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Ohio Special Education Update

School is officially back in session for the 2017 – 2018 school year! Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Education sent out an update for special education. There is a new publication for parents of children who receive special education services. The new 33-page piece of literature is titled, “A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education.” It is available in 11 languages, as well as braille. This guide replaces the former guide known as “Whose IDEA Is This?” Parents should not use the previous publication because it contains outdated information.

special education

In addition to the updated special education guide, the Ohio Department of Education also said that Ohio is one of 34 states receiving a 2017 determination of “Needs Assistance.” This is Ohio’s third year having this status. Ohio specifically needs assistance with implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which establishes educational requirements for children with disabilities from ages 3 to 21.

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) passed in 1975 “is a federal law that requires schools to serve the education needs of eligible students with disabilities.” The act states that schools are required to find and evaluate students who may have a disability. This does not cost anything for parents. The act also allows parents to have a voice in their child’s education.

IDEA covers 13 different categories of disabilities. These include:

• Autism
• Deaf-blindness
• Deafness
• Emotional disturbances
• Hearing impairments
• Intellectual disabilities
• Multiple disabilities
• Orthopedic impairments
• Other health impairments (such as ADHD)
• Specific learning disabilities (such as dyslexia)
• Speech or language impairments
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Visual impairments

Under IDEA, either the parent or the school can request an evaluation for a student to determine if they have a disability. If they are found to have a disability falling in one of the 13 categories, they are then set up with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP is a legal document detailing the services their school will provide to a student in order for them to achieve their educational goals.

Continue to stay up to date with any educational changes for Ohio by visiting the Ohio Department of Education’s website. In addition, if you or your child needs legal assistance with discrimination cases, contact our office. Call us at 216-282-1773 for a free consultation.