Special Education

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Special Education

Welcome to Disability Rights Montana′s (DRM) special education resource page. Click here to visit the Special Education section of our website to help parents, advocates, and educators learn about the legal requirements and resources available for students with disabilities and to help ensure the rights of students with disabilities are protected to the maximum extent of the law. Click here to see our priorities, or here to request our services.

Publications

The Education Unit Intake 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.

 

Links to other Services

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Early Childhood Services Bureau

Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI)

OPI’s special education site

 

Recommended Readings

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)

 

Links to other Resources

Request for Part C Early Intervention EvaluationThis 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. [Word Document]

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 Early 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. [Word Document]

Request for Re-evaluationThis form is used to request a re-evaluation of a child aged 3 and up from the school district. [Word Document]

Records RequestThis 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. [Word Document]

Request for independent educational evaluation (IEE)This form is used to request an IEE. [Word Document]

Request for an IEP Team MeetingThis form is used to request an IEP team meeting to address a concern after a child is already receiving special education services.[Word Document]

Follow-up Letter to IEP MeetingThis 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. [Word Document]

Request for General Reasonable Accommodation for StudentThis 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. [Word Document]

Request for Reasonable Accommodation for Out-of-School StudentThis 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. [Word Document-504]

Request for Graduation Requirements: This form is used to request information about a District′s graduation requirements. [Word Document]

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). [Word Document]

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. [Word Document]

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): Making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.

Autism Speaks: Dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support.

The Epilepsy Foundation: The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University: A multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE): The leading national organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergy, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.

International Dyslexia Association: The oldest organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia.

National Center for Learning Disabilities: The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities, RTI Action Network: The goal is to guide educators and families in the large-scale implementation of RTI so that each child has access to quality instruction and that struggling students are identified early and receive the necessary supports to be successful.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (OSEP) website: The purpose of the new Center is to define, develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered approach to TA that improves the capacity of SEAs, LEAs, and schools to establish, scale-up, and sustain the PBIS framework.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC): A professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities.

Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, the leading organization for parent attorneys and advocates in the U.S.: COPAA’s mission is to protect and enforce the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families.

National Association of Gifted Children: NAGC’s mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research.

National Center on Intensive Intervention (American Institutes for Research), presents tools and resources on educational interventions and progress monitoring

 The National Center on Disability and Access to Education focuses on web-based accessible educational content

The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (funded by OSEP): CADRE’s major emphasis is on encouraging the use of mediation, facilitation, and other collaborative processes as strategies for resolving disagreements between parents and schools about children’s educational programs and support services.

National Education Association (NEA): The nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education.

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Youth and Education Resources site 

Parent training and information centers (PTIC) 

U.S. Department of Education (ED): filled with all types of information about education.

 IDEA: ED maintains a dedicated website to the law of IDEA

ED’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: administers IDEA

OSEP and OSERS guidance

ED Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidance

What Works Clearinghouse (ED): compiles scientific research on effectiveness of educational interventions

Yellow Pages for Kids: compiles service providers and resources for children with disabilities in each state

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: national policy and advocacy group

Disability.Gov: comprehensive site linking to a huge variety of agencies and information about disability

National Disability Rights Network: National network of protection and advocacy organizations (P&As).

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

 

The Education section of the DRM website was supported in part by a generous grant from the Montana Justice Foundation.

Disclaimer

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.

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