This resource was developed to briefly explain DPI's routing and responding procedures when someone click on the "Contact Special Education" big green button at the bottom of each DPI Special Education team web page.
How can I contact the Wisconsin DPI Special Education Team?
Families, educators, and community members can contact the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Special Education Team through phone (608) 266-1781 or by filling out an online request through the Contact Special Education Team online form.
For information on how to file an IDEA State Complaint or a Due Process Hearing, go to the DPI IDEA State Complaint and Due Process Hearing web page for instructions. For more information on dispute resolution options families and educators have when disagreements occur go to Wisconsin DPI Dispute Resolution Options web page.
How Does the Wisconsin DPI Special Education Team Respond to Questions?
The Wisconsin DPI Special Education team has a dedicated customer service work group that specializes in responding in a timely manner to questions about special education. Members of this work group include Wisconsin DPI Special Education Team staff as well as staff from the Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI) and Transition Improvement Grant (TIG). The customer service work group, including WSPEI and TIG personnel, are able to respond to most special education questions within 1-2 days and may refer customers to other DPI content experts as needed.
What Information Should I Provide when Contacting the Special Education Team?
You will need to provide your name and phone number or email address so someone from the customer service work group can respond to your question.
What Kind of Questions Can I Ask the Wisconsin DPI Special Education Team?
The Special Education team, WSPEI Family Information and Support Specialist, and TIG staff, provide general information about state and federal special education requirements.
Special Education Topics Include:
- Special education evaluation, Individualized Education Program (IEP) development, and IEP implementation processes and timelines
- State and federal special education legal requirements
- Dispute resolution options families and schools have if they disagree
- Wisconsin resources and information to support the needs of students receiving special education services through an IEP
Topics commonly referred to other DPI teams or external agencies include:
- Open Enrollment go to the DPI Open Enrollment web page or email email@example.com
- Private Schools go to DPI Private Schools web page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 go to the DPI Section 504 webpage for information on how to contact the Office of Civil Rights with questions about 504 plan requirements for schools
- Special education vouchers and scholarships go to the DPI Special Needs Scholarship Program webpage or email email@example.com
- Special education fiscal questions go to the DPI IDEA Fiscal webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Teacher licensing go to the DPI Licensing, Educator Advancement, and Development webpage or submit a question using the Licensing Online Helpdesk
Additional Supports for Parents and Families
Wisconsin DPI contracts with a WSPEI Information and Support Specialist to assist in responding to special education questions from parents, family members, and caregivers. The WSPEI Information and Support Specialist is contracted to provide information to parents and families on behalf of DPI and is trained to provide the same information relating to special education questions as DPI staff.
Additional Supports for Questions Related to Transition
Wisconsin DPI contracts with Transition Improvement Grant staff to assist in responding to special education questions related to the transition of youth with disabilities to post secondary as well as Wisocnsin’s Indicator 13 (Post Secondary Transition Plans) and Indicator 14 (Post Secondary Outcomes) data collection. TIG staff are trained to provide the same information relating to special education transition questions as DPI staff.
Special Education Resources
Introduction to Special Education: This resource provides a general overview of special education and IEP team processes.
Special Education in Plain Language: A user-friendly handbook on special education laws, policies and practices in Wisconsin
Wisconsin DPI Special Education Team A-Z Topics: A topical index linking to DPI web pages and resources related to special education.
Special Education Bulletins: Several resources on a variety of special education laws and requirements.
Communication Options for Families: Includes tips and information on options families have if they disagree with a decision of the school along with a contact tree that can be filled in with school or district contacts.