What is Special Education?
It is specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education may include but is not limited to academic services, speech-language services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, counseling services, and parent education. Special education services are provided at no cost to parents.
Individualized Education Program
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement about the educational program for a child with a disability.
Child Find is the Department's campaign to find children who may need special education services but who are not receiving them at this time.
How do I get help for my child?
Contact your child’s home school, which is the neighborhood school that the student attends, and request an evaluation.
Student Privacy Protection
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives parents certain protections with regard to their children’s education records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information, and class schedules.
Rights relating to Section 504 and Special Education
The Department wants to ensure that all students who need special services are supported, and wants you to know about your rights under Section 504 and Special Education.
IDEA Part B State Reporting
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended in 2004, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requires public reporting of all data submitted under Section 618.
The Department values your involvement in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and other school activities/events relating to your child's education and would like to hear about your experience with your school's efforts to partner with you. Your participation in this survey will help the Department to improve parental involvement in the special education process and improve outcomes for our students with disabilities and families.
Laws and Regulations
- Community Children's Councils: A partnership of parents, school personnel, private providers, and other community members, coordinated by the Department, who are concerned with the delivery of services and support to special needs children and families.
- Disability & Communication Access Board: For persons with disabilities (Department of Health).
- Leadership in Disabilities & Achievement of Hawaii: The Parent Training & Information Center (PTI) for the state of Hawaii. Its mission is to enhance education, work, and life opportunities for children and youth with disabilities by empowering them and their families through information, training, and mentoring, and by public outreach and advocacy.
- Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC): A diverse group of individuals with expertise on all aspects affecting special education and related issues. Membership includes a majority of parents of children with disabilities, as well as teachers, administrators, representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services, and others.
- Special Parent Information Network (SPIN): Information, support, and referral to parents of children and young adults with disabilities and the professionals who serve them (sponsored by DOH/Department).
- Hawaii’s Procedural Safeguards Notice
- Hawaii Disability Rights Center
- Hawaii Families as Allies
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
- Mediation Center of the Pacific
School Based Claiming
More information about School Based Claiming.
Exceptional Support Branch
The Exceptional Support Branch (ESB) supports districts and complex areas with policies, procedures, guidelines, tools, and professional development, ensuring students with disabilities the access and opportunity to succeed in engaging learning environments like all other students.
Monitoring and Compliance Branch
The Monitoring and Compliance Branch (MAC), under the Office of the Deputy Superintendent, monitors all public schools including charter schools to ensure compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), HAR Chapter 60 regulations, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).