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When Teachers Won’t Provide Accommodations in the IEP

03/31/09
by Pete Wright

My child has language-based learning disabilities and fine motor problems that make it impossible for him to produce legible written work. His IEP includes accommodations to help with these problems. Some of his regular education teachers won’t provide these accommodations. What can I do?

If regular education teachers are not implementing the accommodations in your child’s IEP, you need to document this. A good strategy is to write short polite letters to people in authority. Begin by writing a polite letter to the principal. Describe the problem and ask for his help.

Your letter should be factual, not emotional. Do not blame or portray your child as a victim.

Your First Letter

Dear Mr. Principal:

As you know, my son Rob has severe language based learning disabilities and fine motor problems. He is unable to produce legible written work. As a result of these disabilities, his IEP states that he will receive accommodations, including X and Y and Z.

Some of Rob’s regular education teachers are not providing the accommodations in his IEP. I have talked to them but nothing changed. I need help.

I’d like to schedule an appointment to talk with you. My work phone number is 888-123-4567. My home number is 888-765-4321 after 6 p.m.

Sincerely,

Marie Parent

Moving Up the Ladder

Assume nothing changes.

Move up the bureaucratic ladder to the next person in authority. Write a letter that describes the problem and your attempts to resolve it. Attach copies of the other letters you wrote to school personnel.

Dear Ms. Special Education Director:

Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter to Mr. Principal. I advised him that my son’s regular education teachers are not providing the accommodations in his IEP. I asked for his help in getting the teachers to implement the accommodations.

When I met with him, I had the sense that his hands are tied. I’m turning to you for help.

Sincerely,

Marie Parent

Your Next Step – Taking Action

Continue up the ladder to decision-makers with more power – the Superintendent and school board members.

If the problem continues and you need to take action –- to request a due process hearing or a file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights – your polite factual letters will be excellent evidence. You advised several school authorities about the problem in writing. You asked for help. No one stepped up to the plate.

Under those circumstances, even Ms. Manners would take them to court.

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51 Comments on "When Teachers Won’t Provide Accommodations in the IEP"


Lisa
03/26/2015

Can teachers be sued for personal property if a 504 or IEP is not followed or is it the school district?

B. Chase
05/11/2015

Yes, please review past court cases which held teacher’s accountable for following IEP accommodations.

Alejandra
10/09/2014

I have 9yr old and his IEP IS NOT BEING FOLLOWED.I have spoken to the teacher about an Agenda/ website even gone as far as letting him know to email me or text me the homework. My son has a problem staying focus and retaining auditory information. Homework is hell !!! I have already spoke with the principal over the phone , and the only thing they did was made sure he copied the homework down. The problem is he writes poorly and doesn’t know what to do because he cant remember. Im writing this letter to the principal hope this helps. Any advice? thank you

B. Chase
05/11/2015

Document all phone calls, emails, or contact with teachers and/or administration. Forward emails to “administrators farther up the ladder” and keep a log book documenting contact. A good accommodation for a student who writes poorly would be for the teacher to:
1. Provide teacher-made computer notes for student
2. Make carbon copy notes from another student’s notes
3. Make copy of another student’s notes

TG
10/01/2014

The first step should NOT be a a letter to the principal FOR THE FIRST OCCURRENCE or BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO THE TEACHER. It could make the parent appear to be adversarial. I think the first step should be a polite note to the teacher( or individual who did not provide the accommodation). When working with the professionals who service your children, you always want to do things that reinforce the idea that everyone is part of the same team. That means giving the individual an opportunity to correct the mistake or oversight first. If it continues, then it would be appropriate to speak to or write a note to the principal.

sonja
03/01/2014

I wish i would have read this earlier. I have a 15 yr old son with a learning disability. His iep is not being followed. I have made a few phone calls and asked for a study guide. he is given one a test with no answers on it . I decided to contact the teacher to meet with him and go over his study guide material he needs and hell broke loose. I need someone to share this with. sitting in a meeting and I have 6 adults lying to me.

Ana
05/23/2013

Hi my 7yrs son goes to a Talented & Gifted program. He has an IEP that is not being complied with. My son’s grade has not made significant improvements to their standards. The school has asked us to leave because they do not have the funds to provide him with any services. I live in a district where poverty, unemployed and high crime residents who dominate most of the housing. Please help me.