Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Hearings and Mediations Accessibility Guidelines

This page states a California Department of Education contractor conducting special education hearings and mediations must have and follow policies and procedures for equitable services to all participants.

Accessible Facilities

The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) must ensure all facilities used for special education hearings and mediations are held in facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities. Generally, the location of OAH’s special education hearings are chosen by the local educational agency (LEA) at facilities located near the student for the family’s convenience and therefore, the LEA must provide a location that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. The OAH must create policies and procedures to ensure proceedings are held in accessible facilities. This shall include, but is not limited to, notification of this requirement to the LEA and how the OAH will respond if, upon arrival to the proceedings, the participants find the location is not accessible to individuals with disabilities. The policies and procedures related to accessible facilities must be available to all participants via the OAH website and printed materials.

Reasonable Accommodations

There must be a provision of reasonable accommodations to students, parents, guardians, and other hearing and mediation participants with disabilities, when necessary to ensure equal access. Participants must be provided clear direction as to how to request reasonable accommodations for the OAH mediations. Therefore, the OAH must create reasonable accommodation policies and procedures. This shall include, but is not limited to, how the OAH will respond if, upon arrival to the proceedings, the participants find the previously requested accommodations are not available. The policies and procedures related to reasonable accommodations must be available to all participants via the OAH website and printed materials.

Further Responsibilities

The OAH must ensure all aforementioned policies and procedures are followed and enforced. The California Department of Education (CDE) will continue to make certain the OAH, or any future entity conducting special education hearings and meditations on behalf of the CDE, follows all laws related to accessible facilities and reasonable accommodations. These requirements are to be reflected in all current and future contracts between the CDE and OAH and shall be monitored for compliance.

Authorities

Americans with Disabilities Act (42 United States Code (U.S.C.) §12101 et seq.), Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. §794 et seq.), Section 504 regulations (34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) §104), Title II regulations (28 C.F.R.§35), the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civil Code, §51 et seq.), the Disabled Persons Act (Civil Code, §54 et seq.), and California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title I §1032.

Questions:   Special Education Division | PPL@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-4613
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 27, 2023
Recently Posted in Special Education
  • Annual Performance Report Measures (updated 22-May-2024)
    Short summaries of special education program and student outcome data for California local educational agencies (LEAs).
  • AB 130 Section 161 Learning Recovery Apportionment (added 14-May-2024)
    Assembly Bill (AB) 130 Section 161 Summary Report provides demographic and numerical data from special education local plan areas regarding the $450 million apportionment distributed in October 2021.
  • Dispute Prevention and Dispute Resolution (added 14-May-2024)
    Legislative Report consisting of data from special education local plan areas (SELPAs) regarding the $100 million dollar apportionment distributed in October of 2021.
  • Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities (added 07-May-2024)
    Equitable services provisions and proportionate share calculation are required for students aged 3-21, parentally placed in private school. Local Educational Agencies have an obligation to locate and evaluate all students within their boundaries.
  • ACSE Agenda April 17-18, 2024 (updated 18-Apr-2024)
    Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) meeting agenda.