and parent involvement in decision-making. It also addresses the special education planning cycle and key people in the process, ways for parents to provide information to professionals working with their child, eligibility decisions, individualized education programs, and other related topics.
Borreca, Christopher P. and others. (1999). The 1999 IDEA Regulations: A Practical Analysis. National School Boards Association, NSBA Distribution Center, PO Box 161, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. 78pp.
This publication explains how some of the significant 1999 regulations of IDEA will affect schools providing services to children in need of special education. The original text of each selected provision is presented, followed by a description of its conformance to the statute and any significant changes made from the proposed rule. Next, an analysis points out legal issues that the regulation raises from the school district's perspective and offers practical suggestions on how schools should ensure compliance.
Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc. (1999). Section 504 and the ADA Promoting Student Access: A Resource Guide for Educators. 615 16th Street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. 38pp.
Designed for educators, this guide provides an overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and compares and contrasts it with the requirements of IDEA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It discusses the power of Section 504 as a civil rights law protecting the rights of students with disabilities. The guide explains eligibility for Section 504 protections, the evaluation process, services, and parental notices. Commonly asked questions regarding eligibility, accommodations, services, and disciplinary requirements about Section 504 are then answered.
The Council for Exceptional Children. (1999). IDEA 1997: Let's Make It Work. 1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704. 97pp.
This publication is designed to assist teachers, parents, and administrators in understanding what the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act now requires and how the provisions of both the law and regulations affect services and programs for children with disabilities. It provides information about both statutory and regulatory elements for 15 topical areas through a question-and-answer format. Topics include general statutory questions, definitions of disabilities and related services, parental involvement, eligibility, cultural diversity, evaluation and reevaluation, and individualized education programs. An extensive summary of the law is also included.
The Council for Exceptional Children. (1999). IEP Team Guide. 1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704. 103pp.
This guide was developed to assist all members of the individualized education program (IEP) team better understand their roles and responsibilities as team members. It explains what federal law requires, provides practical advice for carrying out each role, and suggests additional resources to help prepare compliant and productive IEPs. Individual chapters cover assessing the present level of educational performance and developing measurable goals, short-term objectives, and benchmarks; providing access to the general education curriculum; and providing supplementary aids and services.
Fiedler, Craig R. (2000). Making a Difference: Advocacy Competencies for Special Education Professionals. Allyn & Bacon, A Pearson Education Company, Needham Heights, MA 20494. 258pp.
This book highlights the advocacy responsibilities of special education professionals and provides useful tools for functioning as an advocate for children with disabilities and their families. It addresses the essential skills, or competencies, needed to fulfill this important function. It discusses necessary atttitudes, knowledge bases, and specific advocacy skills such as effective communication, collaboration, and confilict resolution.
Gorin, Susan. (1997). What Do I Do When...:The Answer Book on Special Education Law. LRP Publications, PO Box 980, Horsham, PA. 459pp.
In a question-and-answer format, this book presents a comprehensive guide to special education law, especially the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It covers such topics as eligibility under IDEA; evaluations; free appropriate public education (FAPE); individualized education programs (IEPs) including development, content, and implementation; placement decisions; procedural safeguards for parental notification; due process hearings and appeals; financial responsibility; discipline, suspensions and expulsion. Tables list regulations, statute cross-references, and cases.
Hollis, James N. (1998). Conducting Individualized Education Program Meetings that Withstand Due Process: The Informal Evidentiary Proceeding. Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Ltd., 2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62794-9265. 171pp.
This book is intended to help participants in individualized education program (IEP) meetings comply with basic requirements of IDEA in a defensible way, and offers an approach to putting data before the IEP team, structuring deliberations, and documenting decisions. It stresses that participants should assume their decisions will be scrutinized legally, and therefore that IEP decisions should be comprehensive, relevant, and based on verifiable fact and qualified opinion. It identifies all the elements and requirements of the various types of IEP meetings.
Huefner, Dixie Snow. (2000). Getting Comfortable with Special Education Law: A Framework for Working with Children with Disabilities. Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc. 1502 Providence Highway, Suite 12, Norwood, MA 02060. 334pp.
This book is about special education law and children with disabilities. Written for practitioners (special and general education teachers, principals, superintendents), it presents an overview of special education law as it has affected children with disabilities over the past 25 years. Topic areas include overviews of IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ADA, due process, dispute resolution, eligibility, assessment, and discipline.
Miller, Lynda and Newbill, Chris. (1998). Section 504 in the Classroom: How To Design and Implement Accommodation Plans. PRO-ED, Inc., 8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin, TX 78757-6897. 116pp.
This book is a guide to provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 relevant to educational settings. Emphasis is on using Section 504 plans to design accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities that address individual strengths and needs. It also provides guidance for developing a Section 504 training program, including factors to consider in planning a workshop and components of a one-day Section 504 inservice. Appendices include sample forms for a policies and procedures handbook and handouts for a Section 504 workshop.
Osborne, Allan G., Jr. (1996). Legal Issues in Special Education. Allyn & Bacon, 160 Gould Street, Needham Heights, MA 02194-2315. 272pp.
Designed to provide educators with comprehensive information about special education law, especially IDEA, this book covers the procedural rights that students with disabilities and their parents have under IDEA regarding the identification of the student's disabilities and the development of individualized education programs. It describes the dispute resolution process under IDEA. It identifies factors that must be considered when making placement decisions, procedures required when school officials discipline special education students, and the remedies available to parents when a school district fails to comply with the law.
Siegel, Lawrence M. (1999). The Complete IEP Guide: How To Advocate for Your Special Education Child. Nolo Press, Inc., 950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. 200pp.
The purpose of this book is to help parents of children with disabilities effectively proceed on their own through the individualized education program (IEP) process. It is designed to help parents understand special education law, eligibility rules, the role of assessment, determining specific educational goals for their child, preparing for and participating in the IEP meeting, developing the child's IEP plan, and resolving disputes with the school district.
Turnbull, H. Rutherford and Turnbull, Ann P. (1998). Free Appropriate Public Education: The Law and Children with Disabilities. Love Publishing Company, 1777 South Bellaire Street, Denver, CO 80222. 400pp.
This book examines the school's legal responsibility to provide equal educational opportunities for children with disabilities under IDEA. It highlights six principles of special education law: the right of every child to a free, appropriate education; nondiscriminatory testing, placement, and classification; individualized education; least restrictive placement; procedural due process; and parent participation/shared decision making. It also presents common objections to these six principles and answers those objections.
Yell, Mitchell L. (1998). The Law and Special Education. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458. 410pp.
This textbook provides information on the legal development of special education, the current legal requirements in providing a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, and the procedures involved in obtaining legal information in law libraries and on the Internet. Topics include sources of law, and law and special education; legal research on the Internet; the history of the law and children with disabilities; free appropriate public education; the individualized education program and procedural safeguards.
Baird, Melinda Maloney. (1999). IDEA Procedural Safeguards: Parents' Rights, Districts' Responsibilities. LRP Publications, PO Box 980, Horsham, PA.
This 17-minute video explains parents' rights to develop an educational program for their child, and the school district's responsibilities to provide services to students with disabilities under IDEA.
Baird, Melinda Maloney. (1999). The New IDEA Regulations: Know Your Legal Responsibilities. LRP Publications, PO Box 980, Horsham, PA.
These videos present the key differences between the former IDEA regulations and the 1999 IDEA regulations. Volume One highlights Child Find, evaluations, and IEPs. Volume Two includes coverage of key changes to discipline, procedural safeguards, and due process.
Bateman, Barbara. (1999). Legal IEPs: A Common Sense Approach. The Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704.
In this 2-hour videotape workshop, the author answers many key questions that have been raised about individualized education programs (IEPs) since the 1997 amendments to IDEA and the 1999 regulations. The videotape reviews the unchanging basics. Participants are taught about the heart of the IEP: addressing the unique educational needs of the student. The functional assessment of behavior and the behavior intervention plan is also described. Finally, examples are provided of "wrong headed" IEPs and how they can be made into educationally useful documents for students with special needs.
Bateman, Barbara. (1999). Understanding IDEA 1997 and the 1999 Regulations. The Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704
The United State Congress amended IDEA in 1997 to reflect changes in the special education field over the previous 20 years. In this 2-hour videotape, the author presents her insights about changes in IDEA law and regulations and the law's increased emphasis on structure and discipline. Speaking to a group of teachers and parents, she describes the "who," the "what," and the "where" of the IEP process, stressing the need for professional judgment and common sense.
Hanlon, Grace M. (1998). A New IDEA for Special Education: Understanding the System and the New Law. The Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201-5704
This video aimed at parents and teachers presents the requirements of IDEA 1997 and highlights the referral process, evaluation, IEPs, placement and related services, preparing for transitions, discipline, mediation, and the standardized testing requirement.
Hartwig, Eric and Gary Ruesch. (1999). Discipline Under the New IDEA: Practical Methods and Procedures. LRP Publications, PO Box 980, Horsham, PA.
The 1999 IDEA regulations have drastically changed the way students with disabilities are disciplined. This video provides a practical explanation of the methods and procedures school officials may use to discipline students with disabilities under the new regulations. An overview of key changes involving suspension, expulsion, and placement, and a review of the basic IDEA and statutory requirements are provided.
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