Students with disabilities learn best when receiving the special education services and supports they need in settings with their non-disabled peers. For this to be a reality for the more than 400,000 students in Texas eligible for special education services, school districts must fully implement both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Texas Education Agency must identify and correct noncompliance, parents must know and exercise their rights, and the state must adequately fund special education.

Our efforts to improve educational opportunities for students with disabilities include:

  • Helping to create integrated classrooms where students with disabilities learn alongside students without disabilities
  • Assisting students with disabilities in receiving the assistive technology and training required for their success in school
  • Ensuring that students are not disciplined, restrained or secluded because of a disability
  • Assisting students in receiving the transition services needed to prepare for life after school
  • Raising awareness among parents, advocates and policy makers so they have all the information they need to ensure the successful education of students with disabilities

These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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Featured Resources

IDEA Manual 2018 Edition

A manual for parents and students about special education services and supports in Texas. Updated March 2018. (Those with hard copies of the 2016 edition, please print out our handout on Changes to 2016 IDEA Manual and insert it into your copy. Since we still have a number of the 2016 English edition, any hard… Continue reading IDEA Manual 2018 Edition

How to File a TEA Complaint

Parents and others that have complaints about the special education services being provided by a school district may file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Sample letters are included in the handout. Continue reading How to File a TEA Complaint

Read more about How to File a TEA Complaint.

Handouts

Keep Tabs on TEA: Timeline of Illegal Limit on Texas Special Ed

Disability Rights Texas Handout Last updated: 03/27/2013 Publication Code: HA24 The History of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Illegal 8.5 Percent Cap on Special Education Enrollment and the Corrective Action Plan to Make it Right This handout is available in Braille and/or on audio tape upon request. 2013 Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) notices steady annual downward… Continue reading Keep Tabs on TEA: Timeline of Illegal Limit on Texas Special Ed

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Students with Disabilities Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

What parents of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey need to know about their special education rights. Continue reading Students with Disabilities Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

Read more about Students with Disabilities Displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Rti Infographic: What Parents Need to Know

Our new infographic explaining RTI (Response to Intervention) and what parents need to know. School districts in Texas have used RTI to delay getting some students special education evaluations but new laws passed in Texas are forcing schools to stop using this tactic. This infographic helps explain the process and your rights. Continue reading Rti Infographic: What Parents Need to Know

Read more about Rti Infographic: What Parents Need to Know.

School Transfer for Victims of Bullying

The Texas Anti-Bullying Law gives parents of a child victim of bullying the right to petition the school’s Board of Trustees or their authorized representative to transfer their child to another class at the same school, or to another school within the same school district. Continue reading School Transfer for Victims of Bullying

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Independent Evaluations for Special Education

This handout answers frequently asked questions about independent evaluations. Continue reading Independent Evaluations for Special Education

Read more about Independent Evaluations for Special Education.

Requesting an ECI Investigation or Due Process Hearing

This handout briefly explains Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services, what a state investigation and a due process hearing are, and how an investigation or a hearing might help your family to obtain ECI services to assist your infant or toddler with a disability. A sample letter to ask for either a state investigation or a due process hearing is included. Continue reading Requesting an ECI Investigation or Due Process Hearing

Read more about Requesting an ECI Investigation or Due Process Hearing.

Right to Receive Information from Schools in Your Native Language

As the parent or legal guardian of a student who receives special education services, you have the right to meaningfully participate in the development and review of your child’s special education program. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other federal laws, you have rights as a parent to receive information about your child’s education in your native language. Continue reading Right to Receive Information from Schools in Your Native Language

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Beyond High School: Your Rights at College, Trade School, and More

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are the two main laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities in universities, colleges, and other postsecondary institutions. In Texas, Chapter 121 of the Texas Human Resources Code provides additional protection to people with disabilities.

Note that postsecondary institutions are not covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Continue reading Beyond High School: Your Rights at College, Trade School, and More

Read more about Beyond High School: Your Rights at College, Trade School, and More.

Publications

Special Ed Laws Passed in 86th Legislative Session

This document includes some of the most important laws passed in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session that impact students with disabilities…. Continue reading Special Ed Laws Passed in 86th Legislative Session

Making My School Safe Toolkit

For students, parents, caregivers, educators, advocates, and policymakers who want to ensure ALL students are kept safe in their schools. Produced by Disabilty Rights Texas, Texas Appleseed, and the Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy. Click here to go to the online guide…. Continue reading Making My School Safe Toolkit

Keeping Students with Disabilities in School

Legal Strategies and Effective Educational Practices for Preventing the Suspension of Students with Disabilities This publication by the Southern Disability Law Center (SDLC) includes ways to use some of the discipline provisions and other Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements to prevent the use of suspension, expulsion and removals to alternative education programs (Disciplinary… Continue reading Keeping Students with Disabilities in School

IDEA Manual 2018 Updates to the 2016 Printed Version in English

Please open, print, and add this addendum to your hard copy of the 2016 IDEA English Manual. Electronic versions on our website of English and Spanish 2018 IDEA Manuals are updated versions. In our inventory we have 2016 English manual hard copies with update document inserted and fully updated 2018 Spanish hard copies…. Continue reading IDEA Manual 2018 Updates to the 2016 Printed Version in English

Your Rights, Your Voice Transition Guide

This resource was written to help transition age youth learn about their rights and provide a tool to help them successfully move into adulthood. If you are the loved one of a transition age youth, thank you for reading this guide. Please pass these materials along to the young person you are supporting so he/she can also benefit from the information it contains. Continue reading Your Rights, Your Voice Transition Guide

School District Resource for Serving Students Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

With this resource, school districts will better understand their obligations to enroll and serve displaced students with disabilities under two federal laws: the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Summaries provided are not comprehensive. Rather, this resource highlights the most critical legal requirements that schools must follow as families… Continue reading School District Resource for Serving Students Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

Denial of School Enrollment Form

For use in our Harris County Juvenile Probation Department Educational Advocacy Program. This form is to be completed by the person at the school who has denied the student’s enrollment. The person completing the form could be the school’s registrar, assistant principal or principal. If a school refuses to complete and sign the form, a… Continue reading Denial of School Enrollment Form

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