If you have trouble with this process, there are many support organizations who can help you.
Family TIES is a good place to start!
They can give you advice and help you find a Facilitator or Advocate.
Contact Family TIES:
Homepage: Family TIES of Mass (It will open in a new tab or window.)
You can also find education advocates, consultants and legal help in our Resource Directory
Put in your zip code.
Then look in these sections: Parent & Caregiver Support, Education & Employment or Legal.
Also see the section above about Connecting with support organizations and other parents.
Click the box below to learn more about finding a lawyer to help you:
You may need to find a lawyer to help you resolve your dispute.
It’s best to find one who has lots of experience with special education laws and regulations.
Choose a lawyer who lists one of these as their specialty:
Be sure to ask in advance about fees.
- Fees will vary based on each lawyer's experience and how complex the case is.
The organizations below can help you find a lawyer. If you are low-income, ask about free legal help.
Children's Law Center of Massachusetts
P.O. Box 710
298 Union Street
Lynn, MA 01902
Phone: (781) 581-1977; (888) 543-5298
Disability Law Center, Inc.
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 723-8455; (800) 872-9992; (617) 227-9464 (TTY); (800) 381-0577 (TTY)
Greater Boston Legal Services
197 Friend St
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 371-1234
Massachusetts Advocates for Children
25 Kingston Street, Second Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-357-8431 ext. 3224
Special Needs Advocacy Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 509
North Attleboro, MA 02761
Phone: (508) 655-7999, 617-388-3638
The Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) also maintains a list of legal resources by region here: Directory of Legal Services.
Notes about legal fees:
You must pay your own legal fees, unless the court decides otherwise
If you win your hearing decision, sometimes the court will decide that the school district should pay your lawyer's fees
In turn, if the court decides your complaint was not valid, you may be ordered to pay the school district's legal fees
Your lawyer can help you understand how these would apply to your specific case.
Source: MA DESE