Special Education Resources

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 (0-22 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.

DREDF’s Guide to Due Process in California

In light of changes made to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by Congress in 2004, and changes in California’s mediation process, DREDF’s “A Guide for California Parents: Special Education Due Process and the Resolution Session, 2ed.” offers guidance through the California special education due process procedure.

Sample Letters for Special Education

Over the course of a child’s education we communicate with teachers, administrators, and others. While much of the communication is informal face-to-face, or over the phone conversations, there are times when communications need to be made in writing. Having a paper trail often helps in the event a dispute arises between families and school districts.

Visit our collection of Sample Letters

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004)


Visit our Trainings page for schedule and registration

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. It gives parents certain rights to review and request changes in their child’s school records as well as requiring parental permission for the release of education records except under specified circumstances.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law holds states and school districts more accountable for ensuring that all students reach certain proficiency standards in a specified amount of time. If standards are not met in time, students can transfer to higher performing schools or receive supplemental services such as tutoring. The law also makes other provisions regarding curriculum, teacher qualify, and parental rights to certain information. Children with disabilities are included in the standardized testing that determines whether a school meets the mandated standards, and 95% of students with disabilities must participate in the annual testing.


  • Special Education Inclusion (Wisconsin Education Association Council)
  • Students Perceptions of Instruction in Inclusion Classrooms: Implications for Students with Learning Disabilities (National PTAC)
  • Las Percepciones de los Estudiantes de la Instrucción en Inclusión en Salones de Clases: Implicaciones para Estudiantes con Problemas de Aprendizaje (National PTAC)

Individual Education Program (IEP)

Assessments / Evaluations

Related Services


  • An Overview of Special Education Transportation: A Primer for Parents and Educators (Mountain Plains RRC)

Assistive Technology



Response to Intervention


Procedural Safeguards and Due Process

Resolution Meetings

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Learning Disabilities and ADHD

Resources for Military Families

More Resources

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