Advocacy and Education Links


Photo courtesy Michael Surran via Flickr

Parent Center Hub
The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities.


Wrightslaw A-Z Topics
Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.


Nichcy A-Z Topics
NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources’ Library. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to


Chapter 392-172A Index – Rules for the Provision of Special Education
The provisions of this chapter apply to all political subdivisions and public institutions of the state that are involved in the education of students eligible for special education, including: The OSPI to the extent that it receives payments under Part B and exercises supervisory authority over the provision of the delivery of special education services by school districts and other public agencies; School districts, charter schools, educational service agencies, and educational service districts; and State residential education programs established and operated pursuant to chapter 28A.190 RCW, the state school for the blind and the center for childhood deafness and hearing loss established and operated pursuant to chapter 72.40 RCW, and education programs for juvenile inmates established and operated pursuant to chapters 28A.193 and 28A.194 RCW;


PDF of Chapter 392-172A Index – Rules for the Provision of Special Education (to print or reference)
This reprint of the special education regulations with cross references to federal regulations by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is developed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) federal grant and may be reprinted without permission. The official regulations are maintained on the Code Reviser’s website:


File a Citizen Complaint
A citizen complaint is a written statement to OSPI alleging that a federal or state special education rule or law has been violated by a school district, another public agency serving special education students, an educational service district, or the state. Find the answers to frequently asked questions.


Citizen Complaint Decisions
Special Education Citizen Complaint (SECC) decisions are listed below for complaints filed January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2013. SECC decisions are written by OSPI following an investigation of a citizen complaint. Investigations are completed within 60 days of OSPI receiving the complaint. SECC decisions are posted on a calendar-year basis, after the last decision for a calendar year is issued.


File a Citizen Complaint Against OSPI
This page provides an overview of the citizen complaint process described fully in Chapter 392-168 WAC Complaints against the Superintendent of Public Instruction—Investigation Of and Response to Complaints against OSPI. A citizen complaint is a statement that OSPI has violated a federal or state law, or regulation that applies to a federal program. Anyone can file a citizen complaint. There is no special form. There is no need to know the law that governs a federal program to file a complaint.


Code of Professional Conduct – Filing a Complaint Against a Staff Member
The code of professional conduct is codified by the Washington State Legislature in WACs and RCWs. Please use this page to view the complete rules and regulations.


File a Discrimination Complaint
All people of Washington have certain rights and responsibilities under the Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60). Under the law, everyone has the right to be free from discrimination at work, in housing, in a public accommodation, or when seeking credit and insurance. Discrimination occurs whenever we treat someone differently and deny him or her equal treatment or access because of: their membership in a Protected Class.


OEO Office of the Education Ombuds
The Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) resolves complaints, disputes, and problems between families and Washington State elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning. OEO is a statewide agency that functions independently from the public school system. Our services are free, confidential and available to families and students from Kindergarten to 12th grade.


OEO – What Every Parent Needs to Know
While students with disabilities do have all of the same rights as other students (see the Office of the Education Ombudsman’s publication on Discipline in Public Schools for more information) they also have additional, extensive rights that protect them in discipline situations. The law recognizes that many students have disabilities that cause or at least are related to problem behavior. The law seeks to ensure that students with disabilities are not excluded from school and that their disabilities and any resulting behavior are handled in an appropriate manner. To provide that protection, there are very specific limitations on how a student with a disability can be disciplined.


Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools
These guidelines constitute OSPI’s interpretation of chapters 28A.640 and 28A.642 RCW and of chapter 392-190 WAC and are provided to support school districts’ understanding of their obligations under these laws. The information in this publication is specific to state law and is not inclusive of all obligations required of school districts under federal and state nondiscrimination laws. As recipients of federal financial assistance, school districts are also obligated under federal civil rights laws and regulations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34 C.F.R. Part 104), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (28 C.F.R. §35.106), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 100, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq.), and the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act (34 C.F.R. Part 108). Where federal regulations cover similar substantive areas, these guidelines mirror the federal regulations when consistent with state law.


Washington State Paraeducator Guidelines
ESEA mandates the use of proven strategies that are demonstrated to make a change in student learning and must be provided by well qualified instructors, meaning teachers and paraeducators. The intent of the qualification requirements for teachers and paraeducators is related to research which indicates that the better prepared and more knowledgeable instructors are regarding content and classroom instruction, the greater the likelihood that students will succeed. This then, places a strong emphasis on the teacher and paraeducator working together as an instructional team to ensure students receive coordinated instructional learning experiences.


Truancy – Becca Bill
Attendance is important for academic success, and unexcused absences may be an early warning sign for unaddressed problems with school and future dropout. When youth fail to attend school, they are considered truant. Washington law requires children from age 8 to 17 to attend a public school, private school, or to receive home-based instruction (homeschooling) as provided in subsection (4) of RCW 28A.225.010. Children who are 6- or 7-years-old are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if parents enroll their 6- or 7-year-old, the student must attend full-time. Youth who are 16 or older may be excused from attending public school if they meet certain requirements.


Bullying and Harassment (HIB) Toolkit
The 2010 Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2801, a Washington State law which prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) in our schools. Schools are required to take action if students report they are being bullied. Since August 2011, each school district has been required to adopt the model Washington anti-bullying policy and procedure.


What is an Ombudsman?
The term Ombudsman means citizen’s representative. The creation of the Special Education Ombudsman Program at OSPI demonstrates Washington’s on-going commitment to providing quality educational services to all students. The Ombudsman works neutrally and objectively with all parties to help make sure that eligible students receive services and supports necessary for them to benefit from public education, as guaranteed under federal and state laws.


OSPI – Special Education Resource Library
The Special Education Resource Library is intended to provide guidance and professional development resources on behalf of students with disabilities.


Washington Alternate Assessment System – WAAS
The Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS) is a component of Washington’s comprehensive assessment program focused on providing access for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to the state testing system.


Washington School Staff Database (Education & Employment History)
Washington Schools Data: Find Washington school staff education and employment history as well as current and past salaries using the staff search, or browse by county or region, then school district.


Washington State Learning Standards – Common Core
Common Core is a real-world approach to learning and teaching. Developed by education experts from 45 states, these K-12 learning standards go deeper into key concepts in math and English language arts. The standards require a practical, real-life application of knowledge that prepares Washington students for success in college, work and life.


Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (Must be present at final IEP Meeting to aide in transition)
Transition Services are a team effort that provides support and guidance to students with disabilities as they prepare to move from high school to the work place. Each student’s transition team includes the student, parents, school staff, and VR Counselors. Transition teams assist students to identify career interests and learn what skills and training are needed to prepare for careers in those fields of interest.


Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about DVR and its services.


The Arc of Washington State
The Arc of Washington State’s mission is to advocate for the rights and full participation of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Along with our network of members and chapters, we support and empower individuals and families; connect and inform individuals and families; improve support and service systems; influence public policy; increase public awareness; and inspire inclusive communities. See their video resources HERE.


NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.


The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. CADRE is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education to serve as the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education. See their Video resources HERE.


PACER Center
Through more than 30 projects, PACER provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child or young adult with disabilities. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center® provides resources designed to benefit all students, including those with disabilities. PACER in for families and their children or young adults with disabilities or special health care needs from birth through  adulthood; educators and other professionals who work with students with or without disabilities; and parents of all children and schools working together to encourage family involvement in education. See their video resources HERE.

Photo courtesy Michael Surran via Flickr