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Special Education Resources (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) - Recently Updated (Fall 2021)


The Federal and State definition of special education and specially designed instruction are:

"Special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in a classroom, in the home, in hospitals, in institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education. The term includes each of the following if it meets the requirements of the definition of special education: (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.39)

  1. Speech-language pathology services or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under state standards;
  2. Vocational education; and
  3. Travel training.

"Specially designed instruction" means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible
child, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction: (34 CFR 300.39(b)(3))

  1. To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and
  2. To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards that apply to all children within the jurisdiction of the local educational agency.


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