Frequently asked questions


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that secures special education services for children with disabilities from the time they are born until they graduate from high school or reach the age of 21, whichever a student reaches first. Ld Online provides a copy of IDEA which is formatted in a way that makes the law more accessible. The document can be found at: www.ldonline.org/features/idea2004#purpose

Section 504

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ." In language that is accessible to parents, the Office of Civil Rights, the government agency responsible for enforcing Section 504, answers Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities. The document can be found at: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html Understanding your rights under IDEA as compared to Section 504 can be complicated. The document: Understanding the Differences Between IDEA and Section 504 helps you distinguish their purposes, scope of the laws and the type of services available under each law. The document can be found at: www.ldonline.org/article/6086

New York State Law

New York State has additional laws that implement IDEA and other Federal regulations. New York has generally made more services available than required by IDEA. Understanding your rights under the law is complicated and is interpreted through case law. The link below is provided as a reference to understanding the rights of students with disabilities under state law. www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/lawsregs/part200.htm

Local Regulations, Policies and Practices

The Chancellor’s Regulations are local regulations applicable to students attending a public school in New York City. Certain regulations pertain to students with disabilities and include: Regulation A-420, A-443, A-501, A-710 and A-715. The Regulations may be found at: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/policies-for-all/chancellors-regulations The NYC Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) serves as a comprehensive guide to the referral, evaluation, and placement processes for school-age students suspected of having a disability and those who are already identified. The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) is to provide support and guidance to the management and staff of the New York City Department of Education. It does not create any enforceable rights, remedies, entitlements or obligations. https://infohub.nyced.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/specialeducationstandardoperatingproceduresmanualmarch.pdf?sfvrsn=4cdb05a0_2