Special Education

Application for New York State Education Department Certification as a Special Education Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO)

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking applications from individuals to serve as special education impartial hearing officers (IHOs) to conduct special education impartial due process hearings for students with disabilities, 3-21 years of age, pursuant to section 200.1(x) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has established due process procedures for use when a parent and a school district disagree about the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education for a student with a disability.  Such disagreements may be resolved through an impartial hearing, a formal method in which the parties present and refute evidence before an IHO who renders a written decision.

IHOs are certified and trained by NYSED and appointed by school districts through a rotational selection process.  School districts are required to compensate IHOs for prehearing, hearing and post-hearing activities, including decision writing.


Applications will be accepted from individuals who are admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York and are currently in good standing; have a minimum of two years practice and/or experience in the areas of education, special education, disability rights or civil rights, and experience in conducting or participating in administrative hearings; are not now, and have not been officers, employees or agents of a New York State school district or a board of cooperative educational services of which such school district is a component for a period of at least two years; have not represented parents or school districts in special education impartial hearings for a period of at least two years; are not an employee of NYSED; and do not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with his or her objectivity in a special education due process impartial hearing.

Applicants must possess knowledge of, and the ability to understand, the provisions of federal and State law and regulations pertaining to IDEA and legal interpretations of such law and regulations by federal and State courts; possess knowledge of, and the ability to conduct hearings in accordance with appropriate standard legal practice and to render and write decisions in accordance with appropriate standard legal practice; and have access to the support (e.g., legal research materials, like Westlaw or Lexis) and equipment to perform the duties of an IHO.

Selection Process:

A limited number of candidates will be selected from the applications received and will be provided additional details on the scope of the work and training requirements.  Candidates must commit to an initial five-day training program scheduled for October 9, 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2018 in New York City for which continuing legal education (CLE) units may be provided at the discretion of the training entity.  Selected candidates will be asked to participate in a telephone interview.

To Apply:

Interested individuals should submit the following:

1.  A cover letter identifying:
  • Your qualifications;
  • Your eligibility;
  • What regions of the State you would be interested in serving (e.g., NYC region (the five boroughs of NYC), Long Island, Hudson Valley, Central, Western and/or Northern region); and
  • Why you are interested in becoming an IHO.
2.   A completed application  Microsoft Word Doc

3.   A current legal writing sample that has been submitted as part of a legal   proceeding or sample decision (properly redacted) demonstrating the ability to render and write in accordance with appropriate standard, legal practice.  The sample must be an authored decision, brief or memorandum on one or more dispositive issues in a contested case.   The applicant must be the sole author of the written materials.  If the applicant is not the sole author, the applicant must specify what portions of the written materials are solely attributable to the applicant and explain whether and to what extent the co-author(s) edited those portions that the applicant claims for him/herself.

4.   A current resume.  A resume will not substitute for a fully completed application.  Applications submitted with “see resume” under education and/or work experience will not be accepted.

5. Three professional references including one sealed written reference or letter of recommendation. References should include contact information, relationship to applicant and description of work provided.

The cover letter, completed application, current writing sample, current resume and references (including sealed written reference or letter of recommendation) must be submitted by mail not later than 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2018:


New York State Education Department
Office of Special Education
89 Washington Avenue, Room 309 EB
Albany, NY 12234
Attention: Due Process Unit – Impartial Hearing Officer Search

Questions may be directed to the Office of Special Education Due Process Unit at (518) 473-0170.

Attachment:  Application for Special Education Impartial Hearing Officer Certification  Microsoft Word Doc


Last Updated: March 30, 2018