Perry A. Zirkel

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This updated question-and-answer document is specific to impartial hearing officers (IHOs) and the hearings that they conduct under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The coverage does not extend to the alternate third-party dispute decisional mechanism under the IDEA, the complaint resolution process (CRP) except to the extent that this alternative mechanism intersects with IHO issues. Similarly, the scope only extends secondarily to the IHO’s remedial authority, which is the subject of separate comprehensive coverage. The sources are largely limited to the pertinent IDEA legislation and regulations, court decisions, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education’s (OSEP) policy letters. Thus, the answers are subject to revision or qualification based on (1) applicable state laws; (2) additional legal sources beyond those cited; and (3) independent interpretation of the cited and additional pertinent legal sources. The author welcomes corrections and additions from interested parties so that the document is as accurate, comprehensive, and current as possible. Intended primarily for IHOs but ultimately for any interested individuals, this article organizes the items into various subject categories within two successive broad groups. Its purpose is to be a useful reference as a starting point for applicable authority, subject to the interpretation of the IHO or other interested individuals. For the specific overall organization, see the Table of Contents on the previous page, although presumably the “Find” feature will be the usual way of locating the applicable question and answer.