Procedural safeguards | Special Education

 Similar to a Parent’s Bill of Rights, the Procedural Safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their children with disabilities. Under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), districts are required to provide the parent with a written notice at least once per year containing a full explanation of the protections available under the IDEA and the corresponding federal regulations. This notice also explains the procedures for dispute resolution processes including mediation and due process hearings.

The Special School District of St. Louis County Missouri provides parents with a one-page, “Parents’ Bill of Rights (Links to an external site.)” that summarizes the 31-page, “Procedural Safeguards Notice (Links to an external site.)” provided by IDEA that is also offered to the parents (Partners for Student Success, 2014). Another example of safeguards that have been written in user-friendly terms is from New Jersey Department of Education Parental Rights in Special Education (Links to an external site.). This handbook is separated by subtopics and commonly asked questions to help parents understand their rights as integral member of their child’s multi-disciplinary IEP team.

Knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Marlow, Destini’s parents, have just made their demand for an expensive outside agency to provide supplemental reading support for Destini and that they are not satisfied with her current grade of a “C” instead of an “A” you continue to proceed with the IEP team meeting with the hopes that shared decision making process resulting in a mutually agreeable consensus could be established. However, when you hand Destini’s parent a copy of the Parents’ Bill of Rights and the Procedural Safeguards they take a minute to quietly review both documents; whispering between themselves. Destini’s mother tells you that she isn’t clear on the purpose of these two documents, how it impacts her and her husband, and how it will influence their daughter’s education.

Content Expectations
Using the Parents’ Bill of Rights (Links to an external site.) as a starting point, create a written submission that:

  • Elaborates on each of the ten points listed in parent-friendly terms.
  • Explains how each of the ten points supports the parents’ right to participate in the Individualized Education Program team meeting as outlined by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
  • Relates specific areas in the Parents’ Bill of Rights that may be specific to meeting Destini’s needs.
  • Identifies any relevant timeline information for any of the ten points to help Destini’s parents make informed decisions.

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