Students with Disabilities

Legal Information

Other Education Problems

Disabled child in wheelchair.

This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about issues relating to Students with Disabilities in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Mediation (Special Education)

Even when parents and school officials try their best to reach agreement on a student’s special education program, disagreements can occur. If this happens, mediation, which is a free, voluntary, and confidential alternative to a formal due process hearing, is an option. Mediation can take place at any time before or during the due process cycle. Mediation is not a required process and may not delay or deny a parent the right to a due process hearing. Information on the Mediation process from the Office of Dispute Resolution (Special Education).

Special Education Due Process Complaint Process and Forms

Information on the complaint process, including the Complaint Form, which is used to submit a formal complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education. Office for Dispute Resolution (Special Education).

Education Rights for Students with Disabilities

Consumer Legal Information Pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. (September 2014)

Chapter 14 and IDEA: A comparison of Special Education Rights

This is a SIDE-BY-SIDE QUICK REFERENCE from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (provided by Disability Rights Pennsylvania), comparing Chapter 14, Special Education Services and Programs (State Regulations) to Part 300, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Federal Regulations).(September 19, 2008) [PDF]

Getting Your Child an Independent Educational Evaluation

Chapter 4 of "The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates" handbook from the Education Law Center-Pennsylvania. This provides information on what an Independent Educational Evaluation is; when it is a good idea to get one; and how to proceed to get one. [PDF] (2016)

Children with Disabilities who are Bullied or Harassed at School

Information on some options available when your child With disabilities is being harassed by other students.

Education Law Center

The Education Law Center is a non-profit legal advocacy and educational organization, dedicated to ensuring that all of Pennsylvania's children have access to a quality public education.

ELC’s 2021 Back-to-School Guide for Pennsylvania Public School Students

The Education Law Center (ELC) has updated its “Back-to-School” guide for families, students, and schools. The information and fact sheets now include COVID-related considerations for the upcoming school year.

The Right to Special Education In Pennsylvania: A Guide for Parents and Advocates [PDF]

This Guide describes the legal rules that govern the special education and early intervention programs in Pennsylvania for children from age three until schooling ends. (2021)

What Can a Parent do if a Child has a Health Need that Requires Accommodations in School?

There are many steps that schools must take to make sure that children with health needs can be included in all parts of school. This fact sheet will explain the rights that children with health problems and their parents have in school.

Questions and Answers Out-of-State Transfers for Students with Disabilities

Information from the Pennsylvania Department of Education providing answers to questions arising when a student with a disability transfers into a Pennsylvania school district.

Approved Private Schools for Special Education and Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

Information on requirements for Approved Private for Special Education and Schools for the Deaf and the Blind from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Mediation (Special Education)

Even when parents and school officials try their best to reach agreement on a student’s special education program, disagreements can occur. If this happens, mediation, which is a free, voluntary, and confidential alternative to a formal due process hearing, is an option. Mediation can take place at any time before or during the due process cycle. Mediation is not a required process and may not delay or deny a parent the right to a due process hearing. Information on the Mediation process from the Office of Dispute Resolution (Special Education).

Special Education Due Process Complaint Process and Forms

Information on the complaint process, including the Complaint Form, which is used to submit a formal complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education. Office for Dispute Resolution (Special Education).

Special Education Timelines

This booklet cites the special education timelines in accordance with the requirements of Pennsylvania law, Chapter 711 Charter School and Cyber Charter School Services and Programs for Children with Disabilities, Chapter 14 Special Education Services and Programs and Federal Regulations Part 300, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (May 2018)

Questions and Answer on Special Education and Homelessness

Information from the the Pennsylvania Department of Education about issues surrounding the provision of Special Education to a homeless child.

Children with Disabilities who are Bullied or Harassed at School

Information about what to do when your child with disabilities is bullied at school.

Transition to Adulthood - A guide for transition age individuals with disabilities and their families

The Disability Rights Pennsylvania provides information on transition services providing skills the student needs to learn to be prepared for his or her adult life. [PDF]

Transportation for Students with Disabilities in Pennsylvania

Information on transportation options for students with disabilities in Pennsylvania from the PA School Bus Association. (2020)

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