Legal Resources: Office of Civil Rights:


Office of Civil Rights:

The Office for Civil Rights is part of DOE and is responsible for ensuring compliance by schools (especially public entities or recipients of federal education funds) with federal civil rights laws.

How does the Office of Civil Rights help the person with a disability or family support system?

A family can choose to file a complaint with OCR if they feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, and national origin (includes ELL), sex, disabilities (they enforce compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990), and age. For their website Click Here

How can  a parent/caregiver gain access to Office of Civil Rights?

Mail, email, or online within 180 days. Click Here for a flyer on information on How To File a complaint.

Recommended websites, YouTube videos, books on this topic? Office of Civil Rights Click Here for their website.

When looking for the services of the Office of Civil Rights are there any questions or observations you would recommend parents to investigate before selecting a provider?

OCR complaints is one way to pursue a discrimination case on the basis of disability under section 504.

Remedies for Section 504 include the following-

  • Discrimination Grievance is simply a letter claiming the school violated Section 504 sent to School Districts ADA/504 Specialist. The School District has a form you can fill out too. They will investigate your claim and write a formal report.
  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a catchall term for different ways to work through a conflict. This often includes mediation. Mediation is when you and the school try to reach an agreement with the help of neutral third person. Some, but not all, states and schools offer ADR for 504 plan disputes.
  • Impartial Hearing is like a short trial where you present your side of the story. You need to send a letter to the school district, formally requesting an impartial hearing. For specifics on how to request an impartial hearing, ask the School District’s ADA/504 Specialist.
  • Office for Civil Rights Complaint is similar to a Discrimination Grievance but it is sent to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for the U.S. Department of Education. You must file the complaint within 180 days of the violation.

Written by: Erica Sonn[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]