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Why Take This Survey?

There are almost 7 million children with disabilities who receive special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), from preschool through high school and other programs. Under the IDEA, parents and schools collaborate together as equal partners to design the educational services the child needs to succeed.  Children with good special education services achieve maximum independence. Many children receive good special education services that help them become independent. But there are also some anecdotal reports that some children receive weak or inferior services, and their parents do not feel they are treated as equal partners in the process.

The IDEA National Survey Project examines whether parents, self-advocates, and those who work with parents believe the playing field is level for children with disabilities and their parents. The project looks at whether parents see themselves as equal partners in their children’s education. One explicit purpose of the IDEA is “to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected,” 20 U.S.C. § 1400. The survey is designed around this premise.

The survey is open to people with all disabilities. It is not restricted to the disabilities on which our organizations focus. We are looking at these issues as they affect children with all disabilities and special needs.

The survey asks about perceptions regarding the rights of parents and students throughout the special education process, including IEP meetings and evaluations, eligibility, and other decisions about special education. There are also questions about parents’ rights in Due Process and Impartial Hearings, and the Complaint Process. 

After the survey is complete, a report will be written containing the results. The report will discuss the experiences that parents, students with disabilities, and attorneys, advocates and others have under the IDEA. The survey form will give you the option to be emailed when the report is ready. The survey report will also be available here.

Information about sponsoring organizations is available here.

Survey collection closed on July 12, 2011.  We received over 3,000 responses and are in the process of analyzing them and writing the report.  Thank you for your participation.