School Advocacy

Sample Letter to the Department of Education Regarding the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”

The Trump administration is planning to eliminate a key civil rights protection for students with ADHD. Learn how to contact the Department of Education and adapt this sample letter to urge them to keep these protections in place!

The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD” secures and standardizes key educational rights for students with ADHD. President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, however, has targeted this guidance for elimination.

The U.S. Department of Education is accepting comments from the public on this proposed rule through September 20. Learn how to submit your comment and find a sample letter you can adapt to explain why our children need these protections in place.

  1. Go here to submit your formal comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/22/2017-13157/evaluation-of-existing-regulations.
    Comments must be submitted before 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
  2. Click the green button at the upper right that reads “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT.”
  3. You may type your comment directly in the text box or upload a Word document or PDF. Comment should include:
  4. Then fill in the rest of the information about yourself and click “Continue.”
  5. View the preview, and edit if necessary. When you’re satisfied with your comment, click the box next to “I read and understand the statement above.” and click “Submit Comment.”

In addition to posting a public comment on this proposed rule, we urge you to write to your congressional representatives to ask for their support in preserving the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD.”


Sample Letter to the Department of Education

 

Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074
Name: The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”
URL: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

I request that the Department of Education retain the Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD, issued July 26, 2016, as active guidance.

ADHD is the most common mental health disorder among children and teens in the United States today. It affects the academic progress, social success, self-esteem, and overall happiness of 6.4 million American children. Without support and adequate services to mitigate ADHD symptoms in academic and social settings, a child may suffer poor grades, school failure, and long-term damage to self-esteem and learning.

The Dear Colleague Letter provides clear, well-informed guidance to help teachers and administrators identify and support struggling students with ADHD. It ensures that students with ADHD have access to a free and public education (FAPE), their guaranteed right under U.S. law. In the year since its release, the Dear Colleague Letter has received no legal, political, or scholarly objections. Furthermore, complaints to the Department of Education regarding discrimination against students with ADHD will almost surely continue to decrease as the Dear Colleague letter is adapted and heeded by schools across the country.

When ADHD symptoms are left unaddressed at school, the entire classroom can suffer devastating consequences. By retaining the provisions outlined in the Dear Colleague Letter, the DOE is empowering schools to provide more efficient academic support, save money, and bolster their students’ learning opportunities. This provision does not meet the criteria for elimination. It is not “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;” it does not “impose costs that exceed benefits;” and it does not “create a serious inconsistency.” Indeed, it is essential and should remain in place.

[If you wish, include personal information about your child with ADHD and detail how he or she has benefited from Section 504 Services or the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”]

Sincerely,
[Your name]

2 Related Links

  1. Thank you so much for posting corrected information and URL so that I COULD register a comment. I struggled to negotiate the website earlier. I appreciate the work you’ve put into helping us advocate for our children and the ADHD community. It is invaluable.

  2. The comment period closed on 20 August 2017 accordig to the Office of the Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/22/2017-13157/evaluation-of-existing-regulations#open-comment.

    The regulations site is undergoing planned maintenance. https://outage.regulations.gov/regs/#!submitComment;D=ED-2017-OS-0074-0001
    “We are currently conducting planned system maintenance that began at 6:00AM(ET) on Saturday, September 16, 2017 and should be complete by 4:00PM(ET) on September 16, 2017.

    We appreciate your patience as we work to keep the site operating at peak performance.”

    This article only links readers to the House of Representatives and not the Senate. Find your senators at http://www.senate.gov/states/

    I emailed all of my representatives anyway.

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