Special Education Process

These entries present specific resources that address the components of the Special Education Process.
Dispute Resolution
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Description: For Virginia's special education students, diploma options are changing. The Modified Standard diploma is no longer an option for students entering the ninth grade (or younger) in the 2013-2014 school year.
Description: The Board of Education has approved a number of substitute tests that students may take to earn verified credits toward graduation.
Description: In February 1998, the Virginia Board of Education approved certain courses that would satisfy the mathematics, science, and history and social science course requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas.
Description: This section of the VDOE website answers frequently asked questions about earning a Virginia high school diploma.
Description: This booklet describes the kinds of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and health benefits for a child with a disability and explains the evaluation of disability claims for children. (Spanish version)
Description: This booklet is for the parents, caregivers or representatives of children younger than age 18 who have disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It is also for adults who became disabled in childhood (prior to age 22) and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. (We call this SSDI benefit a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.)
Description: Students with disabilities must have an equal chance to take part in sports, counseling, clubs, health services, student jobs, transportation, and other school activities. (National Parent Technical Assistance Center)
Description: Matrix Packets Getting Organized — School Age Individual Education Plans (IEP) Understanding Your Child's IEP IEP Tool Kit: Annual/Triennial Review IEP Tool Kit: Educational Benefit Review Resolving Disagreements In Spanish Organizándose - Años Escolares de Su Hijo Plan de Educación Individual (IEP) Herramientas para el IEP Matrix Help! Sheets (Downloads in both English and Spanish) Materials of Other Organizations Websites
Description: This document summarizes practical insights and promising practices for IEP/IFSP facilitation, collected from a broad review of facilitation and special education literature. (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE)
Description: This document, Supporting the Identification and Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student, developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), provides parents, educators, and students with answers to some questions concerning the identification process and instruction of students with dual exceptionalities.
Description: The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities. In addition to explaining a school's legal obligations, the guidance urges school districts to work with community organizations to increase athletic opportunities for students with disabilities, such as opportunities outside of the existing extracurricular athletic...
Description: Informal Assessments for Transition Planning, Second Edition, is an assessment resource that school-based personnel can use to determine or confirm transition strengths, preferences, interests, and needs for appropriate Transition Planning in the IEP.(Transition Assessments)
Description: Questions and Answers in Follow up to 2007 Spring/Summer Transition Workshops, Virginia Department of Education and Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia, Updated March 2009
Description: The statement that “knowledge is power” is especially true for parents who want to be effective advocates for their children with disabilities. To make sure parents have the information they need most, PACER conducted a survey, and nearly a thousand people responded. Given a list of choices, parents of children from each age group indicated their top three concerns. This PACER Action Sheet provides a selection of helpful information to address each topic from a variety of national and statewide...
Description: The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) was created in December 2001–the product of the shared vision and unique life experiences of OAR’s seven founders. Led by these parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, OAR set out to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. No other autism organization has this singular focus.
Description: This link includes the conference sessions and downloadable materials from the 8th Annual Special Education Conference (Fairfax County Public Schools). Topics include: transition (post-secondary, preschool), executive functioning, reading (middle and high school), medicaid waivers, online textbooks, ADHD, Apps, depression and suicide prevention, bullying, stress, inclusion, mathematics, dyslexia, mentoring, communication to enhance the IEP Process, Down Syndrome, VA Assessment options, child...
Description: English language learners with disabilities are a growing part of the K-12 school population in the U.S. The available knowledge on how to effectively educate these students, and measure their progress, is small but increasing. However, many educators and families have pressing questions. This Impact issue offers responses to some of those questions by people from around the country who are helping schools meet the needs of this growing student population.
Description: CDC has FREE brochures, posters, fact sheets, and more for parents, health care providers, and public health professionals. These include: Hearing Loss Fact Sheet, Decision Guide to Communication Choices, Making a Plan for Your Child as well as Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child's Genetics Team or Medical Professional or Early Interventionists or Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Doctor or Audiologist or Speech Language Pathologist (available in English and Spanish). There is also a Communication...
Description: A 37 minute audio/video overview of special education created to help parents of children with disabilities understand what special education is, how a child might get into special education, how to resolve disagreements, and what role parents play. Developed by PACER Center, it is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. (Scroll down the Special Education Rights page to find this video. It is available in Hmong, Spanish and Somali.)
Description: Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings depend on good communication between parents and special ed service providers. When parents do not speak English, schools must bring in an interpreter to ensure that team members understand each other and that parents can give informed consent. Even when the team invites an excellent interpreter, however, things can still go wrong. Following are tips on how to conduct effective IEP meetings when an interpreter is involved. These tips are based on...
Description: A Somali-language glossary of special education terms
Description: IA glossary of special education terms in the Hmong language  
Description: New Path: The Support Network for Families in Early Intervention is a program of The Arc of Virginia, designed to help parents navigate the Early Intervention system, from understanding their rights, to building relationships with therapists and doctors. Discovering your child has a developmental delay or disability can be overwhelming. It often transforms notions of what being a parent would be. We are here to guide families on their New Path. (Available in Spanish and French)
Description: The newest AT in Action video, brought to you by FCTD and PACER, introduces Jared, a young man with cerebral palsy who controls his computer using a sip and puff switch. That computer access allows Jared to run a business creating dynamic graphics and websites.
Description: Esta guía para padres ha sido elaborada por el Ministerio de Educación de Virginia ("VDOE") a fin de ayudarles a entender sus derechos y obligaciones, los derechos de su hijo y las obligaciones de la escuela para satisfacer las necesidades especiales de su hijo. Esta guía incluye una descripción del proceso de educación especial y lo que se les exige a ustedes y a la escuela durante cada paso de ese proceso. En cada sección se destacan los plazos...
Description: "Your Family's Special Education Rights" identifies key parts of the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004” (IDEA), a federal law governing the education of students with disabilities. IDEA 2004 requires that families be informed of their special education rights, including how families and schools can resolve problems. This document is available in Arabic (PDF), Chinese (PDF), English (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Farsi (PDF), Korean (PDF), Spanish (PDF), and...
Description: From the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, this document helps educators work with students to develop postsecondary goals for the transition component of the IEP, make instructional programming decisions, and include information in the present level of performance related to a student's interests, preferences, and needs in the IEP.
Description: The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center builds positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. We do this by providing: Services and support for families and professionals; Easy-to-understand, research-based information and training; and Opportunities for strategic partnerships...
Description: For Virginia’s special educations students, diploma options are changing. The Modified Standard diploma is no longer an option for students entering the ninth grade (or younger) in the 2013-2014 school year. If your son or daughter will be a ninth grader (or younger) this fall, and was aiming for a Modified Standard diploma, he or she will now be working toward a Standard diploma. The General Assembly amendment to the Code of Virginia raises expectations for students with disabilities. It...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education has developed a document on transition, “Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood,” that includes important information on transition assessment and planning, adult services, postsecondary education, employment, home living skills, and Social Security and benefits planning.
Description: A complaint is generally an expression of some disagreement with a procedure or a process regarding special education programs, procedures or services. A formal complaint is considered a request that this division investigate an alleged violation of a right of a parent and/or child with disabilities who is eligible, or believed to be eligible, for certain services based on federal and state laws and regulations governing special education.
Description: The Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services is charged with the responsibility of managing and monitoring a due process hearing system. We provide information to help individuals understand the steps for requesting and managing an impartial due process hearing. This information is not intended as legal advice or as an interpretation of the laws and regulations governing special education in Virginia. The information will, however, help in understanding the implementation of...
Description: A neutral, impartial, trained mediator may be sought voluntarily by parents and school staff to assist in their negotiations with each other. That assistance to convene and conduct a meeting to clarify issues, focus on the needs of a child, and to explore and evaluate possible solutions in a confidential setting is mediation. Mediators are trained neutrals, skilled in helping people to hear and understand each other and to work jointly to find solutions to difficult issues in special education....
Description: The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. CADRE is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education to...
Description: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. This law applies to public elementary and secondary schools, among other entities.
Description: When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child’s parents and school staff. The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of students with disabilities receiving special...
Description: SMALL STEPS: A Parent-Infant Education Program for Families Raising Children who are Deaf,Hard-of-Hearing, Blind, Low Vision and DeafBlind...honoring the small steps that promote happy families... FREE services offered through The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
Description: Vision is one of our five senses. Being able to see gives us tremendous access to learning about the world around us—people’s faces and the subtleties of expression, what different things look like and how big they are, and the physical environments where we live and move, including approaching hazards. When a child has a visual impairment, it is cause for immediate attention. That’s because so much learning typically occurs visually. When vision loss goes undetected, children...
Description: This Parent Advocacy Brief will help you understand the changes brought about by the ADAAA, how they apply to Section 504, and how these changes may impact children with disabilities, including learning disabilities, as well as other conditions such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Aspergers Syndrome, diabetes, asthma,and life-threatening food allergies.
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the key federal education law that serves students with LD. Being informed will help you support your child’s learning needs and advocate for his or her success.
Description: This publication was developed to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, their child's rights and the school's responsibilities to meet the special needs of their child. The guide includes a description of the special education process and what is required of you and the school during each step of that process. Important timelines are highlighted in each section. (Families, family)
Description: The focus of SpecialQuest Birth–Five is on inclusion for children with disabilities ages birth through five (pre-kindergarten) and their families, particularly those in Head Start* along with Child Care, Early Intervention/Part C, Early Childhood Special Education/619, family support, and other related programs. (parent, parents)
Description: NPDCI has developed a document, Research Synthesis Points on Quality Inclusive Practices that provides brief descriptions and supporting references for the evidence-based and promising practices that support early childhood inclusion. These practices are organized into three major sections corresponding to the defining features of high quality early childhood inclusion as described in Early Childhood inclusion: A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National...
Description: The role of the ombudsman is an informal one in which there is a focus on listening and providing information and a discussion of issues and options, as well as referral to other services including mediation. Part of the function of the ombudsman is to encourage the parties to resolve issues at the lowest level in an organization through appropriate dispute resolution processes, by formal and informal means.
Description: The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to improve state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increase the implementation of effective practices, and enhance the outcomes of these programs for young children and their families.
Description: Parents play an important role in the education of their children, especially parents of children who are identified as having disabilities. The law requires that parents and school personnel work together to provide children with appropriate educational services.
Description: Welcome to the U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website, which brings together IDEA information and resources from the Department and our grantees. Whether you are a student, parent, educator, service provider, or grantee, you are here because you care about children with disabilities and their families and want to find information and explore resources on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
Description: This website offers "one-stop-shopping" for links to legislation, Federal Register Notices, Policy Guidance, and Grant Applications for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA).
Description: The WATI website provides the resource manual for Assessing Student's Needs for Assistive Technology (ASNA): the complete version and by individual chapters. The WATI Student Information Guide Process Forms (AT for Seating, Positioning and Mobility, AT for Communication, AT for Computer Access, AT for Motor Aspects of Writing, AT for Composition of Written Material, AT for Reading, AT for Mathematics, AT for Organization, AT for Recreation and Leisure, AT for Blind / Low Vision, AT for Deaf /...
Description: The mission of GPAT is to improve student achievement, productivity, independence and inclusion by enhancing educator knowledge of assistive technology and increasing student access to appropriate assistive technology devices and services.