The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. It applies almost everywhere, from schools to workplaces to public places like restaurants and businesses. Understanding the ADA can make it easier for you to seek what help you or your child may need.
PACER has an ADA Question and Answer sheet (PDF) from a PACER ADA specialist that may be useful for Minnesota families.
All Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) applicants and enrollees have rights and responsibilities under various laws. Application forms, notices, and brochures include information on rights and responsibilities. The Eligibility Policy Manual (EPM) contains the official DHS eligibility policies for the Minnesota Health Care Programs, including Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare; however, the policies do not constitute legal advice and may not supersede the applicable laws. Minnesota Health Care Programs policies are based on the state and federal laws and regulations that govern the programs. This subchapter on client’s rights and responsibilities provides policy information that applies to all Minnesota Health Care Programs.
An individual's rights and responsibilities when applying and enrolling in health insurance coverage through MNsure can be found at MNsure Rights and Responsibilities.
The Department of Human Services Administration and Management information on appeals, civil rights, county disputes, fair hearing decisions and many more can be found at the Minnesota Department of Human Services Administration and Management section.
The Ombudsman (om-budz-muhn) is an independent governmental official who receives complaints about government and contracted agencies and/or its officials, who investigates, and who if the complaints are justified, takes action to remedy the complaints.
The Office of Ombudsman for Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities page for client services includes information on an individual's rights, filing complaints, medical review and civil commitment training information.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law. The IDEA tells what the schools must do for students with disabilities. For more information, visit Minnesota Division and Compliance and Assistance.
For information on Minnesota's special education complaint system to ensure all children birth to 21 with disabilities are provided a free appropriate public education, refer to Minnesota Department of Education Special Education Complaints.
For information about filing a complaint about Minnesota charter schools visit MDE’s Charter School section, including information about Minnesota Department of Education Charter Complaints.
The PACER center checklist (PDF) provides helpful tips on filing a complaint with MDE.
For laws and due process regarding Individualized Education Program (IEP), refer to IEP, Evaluations and Eligibility.
For complaints about higher education such as universities, state, private colleges and career schools, refer to the Office of Higher Education Consumer Information page.
MN Procedural safeguards and parental rights are available in over a dozen languages and available for download.
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. The Office of Civil Rights is the responsible agency for enforcement of Section 504. The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.
The Appeals Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) provides a neutral forum for hearing and resolving disputes about the administration of human services programs. These services include cash and food benefit programs, health care programs, social services programs, residential programs and others. Human services judges also conduct hearings involving allegations of program fraud and maltreatment determinations made by DHS or local county agencies.
The Minnesota Council on Disability has fact sheets and information specific to Accessibility laws and resources in Minnesota. Below, you will also find a series of fact sheets prepared by the Minnesota Disability Law Center.