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Special Education & Learning Disabilities Resources: A Nationwide Directory
Student Hearing Office
State Enforcement & Investigation Division
District of Columbia
Margaret McLeod, Director

Special Education
Due Process Hearings in DC

1150 5th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Tel: (202) 698-3819
Fax: (202) 698-3825
E-mail: Margaret.McLeod@dc.gov

on the WWW:www.osse.dc.gov


Student Hearing Office - Special Education Due Process Hearings in DC

The Student Hearing Office (SHO) conducts special education due process hearings. A special education due process hearing is a formal review conducted by a trained, impartial administrative law judge, referred to as a hearing officer, from the SHO. The hearing officers are not employees of the District's public education system.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., requires that each state and the District of Columbia to establish and maintain procedures to ensure that parents and children with disabilities have an opportunity to seek mediation and/or an impartial due process hearing to resolve disagreements over the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities. Whenever a dispute arises over any of the above issues, a party to the dispute may request an impartial due process hearing. The Student Hearing Office is responsible for overseeing the docketing and scheduling of all special education hearings.

The Student Hearing Office (SHO) conducts special education due process hearings. A special education due process hearing is a formal review conducted by a trained, impartial administrative law judge, referred to as a hearing officer, from the SHO. The hearing officers are not employees of the District's public education system.

The hearing officer will take evidence from both the parents and a public agency (local school system or State operated program that provides educational services to children) regarding the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for a child with a disability or suspected of having a disability under IDEA.

IDEA requires that specific procedure be followed by both parties when requesting a due process hearing. Due to the formality of this process and the legal nature of the proceedings, parents generally have an attorney represent them, but may represent themselves.

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