Navigating Special Education

Assessments (Determining Needs/Qualifying for Services)

Students who receive Special Education services or accommodations at school under an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan, first go through a referral and assessment process to qualify. Learn more about Assessments

Dispute Resolution

Helpful resources. 

IEP, Section 504 and RTI

Info on school interventions and how to navigate the process. Learn more
IEP = Individualized Education Program.
Section 504 = Federal law that protects students with disabilities from being discriminated against at school.
RTI = Response to Intervention.

High School

What you need to know about when your child is in high school. Learn more

Transition to Adulthood

Resources and information on transition to adulthood for students with disabilities. Learn more

Colleges and Their Support

Colleges you might consider for students with learning differences or special needs, and resources related to choosing and preparing for college. Learn more


Info on the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) system, which coordinates with school districts and the County Office of Education to provide a continuum of programs and services for disabled individuals from birth through 22 years of age. This is the umbrella organization of the Community Advisory Committees (CACs) of California, of which the SELPA1 CAC and Palo Alto CAC are a part. They also publish a parent handbook. Learn more