The Speical Education Handbook from the California Office of Administrative Hearings is helpful to parents as they advocate for their child.
“This Handbook describes what due process is and how it works in California. The IDEA intended parents to be able to use due process without an attorney. However, parents have a right to an attorney, at their own expense, and some, but not all, parents choose to have an attorney represent them. Parents also have the right to be accompanied by persons with specialized knowledge, although non-attorneys cannot represent Parents in mediation or in hearings. The Handbook is meant to help parents understand due process whether or not they have an attorney or other help. The Office of Administrative Hearings cannot give legal advice to anyone, but it is easier to be a part of mediation and a due process hearing if you understand the process. The Handbook will refer to the Special Education Division of the Office of Administrative Hearings as OAH.”
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