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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 151 - 200 of 221
Description: The Virginia Department of Education has developed a document on transition, “Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood,” that includes important information on transition assessment and planning, adult services, postsecondary education, employment, home living skills, and Social Security and benefits planning.
Description: A complaint is generally an expression of some disagreement with a procedure or a process regarding special education programs, procedures or services. A formal complaint is considered a request that this division investigate an alleged violation of a right of a parent and/or child with disabilities who is eligible, or believed to be eligible, for certain services based on federal and state laws and regulations governing special education.
Description: The Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services is charged with the responsibility of managing and monitoring a due process hearing system. We provide information to help individuals understand the steps for requesting and managing an impartial due process hearing. This information is not intended as legal advice or as an interpretation of the laws and regulations governing special education in Virginia. The information will, however, help in understanding the implementation of...
Description: A neutral, impartial, trained mediator may be sought voluntarily by parents and school staff to assist in their negotiations with each other. That assistance to convene and conduct a meeting to clarify issues, focus on the needs of a child, and to explore and evaluate possible solutions in a confidential setting is mediation. Mediators are trained neutrals, skilled in helping people to hear and understand each other and to work jointly to find solutions to difficult issues in special education....
Description: The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. CADRE is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education to...
Description: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. This law applies to public elementary and secondary schools, among other entities.
Description: When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child’s parents and school staff. The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of students with disabilities receiving special...
Description: SMALL STEPS: A Parent-Infant Education Program for Families Raising Children who are Deaf,Hard-of-Hearing, Blind, Low Vision and DeafBlind...honoring the small steps that promote happy families... FREE services offered through The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
Description: Vision is one of our five senses. Being able to see gives us tremendous access to learning about the world around us—people’s faces and the subtleties of expression, what different things look like and how big they are, and the physical environments where we live and move, including approaching hazards. When a child has a visual impairment, it is cause for immediate attention. That’s because so much learning typically occurs visually. When vision loss goes undetected, children...
Description: This Parent Advocacy Brief will help you understand the changes brought about by the ADAAA, how they apply to Section 504, and how these changes may impact children with disabilities, including learning disabilities, as well as other conditions such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Aspergers Syndrome, diabetes, asthma,and life-threatening food allergies.
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the key federal education law that serves students with LD. Being informed will help you support your child’s learning needs and advocate for his or her success.
Description: This publication was developed to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, their child's rights and the school's responsibilities to meet the special needs of their child. The guide includes a description of the special education process and what is required of you and the school during each step of that process. Important timelines are highlighted in each section. (Families, family)
Description: The focus of SpecialQuest Birth–Five is on inclusion for children with disabilities ages birth through five (pre-kindergarten) and their families, particularly those in Head Start* along with Child Care, Early Intervention/Part C, Early Childhood Special Education/619, family support, and other related programs. (parent, parents)
Description: The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to improve state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increase the implementation of effective practices, and enhance the outcomes of these programs for young children and their families.
Description: Parents play an important role in the education of their children, especially parents of children who are identified as having disabilities. The law requires that parents and school personnel work together to provide children with appropriate educational services.
Description: Welcome to the U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website, which brings together IDEA information and resources from the Department and our grantees. Whether you are a student, parent, educator, service provider, or grantee, you are here because you care about children with disabilities and their families and want to find information and explore resources on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
Description: This website offers "one-stop-shopping" for links to legislation, Federal Register Notices, Policy Guidance, and Grant Applications for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA).
Description: The WATI website provides the resource manual for Assessing Student's Needs for Assistive Technology (ASNA): the complete version and by individual chapters. The WATI Student Information Guide Process Forms (AT for Seating, Positioning and Mobility, AT for Communication, AT for Computer Access, AT for Motor Aspects of Writing, AT for Composition of Written Material, AT for Reading, AT for Mathematics, AT for Organization, AT for Recreation and Leisure, AT for Blind / Low Vision, AT for Deaf /...
Description: The mission of GPAT is to improve student achievement, productivity, independence and inclusion by enhancing educator knowledge of assistive technology and increasing student access to appropriate assistive technology devices and services.
Description: Assistive technology enables students with disabilities to access the curriculum, increase independence and participate actively in education and life activities. Thank you for visiting our site today and we hope you find the resources you need to successfully include technology devices and services for your schools.  
Description: The Glossary includes over 200 education- and disability-related terms translated from English to Spanish to ensure that educational terms related to IDEA are translated in a uniform and comprehensible way. (With proper citation, the Glossary can be reproduced in whole or part.)
Description: This is the Individualized Family Service Plan (ISFP) form the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia that was revised 6/2012.
Description: The Virginia Accessible Instructional Materials Center (AIM-VA) renewed the statewide license of Read:OutLoud, an accessible eBook and web reader for students with IEPs or 504 Plans. The AIM-VA Read:OutLoud license is now upgraded to a no-term license (no expiration), meaning that you will be able to use Read:OutLoud (version 6) on a continual basis. There will be no annual renewal fees.
Description: A 20-minute video featuring Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), highlights some of the major changes to the regulations. These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
Description: This site was created to provide a "one-stop shop" for resources related to Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations, announced on September 6, 2011.
Description: The primary purpose of the DCDT Fact Sheets are to disseminate information to the field related to key topics in secondary transition. Currently, the DCDT Fact Sheets focus on a number of topics, including evidence-based predictors of post-school success for youth with disabilities, transition planning and assessment, transition specialist competencies, and recommendations for research in secondary transition. The Fact Sheets related to the evidence-based predictors have been developed to...
Description: The purpose of this brief (from the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials) is to help families and educators understand the right of all students with disabilities who need accessible instructional materials to receive these materials in a timely manner. This right is based on provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as in the disability civil rights statutes Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Description: This is a resource, for state legislators, teachers, parents, or others interested in education, that defines and clarifies the definitions of acronyms routinely found in legislative and policy discussions. (parent)
Description: "Transition to adulthood" is a complex and ongoing process that starts as soon as a child is born and continues as the child becomes an adolescent, to early adult life and then through the stages of adulthood. While this process is complicated at best for any person, the individual with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) faces unique challenges that require specialized considerations. This set of guides will help the user understand these challenges and raise awareness of these important...
Description: Virginia’s PRCs are committed to facilitating positive parent-school relationships for the benefit of students. PRCs assist parents with questions, problem solving and planning, and provide resources, information and training sessions.
Description: The Secretary issues final regulations governing the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. These regulations are needed to reflect changes made to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (Act or IDEA). These regulations are effective on October 28, 2011.
Description: The IDEA Partnership is dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities by joining state agencies and stakeholders through shared work and learning. (National Organizations)
Description: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department) has received requests for clarification of some of these regulations. This is one of a series of question and answer (Q&A) documents prepared by OSERS to address some of the most important issues raised by requests for clarification on a variety of high-interest topics.
Description: This brief document offers suggestions for convening successful IEP meetings. It includes preparation tips for parents and educators.
Description: The interactive GAP Learning Guide was developed to help teens and young adults with hearing loss to better enable and empower themselves as they make significant life transitions. GAP is the first guide of its kind that is interactive and combines the wide spectrum of resource materials used to support self-advocacy for young people with hearing impairment. This is one of the most comprehensive, state of the art resources on self-determination, technology, transition, and access to...
Description: This fact sheet (from The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center- NECTAC) provides a brief overview of the Part C program and quick facts from the research on early brain development, the importance of intervening early, the benefits of early intervention, and current unmet needs. It is meant to be used as a tool to communicate with policymakers, pediatricians, families, and community leaders about the importance of high quality services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for...
Description: This PowerPoint presentation from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) discusses the development of the Standards-based IEP. (A Standards‐based IEP describes a process in which the IEP team has incorporated state content standards in its development.)
Description: This a booklet designed to help parents of children who have been diagnosed with health or mental health care needs to learn about available resources and to develop a partnership with their children’s schools. It was developed by The HSC Foundation, in partnership with George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. (family/families)
Description: COACH is better than ever! Now with practical updates based on user feedback and a new streamlined format for easier use, the third edition of this bestselling guide can be the key to effective educational planning for students with intensive special education needs in inclusion-oriented schools.
Description: This InfoBrief explains how schools and families can supplement the required Individualized Education Program (IEP) by using an optional Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) as a tool to help youth successfully transition from high school to employment and postsecondary education. What is an Individualized Learning Plan? The Individualized Learning Plan is a strategic planning tool intended to help youth identify and achieve postsecondary goals. The ILP provides students with opportunities for...
Description: To help special educators and early interventionists in their monumental task of implementing the updated regulations, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), its Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the IDEA Infant Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA) have released a side-by-side comparison of the 2011 final Part C regulations, published on Sept. 28, to Part C regulations from 1999.
Description: Assistive Technology Consideration Quick Wheel offers federal definitions of AT devices and services as well as a list of the AT tools to consider in content areas and other resources including books, journals, newsletters and internet sites. Special savings for large orders.
Description: Here you will find information to support your work in helping infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth to three, achieve their full potential.
Description: These tip sheets from Harvard Family Research Project are designed to support educators and families in conducting productive, successful parent-teacher conferences. (Available in English and Spanish)
Description: 2009 (FCTD Family Guide) : The Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning is to help families prepare for those times during which their child moves from one environment to another and from one development stage to another. The focus is on the role of assistive technology during those times.
Description: Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Print Book includes: Full text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and IDEA 2004 Regulations Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act No Child Left Behind Family Educational Privacy Act (FERPA) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Decisions in special education cases from the U. S. Supreme Court Analysis and Commentary Resources and References Wrightslaw Special Education Law is an invaluable resource that provides a clear...
Description: Developmentally appropriate, research-based strategies for promoting children's literacy learning in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary classrooms and infant/toddler settings. A strong, coherent framework for effective practice appears in NAEYC's joint position statement with the International Reading Association, which is supported by many other organizations and reprinted in this book. Alive with classroom photos and children's work, the book offers crystal-clear guidance and exciting...
Description: This publication is intended to improve the quality of early childhood programs by identifying best practices for supporting child growth and development from birth to kindergarten.
Description: PACER’s Early Childhood Family Information and Resources Project gives parents of children ages birth through 5 years the confidence, knowledge, and skills they need to help their children obtain the education, health care, and other services they deserve. In Minnesota, special education services for children with disabilities are mandated by law beginning at birth. By federal and state law, families must be involved in the planning, development, and implementation of comprehensive...
Description: This document is intended to be used by school divisions as a framework for the development of assistive technology operating guidelines tailored to local resources and service delivery models and should be used in conjunction with federal and state regulations. (November 2008)