We encourage parents of special education students to take an active role in your child's educational planning and IEP process. Research has shown that both children and schools benefit from parent involvement.
Parents frequently have questions in navigating the special education process. The intent of this site is to provide you with helpful information needed to advocate for your child with special education needs.
- Minnesota Department of Education - Special Education Programs
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- Division of Rehabilitation Services: Helps people with disabilities prepare for, find and keep a job, and supports for independent living.
- Project SOAR: Providing adults with disabilities the opportunity to participate in Community Education programs.
- REACH for Resources: Offering individualized services for independence, community involvement and improved physical and mental well-being.
- Special Olympics Minnesota: Providing year-round athletic training and events in 17 Olympic-style sports for all age and skill levels.
Each child in Minnesota is entitled to a free and appropriate public education. Schools in Minnesota have a legal obligation to appropriately identify children and youth with disabilities. Schools are also required to offer a cultural liaison to families as needed. If requested, a cultural liaison can be included in meetings that may involve discussions regarding pre-referrals for specialized services such as special education. A cultural liaison may also be included in meetings for those students already receiving specialized services.
A cultural liaison is defined as a person who is of the same racial, cultural, socioeconomic, or linguistic background as the pupil who:
- Provides information to the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team about the pupil’s race, cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic background.
- Assists the IEP team in understanding how racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic factors impact educational progress.
- Facilitates the pupil’s parent’s understanding and involvement in the special education process.
If a person who is of the same racial, cultural, socioeconomic, or linguistic background as the pupil is not available, then a person who has the knowledge of the pupil’s racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic background may act as a cultural liaison (Minnesota Statute 3525.0200).