ConsultLine - Pennsylvania

ConsultLine is a toll-free information help line for parents and advocates of children with disabilities who have questions or concerns about the education of a school-aged child. ConsultLine specialists answer questions and provide information about special education, gifted education, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A bilingual specialist is available to serve Spanish-speaking callers.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization

System Design/Management

The Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) provides resources for parents and educational agencies to resolve educational disputes for children served by the early intervention system, students who are gifted (or thought to be gifted), and students with disabilities (or thought to have disabilities). ODR is committed to seek out and offer varying alternative dispute resolution activities and options for constituents.  ODR understands the importance of due process; however there are several steps that can be taken prior to filing for a due process hearing in an attempt to reach a resolution.  The alternative dispute resolution options that ODR offers have shown to be successful in helping parties reach an agreement. Pennsylvania has been named an Exemplary Dispute Resolution System in Special Education by the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education(CADRE).

Policy/Procedures

  • Describe the processes involved in having a child evaluated and provided special education, classroom accommodations and related services;
  • Explain the procedural safeguards (parents’ rights) available to parents of students with disabilities;
  • Provide information about, access to, and assistance with the formal complaint process;
  • Discuss options for addressing concerns or disagreements about the child’s special education program; and
  • Provide callers with other useful resources and informational materials
Resources

PA-12 ConsultLine Policy _Call Termination Procedures.pdf

Personnel

Consultine is staffed by three full time specialists and one Supervisor/Specialist. ConsultLine specialists do not act as advocates or provide legal advice.

Forms/Letter Templates

Resources

PA-15 ConsultLine Database Layout Screen.pdf

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities

Availability/Accessing Services

Contact the ConsultLine by calling 800-879-2301 or 717-541-4960, ext. 3332, or request that the ConsultLine call you by filling out an online request form at http://odr-pa.org/parents/consultline/. The ConsultLine provides direct service in English and Spanish, and is able to serve callers in other languages with the help of an interpreting service. Organizations and agencies that provide support to families of children with disabilities may also use the ConsultLine. 

Materials/Activities

Resources

PA - ConsultLine-video.pdf

PA-10 ConsultLine Brochure ENG 4.13.pdf

PA-10.1 Consultline Brochure in Spanish 3.11.pdf

Evaluation & Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

DATA

Consultine serves approximately 3500-4000 calls each year.

Resources

PA-17 ConsultLine Issues List.pdf

Program Contact

Kerry Smith
Office for Dispute Resolution