Posted on 09/01/2015 at 09:11 AM by Liz Determan

According to May 2015 “Section 504 Compliance Advisory”, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), who is responsible for investigating disability discrimination in school districts across the nation, has created a Rapid Response Process in an effort to expedite resolutions of certain single-issue disability complaints.  “Complaints sometimes wind up at the Office of Civil Rights simply because of a lack of communication between the parent and district,” said Shari Dukes, director of exceptional student services at the Kyrene School District in Tempe, AZ.  

It is important to share with parents the district process for filing a complaint within the district in an effort to make their first complaint with the school.  The fact that parents can file their first formal complaint directly with OCR creates an added incentive to direct the parents through the district’s grievance process.  We would want to resolve any issues prior to having the complaint go to OCR.  However, Dukes (2014) reported that through the use of the Rapid Resolution Process, she “felt like OCR is giving districts an opportunity to address the concerns of parents.”  It is through this process that schools can make sure they are aligning their practices and procedures with OCR quickly.

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