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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). Also, 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

Featured Resources

How to Request a Camera in Your Child’s Special Education Classroom

Learn what you need to know about cameras in special education classrooms, and use our sample letters to request cameras and recordings. Continue reading “How to Request a Camera in Your Child’s Special Education Classroom”

Handouts

Request a Camera for a Special Education Classroom Sample Letter

This handout includes sample text parents can use in a letter to request a camera and video surveillance in a special education classroom. Continue reading “Request a Camera for a Special Education Classroom Sample Letter”

Report an Incident and Request a Recording Sample Letter

This handout includes sample text parents can use to report an incident and request a recording of a monitored special education classroom. Continue reading “Report an Incident and Request a Recording Sample Letter”

Transition Planning: Preparing for Life After High School

A transition plan can help by laying out next steps after high school like where you will live or if you’ll continue your education. If you’re a student with a disability receiving special education services, schools are required to work with you on a transition plan usually when you first start high school. Continue reading “Transition Planning: Preparing for Life After High School”

Texas School Reentry Toolkit

The Texas School Reentry Toolkit is designed to help parents of students with disabilities gain reentry to school in Texas. Continue reading “Texas School Reentry Toolkit”

Letter Generator: TEA Complaint About Compenstory Services

If you sent a letter to your school to request compensatory services and the school has not responded, use this letter generator to create a complaint to send to TEA. Continue reading “Letter Generator: TEA Complaint About Compenstory Services”

Letter Generator: Request Compenstory Services from School

If your child lost progress with school going online because of COVID, our letter generator helps create a request for compensatory services. Continue reading “Letter Generator: Request Compenstory Services from School”

Sample TEA Complaint Letter About Compensatory Services

If your child lost progress due to the pandemic and the school did not respond to your request for compensatory services, you should send a complaint letter to TEA. Continue reading “Sample TEA Complaint Letter About Compensatory Services”

Sample Letter to School Requesting Compensatory Education Services

Because there is a one-year deadline to file complaints with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to get compensatory services, if you believe your child needs these services due to school closures last year because of the pandemic, you should first send a request letter immediately to your child’s school. Continue reading “Sample Letter to School Requesting Compensatory Education Services”

Consenting to Special Education Evaluation and Services

When a student struggles academically or behaviorally, some parents may request an evaluation for special education. This handout seeks to help parents decide if special education is needed and appropriate for their child. Continue reading “Consenting to Special Education Evaluation and Services”

What is a Grievance, and How Do I File One?

This handout answers questions related to concerns you might have about how a situation is being handled at your child’s school. Learn how to report your concerns and how to decide if you need help from an attorney. Continue reading “What is a Grievance, and How Do I File One?”

DRTx Interactive Discipline Guide – New Edition

The new edition of the DRTx Interactive Discipline Guide helps parents and schools apply IDEA requirements when disciplining a student. Continue reading “DRTx Interactive Discipline Guide – New Edition”

DRTx Discipline Guide for Students with Disabilities – Links and Glossary

The links and background information in this handout can be used with the DRTx Discipline Guide for Students with Disabilities. Continue reading “DRTx Discipline Guide for Students with Disabilities – Links and Glossary”

COVID-19 Pandemic and Rights of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities whose special education services are affected by COVID-19 still have rights and protections despite any disruptions caused by the pandemic. This resource highlights information that could help you ensure that your child continues to receive a free and appropriate public education. Continue reading “COVID-19 Pandemic and Rights of Students with Disabilities”

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

This timeline reflects the history of the Texas Education Agency’s illegal 8.5 percent cap on special education enrollment and the correction action plan to make it right. Continue reading “Keep Tabs on TEA: Timeline of Illegal Limit on Texas Special Ed”

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”

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”

Independent Evaluations for Special Education

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

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”

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”

Publications

Harmful Restraint of Students with Disabilities in Texas Schools

Students with disabilities represent approximately 9.8% of the state’s school population, but they experienced 91% of restraints in Texas’ public schools during the 2018-19 school year.  Continue reading “Harmful Restraint of Students with Disabilities in Texas Schools”

Making My School Safe Toolkit

This toolkit is for students, parents, caregivers, educators, advocates, and policymakers who want to ensure all students are kept safe in their schools. Continue reading “Making My School Safe Toolkit”

Investigative Report: How Texas Schools Are Failing Students – Again

Over the course of a year of monitoring education in psychiatric hospitals, we uncovered a troubling trend – the state is failing to meet the needs of a vast majority of special education-eligible children in psychiatric hospitals. Continue reading “Investigative Report: How Texas Schools Are Failing Students – Again”

Updates for the 2016 IDEA Manual

If you have a printed copy of the 2016 IDEA Manual, this document has the changes that were made to the latest edition of the manual. Continue reading “Updates for the 2016 IDEA Manual”

Luật Giáo dục Học sinh Khuyết tật Sổ tay (IDEA Manual)

Sổ tay hướng dẫn này được thiết kế để giúp bạn làm quen với các yêu cầu của IDEA và luật Texas để bạn có thể hoạt động như một đối tác bình đẳng trong việc lập kế hoạch giáo dục cho con mình. Continue reading “Luật Giáo dục Học sinh Khuyết tật Sổ tay (IDEA Manual)”

IDEA Manual – Latest Edition

The IDEA Manual will help you plan an educational program that will lead to an independent and productive life for your child and yourself. Continue reading “IDEA Manual – Latest Edition”

Denial of School Enrollment Form

This form is for use in our Harris County Juvenile Probation Department Educational Advocacy Program. The form is to be completed by the person at the school who has denied the student’s enrollment. Continue reading “Denial of School Enrollment Form”

Videos

Update: Special Education Services in Texas During COVID-19

In this video, a DRTx attorney explains what you need to know to ensure your child receives special education services in Texas during COVID-19. Continue reading “Update: Special Education Services in Texas During COVID-19”

Watch Update: Special Education Services in Texas During COVID-19.

Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 1)

In this first of two videos, parents can get an introduction to the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Process. Continue reading “Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 1)”

Watch Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 1).

Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 2)

In this second of two videos, parents can learn how to advocate for their child in the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Process. Continue reading “Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 2)”

Watch Parent Guide to the ARD Process (Part 2).

Transition Planning for Students Nearing Graduation

Students with disabilities who are getting closer to graduation have the right to transition services. Watch this video to learn more about transition services and your legal rights. Continue reading “Transition Planning for Students Nearing Graduation”

Watch Transition Planning for Students Nearing Graduation.

Denied Again

Learn about how students with disabilities continue to be denied access to special education services in Texas. Continue reading “Denied Again”

Watch Denied Again.

External Links

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