"For the sakes of our children, we must strive to be patient with those whose experiences have not given them access to our perspective. It is our duty to lead these people to a fuller understanding of the beauty and ability within our children. To do this, we must become effective advocates." - Jennifer L. Bollero, Esq.

IDEA - Individuals with disabilities Education Act The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that grants children with disabilities the right to a free appropriate public education. Download the statute: Microsoft Word Version or Link to on Line EdLaw

IDEA Federal regulations IDEA Regulations are written by the United States Department of Education and adopted by Congress to implement IDEA.

State Rules and Regulations Tennessee Publications Division (Rules & Regulations):

Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/index.htm

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in federally-funded activities.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a studentŐs education records. It also gives parents the right to inspect and review all of the studentŐs education records. Also try www.ed.gov/offices/OM/ferpa. and www.fetaweb.com/04/ferpa.summary

No Child Left Behind establishes standards for holding schools accountable for educating all children. When schools fail to meet these standards, safeguards are implemented that allow parents greater choice in what school their child attends and provide additional programs for students. http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html

McKinney Act protects homeless children from barriers to enrolling in public schools.

Derailed: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track" Advancement Project J. Browne a first-of-its-kind report that looks at how zero tolerence polices are derailing students from an academic track in schools to a future in the juvenile justice system.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

National Council on Disabilities Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind - Executive Summary -
Abridged Report ( 9 Pages)
Unabridged Report ( 50 Pages)

Tennessee Department of Special Education Administrative Complaint (download form)

Federal Complaints and procedures

Important Advocate Links (click here)


Important Phone Numbers

Legal Aid offices in Tennessee
Chattanooga 800-572-7457
Columbia 931-381-5533
Jackson 800-372-8346
Johnson City 800-821-1312
Knoxville 865-637-0484
Memphis 901-523-8822
Nashville 615-244-6610
Oak Ridge 865-483-8454

TennCare Consumer Advocacy Line 1-800-722-7474

Tennessee Protection and Advocacy 1-800-287-9636

RISE Project 901-678-4932 LRE for LIFE 865-974-2760

Disability Resource Center 865-637-3666

East Tennessee Technology Access Center 865-219-0130

Council on Developmental Disabilities 615-532-6556

Brain Resource and Information Network 865-689-1797

The Arc of Washington County 423-928-9362

Tennessee Early Intervention Services 423-434-4401

East Tennessee Regional Resource Center 423-594-5691

Center for Law and Education 202-986-3000

National Center for Youth Law 510-835-8098

IPP (Elizabethton, TN Support Group) 423-547-0517

Office of Civil Rights 404-562-6350

Project TEACH, PEP 423-979-3200

Tennessee Disability Coalition 615-383-9442





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Parent Resource & Information

Parent Tutorials

Sample Special Educationl Request Letters

Need Help With Special Education Lingo? Click here for a list of acronyms.

Important Phone Numbers

Resources for Families
From a listing of agencies in your state to modules on IEP meetings and much, much more, parents of children who have low-incidence disabilities will find the information, training or assistance they need in the following resources. www.nclid.unco.edu/families.html


STEP web site: http://www.tnstep.org

Tennessee procedural safegard forms:

Mediation Request:
Microsoft Word version
PDF version

Due Process Hearing:
Microsoft Word version
PDF version

Administrative Complaint:
Microsoft Word version
PDF version

Legal Information and Support: