Parents and Families

Parents and families want the best for their family members. The Parents and Families Resource page brings together U.S. Department of Education-funded centers, department programs, and additional information of interest for parents and families.

Visit the IDEA Statute and Regulations and Policy Support pages for more specific, searchable IDEA law and policy information.

IDEA-Related Centers

The Department’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) supports projects that provide information and technical assistance to families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

These projects also support families whose children are suspected of having a disability or developmental delay or who may be inappropriately identified as needing special education and related services.

Information and assistance from these OSEP-funded projects are available free of charge. Families can find information about IDEA-specific topics through these centers.

The Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) provide services in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Pacific entities. PTIs are a rich source of information and training especially for parents, including parents whose primary language is not English or themselves have special training needs.

In addition, Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) throughout the country serve targeted, underserved communities.

To find the PTI or CPRC that serves your community or to locate additional informational materials for families, visit the Center on Parent Information and Resources.

For additional information about OSEP discretionary grant recipients, visit the Resource Centers’ page or view OSEP IDEAs That Work.

IDEA Topic Areas

OSEP, along with other Department offices, Federal agencies, and OSEP discretionary grant recipients, provides numerous IDEA-topic area resources.

For Federal resources for IDEA stakeholders on college- and career-readiness standards, tool kits, topic issues in education, intervention IDEA briefs, and a resource library, visit OSEP IDEAs That Work.

For more specific resources on a variety of IDEA topics, visit the Topic Areas resource page. This resource page includes information and resources from the Department, other Federal agencies, and federally-funded technical assistance centers.

Early Learning

The Department has prioritized early learning in an effort to support our nation’s youngest learners. A variety of resources and links to early learning-specific resources can be found on the Department’s Early Learning Website.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center developed the For Families page to provide information to help families with young children:

  • understand their rights under the IDEA,
  • connect with other families, and
  • find resources related to caring for infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities.

The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) developed the For Families page to provide information to families of young children who want to know more about early intervention and preschool special education data.

Military Families

The Military-Connected Children with Disabilities page highlights resources to support states, parents, families, and others to meet the unique needs of military-connected children with disabilities and ensure the timely provision of required early intervention and special education and related services.

Disability Specific Groups

Numerous national, state, and local disability-specific groups exist in support of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families.

The Department does not endorse particular groups and organizations; however, parents and families are encouraged to contact their Parent Training and Information Center. Parents and families may also find it helpful to connect with research groups and organizations that provide information and support for their child’s disability.

Other Resources

The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.

OCR does not enforce the IDEA; however, OCR does enforce the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title II rights of IDEA-eligible students with disabilities.

Visit OCR’s website for additional resources, including Disability Discrimination FAQs.

OSERS’ Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of supports such as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services.

For more on RSA’s programs, visit RSA.

The Comprehensive Center Network (CC Network) brings together a broad range of education initiatives funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Visit the CC Network for access to more than 700 resources developed by 23 centers and information about more than 200 projects across the country.

Severe Discrepancy