Special Education Process

These entries present specific resources that address the components of the Special Education Process.
Referral/Evaluation/Eligibility
Instruction/Monitoring
IEP/IFSP/504
Dispute Resolution
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Showing Results 1 - 50 of 195
Description: The Federal and State definition of special education and specially designed instruction are: "Special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in a classroom, in the home, in hospitals, in institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education. The term includes each of the following if it meets the requirements of the definition of special education:...
Description: The purpose of the Return to School Roadmap IDEA guidance documents, which focus on school reopening efforts, is to support the full implementation of IDEA requirements. The documents also serve to clarify that, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, or the mode of instruction, children with disabilities are entitled to FAPE, and infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families to appropriate IDEA Part C services. The Department recognizes that some parents may have specific health and...
Description: This is the first one-pager in the Critical Decision Points One-Pager Library. This one-pager provides families with a quick reference guide that explain the differences between Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans.
Description: There are several important points all principals should understand about special education. These points are not isolated; instead, they are often intertwined. Keep them in mind when working with the students in your building. 1. Make all students your responsibility. There might be other programs housed in the building, and there might be students who receive special reading instruction or other supplemental services, but the principal is responsible for ensuring that all students receive an...
Description: Specifically designed with school administrators in mind, this module offers guidance on how to support and facilitate the development and implementation of high-quality IEPs, including the monitoring of student progress (est. completion time: 2 hours). If you have not done so already, consider completing the following module: IEPs: Developing High-Quality Individualized Education Programs
Description: This includes recordings of webinar presentations and accompanying materials on a range of topics sponsored by Formed Families Forward (FFF) including: Back to School Improving Organization and Study Skills Screen-Savvy Parenting Collaborative Problem Solving with Agency Partners Special Education Eligibility And many more  
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for schools in meeting the needs of all children and students in early childhood, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education. These challenges will continue as schools and public agencies seek to ensure support and equity for children and students experiencing the long-term adverse health effects of COVID-19, commonly referred to as long COVID.   This resource is issued jointly by the U.S. Department of...
Description: This site includes a collection of self-paced learning modules designed to support professional learning of pre-service and in-service educators and administrators. These modules are intended to: Build knowledge of how to develop and implement high-quality educational programming for students with disabilities. Build knowledge to support implementation of intensive intervention in literacy, mathematics, and behavior for students with severe and persistent learning and/or behavioral...
Description: The Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST) project has created a series of practice guides to increase the use and adoption of 3 research-informed practices for the transition planning of high school students with emotional behavioral disturbance (EBD) who receive special education services: student-led IEP meetings, community agency representation at IEP meetings, and concentrations of CTE coursework along career pathways. Supporting Student-Led Transition Planning for Students with...
Description: This document includes a non-exhaustive list of non-profit legal services and advocacy organizations in Virginia that provide no-cost legal or advocacy services, technical assistance, and/or referrals to the public. Other attorney or non-attorney services, including pro bono services and special education resources may be available in your community. The Virginia Lawyer Referral Service (VLRS), a program of the Virginia State Bar, provides a low-cost attorney referral and consultation service....
Description: By: Aleksandra Hollingshead, Ed.D.; Joy Zabala, Ed.D.; Janice Carson, Ed.D. Educational teams evaluate assistive technology (AT) needs at least annually for each student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). One of the most common methods of AT needs evaluation is the SETT Framework (Zabala, 2005). This blog provides a description of the AT evaluation strategies with practical strategies and considerations for distance instruction. 
Description: Over the past year, many students have experienced entirely virtual and remote learning and many—especially students with disabilities—will need additional support, time, and teaching to get the high quality education they deserve. Students have missed out on opportunities to learn and develop during the pandemic. In response, the federal government is providing billions of dollars to address “instructional loss”. While states, districts, and schools pilot new approaches...
Description: Students with disabilities may encounter learning loss as a result of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these circumstances, educators may need to determine if educational gaps in learning or loss of skills may exist. After careful review of data, IEP Teams would make decisions about unfinished learning and the need for recovery services. Considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Nine...
Description: What are the keys to successful, student-centered IEPs? It starts with strong collaboration and communication among the entire team—administrators, teachers, parents and caregivers, service providers, and students. This team must also have access to accurate, up-to-date performance data throughout the IEP cycle. This informative infographic provides a quick reference to guide team members through each stage  
Description: This document is intended for use by all teachers of English Learners with Disabilities (ELWD). The purpose of this document is to support effective collaboration within Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) and processes and instructional programs that serve to meet the language and learning needs of ELWD. The information included is recommended based on research and evidence for best practices for ELWD. Refer to relevant federal, state, and local policy when making decisions about programs...
Description: Limitations of Applied Studies Diploma: Not equivalent to a standard diploma, Difficult to change to other diploma options once pursued, May not qualify a child for higher education, federal financial aid and some employment opportunities, Eligible for FAPE through the age of 22. Available only for children with disabilities: Complete the requirements of their IEP, Do not meet requirements for Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.
Description: Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities, the VDOE’s widely utilized curriculum which assists families of students with disabilities with accessing the knowledge necessary to be full partners through the IEP process. VDOE's Coordinator of Family Engagement, Tracy Lee, has recorded five video modules for families to access at home.
Description: The purpose of these guidelines is to provide resources and suggestions to enhance the provision of services to students who are deaf and hard of hearing in order to support their educational goals. These guidelines are written for special and general education administrators, teachers of students who are deaf and hard of hearing (referred to by Virginia teacher licensure regulations as HI teachers and generally referred to as teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing-TODHH), general educators,...
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant learning disruption. School divisions had to make decisions about closures, types of instruction (virtual instruction, hybrid instruction, in-person). Students with disabilities may need additional services and supports to regain skills lost as a result of decreased instructional time, lack of access to modifications, accommodations, or technology, etc. Even though school systems are not at fault for pandemic disruptions, students with disabilities are...
Description: An Ombudsman is a person who serves as a designated neutral party who advocates for a fair process and provides confidential, informal assistance and support to parents, guardians, advocates, educators, and students with disabilities. The Parent Ombudsman for Special Education serves as a resource to parents in non-legal special education matters.
Description: Explore ways to support young children with identified disabilities or suspected delays and their families during these challenging times. Learn how to develop a plan that ensures reviews of each child's Individual Educational Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) in partnership with special education and early intervention partners. Find out how reviews can help maintain high-quality service delivery from a distance or through summer programming. Discover how to help...
Description: This module offers an overview of assistive technology (AT) with a focus on students with high-incidence disabilities such as learning disabilities and ADHD. It explores the consideration process, implementation, and evaluation of AT for these students (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).
Description: The purpose of this memo is to clarify, for local school divisions, their responsibility to ensure that, during the Individualized Education Program (IEP) development process, the IEP Team must consider accommodations, supplementary aids, and services needed to provide access and participation in extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs. According to the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, school divisions must:...
Description: This year, more than ever, the pandemic has shown how committed, innovative, and resilient educators are in teaching and supporting their students, and has shown how much more work is needed to provide all students with an equitable education and opportunity in life. Thank you to everyone who has presented, attended, and sponsored on edWeb this year, and for your engagement in our global community – now 1 million strong. When classroom learning moved online in March due to COVID-19, there...
Description: This webinar will introduce participants to the fundamental concepts of Self-Determination for students with autism and related disabilities. We will discuss how to teach these concepts, Power-Standards for IEP goals, how to include students in the IEP process, and other strategies for supporting students with developing their self-determination skills. The presenter will be accompanied by student members of a self-determination club. Self-advocates are encouraged to participate.
Description: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a Q&A document in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B provision of services in the current COVID-19 environment: Questions and Answers on IDEA Part B Provision of Services        Additionally, the Office for Civil Rights issued a COVID-19-related technical...
Description: These podcasts are designed so EI practitioners like you can easily listen between visits or on breaks during your busy day. Each episode focuses on an important topic that is discussed by two experienced EI professional development specialists who have also been service coordinators, service providers, and parents of children enrolled in EI. Listen often to learn, reflect on your practices, and hear a few tips to do the work you do well even better. These podcasts are a collaborative effort of...
Description: At IRIS, they have a bit of experience when it comes to which of their resources are most heavily used at the beginning of any given academic year. Consider this your curated list of back-to-school learning modules and case study units from your friends at the IRIS Center. Classroom Behavior Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan Classroom Management (Part 2): Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan Effective Room Arrangement:...
Description: This module details the process of developing high-quality individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities. The module discusses the requirements for IEPs as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with implications of the Supreme Court's ruling in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (est. completion time: 3 hours). A Professional Development Certificate for this module is available.
Description: OSEP hosted a three-part webinar series on Continuity of Learning and Return to School during COVID-19. This series showcased ready-to-use resources, tools, and practices from OSEP partners to support the educational, developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through remote and distance learning. Below you will find the archived webinars, featured resources, and additional tools and information to help educators, parents and...
Description: The purpose of this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is to provide updated guidance for school divisions as they reopen schools for instruction during the 2020-2021 academic year. In this unprecedented situation, there are no “general rules,” other than the regulatory requirements, which can be applied to fit all of the individual situations and expectations. Special education has always been meant to address student-specific needs in the provision of a free appropriate...
Description: How to Support Students in Virtual IEP Meetings (District Administration) Nine ways to help students with disabilities to feel comfortable and meaningfully participate in IEP meetings held remotely this fall. Send documents home for student and parent to review. Seek information before the meeting Ensure all participants use their camera. And more... Bringing Student Voice Into IEP Conversation (Edutopia) One specific area of concern and focus is students with individualized education programs,...
Description: Considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets (A Collaborative Effort Across OSEP-Funded Projects) Virtual Meetings: Strategies, Tips and Resources (The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE) Resources for Families and Students (Progress Center: Promoting Progress for Students with Disabilities) IEP Accommodations During Distance Learning (Understood.org) Virtual...
Description: The coronavirus pandemic is bringing new challenges to special education and distance learning. One of the biggest challenges is how to implement accommodations for students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). To make accommodations work in an online setting, you’ll need some innovative thinking and an understanding of the tools available to you and your students. Take a look at the charts below for some examples of how commonly used accommodations can transfer to a virtual...
Description: As we get this new school year underway in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE's) resource page for families is continually being updated.  Please check back often for the most up-to-date information. This page includes: Family Resources Parent Guide Youth in Foster Care during School Closures due to COVID-19 Military Families Families of Students with Disabilities Guidance from the Department of Special Education & Student Services Virtual IEP Meeting Tip...
Description: This August, the Autism Society of America is dedicated to providing the autism community with the valuable resources necessary for the ever-changing landscape of back to school during COVID-19. Our goal is to provide resources to help autistic individuals and families as they navigate the “New Normal” of education during the COVID-19 crisis this summer. They have compiled a digital toolkit of resources, information, referrals, and support to help autistic individuals and their...
Description: Project SUCCESS provides current, research-based resources and professional development related to content standards, instructional design, and student outcomes and is specifically designed to meet the needs of students with significant intellectual disabilities. We are building local capacity to ensure that students with significant intellectual disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options. Project SUCCESS is a member of the...
Description: Appropriately supporting students in online and blended learning environments requires a great deal of instructional planning and preparation. When enrolling students with disabilities in online or blended learning programs, additional planning may need to occur so students can be supported with additional programs and services determined by the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or from an accommodations plan resulting from a Section 504 meeting. Either way, these added...
Description: The 5C Process is a five step process focused on building continuity across lifelong learning priorities, the annual IEP goals, the inclusive environments (at school or at home) and instructional support for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The process outlines a plan for transitioning instruction between school and home during periods of distance learning. While the 5C Process was developed specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities, we believe this...
Description: Family participation is an essential feature of the development and implementation of high-quality educational programming for students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that families, and students when appropriate, participate in the development, monitoring, and the implementation of individualized education program (IEP). Although this participation is a legal requirement, collaborative partnerships between families and school personnel also...
Description: This document was developed to provide support to school administrators and directors of special education as they plan for return to school, special educators and parents who will be participating in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, and for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and families that may be navigating a dispute. This document highlights information related to compliance, documentation and progress monitoring, and IEP Team considerations that are necessary in order to...
Description: Circumstances may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediations, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each of these types of meetings is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. Here we have collected resources, tips and...
Description: The purpose of the Handbook for Educators of English Learners with Suspected Disabilitiesis to provide school divisions with guidance on a multi-step process to appropriately identify and evaluateELs who may have a disability for possible eligibility for special education and related services.
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) cares about the well-being of both you and your child, especially as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together and our first priority is to keep our families and ourselves safe by seeking out meaningful supports. We should make every effort to stay positive and patient with one another and be compassionate in the understanding that everyone--administrators, teachers, students, and families--are going through this together. Please...
Description: This resource was developed in response to requests from state and local educational agencies and parents about how to hold and participate in virtual individualized education program (IEP) meetings. While intended to meet a need during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we hope the content will have broader application. Contents: A Collaborative Effort Across OSEP-Funded Projects Virtual IEP Meetings: Technology Tips for All Participants Hosting Virtual IEP Meetings: Tips for Success Common...
Description: We are committed to reaching all families, including traditionally underserved families who face additional obstacles in accessing special education and disability services in Virginia. We strive to provide parents with the tools, information, and resources needed to effectively navigate special education and become their child’s best advocate.
Description: The K-12 Inclusive Practices Guide is an informational resource to support school divisions and parents looking to improve outcomes for students with disabilities by meeting their needs to the maximum extent possible in general education setting.
Description: It is the responsibility of the IEP team to consider the need for assistive technology devices or services. The consideration process is a short discussion among team members to determine if the use of low tech or high tech supports will assist the student in making academic progress. The IEP team should document the consideration process.
Description: CADRE's major emphasis is on encouraging the use of mediation, facilitation, and other collaborative processes as strategies for resolving disagreements between parents and schools about children's educational programs and support services. CADRE supports parents, educators, administrators, attorneys and advocates to benefit from the full continuum of dispute resolution options that can prevent and resolve conflict and ultimately lead to informed partnerships that focus on results for...
Description: Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when their children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals,...