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 Outreach IDEA


​​​The IDEA Ombudsman serves as a designated neutral party who advocates for a fair process and provides confidential, informal assistance and support to parents, guardians, advocates, educators, and students with disabilities. The Ombudsman for Special Education serves as a resource to parents and school districts in non-legal special education matters.

  • ​Independence: The IDEA Ombudsman is independent of the formal dispute resolution options of mediation, state complaints, and due process hearings and serves a key function of reporting to leadership at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) regarding the issues experienced by parties served.
  • Confidentiality: The IDEA Ombudsman does not disclose personal information, discussions, and interactions.
  • Serve as a source of information and referral regarding state and federal laws and regulations governin​g special education.
  • Provide information and support to parents of students with disabilities to help them understand and navigate the special education process.
  • Provide communication strategies to parents and school districts for resolving disagreements and special education issues.
  • Assist parents in developing strategies and informal options to address issues and concerns.
  • Promote collaboration and positive communication between parents and school district personnel in addressing special education issues.
  • Provide information and resources on available options for dispute resolution, such as mediation, state complaints, and due process hearings when collaboration efforts fail.
  • Serve as a resource for disability related information and referrals to available programs and services for individuals with disabilities.
  • Identify, track, monitor, and report to the GaDOE leadership on suspected systemic patterns of concerns that emerge from constituent contacts regarding special education services in local school districts to aid in addressing noncompliance with special education laws and regulations.

 


 Contact Information

          ​​
Dr. La ​​Tanya Barkley Washington
IDEA Ombudsman/Program Manager
Division for Special Education Services and Supports
(404) 450-0945
          
Tracy Barber Jones
Family Engagement Program Specialist, Special Education Helpdesk
Division for Special Education Services and Supports​
(404) 844-8741
           ​
Elise James
Programs Specialist, Transition Outcomes, Section 504​,​
Self-Determination Initiatives 
Division for Special Education Services and Supports​
(404) 326-0421

       ​ ​    
Anne Ladd
Family Engagement ​Program Specialist
Division for Special Education Services and Supports​
(470) 423-6987


 Special Education Help Desk

Special Education Questions & Support
404-656-3963
SPEDHelpDesk@doe.k12.ga.us 
FAX: 404-651-6457​