Laws and regulations provide guidance and clarification about what is and is not acceptable when providing supports to individuals with disabilities. A number of Federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These laws cover access to a wide range of facilities and services, including housing, transportation, employment, telecommunications and voting. Knowing one’s rights under the laws, or complying with their requirements, typically means getting the right information from the proper source.

Sometimes you can do it alone; sometimes you need guidance and expertise in order to get the job done right. Filing your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is a process that may require professional assistance. When advocating for your child, do your research and get support from a professional or a friend.

“She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers 3:18

Local Resources

Broward County Public Schools Exceptional Student Learning Support
Serves more than 32,000 students with disabilities and offers a free and appropriate public education in compliance with the federally mandated Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A continuum of services and programs are available to meet the individual needs of students, ages 3 to 22, who are eligible for special education and related services. This continuum of services may be provided in a variety of settings, which include general education classrooms, resource rooms, specialized day schools and hospital homebound. Eligible students are provided supports and/or services as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP) that are based on each child’s unique needs, as related to their present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.

Quick Links

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

504 Plans
What Is a 504 Plan? 504 plans are formal plans that schools develop to give kids with disabilities the supports they need. These plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of kids with disabilities in school. 504 Plans are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which is a civil rights law.

Early Intervention Rights
What is early intervention? What does it include? Does my child qualify? What should I do if I am not happy with evaluations, programs or services? What is Part C? Is it the same as Part B but for younger children? Is an IFSP different from an IEP? These are just a few of the questions people ask.

If you are a parent, you need to educate yourself about your child’s disability or delay, effective educational methods, different types of therapies and medical treatments, and how to present your child’s problems and needs to school staff so they want to help.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability