Accessing and Understanding
Special Education Rules & Regs

The Special Education Support Center, with support from OSPI, provides resources and training to help teachers and parents know and understand the laws, rules, and regulations designed to assure appropriate learning experiences in the least restrictive environment for children and young adultes with special needs. These resources and trainings are aligned with IDEA, federal regulations, and state law.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website, brings together IDEA information and resources from the Department of Education and its grantees. The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is a federal law ensuring services to children with disabilities. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

Washington State Rules and Regulations

The  Washington Education Association in partnership with OSPI produced a Special Education Manual which provides clarity on the rules and responsibilities of educational staff.

The Washington Administrative Code (WACs) provide the rules that districts must follow in order to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services. In exchange for federal money, schools must guarantee that they will comply with these regulations and that all children with disabilities will receive a “free, appropriate public education.”

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) provides Technical Assistance Papers (TAP) on a variety of topics to deepen the understanding of the rules. Two essential reads are TAP #1 A Review of the Basics and TAP #5 Evaluation Procedures Under Part B .

The Washington Education Association has produced a manual that connects the recent changes in the General Education discipline rules that affect all students. Discipline Manual (Annie has completed draft)

OSPI Discipline Guidance Discipline Requirements for Students Who Receive Special Education Services

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly called “Section 504,” is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on disability. Section 504 protects all students with disabilities, including those qualified for special education services. This law applies to all programs and activities that receive funding from the federal government-including Washington public schools.

The  National Center on Accessible Educational Materials provides additional guidelines regarding accessibility to the curricula as required under Section 504 and IDEA.

SESC offers the following classes to help teachers and parents know and understand the laws, rules, and regulations relating to special education:

(click the titles for full descriptions and registration information)

Special Ed Law (6 hours)

This popular and intensive course is designed to provide an overview of the rules and regulations required for providing special education services.  Based on WAC 392-172A and specific court cases.

Section 504 (6 hours)

This course highlights the key elements of Section 504 Rehabilitation Act (1973).   Topics include: Federal statue of Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, eligibility for 504 plans, 504’s roll in FAPE, roles and responsibilities of providing accommodations.

Health Services in the Public Schools (3 hours)

Participants in this course acquire knowledge necessary to help ensure the adequate delivery of health services to children with special healthcare needs: statutory obligations dictating the provision of school health services; potential school staff roles and responsibilities involved in the provision of school health; and statutory obligations surrounding staff training, nurse delegation, and staff’s right of refusal.

Introduction to IEPS – TPEP (3 hours)

Participants in this course are introduced to the special education process from referral to transition, includin a brief overview of special education law.

IEP-Non Transition (Elementary/Middle) – (6 hours)

Designed for anyone wishing to understand the IEP process – this course gives participants the tools they need to build meaningful, collaborative and compliant IEPs for elementary and middle school aged students with disabilities.

IEP Transition (Secondary) – (6 hours)

With post-secondary success in mind, this course gives participants the knowledge they need to help develop a meaningful, collaborative and compliant Transition IEP aimed at assisting the student with disabilities in achieving successful educational/employment/independent living skills beyond high school.

Special Education Data Collection Strategies In-Depth – (6 hours)

Explore data collection methods for use in school settings and learn to evaluate what approaches are appropriate for both individual and student groups.   Course activities include hands-on practice using data to develop current student present levels statements, design measurable goals, and translate data into usable information for progress monitoring.

Special Ed Safety – TPEP (3 hours)

Participants discuss appropriate placement and services and steps to take when injury occurs. In addition, participants review: discipline changes in General Education, discipline procedures in Special Education, restraint and isolation regulations, and court cases involving staff injuries.

State Standards Instruction and Special Education (6 hours)

This course allows participants to examine the intersection of special education, Washington State Standards (formerly known as Common Core standards and district curriculum for practical use in designing individual student learning goals. Attendees will have the opportunity to unpack the standards/develop learning progressions to create IEP goals where appropriate