For Parents

 

KNOW THE LAW - KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (visit this link to view the bill) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 3, 2004.  As the nation's special education law, IDEA serves approximately 6.8 million children and youth with disabilities.  Learn more about the History of IDEA and view other IDEA 2004 Resources. IDEA 2004-Part B Final Regulations published 8-14-06 in the Federal Register at www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister.


NAPSEC RESOURCES


 

NAPSEC Membership Directory

 

Geographical Directory

 

Membership Directory A - G

 

Membership Directory H - M

 

Membership Directory N - R

 

Membership Directory S - Z

 

CASA Directory

State Private Special Education Associations

 

Affiliate Directory

 

Post Secondary & Adult Services

 


Directory of Resources

 

Free Referral Service to NAPSEC Member Programs

 

Tips for Finding an Appropriate Placement

 

Parent Guide for Program Visits

 

What's Happening in Private Special Education?

 

NAPSEC Resource Guide

 

NAPSEC Overview

 

IDEA Services for Children with Disabilities

 

US Department of Education IDEA Materials

 

Individualized Education Programs (IEP)

 

IEP Team Meetings and Changes to the IEP

 

Changes in Initial Evaluations and Reevaluations

 

Part C Option: Age 3 to Kindergarten Age

 

Early Intervening Services_

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Advocacy Strategies to Make Your IEP More Effective

 

Transition From Adolescence to Adulthood

 

Advocating for Your Child with a Disability Makes a Difference

 

Planning for Postsecondary Education

 

http://www.wrightslaw.com

 

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES

 

www.raisingandeducatingdeafchildren.org

 

Guidance on Required Content of Forms Under Part B of the IDEA

 This is a good tool for what is required under IDEA for children and families.

 

Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys

An umbrella organization for special education lawyers provides the following guides...

 

Guidelines for Choosing an Attorney

 

Guidelines for Choosing an Advocate

 

College Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities

 

Scholarship Guide for Students with Disabilities

 

Retail Savings Guide for People with Disabilities,which provides a detailed walkthrough of  discounts and special offers for individuals with disabilities.

 

You may visit the guide here:

 

https://www.couponchief.com/guides/savings_guide_for_those_with_disability

 

 

 

 

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NAPSEC Resource Guide

 

View organizations here that offer a variety of services.

 

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National Association of Private Special Education Centers

 

NAPSEC programs provide special education services for preschool, elementary, and secondary aged children and adults with mild to severe disabilities in over 60 different disability categories, who need individualized education programs that address their unique needs. 

 

NAPSEC programs are located throughout the nation, serve all types of disabilities, are not-for-profit, as well as for-profit entities, are separate schools or affiliated with a children's home, hospital, college, or university setting. NAPSEC programs provide day, residential, clinic, and summer programs. Although the majority of NAPSEC programs serve individuals ages 6 through 21, many provide services from birth to geriatric populations. These members offer programs serving birth through five year olds and/or adult living programs.

NAPSEC programs provide specialized educational services that include: psychology; psychiatry; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; diagnostic testing; adaptive physical education and recreation; nursing services, and social work. These services are based on individual needs that are designed to meet his/her unique social, emotional, and learning needs.

The majority of NAPSEC members have coed programs lasting 10 months. The staff to client ratio in a NAPSEC program ranges from one staff per client, to one staff per twelve clients. These ratios represent both ends of the spectrum, with the one-to-one ratio representing the staffing for an individual with severe disabilities and the one-to-twelve representing the ratio for individuals who have mild disabilities or who participate in gifted and talented programs.

Although NAPSEC programs are very diverse in the disabilities they serve and the services they provide, they all operate on this fundamental belief: to guarantee that each client’s unique needs are met on an individual basis in order to achieve his/her maximum potential. Each NAPSEC program’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment in which individuals receive the skills necessary to return to the regular classroom and/or function successfully in society.

 

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Continuum of Alternative Placements and Services 


IDEA requires that each public agency ensures that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. The  continuum required must include the alternative placements that are listed in the definition of special education under §300.26 – instruction in regular classes, special classes,  special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions and make provision for supplementary services, such as resource room or itinerant instruction, to be provided in conjunction with regular class placement.

 

The IDEA regulations state: “Although Part B requires that a child with a disability not be removed from the regular educational environment if the child’s education can be achieved satisfactorily in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services, Part B’s LRE principle is intended to ensure that a child with a disability be served in a setting where the child can be educated successfully.”

 

NAPSEC member programs represent the continuum by providing services for all ages and  disabilities in private early intervention programs, schools, residential therapeutic centers, and adult living programs.

 

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Private Special Education

&

The Least Restrictive Environment 


 

In 2004, the United States Congress reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is the Federal law that mandates that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) be provided for individuals with disabilities, ages 6-21.

 

IDEA requires that educational services to individuals with disabilities be provided in the least  restrictive environment (LRE), meaning the most appropriate environment based on the individual’s unique learning needs. The law requires that individuals with disabilities must be educated to the maximum extent appropriate with individuals who are nondisabled. The removal of an individual from the regular education environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

 

Services provided under Part C of IDEA, the Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities program,   serving ages birth to 3, must be provided in natural environments. This includes the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate.  The 2004 law amended this provision to recognize that there may be instances when a child’s individualized family service plan cannot be implemented satisfactorily in the natural environment. In these  instances, the child’s parents and the other members of the individualized family service plan team will together make this determination and then identify the most appropriate setting in which early intervention services can be provided.  The Preschool Grants section of the law, providing services for preschool children ages 3-5, places emphasis for LRE on how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities. 

 

The law requires each public agency to ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is    available to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities for special education and related services. The continuum provides a range of services to meet the unique learning needs of each individual. It includes instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions.

 

In determining the individual’s educational placement, each public agency shall ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the individual, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options in conformity with the law’s LRE provisions.  The individual’s placement is determined at least annually, is based on the individual education plan (IEP), and is as close as possible to the individual’s home.

 

Unless the individual’s IEP requires some other arrangement, the individual is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the individual or the quality of services that he or she needs. An individual with a disability is not removed from education in an age-appropriate regular classroom solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.

 

The principle of LRE is intended to ensure that an individual with a disability is served in a setting where he or she can be educated successfully. Even though IDEA does not mandate regular class placement for every disabled individual by the placement team, IDEA does presume that the first placement option considered is the school the individual would attend if he or she were not disabled. The full range of supplemental aids and services that if provided would facilitate the individuals placement in the regular education setting must be considered before an individual can be placed outside the regular classroom. However, individuals need not fail in the regular classroom before another placement can be considered.

 

In all cases, placement decisions must be individually determined on the basis of each individual’s abilities and needs, and not solely on factors such as category of disability, significance of disability, availability of special  education and  related services, configuration of the service delivery system, availability of space, or administrative convenience. It is each individual’s IEP that forms the basis for the placement decision. Most importantly, parents have the right to be members of the group that decides the  educational placement of the child.

 


 

NAPSEC Member Programs - Intensive Educational & Therapeutic Services

NAPSEC represents over 800 members, through its national and state memberships, that provide services to over 100,000 individuals with disabilities across the country in private specialized programs.

 

NAPSEC member programs provide specialized educational and therapeutic services to those individuals who have been determined to be best served, due to their intensive social, emotional and learning needs, in private programs. Individuals are placed through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or the Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP) process that is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

 

The key to each individual receiving the skills necessary to return to the regular classroom and/or function successfully in society is the vast array of individualized services provided by NAPSEC member programs – Psychiatry, Physical Occupational and Speech Therapy, Social Work Services, Adaptive Physical Education and Recreation, Nursing Services, Life Skills Training, Vocational Training and Job Placement, Diagnostic Testing, just to name a few!

 

NAPSEC Member Programs - Least Restrictive - Most Appropriate - Environment

The principle of LRE is intended to ensure that an individual with a disability is served in a setting where he or she can be educated successfully. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the individual or the quality of services that he or she needs. Placement decisions must be individually determined on the basis of each individual's abilities and needs by a group of persons, including the parents, that are knowledgeable about the individual, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options in conformity with the law's LRE provisions

 

NAPSEC Member Programs - Part of the Continuum of Alternative Placements Services

IDEA requires that each public agency ensures that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. The continuum was put into place to ensure that an individual with a disability be served in a setting where he/she can be educated successfully. The continuum includes instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions and provides for supplementary services, such as resource room or itinerant instruction, to be provided in conjunction with regular class placement.

 

NAPSEC Member Programs - The Public - Private Cost Myth

It is often stated that private specialized programs are more costly than public school programs. Tuition at a NAPSEC member program is determined by the amount of all program related expenditures (salaries of all personnel, benefits, building maintenance, etc.). The amount per pupil expenditure for students with disabilities in a public school does not include the cost of any expenditures that are necessary to operate a special education program. Since NAPSEC member programs accept IDEA funds, they are required to comply with all of the provisions of IDEA.

 

NAPSEC Member Programs - Outcomes Data Shows Funding Accountability

See Outcomes data at www.napsec.org .

 

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IDEA - Services for Children with Disabilities

 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires each State to provide the following:

 

Full Educational Opportunity Goal - The State must have on record with the Secretary detailed policies and procedures through which the State has established a goal of providing full educational opportunity to all children with disabilities aged birth through 21.

 

Child Find - The State must have in effect policies and procedures to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in the State, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.

 

Least Restrictive Environment (most appropriate environment/ placement) - The State shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the State has in effect policies and procedures to ensure that each public agency to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

 

Continuum of Alternative Placements - Each public agency shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. The continuum must include alternative placements - instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. Supplementary services, such as resource room or itinerant instruction, provided in conjunction with regular class placement must also be available to children with disabilities.

 

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Special Education Resources


 

US Department of Education - IDEA Materials

 

The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law on Dec. 3, 2004, by President George W. Bush. The provisions of the act will be effective on July 1, 2005, with the exception of some elements of the definition of "highly qualified teacher" that took effect upon the signing of the act. This is one in a series of documents, prepared by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education that covers a variety of high-interest topics and brings together the statutory language related to those topics to support constituents in preparing to implement the new requirements. This document addresses only the changes to provisions regarding the content of Individualized Education Programs (lEPs) of IDEA that took effect on July 1, 2005.

 


 

Individualized Education Programs (IEP)

 

1. Changes present levels of educational performance

IEPs must include:

Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance; and

 

A statement of measurable annual goals, including both academic and functional goals

 

The requirement for short-term objectives or benchmarks has been deleted except for children who take alternate assessments aligned to alternate achievement standards. [614(d)(l)(A)(i)(I)]

 

2. Changes regarding assessments in the IEP

A statement of any individual appropriate accommodations that is necessary to measure: Academic achievement and functional performance on statewide and districtwide assessments.

 

If the IEP team determines that the child will take an alternate assessment, a statement must be provided that indicates why the IEP team selected a particular alternate assessment, and why it is appropriate for the child.  [614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VI)(aa), (bb)(BB)]

 

3. Changes to annual goals

IEPs are required to include:

A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals. [614(d)(l)(A)(i)(Il)]

 

4.  Changes to measuring progress and reporting

IEPs are required to include:

A description of how the child's progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured; and a description of when periodic progress reports will be provided to the parents.

 

Reporting may include:

Quarterly reports; or other periodic reports concurrent with issuance of report cards. [614(d)(.l)(A)(i)(III)]

 

5. Changes to statement of services

Adds to the statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, for the child or on behalf of the child—that they be based on peer-reviewed research, to the extent practicable. {614(d)(1)(A)(i)(IV))

 

6. Changes to transition requirements

Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16 [note: eliminates age 14 requirements] and then updated annually thereafter, the IEP must include:

 

Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and independent living skills, where appropriate;

 

Transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals, including courses of study; and beginning not later than one year before the child reaches the age of majority under state law, a statement that the child has been informed of the child's rights under this title, if any, that will transfer to him or her on reaching the age of majority. [614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII)3

 

7.  Requirements for children with disabilities transferring within a state and between states

 

Within-state transfers:

In the case of a child with a disability who transfers school districts within the same academic year, who enrolls in a new school, and who had an IEP that was in effect in the same state, the new local educational agency (LEA) must provide such child with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), including services consistent with the previous district's IEP, in consultation with parents, until it adopts the previously held IEP or develops and implements a new IEP that is consistent with federal and state law. [614(d)(2)(C)(i)(I)]

 

Between-state transfers:

Lathe case of a child with a disability who transfers school districts within the same academic year, who enrolls in a new school, and who had an IEP that was in effect in another state, the new LEA must provide such child with FAPE, including services consistent with the previous IEP, in consultation with parents, until the new LEA conducts an evaluation pursuant to Subsection (a)(1), and, if determined to be. necessary by such agency, develops a new IEP that is consistent with federal and state law.[ 614(d) (2) (C) (i) (II)]

 

Transmittal of records to facilitate the transition for a child described above, the new school shall take reasonable steps to promptly obtain and transfer the child's records, including the IEP and supporting documents and any other records relating to the provision of special education or related services to the child, from the previous school; and the previous school must take reasonable steps to promptly respond to such request. [614(d)(2)(C)(ii)]

 

8. Rule of construction

Nothing in Section 614 shall be construed to (1) require that additional information be included in a child's IEP beyond what is explicitly required in Section 614, or (2) require the. IEP team to include information under one component of a child's IEP that is already contained under another component of such IEP. j614(d)(1)(A)(ii)]

 

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IEP Team Meetings and Changes to the IEP

 

1.      Members of the IEP team - The IEP Team is composed of the following persons:

 

The parents of a child with a disability,

 

Not less than one regular education teacher (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);

 

Not less than one special education teacher, or when appropriate, not less than one special education provider;

 

A representative of the local educational agency (LEA) who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities; is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the LEA;

 

An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described above;

 

Other individuals, at the discretion of the parent or the agency, who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and • Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability. [614(d)(1)B)]

 

2.    IEP team meeting attendance not necessary

A member of the IEP team is not required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the LEA agree, due to the fact that the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed. The parent-'s agreement must be in writing. [614(d)(l)(C)(i) and (iii)]

 

The member submits, in writing to the parents and the team, his or her input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting. [614(d)(1)(C)(i) and (iii)]

 

3.    Excusal from IEP meeting

A member of the IEP team may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if

the parent of a child with a disability and the LEA agree, due to the fact that the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed.

 

The parent consents in writing, and the agency also; and the member submits, in writing to the parents and the team, his or her input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.[614(d)(1)(C)(ii) and (iii)] of the IDEA 2004.

 

4.    New provisions for making changes to the IEP

In making changes to a child's IEP after the annual IEP meeting for a school year, the parent of a child with a disability and the LEA may agree not to convene an IEP meeting for the purposes of making such changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the child's current IEP. [614(d)(3)(D)]

Changes to the IEP may be made either by the entire IEP team or, as provided in Section 614(d)(3)(D), by amending, rather than redrafting the entire IEP. Upon request, a parent shall be provided with a revised copy of the IEP with the amendments incorporated. [614(d)(3)(F)]

 

5.    Consolidation of IEP meetings

To the extent possible, the LEA will encourage the consolidation of reevaluation meetings and other IEP team meetings for the child. [614(d)(3)(E)]

 

6.    Alternative means of meeting participation

When conducting IEP team meetings and placement meetings pursuant to Sections 614, 615(e), and 615(f)(1)(B), and carrying out administrative matters under Section 615 (such as scheduling, exchange of witness Iists and status conferences), the parent of a child with a disability and the LEA may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation, such as video conferences and conference calls. [614(f)]

 

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Changes in Initial Evaluations and Re-Evaluations

 

1.      Adds provision for parental consent for initial evaluation for children who are wards of the state. If the child is a ward of the state and not residing with the child's parent, the agency must make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent- of the child for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability.

 

The agency shall not be required to obtain informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation if despite reasonable efforts to do so, the agency cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the child; the rights of the parents of the child have been terminated in accordance with state law; or the rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with state law and consent for an initial evaluation has been given by an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.[614(a)(1)(D)(iii)J

 

Definition of "Ward of the State:"

The term "ward of the state" means a child who, as determined by the state where the child resides, is a foster child, is a ward of the state or is in the custody of a public child welfare agency. The term does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a parent in Section 602(23). [602(36)]

 

2.    Adds 60-day timeline to complete initial evaluation (unless state established timeline). There is a default 60-day timeframe from receipt of parental consent for the initial evaluation until the initial evaluation is conducted, unless the state establishes its own timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted.

 

The relevant timeframe shall not apply to a local educational agency (LEA) if:

The child enrolls in a school served by the LEA after the relevant timeframe has begun and prior to a determination by the child's previous LEA as to whether the child is a child with a disability (as defined in Section), but only if the subsequent LEA is making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of the evaluation, and the parent and subsequent LEA agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed; or

 

The parent of the child repeatedly fails to, or repeatedly refuses to, produce the child for evaluation.[614(a)(1)(C)(i) and (ii)]

 

3.    Absence of consent for an initial evaluation

If the parent of a child does not provide consent for an initial evaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide the consent, the LEA may use the due process hearing procedures described in Section 615 to obtain authority for evaluation, except to the extent inconsistent with state law relating to such parental consent. [614(a)(1)(D)(ii)(I)]

 

4. Procedures for evaluating a child suspected of having a specific learning disability. Notwithstanding Section 607(b), when determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in Section 602:

 

The LEA is not required to consider a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning.

 

The LEA may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures.[614(b)(6)]

 

5.   Procedures for reevaluations

An LEA must ensure that a reevaluation for each child with a disability is conducted in accordance with Sections 614(b) and 614(c) if: 

The LEA determines that the educational or related services needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance, of the child warrant a reevaluation;

 

The child's parents or teacher requests a reevaluation.

 

However, a reevaluation shall occur not more frequently than once a year, unless the parent and the LEA agree otherwise; and at least once every three years, unless the parent and the LEA agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary. [614(a)(2)]

 

6.   Exception to requirements for evaluation before a change in eligibility

An evaluation is not required before the termination of a child's eligibility if termination of eligibility is: Due to graduation from secondary school with a regular high school diploma; or Because the child exceeds the age of eligibility for a free and appropriate public education under

state law.

 

For a child whose eligibility under IDEA terminates under circumstances described above, an LEA must provide the child with a summary of his or her academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting postsecondary goals. [614(c)(5)(B)]

 

7. Adds a requirement to evaluate the child's present levels of academic achievement and the related developmental needs of the child.

 

As part of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) and as part of any reevaluation under this section, the Individualized Education Program (LEP) team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, shall, on the basis of that review, and input from the child's parents, identify what additional data, are needed to determine:

 

Whether the child is a child with a disability as defined in Section 602(3);

 

The educational needs of the child, or, in the case of a reevaluation of the child, whether the child continues to have such a disability and such educational needs; and

 

The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the child.[614(c)(1)(B)(i) and (ii)J

 

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Part C Option: Age 3 to Kindergarten Age

 

1. Flexibility to make Part C services available to children from age 3 until eligible to enter kindergarten or elementary school

The Part C statewide system described in Section 633 may include a state policy, developed and implemented jointly by the local educational agency (LEA) and the state educational agency (SEA), under which parents of children with disabilities who are eligible for services under Section 619, and previously received services under Part C, may choose the continuation of early intervention services (which include an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language and numeracy skills) for such children under Part C until such children enter, or are eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten.... [635(c)(1)]

 

In addition to using funds provided under Section 633 to maintain and implement the statewide system required by such section, a state may use such funds, with the written consent of the parents, to continue to provide early intervention services under Part C to children with disabilities from their third birthday until such children enter, or are eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten, in lieu of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) provided in accordance with Part B. j638(4)j

 

2. Expanded definition of "Infants and Toddlers"

"Infants and toddlers" with a disability may include, at a state's discretion, children with disabilities who are eligible for services under Section 619 who previously received services under Part C until the child enters, or is eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten or elementary school, provided that the programs include:

 

An educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language, and numeracy skills; and

A written notification to parents of their rights and regarding options under Part C and Section 619.

[632(5)(B)(ii)(Ir)]

 

3. If a statewide system includes this option, its system shall include a state policy to ensure that: Parents of children with disabilities served pursuant to this option are provided annual notice that contains:

 

A description of their rights to elect to receive early intervention services under Section 635(c)(1) or special education and related services under Part B; [635(c)(2)(A)(i)] and

 

An explanation of the differences between services provided under Section 635(c)(1) and services provided under Part B, including--types of services and the locations at which the services are provided; applicable procedural safeguards; and possible costs (including any fees to be charged to families as described in Section 632(4)(B)) to parents of infants or toddlers with disabilities; [635(c)(2)(A)(ii)(I), (II), and (III)]

 

Services provided pursuant to Section 635(c) include an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language and numeracy skills; [635(c)(2)(B)]

 

The state policy will not affect the right of any child served pursuant to Section 635(c) to instead receive FADE under Part B; [635(c)(2)(C)]

 

All early intervention services outlined in the child's individualized family service plan (IFSP) under Secti6n 636 are continued while any eligibility determination is being made for services under Section 635(c); [635(c)(2)(D)]

 

The parents of infants or toddlers with disabilities (as defined in Section 632(5)(A)) provide informed written consent to the state, before such infants or toddlers turn 3 years old, as to whether such parents intend to choose the continuation of early intervention services pursuant to Section 635(c) for such infants or toddlers; [635(c)(2)(E)]

 

The requirements under Section 637(a)(9) will not apply with respect to a child who is receiving services in accordance with Section 635(c) until not less than 90 days (and at the discretion of the parties to the conference, not more than nine months) before the time the child will no longer receive those services; [635(c)(2)(F)] and

 

There will be a referral for evaluation for early intervention services of a child who experiences a substantiated case of trauma due to exposure to family violence (as defined in Section 320 of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act).[635(c)(2)(G)]

 

4. Reporting requirement

If a state selects the option under Section 635(c)(1), it shall submit to the secretary, in the state's report under Section 637(b)(4)(A), a report on the number and percentage of children with disabilities who are eligible for services under Section 619 but whose parents choose for such children to continue to receive early intervention services under Part C.[635(c)(3)]

 

5. Policy regarding funding sources

If a state selects the option under Section 635(c)(1), the policy shall describe the funds (including an identification as federal, state or local funds) that will be used to ensure that the option is available to eligible children and families who provide the consent described in Section 635(c)(2)(E), including fees to be charged to families as described in Section 632(4)(B). [635(c)(4)]

 

6. Rules of construction on state flexibility

If a state selects the option under Section 635(c)(1), services provided under this option to a child with a disability who is eligible for services under Section 619 shall not be required to provide the child with FAPE under Part B for the period of time during which the child is receiving services under Part C. Nothing in Section 635(c) shall be construed to require a provider of services under Part C to provide a child served under Part C with FAPE. [635(c)(5)(A) and (B)]

 

A state that provides early intervention services in accordance with Part C to a child who is eligible for services under Section 619, is not required to provide such child with FAPE. [612(a)(1)(C)]

 

7. Allowable use of funds under Parts B and C

Reservation for state incentive grants

For any fiscal year for which the amount appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under Section 644 exceeds $460,000,000, the secretary shall reserve 15 percent of such appropriated amount to provide grants to states that are carrying out the policy described in Section 635(c) in order to facilitate the implementation of such policy. [643(e)]

 

8. Other state-level activities

Each state may use any funds the state reserves under Subsection 619(d) [Reservation for State Activities] and does not use for administration under Subsection 619(e) [State Administration].to provide early intervention services (which shall include an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language and numeracy skills) in accordance with Part C to children with disabilities who are eligible for services under this section and who previously received services under Part C until such children enter, or are eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten; or at the state's discretion, to continue service coordination or case management for families who receive services under Part C. [619(f)(5) and (6)]

 

9. Flexibility in using funds for Part C

Any state eligible to receive a grant under Section 619 may use funds made available under Sections 611(e)(1)(A) [611 funds for state administration], 611(f)(3) [LEA funds available for reallocation], or 619(f)(5) [619 funds for state level activities to develop and implement a state policy jointly with the LEA under Part C and the SEA to provide early intervention services (which shall include an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language, and numeracy skills) in accordance with Part C to children with disabilities who are eligible for services under Section 619 and who previously received services under Part C until such children enter, or are eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten, or elementary school. [611(e)(7)]

 

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Early Intervening Services

 

I. Adds "Early Intervening Services" to the Statute Under Local Educational Agency Eligibility

Allows a local educational agency (LEA) to use not more than 15 percent of the amount it receives under IDEA Part B for any fiscal year (less any amount reduced by the agency under Section 613(a)(2)(C)) in combination with other amounts (which may include amounts other than education funds), to develop and implement coordinated, early intervening services, which may include interagency financing structures, for students in kindergarten through grade 12 (with a particular emphasis on students in kindergarten through grade three) who have not been -identified as needing special education or related services but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment.[613(f}(1)]

 

Activities Allowed in Implementing Coordinated, Early Intervening Services by LEAs Include:

Professional development (which may be provided by entities other than LEAs) for teachers and other school staff to enable them to deliver scientifically based academic instruction and behavioral interventions, including scientifically based literacy instruction and, when appropriate, instruction on the use of adaptive and instructional software;

 

Providing educational and behavioral evaluations, services and supports, including scientifically based literacy instruction. [613(0(2)]

 

2.          Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Nothing in the section on early intervening services shall be construed to limit or create a right to FAPE under the provision of Part B. [613(f)(3)]

 

3.           Reporting

Each LEA that develops and maintains coordinated, early intervening services must annually report to the state educational agency (SEA) on the number of students served by early intervening services; and the number of students served by early intervening services who subsequently receive special education and related services under IDEA during the preceding two-year period. [613(f)(4)]

 

4.        Coordination with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965

Funds made available to develop and implement coordinated, early intervening services may be used to carry those services aligned with activities funded by, and carried out under, ESEA, if such funds are used to supplement, and not supplant, funds made available under ESEA for the activities and services assisted under Section 613(f). [613(f)(5)]

 

5.           Permissive Use of Funds

Notwithstanding paragraph (2)(A) or Section 612(a)(17)(B) (relating to commingled funds), funds provided to the LEA under this part may be used to develop and implement coordinated, early intervening educational services in accordance with Section 613 (f). [613(a)(4)(A)(ii)]

 

6.        Disproportionality: Review and Revision of Policies, Practices and Procedures

In the case of a determination of significant disproportionality with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities, or the placement in particular educational settings of such children, in accordance with Section 61 8(d)(1), the state or the secretary of the interior, as the case may be, will require an LEA identified under Section 61 8(d)(1) to reserve the maximum amount of funds under Section 613(f) to provide comprehensive coordinated early intervening services to serve children in such LEA, particularly children in those groups that were significantly over identified.[618(d)(2)(B)]

 

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 ARTICLES OF INTEREST


 

Advocacy Strategies To Make Your IEP More Effective

 

The IEP (individualized Education Plan) is a legally mandated document that when written correctly, should address how a child's special needs will be accommodated in the child's LRE (Least Restrictive Environment). An effective IEP is a well. negotiated document that requires a team approach in determining what specialized services, adaptations and modifications may be needed to enable your child to make progress in their appropriate school placement.

 

Prior to the IEP: Lay the groundwork - Golden Rule

Always prepare for the IEP

 

 q         Gather information prior to the meeting. Use school records, examples of your child's work, outside evaluations, and all pertinent information.

 

q        Build relationships with school staff and discuss concerns prior to the meeting. It is good practice to visit the school and the program they offer. Maintain these relationships and build support by being open to ideas. Know who will resist your suggestions and decide what is negotiable. Remember school environments are also political environments. Know who has the real power to offer services, programs and placements.

 

q Get a copy of a blank IEP form and work on the sections that involve specific parental statements. When developing a parental vision statement, state the need for increased communication and teamwork across all academic, non-academic and extracurricular areas. Study them closely.

 

q        When stating the strengths of your child also remember to address concerns over their ability to participate in outside activities, problems transitioning from one activity to another and how these different parts of your child's life impact upon each other.

 

q        State your concerns over school-based problems like irregular provision of services, safety issues, failure to provide assistive technology. Has there been a lack of academic progress? This is also a good time to discuss independent evaluations and the need for further assessment.

 

q If you need a native language and or sign language interpreter, make sure you request one prior to the meeting; the school must provide you with one that speaks or signs in your native language.

 

q         Make sure that both the regular and special education teacher will attend the IEP meeting and will develop collaborative strategies to work with each other within an integrated curriculum. Placement (Least Restrictive Environment) determination should not be made prior to the IEP meeting and should not be based solely on what services are currently available.

 

q         To what extent can the student participate in classroom activities with her/his non-disabled peers? Consider problems and barriers that may arise and propose solutions. Consider modifications and accommodations to classroom activities. Have an idea of the appropriate timelines that you -want written into the IEP.

 

q         It is crucial that you know whether teachers are using standardized testing or alternate assessment to measure your child's progress. If you don't know or understand these methods, schedule a meeting with the respective teachers to discuss them.

 

q         Obtain information on Assistive Technology (A.T.) evaluations, as mandated by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). You'll never know if your child may benefit from the use of A.T. without having them evaluated. Get copies of any guidelines that the school may be using to determine the need for modifications and adaptations.

 

q         Never go to an IEP meeting alone! Bring a friend, relative, or advocate. Make sure you write down your goal(s). Know exactly what your child needs.

 

At the IEP Meeting: Carry out a plan - Golden rule - Develop and Implement Strategies

 

 q        Be assertive rather than aggressive get an update and always clarify the purpose of the meeting. Know the issues and listen carefully. Ask questions. Many times you'll hear negative feedback. Don't over react. A negative reaction will not help you maintain the focus on your child's needs. Channel your anger constructively and learn from past mistakes.

 

q        Keep focused on your goal. How is new information affecting your strategy? Will your strategy need to change? Are there any more questions you 'need to ask? Take a break from the meeting to consult with someone or just to collect your thoughts. Keep a lid on disagreements by agreeing to disagree for the moment. Conflict can be good when used to negotiate a better solution.

 

q        Make sure that all goals and objectives are reasonable and measurable. If percentages are used to measure progress, then make sure that you understand the teacher's method of assessing these percentages. Many times "observe" is the only box checked off on the PEP. Make sure that other methods are used like, "portfolios, charts, alternative testing, etc."

 

q          Make sure that the dates to reevaluate services and progress are clearly stated in your child's IEP goals and objectives. Make sure that the goals and objectives relate to the current levels of performance and that progress is accounted for at every IEP review meeting.

 

q         If there have been behavior problems, make sure that all incidents have been reported to you in writing. The IEP team must consider behaviors such as problems concentrating, focusing, and distractibility. A child does not have to be classified as behavior disordered in order to receive a functional analysis and a behavior management plan. Make sure the behavior management plan is consistently implemented in all instructional areas of the child's learning environment. Everybody should be on the same page.

 

q         Know the structure of your child's educational day. How do the modes of instruction that work best for your child, i.e.; auditory, visual, kinesthetic, fit in with the overall learning environment? Visit the classroom. How is the student's workspace organized? Ask to see and evaluate, the classroom curriculum. Always make suggestions throughout the entire meeting. Assure the school that you will participate in the implementation and monitoring of services.

 

q         Make sure your child has clearly defined modifications and accommodations. Who is responsible for implementing them? Will additional assessments be required? Request that school personnel be trained in your child's area of need, i.e.; Training in "Characteristics of the Autistic Child" will be provided for the school staff who work or may work with John. Make sure that implementation timelines are written in.

 

q         About the time your child begins high school, a transition plan should be developed. Learn more about transition plans and make sure your child has an active role in the process. Transition planning should start when a child turns 14. This represents a change in the former law which stated, by the age of 16 or as early as 14 1/2.

 

After the IEP is completed: Evaluate your plan Golden rule - Always follow-up-reevaluate what worked well and what may have worked better

 

q         Consider the option of taking your JEP home for 10 days and reexamining it, as well as writing your own goals and objectives if necessary. Then reconvene the IEP meeting. If, on the day of the PEP meeting you feel that the IEP is complete, then make sure you get your copies and copies of any assessments that you may not already have. Keep your PEP in a place you can refer to readily.

 

q        Graduation with a regular H.S. diploma means termination of services under FADE (Free Appropriate Public Education). Make sure that if your child receives a 'certificate of attendance' that his/her services are not terminated.

 

q        Make sure that you and your child, if appropriate, understand the "age of majority notification". Decide prior to your child's 18th birthday whether or not you need to have guardianship of your child. Do a follow-up with the social worker or counselor if you have questions concerning the guardianship process.

 

q         Schedule meetings with individual teachers and develop a way to communicate with them on a regular basis. Never agree to anything without informed consent and knowledge of your procedural safeguards.

 

q         If there is no reasonable way to resolve a conflict, you always have the legal option of mediation or due process. Use these options only if you mean to see them through; the school will not take you seriously if you do not follow through on your decision. Document conversations regarding specific issues with dates and the names of who you spoke to. You can never be too prepared! If you need a lawyer, organize all your information into a neatly tabbed binder. A well presented case will greatly increase your chances of winning a dispute.

 

q        Lastly, always seek training opportunities and join a parent support group. A parent support group will provide you with needed emotional support and you will get valuable feedback and information from other parents. You will also get a better idea of systemic issues and how they impact on other children with disabilities. Parent group meetings are a great place to compare strategies and share stories, from the field!

 

Prepared by Designs for Change
Chicago, Illinois
 

 

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Transition From Adolescence To Adulthood

 

Like any .parent, you want your child to have a successful future. If your son or daughter has a disability, it can take a special effort to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood as smooth as possible. Depending .on your child's disability, you may need to consider everything from post—secondary education to employment, from housing to finances. As you plan for that bright future, consider these tips to help create a successful transition.

 

1. Help build your child's self-determination and self-advocacy skills.

All young .people should have a strong sense of their strengths, abilities, and interests. If they have a disability, they should also be aware of how it might affect them at work, in the community, and in their educational pursuits. Transition is a wonderful time to explore how they will talk about their disability in different settings and ask .for any support or accommodation they will need.

 

2. Help develop your child's social outlets.

Social, relationships and recreation are more than fun; they are important tools that help tie people into the community and provide a wider network of support. Although social isolation can be an issue for many young adults with disabilities, transition planning that addresses opportunities for social relationships and recreation can build a bridge to success.

 

3. Expand your network, and explore community supports.

As children with -disabilities become adults' with disabilities, they may need support from a. variety- of sources. Start early to develop helpful networks for your child. Who do you know in your family, social group, professional circle, religious community, or other sphere who could help, provide social, 'recre­ational, work, or volunteer experiences for your .young adult?. Look, too, at adults in the community who have the same disability as' your child to learn what kinds of supports they use.

 

4. Make sure your son registers with Selective Service at age 18.'

All males—including those with disabil­ities—must register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. (Exceptions are -made for young men in institutional care.) Failure to do so can affect a person's ability to receive federal and state benefits including student loans, job training, and government jobs.

 

5. Explore post-secondary accommodations

Students who receive academic programming and support in high school through Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans will not automatically have the same kinds of support after they graduate. Although post-secondary institutions are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, they are not required to modify coursework if it would substantially change program requirements.

 

When you and your student visit a prospective school, visit the campus's Disability Services Office to:

 

6. Investigate Supplemental Security Income programs

Financial planning is an important part of transition. Many people with disabilities are beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal program that provides a monthly benefit check that can help pay for living expenses. A lesser-known program of SSI, called Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS), may be helpful to some SSI recipients. It allows a person with disabilities to set aside income and resources in order to reach a work goal. These goals could include such things as enrolling in an educational or training program; obtaining supported employment; starting a business; or purchasing a vehicle to commute to work. PACER Center, in conjunction with the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, has a series of parent briefs on SSI. You may view them at www.pacer.org (key word SSI).

 

7. Encourage your child to build a resume by volunteering

Many young people struggle to find work experiences that help them compete in the job market. Volunteering is a great solution. Young adults can gain skills and build a resume that show a prospective employer their abilities, initiative, and dedication to work. Volunteering can also help develop additional social skills, especially if it is done along with a parent, friend or group of peers.

 

8. Help your child learn "soft" employment skills

In addition to the work skills people need for their jobs, they also need "soft skills." These include such things as being able to accept direction, ask for help, deal with conflict and engage in interpersonal communications. They also include being prompt, having appropriate hygiene and dressing properly for workplace. An employer is more likely to be patient with an employee learning the technical aspects of a job if soft skills are in place. You can help your young adult develop these skills by practicing them at home.

 

9. Plan for health care management

Like most people, young adults with disabilities need to manage their health care and insurance. You should develop a clear plan on how to address health care needs once your child reaches adulthood.

 

10.  Seek information and resources

The transition staff at a parent training and information center in your state can help you understand your rights and find resources to help with all aspects of transition. To find the parent center in your state, go to www.taalliance.org/centers/index.htm. Information can also be found at www.pacer.org. Select the "transition to work" link for the online resources. Call PACER at (888) 248-0822, (952) 838-9000, (952) 838-0190 (TTY). Email: pacer@pacer.org.

 

Article provided by: PACER Center and EP Foundation for Education

 

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Advocating for Your Child with a Disability Makes a Difference

 

At some point, you may meet with your child's individualized Education Program (IEP) team, and you may encounter an issue on which you and the other team members disagree. Maybe it will concern the services your child is receiving, or perhaps it will be about the IEP goals. Whatever the issue, it presents an opportunity for you to play a role that only you can: that of your child's advocate. While it might be tempting to avoid potential conflict, "Advocating for your child with a dis­ability is the most important job you'll ever have," says Carolyn Anderson, a parent advocate at PACER Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "What you do is very important and can have lifelong implications," she adds. Here are some specific reasons you may want to speak up for your child.

 

You're the One

For starters, no one understands your child like you do. You know his or her strengths, challenges, spirit, and dreams better than anyone. You have a vision for your child's future and a sense of what it will take to achieve it. Your IEP team members need you to provide this information. Doing so will help the team align the IEP's goals with the vision you have for your child. "Remember, too," Anderson says, "you are the permanent member of the IEP team. Therefore, you have more to offer and more to lose or gain,"

 

Not only do you have a unique understanding of your child, you also have a lifelong connection. "Once your child grows up, the people from school will be gone," Anderson notes. "You will be left with the results, so it's important to make sure they are the ones you and your child want." Advocating for your child over the years can help ensure that outcome.

 

You Shape the Future

"When you advocate for your child, you act in the present to make a difference in the future," said Anderson. You might not realize it, but every time you stand up for your child's rights and speak out for his or her needs, you are modeling an essential skill: self advocacy. By watching you at IEP meetings and seeing how to effectively express needs and opinions, your child will have the opportunity to learn a vital skill that will be important for a lifetime.

 

Advocating for your child can feel challenging, even intimidating. You might be shy or speak a different language or feel that you aren't equal to the professionals on the team. The fact is, however, parents are true partners in their child's education.

 

"You are an equal, but just on a different basis of qualification," Anderson says. The profession­als are qualified by virtue of their education; you are qualified by virtue of your role as a parent. "That shouldn't be underestimated as a qualification to be at the IEP table," she says.

 

"It is always appropriate to advocate for your child as best you can, even if you make mistakes," Anderson adds "Just learn and do better next time. There are many ways to increase your skills." Parent Training and Information Centers (PTICs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), for example, offer free workshops about special education law, leadership, and advocacy. They also provide written materials, consultations with parent advocates, and more.

 

Parents can advocate more effectively and appropriately if they learn about the system and the process of special education. "If you do that, you are more likely to be successful in obtaining what your child needs," Anderson says.

 

It's also useful to know that schools are not required to offer the "best," only what's appropriate for the child. "When parents understand this, they are more likely to be successful advocates," Anderson says. "If you ask for 'what's best for my child,' you set yourself up for a dynamic of opposition. If you instead ask for what's appropriate for your child, you're working within the process, using their language, and avoiding the adversarial dimension."

 

In the end, advocacy is all about making sure your child receives the services and education to which he or she is entitled_ Your unique and valuable perspective can help the IEP team makes decisions that will benefit your child now and in the future.

 

Communication Skills Go Hand in Hand With Advocacy

Interested in being a more effective advocate with your IEP team? These communication tips could help.

 

Be self-aware. Do you have preconceived ideas? Are you aware of your own and others' perspectives and perceptions? Do you refrain from judging others?

 

 • Recognize your communication attitude. Are you receptive? Friendly? Assertive? People will respond to your attitude as much as to what you say. Negative attitudes can turn people off.

 

Listen more than you speak. Communication is a two-way process. Other people may have valuable information and insights that you need to hear.

 

Ask questions. Direct your questions to the person most likely to have the information or expertise you need.

 

Be clear and honest. Don't blame. Focus on solutions instead. Limit criticism. Give positive feedback and praise as often as possible. Focus on specifics, not generalities.

 

Article provided by: PACER Center and EP Foundation for Education

 

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Planning for Postsecondary Education

 

Students planning to further their education beyond high school quickly discover that most postsecondary institutions have a maze of requirements. Students with disabilities, however, are apt to find additional twists and turns. One important change is that the laws protecting access to accommodations are very different in college than they are in high school under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA. 2004). Because of such differences, it is essential to plan ahead.

 

A first step is to invite new partners to join the transition planning process. Representatives from both the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) services agency and the prospective school, for example, may be able to provide valuable information that can help students and their families.

 

A state vocational rehabilitation counselor can help clarify the agency's role' in the student's future, including higher education. Most colleges and universities have an Office of Disability Student Services (DSS), which provides some level of service, support, or accommodations to their students with disabilities. DSS staff can provide information about the scope of supports typically offered by their school and will know what kind of documentation is required for accommodations.

 

Students and families can obtain this information in a variety of ways. They can, for example, visit the DSS office on the campuses of prospective schools or invite a DSS counselor to share information with the transition team either in person or over the phone. However it is done, knowing in advance what documentation is expected, as well as how to request academic accommodations, will make the transition to postsecondary education significantly less stressful for students with disabilities.

Beyond the basics of taking the right coursework and developing the self-advocacy skills, families can help the student transition to postsecondary education in other ways. Three important areas to consider are: 1) documenting the disability, 2) paying for the education - including related expenses, such as assistive technology needed in a postsecondary setting, and 3) involving agencies in' post - high school planning.

 

Documenting the disability

A student with disabilities should know that postsecondary schools generally ask for current documentation verifying the disability of students who request accommodations. Colleges, universities, and technical schools are likely to ask for assessment documents the student's need for accommodations. The documentation should be less than three years old. Students planning postsecondary education should obtain the documents before high school graduation.

 

Postsecondary schools typically do not accept high school Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) as documentation of a disability. If the IEP is disability specific and current, students can usually present test results used to create the document. For example, a student with learning disabilities may submit the evaluation done in his or her junior year as documentation of disability.

 

If the postsecondary school asks for different documentation, it is the student's responsibility to obtain and provide the information. (After a student leaves high school, the student should collect and maintain school files and medical records.)

 

New language in IDEA 2004 states that school districts "must provide the child with a summary of his or her academic achievement and functional performance including recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting postsecondary goals." Such a summary should significantly help the student gain access to further education and employment, according to the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of Career Development and Transition. Council experts recommend that a summary of the student's academic and functional performance, based on the results, of age-appropriate transition assessments, be completed as part of the. IEP transition planning process.

 

Paying for the education

If postsecondary education is in the future of a child with a disability, parents should start saving. Postsecondary schools are not required to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities (although they cannot charge for disability-related accommodations). Their financial aid offices may offer help, however, including job opportunities. Students with disabilities have equal access to job opportunities offered by the school or university.

 

Vocational rehabilitation services may be available to some young adults with disabilities when they are 16 or younger. Generally, VR will become involved two years before the student graduates. If a student qualifies, the state VR agency may pay some postsecondary education expenses if the course, of study will, lead to the student's future employment in an intended vocation. The financial help may cover testing to document a student's disability; help with tuition; or help with the purchase of equipment that can be used later in employment, such as a specialized computer or a set of tools needed in a vocational class. The family will still need to apply for financial aid from other sources, however, before the VR agency will pay.

 

Bringing VR counselors into the transition planning process acquaints them with the student's potential and can help them understand how higher education will help the young adult achieve employment goals. Even after a student's eligibility is established, however, VR agencies may not have the funds to provide the requested services and supports. With interagency partnerships; students and their families will be better able to plan for and meet future needs.

 

Another resource that may be helpful is The HEATH Resource Center of George Washington University. This national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities publishes a fact sheet with detailed information on financial aid options for individuals with disabilities. -It is available at www.heath.gwu.edu.

 

While students who, want a postsecondary education, admittedly face challenges, most find that the effort is worth it. The more you learn, the more you earn and you're less likely to be unemployed. Earnings increase and the likelihood of unemployment decreases with each addi­tional year of education. In today's economy, obtaining postsecondary education is critical to achieving better economic and personal opportunities as adults.

 

Keep Up-to-Date on Transition Topics

Reference Points is a listserv that help parent organizations, advocates, and professionals better serve young adults with disabilities and their families. Participants receive several short email messages each week featuring resources on a range of issues affecting young adults with disabilities and their families. The messages are brief and tell where to find further information.

 

Reference Points is administered by PACER Center part of the Technical Assistance on Transition and the Rehabilitation Act (TATRA) Project. Sign up at tatra@pacer.org

 

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OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES

Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers                 
 

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services-OSER2004 IDEA Resources

 

Exceptional Parent Magazine -  www.eparent.com

 

     The Arc of the United States

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Autism Society of America

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

The Council on Quality and Leadership

The Epilepsy Foundation of America

Family Village Global Commmunity of Disability-Related Resources

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities

March of Dimes

MedicareResolutions.com Disability Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Council on Disability

National Down Syndrome Society

National Fragile X Foundation

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Parents Helping Parents

The Perspectives Network Acquired/Traumatic Brain Injury information and support

Prader-Willi Syndrome Associaton

Spina Bifida Association of America

TASH

United Cerebral Palsy

 

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