The Parent Liaison work independently, not on behalf of any one party. Personally identifiable information shared with OSPI’s Special Education Parent Liaison is not revealed to a third party without permission. The role of an Parent Liaison can be defined in different ways, depending on the needs of an organization.
The role of the Special Education Parent Liaison at OSPI is to help parents resolve disagreements with school districts about special education services quickly, fairly, and at the lowest level possible. The Special Education Parent Liaison does this by:
- Helping parents and educators better understand special education processes and regulations;
- Acting as a neutral facilitator between citizens and school districts to help solve problems related to special education;
- Clarifying the roles of parents, as well as educators, related to special education services;
- Acting as a neutral sounding board to explore options for resolving special education related disagreements;
- Advising parents and educators about communication strategies that help to support a team approach to a student's educational program;
- Explaining the options available to formally resolve a special education disagreement or complaint;
- Advocating for a fair process;
- Working to prevent individual concerns from being overlooked by the system;
- Making recommendations to OSPI and other stakeholders based upon common issues and patterns of complaints, if patterns emerge;
- Serving as a resource for disability related information and referral.
OSPI’s Special Education Parent Liaison:
- Does not act as an attorney;
- Does not provide legal advice;
- Does not determine special education or OSPI policy;
- Does not conduct investigations and/or write investigative reports;
- Does not advocate on behalf of any one party or organization;
- Is not a defender of OSPI or school district practices;
- Is not someone who can order a school district or other public agency to fix a problem.
If you have questions about the special education process or difficulties communicating with the school district and need additional help, contact the OSPI’s Special Education Parent Liaison to assist you.