Special Education Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher covering special education.

Its mission is to ensure parents, educators, and students have the information and tools necessary to fully understand, address, and safeguard the unique needs of all students who require special education.

Recent Articles

OCR guidance on cancer, epilepsy, and sickle cell disease

Office for Civil Rights Addresses Cancer, Epilepsy, Sickle Cell Disease; Issues Guidance on Medical Conditions Triggering Protections Under Section 504

June 20, 2024, Office for Civil Rights released individual guidance on when cancer, epilepsy, and sickle cell disease trigger protections under Section 504, what kind of modifications an educational institution may need to take to avoid unlawful discrimination, and what an institution may need to do to remedy past discrimination.

In addition, they provide descriptions of the medical conditions and examples of how the conditions can affect a student’s experience in school.

Department of Justice

Justice Department Finds Fulton County School District Failed to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assault of Students Who Have Disabilities

June 24, 2024, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) released the findings of its investigation into, and resolution agreement with, Fulton County School District (Georgia), addressing violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.

DOJ determined Fulton County Schools “failed to adequately train its employees on responding to student-on-student Sexual Misconduct and lacked clearly defined policies and procedures (including with respect to roles and timelines) for investigating student-on-student Sexual Misconduct and for considering the impact of a student’s disabilities on their ability to consent to sexual activity during such investigations; and failed to offer students adequate supportive measures, ensure that students’ disabilities are effectively accommodated, and effectively communicate with students and their families.”

Department of Justice

Justice Department Finds Utah at Fault for Failing to Provide Effective Transition Services

June 18, 2024, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) released the findings of its investigation into Utah’s statewide violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

DOJ determined Utah is violating ADA “by unnecessarily segregating youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) during the day, instead of helping them find work and spend their days in their communities.” In addition, it found that gaps in Utah’s transition service system put students transitioning out of children’s services “at serious risk for unnecessary segregation in these settings”, because the students “enter adulthood without the experiences or the services they need to live fully integrated adult lives.”

VDOE Finds FCPS at Fault for Systemic Failure to Implement IEPs; FCPS Must Address Delays in Providing Compensatory Education and Reimbursable Expenses

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is at fault for systemic failure to implement IEPs division wide.

A Letter of Findings (LOF) released today by Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) cites FCPS’ failures to provide compensatory education and reimbursable expenses in a timely manner consistent with IEP implementation regulations.

What Do Parents Need to Know?
In both cases, the reimbursable expenses and compensatory education are related to FCPS’ November 30, 2022, resolution agreement with Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Although the findings address the families who joined the systemic complaint, neither VDOE nor FCPS can ignore noncompliance faced by other families.

2008 IEE Noncompliance Finding

17 Years of Independent Educational Evaluation Noncompliance: Virginia Department of Education Fails Students and to Perform Its General Supervisory Duties

For at least 17 years, Virginia Department of Education has failed to ensure compliance with IDEA and state IEE special education regulations.

During the last four years, VDOE has failed to ensure that all local education agencies statewide have implemented the changes required by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs findings in its June 23, 2020, differentiated monitoring and support report on VDOE.

Prince William County Public Schools Found at Fault for Systemic Noncompliance; Must Change Independent Educational Evaluation Practices

May 3, 2024, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) found Prince William County Public Schools (PWCPS) at fault for failure to implement federal and state special education regulations at a systemic level.

VDOE identified four counts of noncompliance related to PWCPS’ division-wide independent educational evaluation (IEE) practices, to include failure to follow U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) June 2020 required changes to Virginia Administrative Code (VAC).