Special Education

Talk to an Education Advocate

If you live in Alameda, Contra Costa or San Joaquin Counties, an Education Advocate can talk to you about special education and give you resources so you can make informed decisions about your child’s education and other individual needs.

DREDF is the PTI for Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin counties in Northern California. Our Education Advocates provide technical assistance to parents in order to help guide them through the special education process. If you live in these counties and have a child with a disability (0-26 years) or suspect your child may have an undiagnosed disability, you can call an Education Advocate at DREDF for assistance: 800-348-4232 (voice) 510-841-8645 (TTY), or email iephelp@dredf.org.

The history and development of education programs for children with disabilities in the United States closely parallels the struggle of other minority groups to establish their civil right to participate equally in public education, which provides the primary preparation for economic and social participation in society. Children with disabilities’ right to equal educational opportunities was established when Congress enacted “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act” (P.L. 94-142, later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975.

Special Education Resources

The goal of the Children and Family Advocacy program is to preserve, strengthen and enforce the rights of children with disabilities. We use our long-established strategies of legal advocacy, public policy and legislative development, and training and education, toward that end.

DREDF is a Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) funded by the US Department of Education. PTIs serve families of children and young adults from birth to age 26 with all disabilities: physical, cognitive, emotional, and learning. They help families:

  • Obtain appropriate education and services for their children with disabilities
  • Work to improve education results for all children
  • Train and inform parents and professionals on a variety of topics
  • Resolve problems between families and schools or other agencies
  • Connect children with disabilities to community resources that address their needs
Free Workshop on Special Education – Second Monday of the Month

“Understanding the Special Education Process: IEP Basics & Beyond”
DREDF Education Advocates provide an overview of the special education process, Section 504 and IDEA laws.

Where: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703
(campus is at Ashby BART station)
The Bernard Osher Foundation Education Center, First Floor
Date: 2nd Monday of the month (except August and December)
Time: 6:00 to 8:30pm (Pizza and drinks included!)
Must RSVP: iephelp@dredf.org or 510-644-2555 ext. 5227


Workshops on Special Education (as of October 30, 2007)

DREDF’s education advocates provide workshops for parents and professionals throughout the year. If you are a member of an organization or parent group who is interested in hosting a workshop, please fill out our DREDF Training Request Form.

Special Education Process

The special education process follows the guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Diabetes and Other Health Issues in School

Children with diabetes and other chronic illnesses often face challenges in receiving appropriate care and accommodations at school. DREDF, along with the American Diabetes Association, has developed a sample 504 Plan and a sample Health Plan for parents to use as a model when creating individualized plans for their own children.