Academy for Aspiring Special Education Leaders a yearlong program that includes a three-day workshop in August followed by monthly, two-day seminars, observations, assignments and field experiences. For more information, see Special Education Leadership Academies .
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The Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) guarantees a free appropriate public education to all eligible children with disabilities. The steps in the special education process include:
- Identification and referral
- Determination of eligibility
- Development of an individualized education program (IEP) and determination of services
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. 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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