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The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education, May 2023 (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Urdu, & Vietnamese


The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education is a revision of the former A Parent’s Guide to Special Education that was originally published in 2010.

This new state guide was developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to help those involved in special education, whether as families, 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 throughout.

The Virginia Family’s Guide to Special Education is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Urdu, and Vietnamese. A limited number of printed guides, in English, has been sent to the special education director in each local school division in Virginia. Additional printed copies in both English and Spanish will be available prior to the end of 2023.


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