You Tube Description: NAD provides information on how parents can file complaints for issues in K-12 education with their deaf or hard of hearing child.
Are you a parent of a deaf or hard of hearing child? Do you believe that your child’s school has failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) or appropriate services under your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP)? This may be a violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) if it seriously impacts your child. First, learn how your school resolves disability conflicts and go through that process, such as meeting with the principal or requesting further evaluations. If you have done this and feel the problem can’t be resolved without a state investigator’s help, then file a formal complaint. Be sure to include as much evidence as possible, for example; progress reports showing your child’s increased frustration or regression (decline) of language skills when the teacher is unable to communicate with your child or a qualified interpreter is not available. This evidence needs to be shared with the state or local district along with your complaint.
To file a complaint:
1. Write a letter or fill out a complaint form if available (ask your school).
2. Mail it to your state’s department of education’s office of special education. Find your state’s contact information by going to: http://nichcy.org/state-organization-search-by-state. Search by state then find “Special Education”. The IDEA also requires that you send a copy of the complaint to your school district superintendent. You can get the name and address of the superintendent from the central office for your area schools or your child’s state school.
3. Mail your complaint and wait for a few days then call to make sure it was received. Keep a record of names of people you contact. If they ask for additional information, send it to them as quickly as possible.
4. Your state's office of special education will contact you to explain the complaint process. In most cases, states will attempt to help you and the district resolve the matter amicably if possible. Most likely, mediation services will be offered to you.
5. The IDEA requires that special education complaints be resolved within 60 days. Most states allow local school districts the opportunity to conduct their own internal investigations of your complaint. In those cases, the school district must include you in the investigation process and allow you to present evidence to support your allegations. Districts must submit their findings to the state department for review. Further, if the district investigates, and you disagree with the findings or feel you were not included in the process, you may report this to your state's department of education.
6. If your local school district chooses not to conduct a self-investigation, your state's department of education will conduct the investigation and issue a final report. Regardless of who conducts the investigation, if violations are found, the district must correct them within the timelines stated in the report. If either party disagrees with the findings, they may file an appeal. Your state's department of education can provide you with further details on the appeals process.
When you file a complaint, please let the NAD know, so we can see if we can provide assistance with your case.
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