Online Resources for Special Education in New Jersey

Useful information from a Cranbury special education firm

For more than 40 years, our attorneys at Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler have committed themselves to a thorough understanding of the laws that govern special education. Our legacy of service to special needs children has led us to amass a vast library on the law as it applies to special education. Whether you just need more information before contacting us or you want to know more about special education and developmental disorders, we invite you to take advantage of our digital resources.

Law library

Frequently asked questions about special education

Contact us for more information

For more information on our special education practice or an initial consultation with our attorneys, call Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler at 609.409.3500 or contact us online. We have more than 40 years of experience helping families of special needs children in New Jersey and welcome you to visit us in our comfortable Cranbury office.

What is special education?

Special education is individualized, intensive and purposeful instruction designed to address distinct problems in teaching and learning that empowers students to overcome or compensate for disabilities that hinder learning, including:

  • Preventive intervention – Averting potential or minor learning deficiencies
  • Remedial intervention – Instruction aimed at eliminating the effect of a disability on learning
  • Compensatory intervention – Using various methods to compensate for a disability

Back to top

Which students are eligible for special education?

In New Jersey, children aged 3 to 21 who need special education and related services due to a disability are eligible. Special education supports those who are:

  • Autistic
  • Cognitively impaired
  • Auditorily impaired
  • Communication impaired
  • Visually impaired
  • Emotionally disturbed
  • Orthopedically impaired
  • Preschool children with disabilities

It also supports children with:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Social maladjustment


What is an IEP?

This term is an acronym for individualized education program (or plan, depending on the school district). The IEP is a legally binding contract of services provided by a school district for students classified with a disability. While different school districts vary the IEP in format and structure, each IEP must by law contain certain components:

  1. A statement of the student’s present levels of educational performance
  2. A statement of annual goals, including short-term objectives
  3. A statement of special education, related services and supplementary aids and services provided for the student
  4. A statement indicating modifications in the administration of state or district-wide assessments of achievement (or a statement indicating that the student will not participate in such assessments)
  5. A statement documenting the projected date for the commencement of services and the frequency, location and duration of those services
  6. A statement explaining the criteria used to assess a student’s progress towards his/her annual goals and the means to be used in informing the parent/guardian of this progress
  7. If necessary, a statement explaining the extent to which the student will not participate with non-disabled students in the general education classroom and/or other activities
  8. For each student age 14 or older, a statement of transition needs and/or services

Back to top

What is free appropriate public education (FAPE)?

Free appropriate public education, or FAPE, is the standard outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). By law, FAPE refers to special education and related services that have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge. These must meet the standards of the state education agency; include an appropriate preschool, elementary or secondary school education in the state involved; and be provided in conformity with the student’s IEP.

Back to top

What is a Section 504 plan?

A Section 504 plan is a legally binding education plan created under the authority of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is not an IEP; instead, a Section 504 plan creates modifications and accommodations for special needs students who are attending general education classes. The student requesting a Section 504 plan must exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • A record of such a physical or mental impairment
  • Be perceived as having such a physical or mental impairment

Even though a student may not qualify for special education services under IDEA, he or she may still qualify for a Section 504 plan.

Back to top

What is due process?

Due process is a legal principle outlined in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution: [No person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." In reference to special education, the deprivation of liberty takes one of two forms: A parent may disagree with the school’s procedures or decisions regarding a child’s identification, evaluation, program or educational placement, or a school may disagree with a parent’s refusal to grant consent for a child’s evaluation or classification. If such disagreement occurs, either the parent(s) or school may then proceed through several dispute resolution steps ranging from mediation to lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey or the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Back to top

New Jersey State and Federal Links

Back to top

Disability Organizations and Associations

Back to top


Disability Organizations & Associations

Resources and Links by Special Need
Autism & Aspergers
Bipolar Disorder
Cerebal Palsy Guidance
Gifted & Talented

Resources and Links by Topic
0 to 3
Assistive Technology
Child Find
Civil Rights
Cognitive Disabilities

The New Jersey Dyslexia Handbook
A Guide to Early Literacy Development & Reading Struggles

Early Intervention
High Stakes Testing
Is Tuition Deductible?
Mobility Devices
N.J.A.C. Assessments 192-193
News & Publications
OSERS Title 6A
Private Placement Q&A’s
Prosthetics & Medical Equipment
Recreation & Sports
School Ethics
Social Security
Student Development
Test Modifications

Back to top


Contact Us

Main Office
1249 South River Road
Suite 104
Cranbury, NJ 08512

Monmouth-Ocean Office
125 Half Mile Road
Suite 200
Red Bank, NJ 07701

609.409.3500 Tel
609.409.3505 Fax

Connect with us