If you are a parent of a child who has a disability that interferes with his or her education, or if your child is suspected of having such a disability, this handbook will serve as a valuable resource for your child’s education.
This handbook boils down language of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) to main points that will help you be an effective partner in your child’s education. This guide has been prepared by the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children (ODE/OEC).
This ODE publication can tell you how you can work with your local school district and other public agencies to determine whether your child has a disability. It also outlines steps for going on to determine whether that disability qualifies your child for special education and related services.
Also referred to as your “procedural safeguards notice,” this publication establishes your right to a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) for a child with a qualifying disability under special education law. It tells you how special education services are provided and also lists resources you may contact for assistance.
Because the rights and procedures contained in this guide were first outlined in federal law, you may see legal terms that are new to you. To make the information easier to understand and use, ODE has simplified this legal language wherever possible. Whatever legal terms continue to be used are fully explained in the section of the guide titled “Definitions” and throughout the text whenever possible. Even so, you might want to spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with these terms before you begin. You’ll find them in the “Definitions” section that begins on page 56.
NOTE: This guide for parents summarizes the state’s special education rules in Chapter 3301-51 of the Administrative Code, Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities. The guide does not include all provisions of the rules and does not provide legal advice or legal interpretations of the rules. Refer to the operating standards which are posted on the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE’s) Web site, education.ohio.gov, keyword search: Operating Standards Disabilities, for the complete rules. Also consult with your attorney for legal advice or legal interpretations. The operating standards are based on state law (Chapter 3323 of the Revised Code), federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004) and federal regulations (34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 300) for the education of children with disabilities. These resources are posted on edresourcesohio.org.