|1. The school says they cannot test my child until they go through SST and RTI. Is this correct?
No, the school system will test a child if they feel it is necessary or when a parent request testing. If the parent wants to request testing they should put the request in writing and provide consent. The school system has 60 days to test the child and hold an eligibility meeting. To locate more information on how to request testing, please click on the Resource tab on LDAG website. A sample letter “Letter to Request Testing” can be used to tailor this to your child. IMPORTANT: Be sure to keep a copy of this request for your records so you can prove the date you submitted your request.
2. What is Child Find?
Child Find is a Federal Law that requires a state to find, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities. This includes children in private, home school or public school and children who have not yet started school. The program for children under three is Babies Can’t Wait.
3. What is an IEE?
An IEE is an acronym for Independent Educational Evaluation. (http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/test.iee.steedman.htm) When the school system does an evaluation, the evaluation must include all suspected areas of disability. This includes any issues related to the disability also. The evaluation is used to determine the child’s eligibility for special education and related services. If the parents do not agree with the school’s evaluation or do not feel it covers all suspected areas of disability within the 60 day time frame, they can request an IEE. The parents can request that the school system pay for this private evaluation.
4. What course of action can I take if the school system does not find my child eligible, fails to respond to my request for an IEE or fails to follow an IEE?
A parent can file a complaint with the Department of Education for their state. For Georgia the complaint information can be found at: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_exceptional.aspx?PageReq=CIEXCComplaint
The electronic form can be found at the bottom of the page and is titled Formal Complaint Form. You can fill the form out on line and electronically file. It is a good idea to mail a copy as well. You should receive confirmation that the form was received by the state DOE in about two weeks. If not, call and check on the status of the complaint.
A parent may also file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. The link for complaints ishttp://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html?src=rt and for the form link tohttp://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html and read the information and at the bottom of the page you will find the link to file electronically. Civil Rights complaints usually relate to issues that involve discrimination or neglect of rights to a person who has a disability. A 504 plan is used by the school systems to provide protection of civil rights under the American’s With Disability Act. This has been updated as of January 1, 2009 to include disabilities that impact reading, thinking, concentrating and learning.
5. How often do they need to test my child?
Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are required to be tested, at a minimum, of every three years. Parents or the school can requested testing be done more often with many learning disabled (LD) students tested every year. For example a child is found eligible for an IEP for a reading disability. In order to consistently chart progress the team may choose to use the GORT and WISCV to check current reading ability each year.
6. My child did not pass the CRCT and the school says they have to attend summer school if they want to pass to the next grade.
Children cannot be forced to attend summer school. The school system can hold a meeting to pass the child to the next grade, even if they do not pass CRCT’s. Parents can agree to Extend School Year if the child is receiving services under IEP and failed to meet IEP goals or are at an “emerging skill” time in their services.
7. I am an adult and am going to lose my job because of my disability or I cannot get a job. Where can I go for help?
The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) under the Georgia Department of Labor can assist you in finding /keeping a job or staying in school. You can find your local office at http://www.vocrehabga.org/offs.html . Be sure to keep good records of the day you fill out your forms and meet or call your counselor. Be sure you have a life plan or goals that you have set. If you have any testing or medical diagnose you can provide this information to Voc Rehab if you want to disclose your disability. It may help speed up the process.
8. I am failing out of college due to my disability. What can I do?
It is important to sign up with office of disability services when you enroll at a college. This provides you with rights and services. If the student is over 18, they must declare themselves. Also, be sure to see if you qualify for AMAC services (assistive technology). You can read about AMAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. They service all Georgia Regent Schools and many private schools.