The Information Center is a free service for military-connected and civilian parents and professionals with questions about special education. It is staffed from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday, with trained volunteers and information specialists knowledgeable about federal / state special education laws and procedures as well as community resources. Click the link in the blue box below to fill out our online intake form:
617 236-7210 (Main Office)
413 323-0681 (Western MA)
800 331-0688 (MA statewide)
We will do our best to reply within two business days.
The Information Center can help with questions about:
- eligibility for special education
- application procedures
- steps to obtain independent educational evaluations
- determining whether the child is making progress
- what to do if the child is not making progress
- the school’s responsibilities in the special education process
- the parent’s role as a member of the team
- maintaining a collaborative relationship with the school
- options for resolving differences with the school
- when to involve a parent consultant or advocate
- when to involve an attorney
The Information Center can connect parents to other Federation programs such as:
- The LINK Center, a joint project with the PTI, which provides information and training on transition planning for life beyond high school
- Mass Family Voices, which provides information on health insurance issues, including eligibility screening and assistance applying for MassHealth and/or private insurance coverage for children
- Family TIES of Massachusetts, which provides emotional support and connects parents facing certain challenges to parents who have experience with those challenges
The Information Center can refer parents to consultants, advocates, or attorneys, if necessary:
If the parent needs more assistance then can be accomplished by telephone, the Information Center is able to provide referrals to parent consultants or advocates. For example, the parent may need someone to review and explain school records and evaluations, and/or attend an IEP Team meeting.
The Information Center staff make the effort to match the parent with parent consultants who understand the child’s disability, work in the parent’s geographic area, and have a fee structure that meets the parent’s financial abilities.
Additionally, the Information Center can refer the parent to special education attorneys in instances where a more complex level of professional support is deemed necessary (e.g., a hearing before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals).
We typically do not have access to pro bono (free) advocates or attorneys.