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Resource Center


Special Education Self-Advocacy Guide

Disability Rights New Jersey understands that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a complicated law. We created this self-advocacy guide to help families of students with disabilities understand their rights and procedures established by the IDEA. This guide covers various topics that include eligibility, evaluations, discipline, transition, and dispute resolution.

Preschool Special Education

Preschool students with disabilities can receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The rules are unique for preschool students with disabilities in terms of eligibility and services under the IDEA. This publication serves as a guide to help parents navigate through the special education process for these particular students.

The Special Education and Juvenile Justice Project

Parent and Student Resources for SS3434

Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Toolkit for Students with Life-Threatening Medical Conditions

Many students in New Jersey have medical conditions that are potentially life-threatening such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and food allergy. Public and non-public schools in New Jersey are required to have policies that establish a safe and healthy learning environment for students with life-threatening medical conditions.

Schools typically offer Individualized Health Plans and Section 504 Plans to address life-threatening medical conditions. Disability Rights New Jersey has published this user-friendly toolkit that explains the differences between those two plans and why some schools inappropriately propose an Individualized Health Plan instead of a 504 Plan. This toolkit also provides guidance to help advocate for the right type of plan for the student.

Relevant Contacts and Sources of Information

NJ Department of Education, Office of Special Education Policy and Dispute Resolution (formerly Office of Special Education Programs) (SPDR or OSEP)

Dominic Rota, Director

Phone: (609) 376-9060
Fax: (609) 984-8422

Email for submission of due process petitions only (attached in PDF format): [email protected]

NJDOE’s Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE):

English version (revised 2019) https://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/form/prise/FullPRISE.pdf

Spanish version (revised 2016) https://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/form/prise/prise_s.pdf

NJDOE forms available at:

https://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/due/ or https://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/form/

(Request for Due Process/Mediation in English and Spanish, Request for Emergent Relief in English and Spanish, Certification in Lieu of Oath in English)

Office of Administrative Law (OAL)

Newark Phone: (973) 648-7136

Trenton Phone: (609) 689-4034

Other numbers:



Federal Statute and Regulations

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20  U.S.C. 1400 to 1482

IDEA regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 300

Both available at: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/statuteregulations/

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794

Section 504 regulations pertaining to elementary and secondary education, 34 C.F.R. Part 104

Court Cases

Most are available at: https://scholar.google.com/

New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (OAL) Decisions

OAL decisions available at: https://www.nj.gov/education/legal/specialed/index.shtml   [2018 to present] and https://njlaw.rutgers.edu/collections/oal/ [up to February 2020]

New Jersey Administrative Code

N.J.A.C. 6A:14, New Jersey’s special education regulations: 


N.J.A.C. 1:1, New Jersey’s administrative hearing rules: 


United States Education Department COVID Guidance

Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak, USDOE (March 12, 2020) https://sites.ed.gov/idea/files/qa-covid-19-03-12-2020.pdf

United States Education Department: Office of Civil Rights COVID Guidance

Fact Sheet:  Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students, USDOE Office for Civil Rights (March 16, 2020) 


Supplemental Fact Sheet:  Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities, USDOE Office for Civil Rights (March 21, 2020)


New Jersey Department of Education Guidance 

Updates and Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 School Closures, NJDOE (March 23, 2020)


Providing Special Education and Related Services to Students with Disabilities During Extended School Closures as a Result of COVID-19, NJDOE (April 3, 2020)


New Jersey Specific Guidance for Schools & Districts (Updated April 13, 2020)


Parental Waivers for the Delivery of Remote or Virtual Special Education and Related Services, NJDOE (April 30, 2020) 


Providing Additional Services for Students with Disabilities Who Will Graduate or Exceed Eligibility for Special Education Services, NJDOE (June 12, 2020)


Restart and Recovery Plan for Education: The Road Back, NJDOE (June 2020)


Clarifying Expectations Regarding Fulltime Remote Learning Options for Families in 2020-2021 (July 24, 2020)


S 3434 and Related Parent Webinars 

S3434: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/S3500/3434_R2.PDF

Related Parent Webinars sponsored by VLJ/ELC/NJCDD/SPAN:

Recording of June 15 Parent Webinar: Filing Due Process and Invoking Stay-Put When You Disagree With Your Child’s Graduation


(includes detailed information on filing a due process petition).

Recording of June 16 Parent Webinar: Filing Due Process and Invoking Stay-Put When You Disagree With Your Child’s Graduation


(modified from prior webinar to address signing of S3434). 

ELC Publications

“The Right to Special Education in New Jersey: A Guide for Advocates” (2008)

English version: https://edlawcenter.org/assets/files/pdfs/publications/Rights_SpecialEducation_Guide%20TL.pdf

Spanish version: https://edlawcenter.org/assets/files/pdfs/publications/The%20Right%20to%20Special%20Education%20-%20Spanish%20Translation%20TL.pdf

“COVID-19 and Students with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions”

English version: https://edlawcenter.org/assets/files/pdfs/publications/COVID_19_and_SWD_FAQ_3rd_Ed_Dec.pdf

“What Special Education Parents Need to Know Now That S3434 Has Been Signed” (July 7, 2021)


Special Education Ombudsman

Resource to provide information and support to parents, students and educators regarding special education rights and services. 


Cynthia Hoenes-Saindon, Ombudsman
Phone: 609-376-9060  Fax: 609-984-8422
Email: [email protected]

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