If you have a child with a disability and you do not believe they received a free and appropriate public education or reasonable accommodations, you have due process rights. These include the right to:
- request an impartial hearing
Find out about requesting mediation.
What happens at an impartial hearing?
At an impartial hearing, a hearing officer listens to both sides and decides:
- what, if anything, went wrong, and
- how to fix it.
Hearing officers are NY State-licensed attorneys. It is a good idea to keep track of all your communication (meetings, emails, letters, phone calls) with all NYC Department of Education (DOE) staff.
To Request an Impartial Hearing
You can request a hearing in writing by mailing a letter (or an email) that includes:
- Your child's full name and the address where your child lives
- Your child’s ID number (you can find this on their report card)
- Your child’s birth date
- The name of the school your child attends
- Your name and contact information, including email
- Your description of the problem, with as many facts as you know
- The solution you want the DOE to provide
During the period of school closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic, send this information by email to:
- The Impartial Hearing Office, at IHOQuest@schools.nyc.gov; and
- NY State Education Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org (or, if sending a paper copy is more convenient, that can be submitted to NY State Education Department, P-12 Office of Special Education, 89 Washington Avenue – Room 309EB, Albany, NY 12234).
Please keep the email for your own records.
If you request an impartial hearing, DOE staff will contact you to schedule a meeting about the issues in your complaint. This meeting is called the “Resolution Meeting.” This is an opportunity to discuss your complaint and reach an agreement. If you do not reach agreement on any or all of the issues in your complaint, a hearing will be held.
You may request mediation instead of a resolution meeting.
For More Information
Implementation of an Impartial Hearing Order
If you receive an impartial hearing order, the Impartial Hearing Order Implementation Unit will work with you or your advocate to make sure the DOE follows the order.
For more information, visit the Implementation Unit’s page