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National / State Organizations

A multitude of National Organizations exist to provide information, support and research in a wide range of disabilities and medical conditions. Explore this page for an organization in your area of interest.
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Description: This document offers guidance, suggestions, and resources for sustaining inclusionary practices for students with disabilities through continuous learning opportunities using a virtual platform. It is our intention that this guidance document will help you as you refine and continuously improve existing instructional practices and develop new plans over time, as we navigate through this truly unprecedented time in educating our students with disabilities.
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: This document includes Potential Issues, Key Considerations and Target - Students with Disabilities: ESSE, E, M, H. The potential topics listed are: Assessment, Instruction, Safety, Behavior and Social/Emotional, Medical, Fiscal, Compliance, Out of District or Private Day School Placement, and Family Engagement.
Description: This webpage includes: About COVID-19, Symptoms of COVID-19, Exposure of COVID-19, Helping Your Child to be Resilient, Planning for Self-Quarantine or Social Distancing, Cleaning Recommendations or the Home, Child Care for Essential Personnel, What Parents Can Expect from Schools, School Nutrition, Graduation Requirements, Credits, and Continuity of Learning, Grading and Grade Point Averages, Learning at Home, Students with Disabilities, Bullying and Harassment, Testing Federal and State Testing...
Description: VCU-ACE is excited to welcome you to their new early childhood website! They have resources for families about raising and supporting young children with ASD. They also have resources for educators and providers as they learn more about ASD and how to use evidence-based practices. For Parents: Raising a child diagnosed with ASD can be confusing and overwhelming. Many times, parents and family members struggle to understand the diagnosis, how to support their child's success, and how to...
Description: The Department of Special Education and Student Services (SESS) wants to make you aware of two Questions and Answers (Q&A) documents that were released by the USED on September 28, 2020: 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...
Description: NCFL works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Over our 30-year history, we have changed the lives of millions of families by providing literacy strategies, programming, and resources. Engaging multiple generations in learning together is a fundamental and distinguishing aspect of our work, because we know this holistic approach creates a stronger impact and greater success for families.    Industry Insights Free Resources Families/Family Literacy Early...
Description: Accessible educational materials, or AEM, are materials and technologies usable for learning across the widest range of individual variability, regardless of format or features. Whether a material or technology is designed from the start to be accessible for all learners or is made accessible for learners with disabilities, it is considered AEM. AEM Center Activities Accessibility Practices for Teachers Access to Materials for Qualifying Students U.S. Department of Education Guidance Your...
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 series includes video examples and tip sheets to help educators and families in using the NCII reading and mathematics sample lessons to support students with intensive needs. These lessons provide short instructional routines to encourage multiple practice opportunities using explicit instruction principles. The videos and tip sheets describe how educators can use the sample lessons to support instruction in a virtual setting, how educators can share these lessons with...
Description: The video series includes: What's New for School This Year? COLA- Return to School: What Role will Trauma Play in School and How Will You Respond What is an AB Schedule? Returning to School Wearing a Mask Returning to School Physical Distancing
Description: The Mission is to increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia. This website includes resources for Parents & Families, Schools & Districts and State Agencies.
Description: The Virginia Department of Education’s social emotional learning (SEL) efforts are driven by our commitment to ensure that every student in Virginia attends a school that maximizes their potential and prepares them for the future: academically, socially, and emotionally. What is SEL? SEL During COVID-19 SEL Considerations for School Reentry After COVID-19 Positive Impact of SEL Benefits of SEL SEL in Action SEL State Examples
Description: School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions Virginia’s guidance, which is aligned with the interim CDC guidance for schools, serves as a recommendation for Virginia schools to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. Divisions should make decisions on implementing such guidance, and assuming additional risk, in consultation with local health departments and school board attorneys. Public health conditions and practical limitations may inform decisions to deviate from the guidance.
Description: Table of Contents: Economic Impact Payments, Information about Representative Payees, Stay Informed, Monthly Benefits and Other Financial Help, Protect Yourself from Scams, Getting Help from Social Security, Hearings, COVID-19 Resources
Description: The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is focused on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. The Promoting Social and Emotional Competence training modules available on this site provide evidence-based practices for promoting children's social and emotional development and preventing challenging behaviors.
Description: ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 204,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat...
Description: The National School Climate Center promotes safe, supportive learning environments that nurture social and emotional, civic, and academic growth for all students.
Description: The Loop Center for Social & Emotional Development helps parents, caregivers, teachers, and administrators understand children experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. We provide proactive techniques for handling tough situations to reduce or eliminate challenging behavior.
Description: NCII is housed at the American Institutes for Research, and works in conjunction with many of our nation's most distinguished data-based individualization (DBI) experts. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and is part of OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network (TA&D). The Mission of the NCII is to build capacity of state and local education agencies, universities, practitioners, and other stakeholders to support...
Description: America’s Promise Alliance is a broad coalition of organizations and individuals that are all working to support young people and are experts on diverse facets and aspects of young people’s lives. America’s Promise is committed to connecting our network to resources and information to help them and their communities cope with the repercussions of this public health emergency and the challenges that may become part of everyday life for the coming weeks or months. Members of...
Description: Guidance for the 2020-2021 School Year Virginia's Return to School Plan School Reopening FAQ Phase Guidance for Reopening State Snapshot Resources to Support Schools Instruction Cares Act School Nutrition School State Policy Waivers Early Learning & Childcare School Nurses Special Education & Student Services health Resources for Schools to Plan & Prepare For Parents, Families and Caregivers Communication Superintendents Memos News Releases Superintendent's BiWeely Updates
Description: The OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) was initially funded in 1998.  In October of 2018 a new five-year funding cycle was launched. The purpose of the new Center is to improve the capacity of SEAs, LEAs, and schools to establish, scale-up, and sustain the PBIS framework to (a) scale up tier 2 and 3 systems to improve outcomes for students with or at-risk for disabilities, (b) enhance school climate and school safety, and (c) improve...
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: Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes SBS as a subset of AHT with injuries having the potential to result in death or permanent neurologic disability. Can Tossing My Baby in the Air or Rough Play Cause SBS? SBS is a form of child abuse that happens when an infant or small...
Description: NAFSCE is the first membership association focused solely on advancing family, school, and community engagement (FSCE). NAFSCE endorses the family engagement definition developed in 2010 by the National Family, School and Community Engagement Working Group (now the NAFSCE Policy Council). Family engagement is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways and in which families are...
Description: Launched in February 2003, Ready is a National public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. Ready asks individuals to do four key things: (1) stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) build...
Description: The Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources (Guide) is intended to provide parents, teachers, administrators, and other interested parties with a general understanding of school climate, school climate improvement activities, and the availability of additional resources. It should serve as a starting point from which the reader may choose to do further research; ultimately, it may result in the identification of practices or strategies a school, district or State may wish to...
Description: The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP) is conducting a systematic review of the current intervention literature targeting individuals on the autism spectrum. NCAEP is a continuation of the evidence review that was completed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC) which included research published through 2011. We will review research studies published in the last six years (2012-2017) which examine the impact of behavioral,...
Description: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol during the nine month prenatal period before birth. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis. Diagnostic terms under the FASD umbrella are: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)...
Description: The purpose of this discussion guide is to help IEP teams make informed decisions about whether intervener services are appropriate for a particular student.    Why Intervener Services May Be Needed Students who are deaf-blind have absent, partial, or distorted vision and hearing. Deaf-blindness severely limits access to visual and auditory information that forms the basis for learning and communication and creates challenges for educational systems mandated to provide a free and...
Description: This Formed Families Resource Directory provides information about programs and services offered in Northern Virginia to support families formed by adoption, foster care and kinship care who are raising children and youth with disabilities and other special needs. This directory is provided as a free service to individuals and other organizations and agencies. It covers the areas of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County. Some entries are listed...
Description: We are a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting foster, kinship, and adoptive families of children and youth with disabilities and other special needs. We serve families, educators and child welfare professionals in the Northern Virginia area. Formed Families Forward’s mission is to improve developmental, educational, social, emotional and post-secondary outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and other special needs through provision of information, training and support...
Description: More than 50 million Americans currently live with some form of disability. In Virginia, this means that one of every five citizens will have a disability or know someone who does. Hence, our challenge is clear. The goal of the Partnership is to further the ability of individuals with disabilities to be fully included in their communities. The Partnership for People with Disabilities, an affiliate of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, is Virginia's only university...
Description: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. SAMHSA Strategic Initiatives help provide treatment and services for people with mental and substance use disorders, support the families of people with mental and substance...
Description: NCTIC works to eliminate the use of seclusion, restraints, and other coercive practices and to develop the knowledge base on trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. NCTIC facilitates the adoption of trauma-informed environments in the delivery of a broad range of services including mental health, substance use, housing,...
Description: Families are the enduring presence in the lives of young children with disabilities. This volume contains activities to support early care and education staff and families in developing positive relationships that support collaboration and family leadership. Session 1: Creating Bright Futures (Building Relationships with Families) Session 2: Listening to Families Session 3: When Concerns Arise: Learning from Families' Experiences Session 4: Getting...
Description: VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide. We proudly serve alongside 1,650 (state) and 8,500 (local) human services professionals throughout the Social Services System, who ensure that thousands of Virginia's most vulnerable citizens have access to the best services and benefits available to them.
Description: The mental health of our children is a natural and important concern for us all. The fact is, many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence, yet may go undiagnosed and untreated for years. We refer to mental disorders using different “umbrella” terms such as emotional disturbance, behavioral disorders, or mental illness. Beneath these umbrella terms, there is actually a wide range of specific conditions that differ from one another in their characteristics...
Description: Wherever you work, children come to you with gifts, curiosity, challenges, and needs.  They are small wonders, to be sure, and as full of diversity as society itself. And because disability is a natural part of life, it’s also likely that some of your little ones may have a disability or a developmental delay that can impact their learning and growth. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you may even be among the first to notice a child’s difficulties or...
Description: The birth of a child is an exciting, life-changing event. A beautiful new baby comes to your house, family, and neighborhood. It is a time for celebration. But what happens when this new child has a disability? What if there are health problems? What if, as time goes by, it seems as if the child isn’t learning and progressing as quickly or easily as other children? What do you do? CPIR offers a suite of resource pages that can help you find answers and people who can...
Description: In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and...
Description: Giving a child a home is a remarkable gift. This page is written for the families who’ve adopted children with disabilities (and without!) and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. It’s also written for those who work in state agencies or in private organizations who find foster homes and adoptive families for so many children.
Description: Virginia Family Network is a statewide grassroots movement of families committed to providing opportunities that support, educate, and empower other families with children and youth with mental health needs towards balance and improved family functioning. Similarly, Youth MOVE Virginia (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) is a statewide grassroots movement to provide youth an HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU? Resources:• Helpline – 1-888-486-8264 - Toll free warmline for a...
Description: All children have a right to a free public education, regardless of their actual or perceived immigration or citizenship status or that of their parents. Education leaders, teachers, students, and families, have asked questions about guidance that was released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that limits immigration enforcement actions from occurring at schools and other “sensitive locations.” This Department of Homeland Security guidance is at:...
Description:  10 Ways the Autism Response Team Can Help When You Don’t Know Where to Start: The Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families and caregivers to information, tools, and resources.   Learn the Signs: Are you concerned your child has a developmental delay? Trust your instincts and contact ART to learn how to connect with your local Early Intervention resources.  Early intervention services can make extraordinary differences in...
Description: Children’s Challenging Behaviors is a six-hour workshop for parents of children and youth with mental health needs. In this workshop, a trained and experienced parent provides information to help parents understand typical behaviors versus challenging behaviors that require intervention. Parents learn when and how to seek help, develop parenting strategies, learn the ins and outs of special education and other educational supports, and discover community resources available to families and...
Description: We are celebrating over 30 years of non-profit services, advocacy and support to families and professionals involved with autism. We are the local affiliate of the national Autism Society of America that was founded in 1965. We provide 5 core services to maintain and increase the quality of life for everyone: Information and Referral – Contact us by email or phone for local resources and general information about autism and the services and programs we provide. Support – We are...
Description: Guardian ad litem (GAL) literally means “guardian for the suit.” A guardian ad litem in Virginia is an attorney appointed by a judge to assist the court in determining the circumstances of a matter before the court. It is the fundamental responsibility of the guardian ad litem to provide independent recommendations to the court about the client’s best interests, which can be different from advocating for what the client wants, and to bring balance to the decision-making...
Description: Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) helps youth in Virginia succeed when they age out of foster care. We do that by helping youth directly and by supporting the professionals who work with them. Our services help youth in foster care avoid homelessness, helplessness and hopelessness. Instead, they have the knowledge and support they need to get jobs, continue school, live decently and give back to their communities. While youth are in foster care, decisions are often...