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Special Education (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)


The Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) guarantees a free appropriate public education to all eligible children with disabilities. Refer to Evaluation & Eligibility for more information. The steps in the special education process include:

  1. Identification and referral
  2. Evaluation
  3. Determination of eligibility
  4. Development of an individualized education program (IEP) and determination of services
  5. Reevaluation

There are timelines schools must follow for each step. Timelines help to prevent any delay. Procedural safeguards, which are rights given to the parents of a child with a disability and the child upon reaching the age of majority (age 18), ensure that the child is provided a free appropriate public education according to the Federal and State rules. The services and placement of students with disabilities who need special education, are developed through an IEP, which is the responsibility of local public school divisions.


All Disabilities Curriculum/Instructional Methods Employment Individualized Education Program (IEP) Parent/Family Postsecondary Education Social/Emotional Transition