Wrightslaw: Special Education Law
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If you are the parent of a child with a disability or you have a niece, nephew, or grandchild with a disability, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law is required reading for you. 

If you have a friend or neighbor whose child has a disability, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law should be required reading for the child’s parent.


More than five million children with disabilities receive special education services. 

Unfortunately, few parents understand their children’s rights or their parental rights and responsibilities. Ignorance of the law is often as handicapping as the child's disability. 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law: 386 pages; 8.5" x 11;" extensive index; special "lay-flat" binding. 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law is an essential tool for anyone who wants to advocate for a child with a disability. With this book, parents, educators, attorneys, and advocates can find the answers to questions about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law makes an excellent gift for any parent of a child with a disability.


Using an Adobe Acrobat "PDF" format, we have posted the Table of Contents, first four chapters of the book, and the Index. The initial four chapters are relatively short, compared to the rest of the 386 page book. 

Chapters One through Four consist of the Introduction, an Overview of Law, a Short History of Special Education Law, and an Overview of IDEA.

Chapters Five and Six, which were not uploaded, consist of the full text of IDEA with commentary and explanation by Pete Wright. Chapter 6 is the full text of the March, 1999 regulations. The links to six pdf files are below:


You can obtain a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader at the following URL: 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law is the first in a series of special education law and advocacy books and manuals relating to the needs of children with disabilities. Several reviewers have strongly recommended this book for use in college classes about special education law.

About the Authors: Pete Wright, an attorney with a disability, has represented children with disabilities and their parents for more than 20 years. Pete argued and won a landmark special education case before the U. S. Supreme Court. Pam Wright, a psychotherapist, has written dozens of articles about special education advocacy. 

Pete and Pam developed Wrightslaw, the special education advocacy site for parents, attorneys, advocates, and educators. They also publish The Special Ed Advocate, the free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective educational methods, and Internet links.

What People Are Saying about Wrightslaw: Special Education Law 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law is a remarkable tool for all of us who work with children with learning disabilities and who try to understand the complex and evolving applications of the laws. 
The format of the book is especially useful. The information is made accessible by the very excellent organization of the book. While the chapters move logically overall, the specific headings make it possible for the reader to find solutions to specific problems that may be of immediate interest. 
You never lose sight of the real beneficiaries of these laws - the students and their families. To borrow a phrase from a credit card company, I would advise parents "Don't leave home for a meeting at your child's school without it." Rosa A. Hagin, Ph.D., Diplomate, American Board of Professional Psychology.

A most valuable tool for every parent and advocate: actual texts of the law and regulations with Pete's succinct and insightful observations and guidance! - S. James Rosenfeld, Esq., EdLaw Center 

The authors have accomplished an unusual feat - a book that is equally useful to the experienced special education lawyer or advocate and the inexperienced parent. The essence of the law is experience, not reason. No one has more experience than the Wrights. - William M. Laviano, Esq. 

Extremely well done, balanced and useful. I highly recommend that parents read the Individuals with Disabilities Act with your "section overviews." It is like taking a mini-course on the law at one’s own pace. Thank you for the opportunity to review Wrightslaw: Special Education Law. It is an important contribution to understanding special education law and how to use it more effectively. - William F. Byrne, Esq.

The new regulations for IDEA 1997 presented educators in special and regular education with another challenge: trying to interpret what these regulations mean. This has not been easy - until now. 
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law clarifies that mandates of IDEA 1997 in an educator-friendly manner. Wrightslaw: Special Education Law also provides a thorough background about special education and the laws and cases that support the amendments to IDEA. 
Anyone who teaches courses in special education at the post-secondary level will find this text to be an invaluable resource. Administrators and educators in every school should have access to the timely information included in each chapter. - Quentin L. Griffey, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Special Education, Pfeiffer University

The concise, clear descriptions of what the law means will be of value to every interested individual, from parents to university professors.  - Douglas Carnine, Ph.D., National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators 

Excellent document, excellent guide. Well organized. The part I found to be most important is your treatment of the necessity for using researched-based methods. I believe this is critical. Regular and special educators need to equate the terms "appropriate" and "research-based" - they should not be mutually exclusive. Nice job.  - Bill Matthew, Ph.D., Director of Special Education, Delano, CA

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law is written and organized in a way that provides lay persons and professionals with the information and understanding needed to effectively advocate for students with disabilities. -  Rebecca Felton, Ph.D., Educational Consultant

I found Wrightslaw: Special Education Law to be like Peter Wright - straightforward and direct in style but infused with the empathy and passion that Pete and Pam Wright have for children and youth with disabilities, their educational welfare, and their rights under special education law. - Jamie Ruppman, educational advocate and mother of two sons with disabilities.

How can I begin to tell you how excited I was when I read Wrightslaw: Special Education Law? All I could think was, "What I would have given for such a wonderful resource when I was prepring for IEP meetings for my sons!" 
This book is more than wonderful. The reading is easy, especially where you explain certain sections of the regulations. I literally took the statute and the regulations and read them side by side. So many questions were answered. You are absolutely correct when you advise parents to read the statute, the regulations and case law.
I cannot imagine any parent or child advocate not having this book as a ready reference. Thank you for taking such confusing, complex information and making it user friendly for the parent of a child who has recently been diagnosed and informative for the most proficient advocate.
With your book, I will be a much wiser advocate for individuals with learning disabilities. Parents need the information you have so carefully explained. Never again should a parent go to an IEP meeting, mediation or due process hearing without being fully informed and prepared.  - Sandra Britt, Immediate Past President, Learning Disabilities Association of America

It’s all here! The laws, regulations, cases - and Pete’s comments on legal interpretations of special education law are now in one book. This comprehensive book takes the guesswork out of finding answers to the most common questions that plague parents and advocates. I will include Wrightslaw: Special Education Law on the "must purchase" list that I provide to parents and other advocates with whom  consult. - Patricia Howey, Special Education Consultant and Advocate

Parents have long needed a comprehensive look at the special education and civil rights laws which affect their lives and the lives of their children so directly and dramatically. Your concise, practical commentaries on specific sections of the law and regulations should help parents see where they have been and where they should be going with regard to their children’s education. As an attorney and advocate, I found it helpful in reducing the cacaphony about IDEA into a useful framework. Thanks, Pete!  - Joanne Simon, Esq.

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