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The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education, May 2023 (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)


The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education - In an attempt to continue to publish thorough and comprehensive documents for special education in Virginia, this revised and edited guide is a new version of the previously written “Parent’s Guide to Special Education,” which was last revised in 2010.

This new state guide was developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in order to help those involved in special education, whether as parents (as defined in this document), teachers or school administrators, advocates, or students. Meeting the needs of children with disabilities requires an understanding of rights and responsibilities which include the child’s rights, and the school’s responsibilities to meet their needs. This guide includes a description of the special education process and what is required during each step of that process. Important timelines are highlighted in each section.

The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education is currently available in English. In the coming months, translations in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Urdu, and Vietnamese will also be posted. A limited number of printed guides in both English and Spanish are also forthcoming.


All Disabilities Early Childhood Elementary High School Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) Individualized Education Program (IEP) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Middle School Preschool Related Services State Laws