A Parent’s Bill of Rights

By: Charles D. Hankey

As one of the few law firms in Indiana that handles child SSI cases, we have seen that many parents are unaware of their rights concerning their disabled child. If you feel your child is disabled and needs special education services, you absolutely have the right to request that your child be evaluated by his or her school. The child must be evaluated in all areas related to the child’s suspected disability. If you disagree with the results of the evaluation, you have the right to take your child to an independent evaluation and you have the right to ask the school system to pay for it. If the child is found to have a disability, the school must write an IEP for the child within 30 days. If the child is not found to qualify for services you have the right to ask for a hearing. You have the right to attend the meeting wherein the IEP will be drafted. If the meeting is scheduled for a time or place where you cannot attend, it must be rescheduled for a time and place convenient to you. You have the right to bring anyone with knowledge of the child’s disability, including advocates and attorneys, to the meeting with you. You have the right to disagree with any or all of the IEP, or to refuse or discontinue services all together.

  1. Parents have the right to list all of their concerns in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  2. Parents have the right to review and receive copies of their child’s educational records.
  3. Parents have the right to receive Prior Written Notice when a school district proposes a change in a child’s placement or refuses a parent’s request.
  4. Parents have the right to file complaints and disagree with parts or all of the IEP.

Remember, if you are pursuing SSI for your child, an IEP can be a valuable resource for your SSI case. If you obtain an IEP or your IEP changes, make sure you let us know as soon as possible so we can submit it and any supporting evidence for your SSI claim. Also, if your child has an IEP or physical or mental disabilities, contact us so we can evaluate your case and see if your child might qualify for SSI.