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Writing the Due Process Request Letter or State Complaint

What the attorney and the lay advocate need to know. When do you start the preparation for the letter? What are the first steps before putting pen to paper? Who is your target audience - you are writing the letter for who? Are you sure?

This fifty-five minute MP4 video is a new product available for purchase and immediate download from our online ShopSite Store for $6.95. It is a live audience PowerPoint presentation given by Pete Wright at the William & Mary School of Law's Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) in the summer of 2013 for approximately 75 attorneys and lay advocates.

To order the video
from our ShopSite store (Wrightslaw / Harbor House Law Press, Inc.) and download the $6.95 file, click here, and scroll down a screen or so to the "Wrightslaw Multimedia Training - Videos and CDs" heading. Download it first to your computer. Do not watch it online.

During the course of the presentation, you will see some important links on the Wrightslaw website to the new "guidance" issued by the U.S. Department of Education about State Complaint procedures.

The attendees at the Institute had copies of both the Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Ed. and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Ed. books. You will see, on screen, critical pages from the law book as Pete discusses both the statute (IDEA 2004) and the Code of Federal Regulations.

At one point Pete opens up a blank Microsoft Word file and does a short demonstration about using the autocorrect feature for a letter head and automatic insertion of frequently used text.

You will also understand the key variable that controls outcome, whether it is resolution of your letter requesting a special education due process hearing, the hearing itself, a state complaint, or, by analogy, even the ten business day letter about tuition reimbursement.

For the techno-savvy, the original recorded file was 775 MBs in size. By extensive tweaking using "Codec" compression, adjustments of audio and video bit rates, data rates, frame rates, keyframe, aspect ratio, and resolution, Pete has managed to reduce the file size to 64 MBs, less than 10% of the original raw file. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) process of uploading and downloading the file might result in the file, when on your computer, having a slightly different size due to compression and decompression (Codec).

Despite being a much smaller file than the original, for downloading, it is still very large. Do not attempt to open it until it is completely downloaded. If the video begins to open while downloading, pause it and then click on "File" "Save Page As" or "Save Target As" (Mac / Windows) and pay attention to the location where it is stored on your hard drive.

The file name is: wright.dueprocessrequest64mb.mp4

Once downloaded onto your computer, if you cannot find it, search against the above file name.

If you have a DSL connection, dependent upon your connection speed, expect the download time to take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour. (At home and office, both with DSL, we have had times ranging from five to twenty-five minutes.) If you have dial-up or a connection slower than DSL, do not purchase and download the file.

In this program, Pete opens up the adobe.pdf file of the lawbook and discusses the language in the statutes and regulations. He also provides a demonstration using Microsoft Word. The text in the law book and word.doc demo will be much too small to be visible on a smart phone. Some smart phones and some tablets might not be able to play an MP4 video file without installation of an additional app.

In the video, Pete refers to Bill Reichhardt and his excellent due process request letters. Pete provides the URL to his website so that you can read the letters. However, since his website is undergoing revision, the letters are not there. In the interim, those letters, with humorous pseudonyms, are on our website, click here.

We have prepared a "Trailer" which contains snippits of the PowerPoint slides, the adobe.pdf files, a portion of a Microsoft Word Doc demonstration and the websites visited during the training session. All of the video resolution and Codec settings are the same as those in the "product." To look at the 5 minute "Trailer", click here.

To order the video from our ShopSite store (Wrightslaw / Harbor House Law Press, Inc.) and download the $6.95 file, click here, and scroll down a screen or so to the "Wrightslaw Multimedia Training - Videos and CDs" heading.

As a part of the development of this new product line, we have been uploading YouTube videos about specific topics such as new cases, revised regulations, etc. To view those YouTube videos, go to our Wrightslaw Channel on YouTube, click here.

Since this is a new venture for us requiring mastery of new skills in both the development and recording of the video and subsequent editing and compression of it, we are at the beginning of the learning curve. Accordingly, we will be appreciative of any suggestions and comment you might have. Please send your comments and suggestions to us at: video | at | (Be sure to add to the email address.)

Many thanks.


Last revised: 01/6/14

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