Remedial authority of hearing and review officers under IDEA

The cornerstone for resolving disputes between parents and districts as to eligibility, FAPE, and other issues under IDEA is an impartial administrative hearing conducted by a hearing/review officer (H/RO). Yet IDEA is largely silent about the boundaries of remedial authority that H/ROs have to grant relief to aggrieved parties as state and federal courts do (e.g., tuition reimbursement, compensatory education). Using sources such as pertinent court … [Read more...]

Key differences between Section 504 and IDEA

Are you confused about the differences between Section 504 and IDEA? You aren't alone. It's important for the parent to understand that their child has different rights under Section 504 and IDEA. This article from Wrightslaw is an excellent summary of those differences. (posted October 12, 2012)  … [Read more...]

The U.S. Supreme Court and Special Education: 2005 to 2007

November 2012Read the article (PDF)About This ArticleThe Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has spawned much litigation in which parents of children with disabilities and school districts disagree over the content of a student's special education program. Supreme Court rulings are of tremendous importance, because they establish the legal standard for, and must be followed throughout, the entire country (Huefner, 2002; Yell, … [Read more...]

The Legal Issues of Identification and Intervention for K–12 Students with Dyslexia

November 2012 Read the article (PDF) About This Article The two primary sources for identification and intervention for dyslexia are the IDEA and Section 504, although a handful of states have laws that have special provisions specific to dyslexia. The first part of this article provides an overview of these federal and state laws, along with an illustrative sample of the pertinent court decisions. The concluding section of this article analyzes … [Read more...]

Q&A: IDEA and child care

This 4-page brief explains the basics of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to child care providers, including early intervention for children under the age of 3 and special education and related services for school-aged children. It also describes how each child receiving services under IDEA must have an individualized service/education plan (an IFSP for babies and toddlers, or an IEP for children in school), and answers the question … [Read more...]

Special education FAQ

Even though parents receive a copy of special education rights and responsibilities at least once a year, often there is confusion about interpretation. This online article presents some recurring questions and answers about the protections offered under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Learn about the protections offered by special education law. (posted January 10, 2013)   … [Read more...]

Eleventh Circuit and Florida Court Decisions 1995 to the Present Under the IDEA and Section 504/ADA

February 2013Read the article (PDF)About This ArticleThis annotated outline is a compilation of most of the officially and unofficially published special education decisions issued by the U.S Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit, and the courts in Florida starting in 1995 and ending with the compiling date of 12/15/12.The coverage does not extend to pertinent rulings that are no longer good law and—with limited exceptions—to those specific to overly … [Read more...]

Glossary for translating IDEA into Spanish

The OSEP English to Spanish Translation Glossary was developed by the Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center@SPAN to ensure that educational terms related to the implementation of IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) used in documents to promote parents’ authentic participation are translated in a uniform and comprehensible way, across states, geographical regions and communities of Spanish speakers. Included in this glossary … [Read more...]

FAQ: One-on-one assistants and LRE for students with disabilities

Cross-posted with permission from our friends at Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC). ECAC is a Regional Parent Technical Assistance Center and the Parent Training and Information Center in North Carolina serving families of children with disabilities, their teachers, and other professionals. Visit ECAC’s website at to access free publications, training opportunities, and other resources, … [Read more...]

Autism Litigation Under the IDEA: A New Meaning of “Disproportionality”?

September 2013Read the article (PDF)About this ArticleThis article examines the disproportionality and overrepresentation of children with autism in litigation. It states that children with autism accounted for about one third of sample of published court decisions concerning the core concepts of free appropriate public education (FAPE) and least restrictive environment (LRE) under the U.S. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.  The other … [Read more...]

NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to