Links: For Parents

General Special Education Resources

Federal Disability Website

A new website generated by President George Bush which serves as a “one-stop source of government information relevant to people with disabilities,” including information from several federal departments regarding housing, education, employment and transportation.

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Provides current rules and regulations regarding Illinois special education. Also includes links to special education statutes and the Illinois School Code, and other various resources for parents and educators.

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Provides national resources on disabilities and disability-related issues, including fact sheets on specific disabilities, referrals to disability organizations and links to other special education resource sites.

Federal and State Special Education Legislation and Legal Resources

State of Illinois General Assembly

Has search engine of any currently pending house or senate bill and resolution. This resource allows you to also review: house and senate sponsors, bill summary, full text of bill, any proposed changes to the bill and bill status.

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Includes information about OSERS and federal special education law. Provides a link to the 1997 IDEA regulations.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The IDEA is the federal law that governs special education law in the U.S. This law allows for individual states to offer greater, but not lesser protections for qualified disabled individuals. IDEA remains the fundamental basis for special education law in all fifty states.

Illinois special education statute (school code)

The state laws that implement IDEA and govern special education procedures in Illinois. These statutes are further delineated in Illinois’ special education rules and regulations (see below).

Illinois special education rules and regulations

Title 23, Part 226 of the Illinois Administrative Code further regulates and explains the duties and responsibilities of both parents and school districts in regards to special education children in Illinois. Information included in these regulations include: mandates for case study evaluations, mandates for IEP procedures, responsibilities of districts for children in private schools and regulations for due process.

Illinois Due Process Hearing Decisions

Includes summaries of all Illinois due process hearing decisions rendered from July 1997 – present. To receive unabridged, redacted copies of specific hearing decisions, contact Bobbie Reguly in the Special Education Compliance Division of the Illinois State Board of Education at (217) 782-5589.

Illinois Due Process Hearing Officers

Includes information on all of ISBE’s current due process hearing officers.

Wrightslaw

This is an excellent resource, especially for parents. Includes links to publications and current bulletins regarding lawsuits affecting special education, and the Wrights’ book, From Emotions to Advocacy, is particularly helpful and is well worth the purchase price.

Equip for Equality

Includes a directory of resources for children and adults with disabilities in Illinois, including elder care information, assistive technology, community integration, employment information, and many others.

Private and Public School Resources

Harrisburg Project

This database includes all Illinois State Board of Education approved private special education facilities. These schools are sortable by: special education disability, day/residential, age and area. Information for each school includes school name, address, phone numbers, director, program categories and cost.

Illinois Local Education Agency Retrieval Network

This database includes information for all school districts located within Illinois. Sortable by name, number or area, the information included for each district includes: district name, address, phone numbers, superintendent, revenues, expenditures, cost per student and tax information.

ISBE Special Education Profiles

This website lists specific special education information about each school district located within Illinois, including the total number of special education children within the district, the number of children in each special education category, the percentage of special education children within each placement on the continuum, etc.

Community Residential Services Authority

This state agency assists families and professional providers in securing needed services and programs for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities.

Greatschools.net

This database includes information for all school districts located within Illinois and around the country. Sortable by name, city or county, the information included for each district includes: district name, address, phone numbers, student/staff ratios, and specific school contact information.

Case Law: Bullying

Kendall v West Haven Department of Education

In this Connecticut Superior Court case, the judge found in favor for parents who were suing their school district because their child was bullied and attacked by another special education student. The judge found for the parents because “the assistant principal was informed of the previous attacks, and therefore, had an affirmative duty to take action to prevent further attacks.”

Nordo v School District of Philadelphia

This Eastern Pennsylvania District Court case has similar (although not as severe) facts as Kendall v West Haven, however in this case the judge found in favor for the school district, as “the parents never contacted the school district to complain,” about the harassment that had previously occurred before the assault.

Lindsley v Gerard School District

This Western Pennsylvania District Court case also finds in favor of the school district and denies the Parents claim that the school district failed to protect their student from harassment by other children. The court finds that since the harassment was “not done by state actors” (a.k.a. school district employees), then the district is not liable for the psychological damages caused by the harassment.