Procedures for Ensuring the Rights of Students and Families
IDEA specifies procedures that ensure the protection of parents' and children's rights during the assessment process and the delivery of services. These procedures, called due process requirements, specify that:
- Parents must receive written notice whenever there is a proposal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of their child.
- Parents have the right to review their child's records regarding the assessment and educational placement.
- Parents may obtain an independent evaluation of their child by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school. The evaluation is at no cost to the parent and is paid for by the public school.
- Due process also ensures that parents, schools, or agencies have a right to an impartial hearing conducted by a hearing officer when disagreements occur. A hearing can be requested by either a parent or a school district.
IDEA requires the school to obtain informed consent from the parent before his or her child is assessed. Informed consent is a process that involves (1) presenting information so that it can be easily understood, (2) providing alternatives, (3) identifying risks and benefits, and (4) accepting or consenting to the information proposed. Informed consent is also required before the team develops a comprehensive multi-year IEP. The only exceptions to these requirements are if the school can demonstrate that it had taken reasonable measures to obtain parent consent and the student's parent has failed to respond, if the parental rights have been terminated, or if the whereabouts of the parents are unknown.
© ______ 2007, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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