Special Education Agencies Parents Should Remember


Special education needs for students

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

There are so many special education resources and agencies for parents to use to help special needs students. I thought I would briefly explain just a few and provide links for parent use in special education disputes.

These agencies may take student complaints and also sometimes provide great databases for parent research on student special education rights. It is critical that parents get educated, know their rights and know agencies which may help parents and students in their fight for justice in education.

1)  OAH- Office of Administrative Hearings:  This is a very critical agency in California for parents fighting for special needs students.  OAH is where parents file student due process hearing requests to attempt to resolve special education placement, service, FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education), and other special education issues.  Information on how to proceed, and even a searchable opinion database can be accessed at the OAH site.

2)  CDE – Procedural Safeguards Referral Service:  This is the branch of the CDE (California Department of Education) which takes complaints for failure to implement a student IEP, procedural failures of districts and other school issues.

Special needs students need parent support
Parents should get as educated as possible to help students to receive appropriate special education supports

3)   OSEP- the Office of Special Education Programs:  OSEP is a branch of the United States Department of Education (USDOE).  OSEP is more of an advisory group to school districts and states.  However, OSEP has many resources and issues letters, summaries, and opinions from time to time.  These can be used as references for student issues.

4)  OCR-  Office for Civil Rights:  This branch of the United States Department of Education (USDOE) accepts student and parent complaints on disability, gender, race and other forms of discrimination by schools and districts. OCR also has a huge library of information and issues OCR opinion letters interpreting the law, which can be helpful for student school issues.

These are just some of the many government agencies which parents can use to fight for student special education rights and FAPE. Check them out!


Special education lawyer Michelle Ball helps parents with IEP, 504, SST and other education needs, attending IEP and 504 meetings, helping students qualify for special education, enforcing IEPs and 504s, and obtaining proper school supports, accommodations, and services. As a special needs student attorney in Sacramento California, Michelle Ball helps parents across the state in Roseville, Folsom, Auburn, Stockton, Vallejo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside, Foresthill, Ventura, Santa Barbara and many other areas.

[originally published June 13, 2011]