We recommend using a separate complaint form for gifted students and students with special needs (students with IEPs, 504 plans, or G-IEPs) or for families seeking an IEP (individualized education plan). If you are a parent of a child with or needing an IEP, 504 plan or GIEP and you are having problems with getting your child appropriate services, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia recommends the following:
State Consult Hotline (ages 6-21 only): 1-800-879-2301 on-line request form available at: http://odr-pa.org/contact-consultline/
The hotline logs and records all calls. A state department employee will provide guidance and may make a district inquiry to address your situation.
Connect Early Intervention Service (ages five and under): 1-800-692-7288
The intervention service is for children under the age of 5. Again the hotline will connect you to a state department employee who must record your call and must offer guidance for your concern.
File a complaint
on-line request form available at: http://odr-pa.org/parents/state-compliant-process/
File a complaint for a child of any age. For those under age 5, anyone can make a complaint on their behalf. Groups of parents can also file a complaint. The timeline for response is 60 days.
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Due process hearing
on-line request form available at: http://odr-pa.org/due-process/overview/
If you cannot get a situation resolved, request a due process hearing. Since there are only 6-7 hearing officers for the entire state, it may take 75 days (frequently more) to resolve.
Other options: Go to: http://odr-pa.org/alternative-dispute-resolution/overview/
*Facilitated IEP meetings
*Mediation (no lawyers)
*ECC – Evaluative Conciliation Conference
Forms are on line
Gifted students are essentially the same process. You can make a complaint or request a hearing.
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia is offering Know Your Rights seminars (pay as you can), ranging from the IEP process to back to school tips. Find the complete schedule here.
There are a number of advocacy organizations in Philadelphia working to ensure that parents are receiving the information they need as the school year begins. If you need specific assistance, yoy may want to contact:
The Arc of Philadelphia, 215-229-4550, Cecelia Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Special Education
Disability Rights Network : 1-800-692-7443
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania: Parents Involved Network, email@example.com, 267-507-3806, www.mhasp.org