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Special Education Process

Is your child Eligible for Special Education Services? When parents or educators notice that a child might need additional support, they can refer the child for possible eligibility for special education. This page offers specific resources to help you through the beginning steps of the Special Education Process.
  • Referral ⁄ Evaluation ⁄ Eligibility
  • Individualized Education Program ⁄ Individual Family Service Plan - The Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes the special education and related services designed to meet the unique needs of a child with disabilities. Parents, school personnel, and often the student receiving special education services develop the IEP jointly. This page provides resources to help develop an effective and appropriate IEP.
  • Instruction & Monitoring - Once a student has an IEP, instruction can begin. This page provides information and resources to help you monitor your child's instruction and progress to ensure that the instructional plans outlined in the IEP are followed.
You may also want to visit the FAQ about Special Education.
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Showing Results 101 - 150 of 220
Description: Looking for information, resources, and technical assistance (TA) to help you and others support children with disabilities in their least restrictive environment in school? Here’s a starter list of places to look online. These will surely lead you to more.
Description: For many students with disabilities—and for many without—the key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate adaptations, accommodations, and modifications made to the instruction and other classroom activities. Some adaptations are as simple as moving a distractible student to the front of the class or away from the pencil sharpener or the window. Other modifications may involve changing the way that material is presented or the way that students respond to show their...
Description: The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities. (This website is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.)
Description: The VCU Autism Center for Excellence is committed to providing resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Resources consists of items which may be checked out from our extensive Lending Library as well as electronic materials you can download directly from our website. The electronic materials include fact sheets, peer reviewed journal articles, manuals, website links as well as other materials and information that expand the knowledge of ASD and facilitate implementation of...
Description: This technical assistance resource was created in collaboration with staff at the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU ACE) and is designed to be a tools for educators, administrators, and parents working to improve services for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These guidelines offer an overview of the current best practices for educating individuals with ASD.The Guidelines are not a standard of practice for the education of individuals with ASD in...
Description: Credit accommodations for students with disabilities pursuing a Standard Diploma include augmenting the Personal Living and Finances course (state course code 3120) by including the 21 Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) for the Commonwealth. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will have the opportunity to use the revised course to meet the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement if the student has earned at least three (3) standard credits in history...
Description: Autism NOW: The National Autism Resource and Information Center will be a dynamic and interactive, highly visible and effective central point of quality resources and information for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, their families, and other targeted key stakeholders.
Description: Autism NOW Center’s fact sheets on topics of importance to people with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities are a resource you and your family members, as well as educators, employers, physicians and others, can use to get information in an easy-to-read and understand format. Topics include: Employment, Future Planning, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Relationships and Sexuality, Self-Advocacy and Social Security. (Spanish: Empleo, Planear el Futuro,...
Description: This section includes information on: Accommodations Assessment Assistive Technology Behavior and Discipline Child Find Critical Area Self-Assessment Questions Disability Specific Documents Educational Interpreters English Language Learners Extended School Year Services Funding and Grants Health Guidance IEP Inclusion Resources Instruction Paraprofessional Prior Written Notice Parent Involvement Section 504 Resources Secondary Transition Services
Description: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia have updated this guide for educators that includes the following sections: Brain Injury 101, The Student with TBI: AN Overview, Educational Implications, Transition, Family and Special Education.
Description: This guidelines document is designed to be a resource for teachers and administrators as they address the educational needs of students with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in Virginia. Parents of children with SLD may find this document useful as well. These guidelines offer an overview of best practices for educating individuals with SLD and should be used in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)Regulations Governing Special Education Program for Children with...
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that addresses the education of children with disabilities. This publication includes information that explains the provisions related to, and benefits available to, children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools.
Description: Generations United, with the support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, developed Grand Resources: A Grandparent’s and Other Relative’s Guide to Raising Children with Disabilities to equip the caregivers, including those that provide full and part time care to relative children, with the national resources they need to help their children thrive, now and in the future. In addition to the guide, Generations United has developed a resource directory that serves as a companion piece...
Description: This brochure is for elementary and secondary students. It covers what you should do: Before the meeting, During the meeting and After the meeting. (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: This brochure discusses Free Appropriate Public Education, Appropriate Evaluation, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Least Restrictive Environment.
Description: This brochure covers: "What is Self-Determination? and How can I help my child become more self-determined?" (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: The following is a list of frequently asked questions and corresponding answers regarding the implementation of credit accommodations for students with disabilities. (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSERS) issued this Q&A document to provide parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), advocacy organizations, and other interested parties with information to facilitate appropriate implementation of the IDEA dispute resolution procedures, including mediation, state complaint procedures, and due process complaint and due process hearing procedures.
Description: Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include: Alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements Modifications to the requirements for locally awarded verified credits Additional tests approved by the Board of Education for earning verified credits Adjusted cut scores on tests for earning verified...
Description: To encourage more students to work toward a selected industry credential or state license while pursuing a high school diploma, the Path to Industry Certification: High School Industry Credentialing program was developed. Students who earn a credential by passing a certification or licensure examination may earn up to two student-selected verified credits to meet graduation requirements.
Description: This assessment is 100-Item Multiple-Choice, 60-Minute Timed Test (The assessment must be completed in one, 60-minute sitting unless a school emergency interrupts the testing period.) Standard of Mastery: 75%
Description: To graduate with a Standard Diploma, a student must earn at least 22 standard units of credit by passing required courses and electives, and earn at least six verified credits by passing end-of-course SOL tests or other assessments approved by the Board of Education. Beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014, a student must also: Earn a board-approved career and technical education credential to graduate with a Standard Diploma; and Successfully complete one...
Description: For Virginia's special education students, diploma options are changing. The Modified Standard diploma is no longer an option for students entering the ninth grade (or younger) in the 2013-2014 school year.
Description: The Board of Education has approved a number of substitute tests that students may take to earn verified credits toward graduation.
Description: In February 1998, the Virginia Board of Education approved certain courses that would satisfy the mathematics, science, and history and social science course requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas.
Description: This section of the VDOE website answers frequently asked questions about earning a Virginia high school diploma.
Description: This booklet describes the kinds of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and health benefits for a child with a disability and explains the evaluation of disability claims for children. (Spanish version)
Description: This booklet is for the parents, caregivers or representatives of children younger than age 18 who have disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It is also for adults who became disabled in childhood (prior to age 22) and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. (We call this SSDI benefit a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.)
Description: Matrix Packets Getting Organized — School Age Individual Education Plans (IEP) Understanding Your Child's IEP IEP Tool Kit: Annual/Triennial Review IEP Tool Kit: Educational Benefit Review Resolving Disagreements In Spanish Organizándose - Años Escolares de Su Hijo Plan de Educación Individual (IEP) Herramientas para el IEP Matrix Help! Sheets (Downloads in both English and Spanish) Materials of Other Organizations Websites
Description: This document summarizes practical insights and promising practices for IEP/IFSP facilitation, collected from a broad review of facilitation and special education literature. (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE)
Description: This document, Supporting the Identification and Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student, developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), provides parents, educators, and students with answers to some questions concerning the identification process and instruction of students with dual exceptionalities.
Description: Informal Assessments for Transition Planning, Second Edition, is an assessment resource that school-based personnel can use to determine or confirm transition strengths, preferences, interests, and needs for appropriate Transition Planning in the IEP.(Transition Assessments)
Description: Questions and Answers in Follow up to 2007 Spring/Summer Transition Workshops, Virginia Department of Education and Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia, Updated March 2009
Description: The statement that “knowledge is power” is especially true for parents who want to be effective advocates for their children with disabilities. To make sure parents have the information they need most, PACER conducted a survey, and nearly a thousand people responded. Given a list of choices, parents of children from each age group indicated their top three concerns. This PACER Action Sheet provides a selection of helpful information to address each topic from a variety of national and statewide...
Description: The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) was created in December 2001–the product of the shared vision and unique life experiences of OAR’s seven founders. Led by these parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, OAR set out to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. No other autism organization has this singular focus.
Description: This link includes the conference sessions and downloadable materials from the 8th Annual Special Education Conference (Fairfax County Public Schools). Topics include: transition (post-secondary, preschool), executive functioning, reading (middle and high school), medicaid waivers, online textbooks, ADHD, Apps, depression and suicide prevention, bullying, stress, inclusion, mathematics, dyslexia, mentoring, communication to enhance the IEP Process, Down Syndrome, VA Assessment options, child...
Description: English language learners with disabilities are a growing part of the K-12 school population in the U.S. The available knowledge on how to effectively educate these students, and measure their progress, is small but increasing. However, many educators and families have pressing questions. This Impact issue offers responses to some of those questions by people from around the country who are helping schools meet the needs of this growing student population.
Description: CDC has FREE brochures, posters, fact sheets, and more for parents, health care providers, and public health professionals. These include: Hearing Loss Fact Sheet, Decision Guide to Communication Choices, Making a Plan for Your Child as well as Questions You May Want to Ask Your Child's Genetics Team or Medical Professional or Early Interventionists or Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Doctor or Audiologist or Speech Language Pathologist (available in English and Spanish). There is also a Communication...
Description: A 37 minute audio/video overview of special education created to help parents of children with disabilities understand what special education is, how a child might get into special education, how to resolve disagreements, and what role parents play. Developed by PACER Center, it is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. (Scroll down the Special Education Rights page to find this video. It is available in Hmong, Spanish and Somali.)
Description: Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings depend on good communication between parents and special ed service providers. When parents do not speak English, schools must bring in an interpreter to ensure that team members understand each other and that parents can give informed consent. Even when the team invites an excellent interpreter, however, things can still go wrong. Following are tips on how to conduct effective IEP meetings when an interpreter is involved. These tips are based on...
Description: A Somali-language glossary of special education terms
Description: IA glossary of special education terms in the Hmong language  
Description: New Path: The Support Network for Families in Early Intervention is a program of The Arc of Virginia, designed to help parents navigate the Early Intervention system, from understanding their rights, to building relationships with therapists and doctors. Discovering your child has a developmental delay or disability can be overwhelming. It often transforms notions of what being a parent would be. We are here to guide families on their New Path. (Available in Spanish and French)
Description: The newest AT in Action video, brought to you by FCTD and PACER, introduces Jared, a young man with cerebral palsy who controls his computer using a sip and puff switch. That computer access allows Jared to run a business creating dynamic graphics and websites.
Description: Esta guía para padres ha sido elaborada por el Ministerio de Educación de Virginia ("VDOE") a fin de ayudarles a entender sus derechos y obligaciones, los derechos de su hijo y las obligaciones de la escuela para satisfacer las necesidades especiales de su hijo. Esta guía incluye una descripción del proceso de educación especial y lo que se les exige a ustedes y a la escuela durante cada paso de ese proceso. En cada sección se destacan los plazos...
Description: "Your Family's Special Education Rights" identifies key parts of the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004” (IDEA), a federal law governing the education of students with disabilities. IDEA 2004 requires that families be informed of their special education rights, including how families and schools can resolve problems. This document is available in Arabic (PDF), Chinese (PDF), English (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Farsi (PDF), Korean (PDF), Spanish (PDF), and...
Description: From the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, this document helps educators work with students to develop postsecondary goals for the transition component of the IEP, make instructional programming decisions, and include information in the present level of performance related to a student's interests, preferences, and needs in the IEP.
Description: The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center builds positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. We do this by providing: Services and support for families and professionals; Easy-to-understand, research-based information and training; and Opportunities for strategic partnerships...
Description: For Virginia’s special educations students, diploma options are changing. The Modified Standard diploma is no longer an option for students entering the ninth grade (or younger) in the 2013-2014 school year. If your son or daughter will be a ninth grader (or younger) this fall, and was aiming for a Modified Standard diploma, he or she will now be working toward a Standard diploma. The General Assembly amendment to the Code of Virginia raises expectations for students with disabilities. It...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education has developed a document on transition, “Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood,” that includes important information on transition assessment and planning, adult services, postsecondary education, employment, home living skills, and Social Security and benefits planning.