Special Education Rights: State-by-State Resources for Parents

Need information about special education rights so you can advocate for your child? This is the right place. I’ve compiled here a state-by-state list of resources to help you learn about the world of special education, from IEPs to 504s and more.

About these resources:

Every state has two types of federally-mandated non-profit organizations that can be a wealth of knowledge about special education and disability rights. To gather these resources on special education, I visited the website for each state’s legal disability rights non-profit (“P&A”). When a state’s P&A didn’t have any readily available resources, I found that almost all of their Parent Training and Information Centers (“PTI”) had lots of valuable information. For a couple of states, the PTI directs visitors to the State Department of Education’s resources, so those are included here where applicable.

 

I tracked down and compiled at least one resource link for each state. My goal was to find the most comprehensive single resource available. Where one comprehensive, or at least somewhat thorough, resource was available, the link goes directly to a pdf document. Others link to a list of resources on the organization’s website. A few link to shorter PDFs where that’s the best I could find from that state’s P&A/PTI.

 

These links should be a kickstart to any parent seeking to learn about the IEP process in their state. To find more information, you can find your state’s P&A organization’s website here, and your state’s PTI organization here. Between these two organizations, parents in every state can access at least some information and resources to learn about special education and disability rights. With this information, parents can better advocate for their children. 

 

While a lot of disability rights law is federal law and applies across the board, some issues vary by state. If you’re going to review information from other states, do your homework (aka hire a lawyer from your state) before relying on that information. Reminder: I practice law only in Alabama.

 

Note that I am providing this information, but I didn’t write it. Nothing here is legal advice.

 

When you’re at the IEP table and you feel lost, remember that the child’s teachers and admin probably didn’t go to law school either. They are educators. You are a parent. Everyone has their role. Familiarize yourself with your rights as a parent and with the special education process. Hire an attorney licensed in your state when you have questions. To advocate well for your child, you need to be well informed. These resources contain tons of information to get started. So, dig in!

State Resources List

 
National Resources:
 
Note: any publication made before 2017 (when the Supreme Court released its decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District) may have incomplete information related to FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education).

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