The Office of Special Education Programs Policy Letters provide information, guidance and clarification regarding implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through two types of issuances: OSEP Memos and Dear Colleague Letters.
Guidance letter on use of IEP translation.
What parents need to know:
1) Title VI is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any educational program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance. (This includes IDEA)
2) Thus, under Title VI, federally-funded recipients (including state educational agencies and school districts) must provide language assistance to LEP persons to ensure meaningful access to the benefits of the recipient’s programs or activities.
3) An effective LEP plan includes the translation of “vital written materials” into the language of each frequently-encountered LEP group eligible to be served and/or likely to be affected by a recipient’s program.
4) The United States declares that a student’s IEP is vital, and that other documents related to a student’s special education program, as well as their regular education program, will also often meet these criteria because they will be vital to parents understanding their children’s education placement, progress, and recommendations from the district.
5) Under Title VI and the EEOA, (Equal Educational Opportunities Act) state educational agencies and school districts have independent responsibilities to provide LEP parents of children with disabilities meaningful access through timely and complete translation and oral interpretation.
Special thanks to Region 5 PTAC at PEAK Parent Center for organizing this information.