Special Education Resources

The following special education resources are divided into four categories:

  1. general special education resources,
  2. dispute resolution information,
  3. lawyer referrals, and
  4. specialized special education resources.

 

General Special Education Resources

Office of Special Education Programs
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC  20202
Department of Education general: (800) 872-5327 / TTY (800) 437-0833
Office of Special Education Programs: (202) 245-7459
Department of Education IDEA website: http://idea.ed.gov/

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs’ Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website has a lot of information about the IDEA and its implementing regulations. Resources are organized by topic and many are in an easy to read question and answer format.

Special Education Parent Liaison
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
(360) 725-6075
https://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/Assistance.aspx
The OSPI Special Education Parent Liaison is available as a resource to parents in non-legal special education matters and serves as a neutral and independent advocate for a fair process. The Special Education Parent Liaison does not advocate on behalf of any one party. Rather, the Parent Liaison exists to address individual concerns about bureaucratic systems and act as a guide for citizens attempting to understand and navigate various government processes and procedures.

Washington PAVE (Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment)
6316 S. 12th St.
Tacoma, WA 98465
(800) 572-7368 / (253) 565-2266
pave@wapave.org
www.wapave.org

PAVE is a statewide Parent Training Information Center that provides training, resources, and support for parents, individuals with disabilities, and professionals. Staff and volunteers work with individuals one-on-one or provide workshops about obtaining appropriate services in the public school system. The PAVE website also has many free publications on a variety of special education topics. 

Wrightslaw
http://www.wrightslaw.com

This website provides legal information about special education and advocacy tips for children with disabilities. The site also provides links to multiple special education resources as well as information about upcoming special education trainings and conferences. Site visitors can subscribe to a free online newsletter.

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Dispute Resolution Information

Office of Special Education
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
600 Washington Street SE
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
(360) 725-6075 / TTY (360) 586-0126
www.k12.wa.us/specialed

The Office of Special Education provides information on a variety of issues relating to special education, including related federal and state laws. Its website has information about the main special education dispute resolution procedures: mediation, citizen complaints, and due process hearings. This website also contains state special education data, citizen complaint and due process decisions, and special education publications. 

Sound Options Group
P.O. Box 11457
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(800) 692-2540
www.soundoptionsgroup.com
OSPI has contracted with Sound Options Group to provide special education mediation services throughout the state. Mediation is a voluntary process for parents and school districts. It is confidential, informal, and free to each party. Mediation provides parties with an opportunity to come to a resolution on their own, rather than one ordered through due process or citizen complaint decisions. To request mediation or get more information, contact Sound Options Group.

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
Seattle Office
915 Second Ave., Room 3310
Seattle, WA  98174
(206) 607-1600
ocr.seattle@ed.gov
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the federal agency charged with ensuring equal access to education for all students by enforcing federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in public education. Anyone who believes that a public educational institution has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age may file a complaint with the office. For information about how OCR investigates complaints, see http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaints-how.html.

Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings
PO Box 42488
Olympia, WA 98504-2488
(360) 407-2700

http://www.oah.wa.gov/PublicInstruction.shtml

The Office of Administrative Hearings’ website has information designed to help people prepare for hearings. There is a hearing preparation video, as well as a specific guide for education hearings that includes frequently asked questions.

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Washington State Office of the Education Ombuds
155 N.E. 100th St., #210
Seattle, WA 98125
(866) 297-2597
http://www.governor.wa.gov/oeo/

The Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) helps resolve disputes and conflicts between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning. OEO is part of the Governor’s Office and functions independently from the public school system. OEO's intake and services are primarily conducted by telephone and are free and confidential. Ombuds can answer questions and provide information about what a parent and student's rights are, facilitate meetings to find resolution to problems and concerns, and assist parents with navigating the public school system.

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Lawyer Referrals

Northwest Justice Project
CLEAR intake line: (888) 201-1014 or 211 if in King County
http://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help
www.washingtonlawhelp.org

Northwest Justice Project (NJP) offers limited special education assistance. NJP is part of a coalition that maintains the WashingtonLawHelp website, which has links to some special education resources.

TeamChild
1225 South Weller Street, Suite 420
Seattle, WA  98144
Headquarters: (206) 322-2444
www.teamchild.org

TeamChild is a nonprofit civil legal aid organization. It provides free legal representation and advice to youth generally between ages 12-18 who come from low-income families and are involved in or at risk of being involved in the juvenile justice system.   TeamChild has special education resources on their website and currently accepts referrals for youth living in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Yakima counties.

Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings
PO Box 42488
Olympia, WA 98504-2488
(360) 407-2700

http://www.oah.wa.gov/PublicInstruction.shtml

The Office of Administrative Hearings maintains a list of legal assistance resources for special education matters on their website, including a list of private attorneys with special education experience.

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Specialized Special Education Resources

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-DOIT (3648) / (888) 972-DOIT (3648)
doit@uw.edu 
http://www.washington.edu/doit

DO-IT’s goals are to increase the success of people with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. DO-IT mentors youth with disabilities and promotes the use of technology to maximize the independence, productivity, and participation of people with disabilities. The DO-IT website has information and resources regarding disabilities, accommodations, and universal design.

Learning Disabilities Association of Washington
16315 NE 87th St., Suite B-10
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 882-0820
http://www.ldawa.org
http://ldaamerica.org

The Learning Disabilities Association of Washington promotes and provides services and support to maximize the quality of life for individuals and families affected by learning and attentional disabilities.

Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP)
University of Washington
Box 35920
Seattle, WA  98195
(800) 214-8731 / TTY (866) 866-0162
watap@uw.edu
www.watap.org

WATAP offers information and referral to family members, employers, employment service providers, educators, health care providers, social service providers, and others seeking assistive technology services and knowledge. WATAP is part of the University of Washington Center for Technology & Disability Studies. It provides assistive technology resources and expertise to help people make decisions and obtain the technology and related services needed for work, education, and independent living.

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This information is current as of: 
11/2014

This information is a service of Disability Rights Washington (DRW). It provides general information as a public service only, and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. You do not have an attorney-client relationship with DRW.  If you would like more information about this topic or would like to receive this information in an alternative format call DRW at (800) 562-2702, or email info@dr-wa.org.


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