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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 101 - 150 of 246
Description: Special education is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. NICHCY is pleased to provide this handy reference to special education terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: Where will a student with a disability receive his or her special education and related services? IDEA requires placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for each child, a setting that is based on the child’s IEP. (parent, parents)
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lists five special factors that the IEP team must consider in the development, review, and revision of each child’s IEP. The discussion below will highlight the importance of these special factors in the education of children with disabilities and the need for individualized consideration of these factors in IEP development and revision. The special factors are: Behavior, Limited English proficiency, Blindness or visual impairment,...
Description: Life is full of transitions, and one of the more remarkable ones occurs when we get ready to leave high school and go out in the world as young adults. When the student has a disability, it's especially helpful to plan ahead for that transition. In fact, IDEA requires it.
Description: El nacimiento de un niño es un evento lleno de emociones que le cambiará la vida por completo. Un nuevo bebé hermoso llega a su hogar, familia, y comunidad. Es un tiempo para celebrar. Sus familiares conocen al niño y se preguntan: ¿Va a ser un futbolista, será una famosa cantante, va a descubrir la cura para el cáncer, o se convertirá en el presidente de los Estados Unidos?
Description: IDEA es la ley federal que guia cómo los Estados, las agencias educacionales y las escuelas públicas ofrecen educación especial y servicios relacionados a nuestros niños con discapacidades que son elegibles para recibir esta ayuda especial. Es una ley muy poderosa e influencial, afectando positivamente la vida de millones de estudiantes y sus familias.
Description: Early intervention is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. We are pleased to provide this handy reference to early intervention terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: Una vez que el Equipo del IEP ha decidido qué servicios necesita su hijo (como descrito en la página Reuniones para Desarrollar el IEP), debe tomarse una decisión sobre dónde serán provistos los servicios. El lugar donde se lleva a cabo el IEP de su hijo es llamado la ubicación. Ud. como padre tiene el derecho de formar parte del grupo que decide la ubicación de su hijo.
Description: Los padres tienen el derecho de no estar de acuerdo con el sistema escolar, como hemos discutido en la página Derecho de No Estar de Acuerdo. El sistema escolar tiene el mismo derecho—el de no estar de acuerdo con ciertas decisiones o acciones de los padres en cuanto a la identificación, evaluación, o ubicación de su niño, o la provisión de una educación pública gratis y apropiada al niño. Pero, ¿cuáles opciones...
Description: Hay muchas leyes en los Estados Unidos relevantes a las personas con discapacidades. La más poderosa es el Acta para la Educación de Individuos con Discapacidades, conocido en inglés como “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” o IDEA (por sus siglas). Esta es la ley de educación especial en el país. Si quiere aprender más sobre IDEA, explore los enlaces bajo nuestra página Sobre la Ley IDEA.
Description: La vida está llena de transiciones, y una de las más notables ocurre cuando los estudiantes se preparan para salir de la escuela secundaria y entrar al mundo como adultos jóvenes. Cuando el estudiante tiene una discapacidad, la planificación para el futuro es especialmente importante. De hecho, la ley IDEA lo requiere.
Description: Looking for information, resources, and technical assistance (TA) to help you and others support children with disabilities in their least restrictive environment in school? Here’s a starter list of places to look online. These will surely lead you to more. (Parent/family)
Description: NICHCY was funded for decades by the Office of Special Education Programs, at the U.S. Department of Education. The project’s funding ended on September 30, 2014. Much of the rich library of materials and publications that NICHCY produced over the years has a new home at the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR).
Description: The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities. (This website is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.)
Description: Cada Estado debe identificar, localizar y evaluar a todos los niños con discapacidades que necesitan educación especial y servicios relacionados. Esta página describe el proceso de obtener y participar en una evaluación gratuita de un niño sospechado de tener una discapacidad o retraso en el desarrollo.
Description: Se ha determinado que su niño es elegible para la educación especial. El siguiente paso es escribir lo que se conoce como el Programa Educativo Individualizado— generalmente llamado un IEP (en inglés, “Individualized Education Program”) o un PEI (por sus siglas en español).
Description: Sobre el Proceso de Educación Especial. Aquí puede ver brevemente cómo un estudiante es identificado como niño que tiene una discapacidad y necesita educación especial y servicios relacionados. Después de familiarizarse con el proceso básico de educación especial, puede usar los enlaces a final para aprender más acerca de aspectos específicos de lo que la ley IDEA requiere.
Description: The VCU Autism Center for Excellence is committed to providing resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Resources consists of items which may be checked out from our extensive Lending Library as well as electronic materials you can download directly from our website. The electronic materials include fact sheets, peer reviewed journal articles, manuals, website links as well as other materials and information that expand the knowledge of ASD and facilitate implementation of...
Description: This technical assistance resource was created in collaboration with staff at the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU ACE) and is designed to be a tools for educators, administrators, and parents working to improve services for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These guidelines offer an overview of the current best practices for educating individuals with ASD.The Guidelines are not a standard of practice for the education of individuals with ASD in...
Description: Credit accommodations for students with disabilities pursuing a Standard Diploma include augmenting the Personal Living and Finances course (state course code 3120) by including the 21 Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) for the Commonwealth. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans will have the opportunity to use the revised course to meet the Economics and Personal Finance graduation requirement if the student has earned at least three (3) standard credits in history...
Description: Autism NOW: The National Autism Resource and Information Center will be a dynamic and interactive, highly visible and effective central point of quality resources and information for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, their families, and other targeted key stakeholders.
Description: Autism NOW Center’s fact sheets on topics of importance to people with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities are a resource you and your family members, as well as educators, employers, physicians and others, can use to get information in an easy-to-read and understand format. Topics include: Employment, Future Planning, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Relationships and Sexuality, Self-Advocacy and Social Security. (Spanish: Empleo, Planear el Futuro,...
Description: This section includes information on: Accommodations Assessment Assistive Technology Behavior and Discipline Child Find Critical Area Self-Assessment Questions Disability Specific Documents Educational Interpreters English Language Learners Extended School Year Services Funding and Grants Health Guidance IEP Inclusion Resources Instruction Paraprofessional Prior Written Notice Parent Involvement Section 504 Resources Secondary Transition Services
Description: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia have updated this guide for educators that includes the following sections: Brain Injury 101, The Student with TBI: AN Overview, Educational Implications, Transition, Family and Special Education.
Description: This guidelines document is designed to be a resource for teachers and administrators as they address the educational needs of students with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in Virginia. Parents of children with SLD may find this document useful as well. These guidelines offer an overview of best practices for educating individuals with SLD and should be used in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)Regulations Governing Special Education Program for Children with...
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that addresses the education of children with disabilities. This publication includes information that explains the provisions related to, and benefits available to, children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools.
Description: Generations United, with the support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, developed Grand Resources: A Grandparent’s and Other Relative’s Guide to Raising Children with Disabilities to equip the caregivers, including those that provide full and part time care to relative children, with the national resources they need to help their children thrive, now and in the future. In addition to the guide, Generations United has developed a resource directory that serves as a companion piece...
Description: This brochure covers: "What is Self-Determination? and How can I help my child become more self-determined?" (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: ¿Qué es la autodeterminación? ¿Cómo puedo ayudar para que mi hijo sea más autodeterminado? (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: This brochure discusses Free Appropriate Public Education, Appropriate Evaluation, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Least Restrictive Environment.
Description: Tienes el derecho a: La educación pública apropiada gratuita, Evaluación apropiada, Programa de educación individualizado (IEP) and Ambiente menos restrictivo (LRE). (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: This brochure is for elementary and secondary students. It covers what you should do: Before the meeting, During the meeting and After the meeting. (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: Antes de la Reunión, Durante la Reunión and Después de la reunion. (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: The Virginia Special Education Reference is a research tool provided to special education program directors, school administrators, teachers and other service providers, parents, and parent support groups who need information regarding special education quickly and in a searchable format. It brings related information in a uniform electronic format for ease of use.
Description: The following is a list of frequently asked questions and corresponding answers regarding the implementation of credit accommodations for students with disabilities. (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE)
Description: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSERS) issued this Q&A document to provide parents, parent training and information centers, school personnel, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), advocacy organizations, and other interested parties with information to facilitate appropriate implementation of the IDEA dispute resolution procedures, including mediation, state complaint procedures, and due process complaint and due process hearing procedures.
Description: Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities may include: Alternative courses to meet the standard credit requirements Modifications to the requirements for locally awarded verified credits Additional tests approved by the Board of Education for earning verified credits Adjusted cut scores on tests for earning verified...
Description: To encourage more students to work toward a selected industry credential or state license while pursuing a high school diploma, the Path to Industry Certification: High School Industry Credentialing program was developed. Students who earn a credential by passing a certification or licensure examination may earn up to two student-selected verified credits to meet graduation requirements.
Description: This assessment is 100-Item Multiple-Choice, 60-Minute Timed Test (The assessment must be completed in one, 60-minute sitting unless a school emergency interrupts the testing period.) Standard of Mastery: 75%
Description: To graduate with a Standard Diploma, a student must earn at least 22 standard units of credit by passing required courses and electives, and earn at least six verified credits by passing end-of-course SOL tests or other assessments approved by the Board of Education. Beginning with students entering ninth grade for the first time in 2013-2014, a student must also: Earn a board-approved career and technical education credential to graduate with a Standard Diploma; and Successfully complete one...
Description: For Virginia's special education students, diploma options are changing. The Modified Standard diploma is no longer an option for students entering the ninth grade (or younger) in the 2013-2014 school year.
Description: The Board of Education has approved a number of substitute tests that students may take to earn verified credits toward graduation.
Description: In February 1998, the Virginia Board of Education approved certain courses that would satisfy the mathematics, science, and history and social science course requirements for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas.
Description: This section of the VDOE website answers frequently asked questions about earning a Virginia high school diploma.
Description: This booklet describes the kinds of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and health benefits for a child with a disability and explains the evaluation of disability claims for children. (Spanish version)
Description: This booklet is for the parents, caregivers or representatives of children younger than age 18 who have disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It is also for adults who became disabled in childhood (prior to age 22) and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. (We call this SSDI benefit a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.)
Description: This IEP Tool Kit provides you with some basic tools to help you better advocate for your child. One page explains possible steps to take as you plan for an IEP meeting. Another page provides tips on organizing your child’s school-related papers. Two forms are provided: one to organize data about your child’s needs and strengths so you can sort what might be needed in the IEP document, and the other to take to the IEP meeting to keep track of the needs and questions you want to discuss at the...
Description: This document summarizes practical insights and promising practices for IEP/IFSP facilitation, collected from a broad review of facilitation and special education literature. (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE)
Description: This document, Supporting the Identification and Achievement of the Twice-Exceptional Student, developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), provides parents, educators, and students with answers to some questions concerning the identification process and instruction of students with dual exceptionalities.
Description: Informal Assessments for Transition Planning, Second Edition, is an assessment resource that school-based personnel can use to determine or confirm transition strengths, preferences, interests, and needs for appropriate Transition Planning in the IEP.(Transition Assessments)