Date Published: Aug 31, 2010
Journal of Special Education Leadership
Zirkel, Perry A., and McGuire, Brooke L.


+ This article maps out the similarities and differences among the various routes to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 dispute resolution, including those not widely and well known to special education leaders.

+ For IDEA-eligible students, the alternative avenues consist of not only the impartial hearing procedures and the state education agency’s complaint investigation/resolution process but also the routes of legal recourse under Section 504.

+ For students eligible under Section 504 alone, the alternative avenues amount to not only the complaint investigation/resolution process of the Office for Civil Rights but also the required grievance and impartial hearing procedures, which are subject to considerable confusion and—in light of the IDEA’s intersecting exhaustion requirement—complexity.

+ The various parts of this roadmap range from basic points for the new special education leader to more

nuanced or advanced points for the experienced special education leader, with ample documentation of the specific legal sources.