There are many, many resources available to help people with disabilities, their families, and educators navigate the education system. You can also contact DRM if you need more help finding a resource. Here are some books, websites, and organizations you should look at:
- Randy Chapman, The Everyday Guide to Special Education Law (Disability Law Colorado 3rd ed. 2015)
- Melissa L. Farall, et al., All About Tests and Assessments (Harbor House Law Press 2014)
- Pam Wright & Pete Wright, From Emotions to Advocacy (Harbor House Law Press 2d ed., 2014) This book is a must have for any parent or parent advocate.
- Peter W.D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright, Special Education Law (Harbor House Law Press 2d ed., 2014)
Please review these forms carefully and make necessary changes. These forms are designed to be customized. Do NOT send as they currently appear. We suggest sending forms via certified mail with return receipt requested. By requesting the receipt, you will be able to track that the recipient received the letter, and you should keep the receipt with other important papers you have on your child. Some forms includes a “cc” at the end. We suggest you mail a carbon copy of the letter to these individuals, but you do not need to send them with a return receipt requested – regular mail should be fine.
a. DRM Education Unit Intake Form – This form should be completed by a person seeking assistance from DRM′s education unit. You can fill this out in advance before calling or with the assistance of one of our intake specialists when you call. [PDF] [Word Document]
b. Request for Part C Early Intervention Evaluation – This form is used to request an evaluation of a child, age 0-3 for early intervention services. It is directed to the local Early Head Start program, not the local school district. [PDF] [Word Document]
c. Request for Initial Evaluation – This form is used to request an initial evaluation for a child age 3 and up. It is directed to the local school district. It could also be used to request a re-evaluation if you modify the form to be clear that you are seeking a re-evaluation and why. [PDF] [Word Document]
e. Records Request – This form is used to request all of your child’s educational records from a school district. The requester should give the school district a reasonable amount of time to comply with the request, generally at least a week or two, unless the records are needed sooner for an upcoming meeting regarding the student. [PDF] [Word Document]
h. Follow-up Letter to IEP Meeting – This is a general format letter to follow-up on any concerns an IEP team member may have after an IEP meeting. It is important to document any concerns promptly, completely, and in writing after an IEP meeting. For example, you might send this letter to indicate that items discussed at the IEP meeting were not included in the meeting notes and to ask that they be included in the meeting notes before the IEP is finalized. It is a good idea to send a similar letter outlining concerns that should be discussed before an IEP meeting and proposing an agenda for the meeting. [PDF] [Word Document]
i. Request for General Reasonable Accommodation for Student – This form may be used to request a general reasonable accommodation from the District. This form may be modified to request various types of accommodations. Please be sure to change it to reflect your personal information and what the student needs. [PDF] [Word Document]
j. Request for Reasonable Accommodation for Out-of-School Student – This form may be used to request a reasonable accommodation to a District′s attendance policy. This often comes up when a student cannot attend because of his disability, but the District is reporting him as truant and the county attorney is threatening prosecution for truancy. There is one form for a student on an IEP and another form for a student on a 504 plan. This form could be modified to request other types of accommodations as well. [PDF-IEP] [Word Document-IEP] [PDF-504] [Word Document-504]
l. Request for School Board Policies – This form is used to request information about a District′s policies and procedures and may be limited to policies and procedures about a certain topic (e.g., student discipline). [PDF] [Word Document]
m. Notice Regarding Disability-based Bullying or Harassment – This sample letter is used to notify the school that a student is being bullied because of his/her disability, and to request that the school investigate and intervene to stop the bullying or harassment from occurring. [PDF] [Word Document]
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Organizations and Websites
Montana or Rocky Mountain Region specific
- Disability Rights Montana: Montana’s designated P&A. www.disabilityrightsmt.org
- Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Early Childhood Services Bureau: http://dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/ChildCare.aspx
- Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI): http://opi.mt.gov/ and OPI’s special education site: http://opi.mt.gov/Programs/SpecialEd/Index.html
- Montana’s Parent Training and Information Center: http://www.montanapti.org/web/index.php?siteid=2832
- Rocky Mountain ADA Center: http://www.rockymountainada.org/
- The Rural Institute on Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana: http://www.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): http://www.asha.org/
- Autism Speaks: https://www.autismspeaks.org/
- The Epilepsy Foundation: http://www.epilepsy.com/
- Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University: http://www.fcrr.org/
- Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE): www.foodallergy.org
- International Dyslexia Association: http://eida.org/
- National Center for Learning Disabilities: http://www.ncld.org/
- The National Center for Learning Disabilities, RTI Action Network website at http://www.rtinetwork.org/
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (OSEP) website: http://www.pbis.org/
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC): www.cec.sped.org
- Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, the leading organization for parent attorneys and advocates in the U.S.: http://www.copaa.org/
- National Association of Gifted Children: www.nagc.org
- National Center on Intensive Intervention (American Institutes for Research), presents tools and resources on educational interventions and progress monitoring: http://www.intensiveintervention.org/
- The National Center on Disability and Access to Education focuses on web-based accessible educational content: http://ncdae.org/
- The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (funded by OSEP): http://www.directionservice.org/cadre/index.cfm
- National Education Association (NEA): www.nea.org
- National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Youth and Education Resources site at https://nlchp.org/youth_education_rights/
- Parent training and information centers (PTIC) (www.parentcenterhub.org)
- U.S. Department of Education (ED). ED’s website at www.ed.gov is filled with all types of information about education. ED maintains a website dedicated to IDEA at http://idea.ed.gov/
- ED’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services administers IDEA. Its website is: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/index.html?src=oc
- OSEP and OSERS guidance can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/index.html
- ED Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidance can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/publications.html#General-Pubs
- What Works Clearinghouse (ED) – compiles scientific research on effectiveness of educational interventions: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/aboutus.aspx
- Yellow Pages for Kids – compiles service providers and resources for children with disabilities in each state: http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/
Disability Issues Generally
- Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: national policy and advocacy group. http://www.bazelon.org/
- Disability.Gov: comprehensive site linking to a huge variety of agencies and information about disability. https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/disability.htm
- National Disability Rights Network: National network of protection and advocacy organizations (P&As). www.ndrn.org
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division: https://www.justice.gov/crt
The Education section of the DRM website was supported in part by a generous grant from the Montana Justice Foundation.
This site provides general information only and is not intended to provide exhaustive manual to education law. Education law is complicated and comes from a combination of federal and state law and regulations, court interpretations of law and regulation, and administrative agency guidance. The law is complex and changes all the time, therefore there is no guarantee that information on this site is accurate, complete or applicable in your specific situation.
The facts of each case are unique and how the law applies in any situation depends on the particular facts of the case. For legal advice about specific facts you should consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your area.
Nothing on this site should be relied on as legal advice, as a substitute for consultation with an attorney or the exercise of sound, independent judgment by the user. If you have any questions about anything on this site, you should consult an attorney. Use of the site does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship or consent to provide any legal or advocacy services by Disability Rights Montana.
Disability Rights Montana shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity regarding any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained on this site. If you do not wish to be bound by the disclaimer, please exit this site now.