|Know the law
IDEA, the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, is our nation’s special education law. The IDEA guides how states, school districts, and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.IDEA Statue 2004 http://idea.ed.gov/download/statute.html
IDEA Explained http://www.theparentaladvocate.com/idea-explained.htm
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, Public Law (PL) 107-110, is the nation’s latest general education law. It amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and has brought sweeping changes to our educational systems. What does the law require, what does it change about education, how are states responding, and what does the law mean for children with disabilities? http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html
Understanding NCLB http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/qkey1.pdf
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Before there was IDEA, there was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 of this Act continues to play an important role in education, especially for students with disabilities who may not qualify for special education services under IDEA. http://www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/statutes/sec504.htm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 504 Facts Sheet http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/factsheets/504.pdf
Americans with Disabilities Act – The ADA Passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President in July 1990, the ADA is the first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. The ADA protects the civil rights of people with disabilities in all aspects of employment, in accessing public services such as transportation, and guaranteeing access to public accommodations such as restaurants, stores, hotels and other types of buildings to which the public has access. http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards_prt.pdf
Assistive Technology Act Assistive technology can greatly improve the access and function of people with disabilities in school, work, home, and community. The Assistive Technology Act is intended to ensure that people with disabilities have access to assistive technology devices and services. Find your state’s AT program! http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-118/pdf/STATUTE-118-Pg1707.pdf
Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) is a document from the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (published in October 2013). This state document contains the compliance requirements and standards that Michigan public agencies must provide in regards to Special Education. http://michigan.gov/documents/mde/MARSE_Supplemented_with_IDEA_Regs_379598_7.pdf
Wrightslaw is a website where parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys go for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. www.wrightslaw.com
Special Education Laws and Policies http://michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_6598_7376—,00.html
Know the IEP process
An Educator and Parent Primer on Special Education Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Definitions http://doe.sd.gov/oess/documents/sped_advisory_Acronym_Primer.pdf
Individual Educational Plan Team (IEP Team) IDEA Statute: TITLE I / B / 614 / d / 1 / B, Definition of IEP Team http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cstatute%2CI%2CB%2C614%2Cd%2C1%2CB%2C
Individual Educational Plan (IEP) IDEA Sec. 300.320, Definition of IEP http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cregs%2C300%2CD%2C300%252E320%2C
IEP Explained by The Special Education Guide http://www.specialeducationguide.com/pre-k-12/individualized-education-programs-iep/the-iep-process-explained/
Wrightslaw IEP has FAQ, Pop-Ups & Checklists,Tactics & Strategies, Law and Regulations, Special Education Cases, Good Books about IEPs, Surviving Due Process, and Free Pubs & Resources! http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.index.htm
Transportation, The IDEA, at 20 U.S.C. § 1401(a)(22), explains that transportation is a “related service” for students who are identified with a disability under that law. The link below will provide an excellent guide, http://doe.sd.gov/oess/documents/SPED_Transportation_Guide.pdf
How to Request a One-to-One Aide for Your Child by Wayne Steedman, Esq. http://fcsn.org/pti/topics/iep/tools/request_aide.pdf
Assistive Technology http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/atech.index.htm
Michigan’s Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) provides information services, support materials, and technical assistance to local and intermediate school districts in Michigan to increase their capacity to address the needs of students with disabilities for assistive technology. http://mits.cenmi.org/
MITS provides information about state-of-the-art technology, daily living devices, equipment, and the identification of assistive technology solutions for children with disabilities. The MITS staff research resources and provide current information on products, services, and service providers in the field of assistive technology.
MITS also maintains a collection of catalogs, reprints, and publications that aid assistive technology personnel in the schools. In addition, MITS provides in-services, workshops, seminars, and training opportunities for education professionals and others. MITS also maintains a software and equipment lending library. MITS.
The Michigan Alliance for Families (734) 994-8100 Ext. 1590 MAF is a statewide information center that can provide parents of students with disabilities the information they need to advocate for their own children and connect parents with advocates in their own community. This is always a great place to start.
The Arc Michigan
The mission of The Arc Michigan is to ensure that people with Developmental Disabilities are valued in order that they and their families can participate fully in and contribute to their community.(517) 487-5426 or (800) 292-7851 www.arcmi.org
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service 4095 Legacy Parkway, suite 500 Lansing, MI 48911-4263 www.mpas.org 1-800-288-5923 MPAS provides education, advocacy and legal assistance for individuals with a disability.
University of Michigan Law School Pediatric Advocacy Clinic (734) 763-1942 The Pediatric Advocacy Clinic (PAC) is a medical-legal partnership that practices at both the federal and state level in courts, administrative agencies, and local school districts. Casework includes domestic violence and family law, special education, public benefits, and low-income housing.
Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education 1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325 Cleveland, OH 44115-1812 ( 216) 522-4970 FAX: (216) 522-2573; TDD: 800-877-8339 Email: OCR.Cleveland@ed.gov The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.
Mediation is available throughout the state for free for special education disputes. A trained mediator can help improve communication, avoid conflict, ensure everyone’s voice is heard and establish productive relationships. Great for families with longstanding challenges with districts — or anytime things seem “stuck.” For more information, call 1-800-8RESOLVE or see http://msemp.cenmi.org/
Michigan Department of Education Official website provides information about the department including a phone directory, reports, and resources from various offices throughout Michigan. www.michigan.gov/mde
Project Perform provides information, resources, and support to empower individuals, families, professionals, and communities to enhance outcomes for children and young adults with special needs in Michigan. http://www.bridges4kids.org/pdf/PERFORMBrochure.pdf
Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH) serves people with mental illness, emotional disturbance and developmental disabilities living in these six Michigan counties: Crawford, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Missaukee, Roscommon, and Wexford. Priority is given to individuals with the most severe forms of serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, and developmental disability. Community Mental Health 105 Hall St. Unit A Traverse City, MI 49684 www.northernlakescmh.org (231) 922-4850
Respite care info-
Family Support Subsidy Program- Provided through Northern Lakes Community Mental Health. The Family Support Subsidy is one of an array of community-based, family-centered support services that makes it possible for children with developmental disabilities to remain with and to return to their birth or adoptive families. The subsidy provides a monthly stipend ($222.11) that the family must spend on special needs that occur as a result of caring for a child with a severe disability at home.
Supplemental Security Income-
This booklet is for the parents, caregivers or representatives of children younger than age 18 who have disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It is also for adults who became disabled in childhood and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. (We call this SSDI benefit a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.)
Michigan Department of Community Health-
Programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Children’s Special Health Care Services Division Michigan Department of Community Health 320 S. Walnut
State CHIP Program
(health care for low-income uninsured children) MIChild P.O. Box 30412
State Department of Education: Special Education
State Coordinator for NCLB (No Child Left Behind)
Office of School Improvement Michigan Department of Education P.O. Box 30008
Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Ages Birth through 2
State Special Education Funding for Children with Disabilities: Ages Birth Through 26
Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services Michigan Department of Education P.O. Box 30008
Councils on Developmental Disabilities
State Mediation System
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Speech, Language, and Hearing
Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association 790 W. Lake Lansing Road, Suite 500A
**Organizations for Parents**
Parent Training and Information Center (PTI)
Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc.
Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. is the federally mandated
An Advocate’s Manual
“Special Education: An Advocate’s Manual,” is MPAS’ guide to the rights and laws that govern special education and other rights of children with disabilities in Michigan. Each chapter includes a brief summary, a list of “Advocacy Hints,” detailed descriptions of state and federal rights, sample letters and forms (including the Michigan Department of Education’s model IEP form), and resources for more information. The manual is divided into 15 chapters and can be downloaded or ordered in hard copy by contacting MPAS.
Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns and Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing 201 N. Washington Square, Suite 150
To find out the contact information for the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) in your state, contact: Independent Living Research Utilization Project The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research 2323 South Sheppard, Suite 1000
To find out the contact information for centers for independent living (CILs) in your state, contact: National Council on Independent Living 1710 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, 5th Floor
The following link contains sample letters that can be used when facing a number of situations. These letters are simply suggestions for the reader and should be modified as needed to fit the reader’s individual facts and situation.
Michigan Legal Help