Students with disabilities in school settingsUtah students with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. For this to be a reality for the more than 60,000 students in Utah eligible for special education services, schools must fully implement both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility approved plan, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) must identify and correct noncompliance, parents must know and exercise their rights, and the state must adequately fund special education.

The efforts to improve educational opportunities for students with disabilities include:

  • Special education eligibility and evaluations for students.
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) development and implementation.
  • Educating disabled students with students who are nondisabled to the maximum extent, where appropriate.
  • Assisting students with disabilities in receiving the assistive technology and training required for their success in school
  • Ensuring that students are not disciplined, restrained or secluded because of a disability.
  • Assisting students in receiving the transition services needed to prepare for life after school.
  • Raising awareness among parents, advocates and policy makers so they have all the information they need to ensure the successful education of students with disabilities.
  • Advocating for students when rights under IDEA are violated.

Updates and additional information:

Last Updated: 5/14/2015

Utah Educators Limit the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

On May 8th the Utah State Office of Education amended a state rule regarding school and district discipline plans. The revised rule prohibits restraint or seclusion of a student for disciplinary purposes. Under the rule, seclusion or restraint is only permissible if the student poses an immediate danger to him/herself or others. Even then, staff must be appropriately trained, follow certain procedures, and collect and report data regularly.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Order Of Selection

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) plans to modify the way services are provided, the new plan is called Order of Selection. This means that when a person is found eligible for services they will be placed in one of five priority categories. If the person is found eligible in an open priority category they will be able to work with a counselor to develop an employment plan. If they are found eligible in a closed category they will be placed on a waiting list until VR is able to open the category.

VR will be holding public hearings at the Buffmire Building, 1595 West 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84104, on January 5, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and January 7, 2015 from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. If you have questions or comments please plan to attend.

If you cannot attend the public hearings you can email comments to or for further information call (801)-538-7530 or (800)-473-7530.

Utah Transition Today: A 2014 Report of Opportunities and Barriers

The Disability Law Center releases its 2014 report regarding the opportunities and barriers faced by students with disabilities transitioning from education to employment in Utah schools. The report provides a snapshot of the current state of transition services in Utah. It details findings from statewide DLC visits and interviews with students and staff in transition programs across 19 Utah schools and Districts. The findings support the DLC’s perspective that the transition planning process must meet state and federal law requirements and should be driven primarily by consideration of the student’s interests, preferences, strengths, and needs, in order to obtain and maintain integrated and competitive employment for students with disabilities.

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