Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities
A good starting place for parents of students with disabilities is:
A Parent's Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.
This document is available in English and Spanish. The appendices also include quick references, a glossary of terms, and sample letters.
Another tool available to parents is:
The Illinois Student Records Keeper:
For Parents of Students Who Receive Special Education Services .
This booklet is for parents to use to keep important information about their child and his/her special education and related services. It is a companion to A Parent’s Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois.
- The Illinois State Board of Education provides online resources. You may also call ISBE Special Education Services at (866) 262-6663 for additional information.
- The Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Collaborative (ISTAC) Parent Call Center (877-317-2733) provides assistance and connects parents to resources.
- Parent Mentors provide regional or local trainings, mentoring, etc. Parent mentors educate and do not advise. - New page coming soon!
- Parent Training Information Centers (PTIs) provide trainings, parent mentoring, etc.
- If you are unable to resolve a conflict at the local level, you may access one of ISBE’s dispute resolution options.
If you have a child with a disability, you may decide to hire a paraprofessional or a "lay advocate” to assist you in ensuring that your child's educational needs are met. These advocates, who are not attorneys, may be able to assist with consultation, letter writing, or meetings with schools.
For certain circumstances, a parent may prefer to hire an attorney for assistance.