VIEWS: 20 PAGES: 168

           Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc.
                                   35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor
                                      Newark, NJ 07102


                                  READ THIS FIRST

1. This book is for you - the parent, guardian, grandparent, foster parent, surrogate
   parent, or friend of a child with special needs.
2. Go through this book. You may want to add additional information to the
   binder (i.e., your child’s evaluations and IEP).
3. Bring this book with you to any meetings you attend concerning your child (i.e.,
   IEP meetings, visits with the pediatrician).
4. Remember: There will be times you will seek to obtain as much information as
   you can, while at other times, you will feel you are not able to, or it may not be
   a priority. It is our hope that you will continue to use this manual as a resource
   for many years to help guide you, as you become an advocate for your child.

                                      Revised 2000

                                 TABLE OF CONTENTS
SPAN Programs and Services
Statewide and Regional Offices
Community Resource Centers
Developing A Vision Of Advocacy
Parenting Your Children
Great Expectations
Person-Centered Planning
Understanding Your Child’s Abilities And Disability
Building Partnerships / Collaborative Teaming
Why Do Parent / Professional Partnerships Take So Much Work?
Appropriate Assertiveness
Assertiveness Inventory For Parents Of Children Receiving Special Education Services
Becoming an Advocate For Your Child
If Your Child Is In Foster Care
If You Are A Foster Parent
The Need For Self-Advocacy
Educational Self-Advocacy Tips

Fact Sheet On Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA)
You And The Law: Overview of Key Federal Legislation
Section 504 Of The Rehabilitation Act Of 1973
Children With Disabilities: How Can We Meet Their Needs Through Section 504 & IDEA?

Special Education Delivery Cycle
The IEP Process
Step 1: Identification Of The Student
Step 2: Determination Of Whether An Evaluation Will Be Conducted
Step 3: Identification Of The Collaborative Planning Team
The Child Study Team
Step 4: Evaluation
Initial Evaluation
Standardized Tests
Educational Tests
Psychological Tests
Functional Assessments
The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences
Step 5: Determination Of Eligibility For Services
Step 6: Identification Of The Student’s Strengths, Needs And Skills
Step 7: Development Of Goals And Objectives
A Case For Teaching Functional Skills
Criteria For The Development Of Functional Goals In The IEP
Other Important Considerations
Step 8: Identification Of Supports And Services
Program / Placement
Program Options
Resource Centers
Chart: NJ State Special Education Code Class Types And Sizes
Obtaining Extended School Year Services
Least Restrictive Environment Preschool Placements
Related Services
What Are The Basic Types Of Related Services?
Step 9: Identification Of Least Restrictive Environment
Step 10: Eligibility Criteria
Crosswalk Of Eligibility Categories (Terminology)
Crosswalk Of Eligibility Categories (Descriptive)
Step 11: Provision Of Ongoing Support And Monitoring
Monitoring Your Child’s IEP
Annual Reviews
Three-Year Evaluation
How Parents Participate As Collaborative Team Members
Preparing For The IEP Meeting
Active Participation In The IEP Meeting
The IEP Document
Required Components of the IEP
Frequently Asked Questions About IEPs
What to Include In Your Child’s Home File…………………………………………………………….

Determining The Least Restrictive Environment For Your Child
What Is “Supported Inclusive Education”?
How Does Inclusion Differ From Mainstreaming?
Supported Inclusive Education DOES Mean
Supported Inclusive Education Does NOT Mean
Legal Basis For Least Restrictive Environment
Why Is Inclusive Education Important?

New Jersey Special Education Code on Transition
Areas for Transition Planning
Roles And Responsibilities
Parent Strategies for Involvement
What Can I Do As A Parent?

Effective Negotiating Skills
How To Problem Solve And Present Your Concerns
Problem Solving With School Personnel And Administrators
Procedures And Good Practices During Meetings
People And Agencies With Whom To Work
Mediation, Due Process, And Complaint Investigation
Due Process
Preparation For Due Process Hearing
Placement of Student During Procedures
Complaint Investigation
Emergency Relief
Section 504 - How Can A Complaint Be Filed?

Becoming A Full Participant In Developing Your Child’s IEP
Clarifying Your Goals for Your Child

Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences Test & Scoring Sheet
The Seven Multiple Intelligences In Children
Checklist For Assessing Students’ Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences: Strategies In The Classroom

Positive Student Profile (Blank)
Positive Student Profile (Samples)
Goals-At-A-Glance (Blank & Sample)
Classroom Activity Analysis Worksheet (Blank & Sample)
IEP Goal/Activity Matrix (Blank & Sample)

Questions For Collaborative Team To Ask: Developing IEP & Assessing Results Of Instruction & Services
Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) Checklist

Who’s Who In Your Child’s Life?
Classroom Observation Checklist

Sample Letter Requesting An Evaluation
Sample Letter Requesting An Independent Evaluation
New Jersey Department of Education Request for Mediation/Due Process/Emergency Relief Hearing

NJ DOE Office Of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Policy Letter On Related Services
NJ DOE Office Of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Policy Letter On Extended School Year

Step-By-Step Instructions For Prompt Resolution Of Clear Violations Of The Law
Complaint Filing With New Jersey Department Of Education
Office Of Special Education Programs County Supervisors Of Child Study

Glossary Of Terms……………………………………………………………………………………………

APPENDIX J: RESOURCES……………………………………….………………...
Organizations Serving People With Disabilities………………………………………………………….

SPAN Workshop Evaluation Form………………………………………………………………………...
SPAN Membership Application……………………………………………………………………………

                    SPAN PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

T       he mission of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. (SPAN) is to empower families,
        professionals and other individuals interested in the well being and educational rights of children.
        SPAN’s special commitment is to those children with the greatest need due to disability, poverty,
discrimination based on race, sex or language, or other special needs. SPAN’s goal is to enable all children to
become fully participating and contributing members of society. We work toward this goal by providing
information, training, technical assistance, support and the exchange of ideas. SPAN’s multi-faceted program
is carried out by a bilingual, multiracial staff of parents of children with and without disabilities.
The Newark Office coordinates parent trainings and telephone information services. Information Packets / Fact
Sheets related to education, law and advocacy, and disability issues, and our comprehensive Basic Rights Manual
are available upon request. Our Multi-Lingual Center, housed at Catholic Family and Community Services in
Paterson, provides bilingual (Spanish) information, training and technical assistance. Our Community Education
Project provides targeted support to underserved families in urban communities in Essex County. Our Satellite
Offices coordinate outreach and technical assistance in the northern and southern regions of the state. Trained
volunteers who provide assistance in their local communities staff our Community Resource Centers. Eight
regional resource centers of the Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC) Project work with parents,
community partners and staff in schools across the state, especially in Abbott districts and rural communities. Our
Newark hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30am - 5:00pm; intake hours are Monday through Thursday, 10:00am -
2:00pm (except for emergencies).

Goals 2000 Parent Information and Resource Center
This program provides information, training and technical assistance to parents and administrators throughout New
Jersey, with a special focus on underserved families and urban districts. Through this program, SPAN’s Parent
Leadership Development Institute’s comprehensive school reform training is available for all Abbott districts;
SPAN Resource Parent training opportunities are also included in this grant. Regional training and technical
assistance staff is housed in schools and community organizations in six regions of the state. Each site offers
reference materials and information packets on school reform, special education, Title I, discipline, education laws,
health and human services, and other important information. A Statewide Resource Center is housed at the
Newark office. Through this project and in partnership with Prevent Child Abuse-NJ, SPAN provides training in the
Parents-As-Teachers home visitation and learning program for Abbott Early Childhood program Family Outreach
workers. SPAN works with ASPIRA to (a) operate the Camden office, and (b) conduct APEX (Latino parent
involvement trainings) in Newark; with Catholic Family and Community Services to operate the Paterson office;
and with the Paterson Education Fund to conduct train the trainer sessions about their child’s education and what’s
happening in the classroom). Both the APEX and Right Question Project trainings lead naturally into the Parent
Leadership Development Institute.

Parent Leadership Development Institute
This program provides a comprehensive eight-session training in school reform, education law, and effective parent
participation and leadership for PTA officers, Title I and special education advisory council members, and parents
on Abbott-mandated school-based management teams, in Newark and East Orange. SPAN works with
organizations such as ASPIRA, the Urban League, the Education Law Center, the Association for Children of New
Jersey, Head Start Councils, other community-based and advocacy groups, and interested schools, to enhance parent
leadership development in the targeted communities. Individual in-person technical assistance for school-based
parent groups and parent members of school management teams is available.

Parents Engaged in Public Policy (PEPP)
The PEPP Program trains parents to be effective participants in public policy advocacy on issues affecting their
children, particularly in the areas of education and health. The project staff, with extensive legislative and policy
experience, conducts workshops, develops Action Alerts on important public policy issues and provides ongoing
technical assistance to parent participants to support their engagement in the public policy debate.

Children and Family Initiative (in collaboration with the Association for Children of New Jersey, New
Jersey Mental Health Association, and New Jersey Parents’ Caucus)
This program works to engage parents and professionals in a movement for comprehensive, coordinated, culturally
competent services for children and families across agencies. SPAN provides capacity building and leadership
development services for families of children with mental health needs.

Welfare & Human Rights Monitoring Project
In this project, SPAN has conducted interviews and focus groups with welfare and SSI recipients to identify the
impact of “welfare reform” on New Jersey’s families. SPAN is also working with New Jersey Legal Services to
provide rights-based advocacy training for families interviewed by our part-time Project Coordinator. Finally,
SPAN is mobilizing religious and community leaders and the broader community to advocate for revisions to
“welfare reform” in our state.

Project SPAN
SPAN provides statewide training and technical assistance for families of children with disabilities or at risk of
academic failure due to poverty, limited English proficiency, inadequate education, or special health, emotional or
other needs. Through paid staff and trained volunteers, SPAN serves more 15,000 families each year. Our
Community Education Project works with urban Essex County families (in collaboration with the Association for
Children of New Jersey and the Education Law Center). The Multilingual Center (in collaboration with Catholic
Family and Community Services of Paterson), serves Spanish-speaking families in Passaic County and statewide.
The Community Resource Centers covering 18 New Jersey counties (in collaboration with community-based
organizations) train volunteer parents to be resources for other parents in their local communities and counties.

Project CARE
Serving families with children with special health care needs, this project provides a project coordinator and part-
time parent advocates/Family Resources Specialists at eleven Special Child Health Services case management units
located in Bergen, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Union.

New Jersey Statewide Parent to Parent
Matches parents with experienced parent mentors to share experiences, concerns, and emotions concerning children
with special health or emotional needs or disabilities. Provides orientations to supporting parents. Parent mentors
generally provide support over the telephone.

Family Voices / Bright Futures
This project disseminates information to families and professionals and involves them in public policy discussions
and advocacy around health care issues.

Map to Inclusive Child Care Project
The MAP Project provides implementation expertise to childcare centers, after school programs and early childhood
education programs in order to facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs (disabilities, special health or
emotional needs, or at risk due to poverty, limited English proficiency) in non-segregated settings. Information,
training and technical assistance are available to providers, parents, school districts, early intervention programs, and

Transition to Adult Life
SPAN provides information, training, technical assistance and support to families and youth (aged 14 to 21) in
transitioning to careers, post-secondary education, and adult life.

Inclusion Insights
A publication of the NJ Department of Education, Inclusion Insights is written and edited by SPAN to showcase best
practices in inclusion for educators, school administrators and parents.

Mercer County Youth of School Project
Provides an advocate to assist Mercer County youth transitioning out of juvenile facilities and residential placements
to enable them to return to their neighborhood schools or other appropriate education settings. In-person technical
assistance and advocacy is provided to families referred through the Mercer County Youth Services Commission
and MCYSC grantees only.

                                             Statewide Offices
  Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. (SPAN)                              Multilingual Center
      35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102              of Catholic Family and Community Services
          (973) 642-8100 Fax: (973) 642-8080                            24 DeGrasse Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
                E-mail: span@spannj.org                                            (973) 279-7100

                                              Regional Offices
               Northern Satellite Office                                       Southern Satellite Office
        Area Served: Bergen and Hudson counties                    Area Served: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May,
   Contact: Carolyn Hayer (e-mail: ta.north@spannj.org )                             Cumberland, Salem
         223 Moore Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601                    Contact: Toni Slowinski (e-mail: ta.south2@spannj.org )
      (201) 343-2009 ext. 237 Fax: (201) 343-0401                                   (609) 767-7774 ext. 6

       Community Education Project (CEP)                                                  Paterson
      35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102              Multilingual Center of Catholic Family & Community Services
       (973) 642-8100 ext. 102 Fax: (973) 642-8080                         24 DeGrasse Street, Paterson, NJ 07505
     Contact: Nicole Harper (e-mail: cep@spannj.org )                        (973) 279-7100 Fax: (973) 523-1150
    Area Served: Newark and surrounding communities              Contact: Sheila Mendez (e-mail: schs.sussex@spannj.org )

                       Jersey City                                                 Gabriela Fantauzzi
              Jersey City Board of Education                     Area Served: Passaic, Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon,
      346 Claremont Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07305                                       Somerset
          (201) 915-6760 Fax: (201) 413-6900                         Abbott Districts: Passaic, Paterson, Phillipsburg
                  E-mail: pirc@jcboe.org
Contact:Joyce Andrews (e-mail: pirc.jerseycity@spannj.org )                               Trenton
   Alan Haber Jr. (e-mail: pirc.jerseycity2@spannj.org )                                 ASPIRA
              Area Served: Hudson, Bergen                                 449 Hamilton Road, Trenton, NJ 08609
 Abbott Districts: Jersey City, Union City, West New York,                            (609) 392-1144
                Harrison, Hoboken, Garfield                      Contact: Dorothy Taylor (e-mail: pirc.trenton@spannj.org )
                                                                        Area Served: Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth
                         Newark                                  Abbott Districts: Trenton, Asbury Park, Keansburg, Long
         Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc                                Branch, Neptune, Somerset
       35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102
                E-mail: span@spannj.org                                                   Camden
    Contact: Zoie Barnett (e-mail: cep.ta@spannj.org )                                   ASPIRA
  Suzanne Mouldovan (e-mail: ta.mouldovan@spannj.org )                 600 Penn Street, 1st Floor, Camden NJ 08102
                     Cynthia Stafford                                                 (656) 964-9115
                  Area Served: Essex                                             Contact: Lourdes Touro
       Abbott Districts: East Orange and Newark                       Area Served: Camden, Gloucester, Burlington
                                                                     Abbott Districts: Camden, Gloucester, Burlington,
           Plainfield Center for Stronger Families                                        Vineland
           320 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060                                      Project IMPACT
           (908) 226-8066 Fax: (908) 226-8082                      1669 East Landis Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08361-2942
                           Contact:                                    856-691-4467 ext. 232 Fax: (856) 691-5524
   Anita G. Benbow (e-mail: pirc.plainfield@spannj.org )                                 Contact:
                       Vicky Sheppard                             Maria E. Rodriguez (e-mail: pirc.vineland@spannj.org )
         Area Served: Union, Middlesex, Somerset                  Area Served: Cumberland, Atlantic, Cape May, Salem
Abbott Districts: Plainfield, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Perth   Abbott Districts: Vineland, Bridgeton, Millville, Pleasantville,
                  Amboy, Irvington, Orange                                              Atlantic City

                                     Community Resource Centers
                                          Atlantic County Resource Center
                                     Serving Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties
                                         Contact: Mary Ann Philippi, SPR Coordinator
                                                   The Arc of Atlantic County
                                           101 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ 08244
                                        (609) 926-4584 ext. 123 Fax: (609) 926-9554
  Burlington County (BEAM) Resource Center
         Serving Burlington and Camden Counties
                 Contact: Toni Slowinski
(609) 767-7774 ext. 3 Fax: (856) 427-0139 (southern office)

 Camden County (NJ PATH) Resource Center
     Serving Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties
                Contact: Toni Slowinski
       (609) 767-7774 ext. 2 Fax: (856) 427-0139

         Essex County Resource Center
                  Serving Essex County
       Contact: Penny Dragonetti, SRP Coordinator
        Mental Health Association of Essex County
      33 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042
                 (973) 509-9777 ext. 108

        Hudson County Resource Center
                 Serving Hudson County
        Contact: Diane Vasquez, SRP Coordinator
       Phone: (201) 915-6760 Fax: (201) 413-6900

       Hunterdon County Resource Center
    Serving Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren Counties
        Contact: Mark Hermann, SRP Coordinator
       195 N. Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530
 (609) 397-4882 Fax: (609) 397-4882 (call before faxing)
 Website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/7235
                 E-mail: MarkTRG@aol.com

           Monmouth Resource Center
        Serving Monmouth and Ocean Counties
       Contact: Delilah Amalbert, SRP Coordinator
              Family Resource Associates
         35 Haddon Ave, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
          (732) 747-5310 Fax: (732) 747-1896

              Morris Resource Center
             Serving Morris and Union Counties
         Contact: Lorraine Lau, SRP Coordinator
                Madison Community House
            25 Cook Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940
                      (973) 377-8030
      Mailing Address: Morris-Union Resource Center
              P.O. Box 164, 21 Madison Plaza
              Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940

            Northwest Resource Center
            Serving Sussex and Morris Counties
        Contact: Michael Bertram, SRP Coordinator
                        (973) 729-2124
     Refer calls to the Northwest Resource Center only
      from the following Morris County towns: Denville,
                          Dover, Jefferson, Kenvil, Mine Hill, Mt. Arlington, Mt.
                              Olive, Netcong, Rockaway and Roxsbury.

                                    Passaic Resource Center
                                       Serving Passaic County
                              Contact: Angela Abdul, SRP Coordinator
                             Association for Special Children and Families
                                   P.O. Box 494, Hewitt, NJ 07421
                                  (973) 728-0999 Fax: (973) 728-5

                                  CHAPTER ONE

            AND ADVOCACY

        T        he purpose of Chapter One is to provide parents with information
                 to work effectively with their child’s educational team. Under the
                 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents are
        guaranteed the right to be full and equal participants in their child’s
        educational program. Parents who utilize the knowledge they have
        regarding their child’s abilities and disability develop advocacy skills
        enabling them to work with the educational system. They are then more
        effective in assuring an appropriate program for their child. Parents must
        not only be knowledgeable of the special education laws, but also be
        effective communicators. Parents need to present their concerns in a
        constructive manner. In addition, the ability to demonstrate appropriate
        assertiveness is another necessary tool to become a partner in your child’s
        education. Finally, parents have an important role in passing their advocacy
        skills on to their children.


1. I believe that I am the expert regarding my child.
2. I recognize that I am the constant in my child’s life.
3. I perceive myself as an active agent responsible for change.
4. I expect people to view my child with a disability as a child first with the same basic needs
   as any other child.
5. I recognize and promote my child’s abilities, talents and interests.
6. I believe a person with a disability is a valued and contributing member of the family, their
   community and society.
  7. I have high expectations for my child and believe my child has the capacity to learn and
     achieve inclusive services and full membership in society.


Raising a child with a disability or special emotional or health care needs is a journey filled with
personal and parental challenges. We acknowledge that all parents deal with the emotions and
issues of parenting a child with special needs in their own way. The process is different for
everyone. As your child with special needs grows, you and your family members grow, too.
Our goal for this manual is to provide you with a source of information. You may find, as
described below, that there will be times you will seek to get as much information as you can,
while at other times, you will feel you are not able to or it may not be a priority. It is our hope
that you will continue to use this manual as a resource to help guide you, as you become an
advocate for your child.

After four years of observing and participating in the lives of four mothers of children with
special needs, Nancy Miller, author of Nobody’s Perfect – Living and Growing with Children
Who Have Special Needs began to see that a specific pattern emerged. She labeled these patterns
as “stages of adaptation” and identified the stages as: Surviving, Searching, Settling In, and
Separating. They occur in that general order, although instead of occurring one at a time, one
after another, they co-exist as a background framework, with one or more stages activated as a
temporary “state” in the foreground at any given time.

The stages have a circular, dynamic quality. They may overlap and re-ignite feelings you had in
a previous stage. Following are descriptions of these four stages:
1. Surviving
   The first stage entails what you do to keep going when you are feeling completely helpless
   because something totally out of your control has taken away your child’s equal chance at
   life. It may last a week or years. You may feel fear, confusion, guilt, blame, shame, and
   anger. It is important to understand that the feelings you have are normal. You pass through
   this period in your own way, in your own time. Many feel they have reached a turning point
   when they experience a sense of control, optimism, and hope.
2. Searching
   You will go through periods of Searching your whole life with your child. There are two
   kinds of Searching – Outer Searching and Inner Searching. Outer Searching begins with you
   asking, “What’s wrong?” and “Can it be fixed?” Inner Searching begins when you ask the
   first questions of a different nature: “Why?” and “What does this mean for my life, my
   relationships, and my other children?” It is the quest for understanding, becoming aware of
   society’s attitudes about people with disabilities, watching your priorities shift, and your life
   plan change. For some parents, the Inner Search does not involve major self-questioning; for
   others, the process may be long and complex and may result in major changes in life
   direction and philosophy.
3. Settling In
   During this stage, your Outer Searching becomes less time consuming. You choose your
   battles and balance your child’s schedule and your family life. Not only has your Outer
   Search subsided for a while but, more important, your attitude about it settles down. The
   frantic pace lets up. You realize that change takes time and that you are dealing with a
   lifelong process. You have learned new skills and information, become more confident and
   assertive, and you may have built up a network of resources and support.
4. Separating
   At some point, Separating comes into focus as the next major life stage. Separating is a
   gradual normal process that occurs in tiny stages throughout childhood. A child with special
   needs may take longer to become more independent and self-sufficient. As all parents, we
   must allow the process of letting go to occur. You may have to initiate separation, plan it,
   find it, and make it happen as your child grows older. Separating re-evokes feelings you had
   during Surviving – guilt, grieving, and psychological turmoil. When your son or daughter
   leaves home or separates in whatever way is appropriate for him or her, you may again
   become Settled In, involved in your child’s life in new ways. And life moves on.
Excerpted from Nobody’s Perfect – Living and Growing with Children Who Have Special Needs, Nancy B. Miller,
Ph.D., M.S.W. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (1994).

Families like ours, with a child who has a disability, often get so involved in routines that we
neglect to allow ourselves the time to dream about future goals. As parents, we need to believe
that we have some control over the future, and that our children will be allowed the choices and
fulfillment that people without disabilities have. Positive experiences that our children have in
life will enable them to be valued and contributing members of our communities. Through these
life experiences we can refine and revise our vision based upon the emerging strengths our
children display.
Have you ever wondered what “Great Expectations” means to families like yours, those with a
son or daughter with a disability? What does it mean to have “Great Expectations” for your son
or daughter with a disability? For your family? For professionals who often urge family
members to “accept reality”? For each and every one of us in the community? We have
wondered, and we have some ideas that we would like to share.
Great Expectations are for everyone. All of us have dreams, visions, and anticipations for the
future. Most of us go out into the world, get feedback from it, and alter our dreams, visions, and
anticipations. Like everyone else, people with disabilities and their families have Great
Expectations; like everyone else, they too need help to be able to have their expectations come
true. They need to believe in their own strengths, assume control over their son or daughter’s
future, and anticipate a future with choices and fulfillment. But professionals and other people
without disabilities also need to have Great Expectations for people with disabilities.
Great Expectations combine four qualities:
    Visions
    Hope
    Determination
      Revision
Visions are the myriad of possibilities that families, friends, associates, and people with
disabilities see for themselves and for all members of the community.
       What are your visions for yourself? For your child with a disability and your neighbors,
       colleagues, and other fellow citizens in your community? What can you do to nurture
       and develop your visions, and share them with others?
Hope for the future gives rise to visions. Hope is an essential part of Great Expectations. In the
past, life-long institutionalization was the only choice for many families. At the present time,
families have the choice of supervised apartments, small group homes, independent living,
sheltered workshops, post-secondary education, and supported employment as the residences and
workplaces for their sons and daughters.
       What are your hopes for yourself? For your family? For your community? What are
       you doing to make that hope a reality?
Determination is a must to achieve Great Expectations. It is hard to have hope for the future
while living in the present or to be accepted for doing so. Achievements do not just happen; they
take a lot of hard work.
       What are you determined to do for yourself? For your child with a disability? For others
       in the community?
Revisions of Great Expectations are normal. They come from feedback that the world gives us.
There is a saying that “Experience makes good judgment. Mistakes make good experience.” All
of us make mistakes, but all of us also surprise ourselves and others by what we accomplish. We
react in different ways to our experiences. Working with others - professionals, neighbors,
coworkers, family, and friends - can change our expectations, strategies, and choices.
       What kind of revisions have you made in your plans for yourself? For your child with a
       disability? For your life in the community?
Resources and services are another aspect of Great Expectations - visions and dreams are
not enough. Currently it costs about $100,000 annually to care for a person with disabilities
who lives in an institution. Families who care for their child with disabilities at home want and
deserve a reallocation of resources from institutions to communities, services that combine
professional support with more informal support, and movement from facility-based endeavors
to community-integrated ones. Instead of urging families to “accept reality” professionals
should help families expand reality to make their dreams and visions possibilities.
Great Expectations, with resources to help them occur, create real benefits for communities.
Benefits to communities are real. Every person with a disability who is employed becomes a
taxpayer. Persons with a disability who volunteer time to a community program give more than
their time - they give of themselves. These particular achievements benefit the person with a
disability, the family, and the community.
Achievement and independence are the cornerstones of Great Expectations. Great
Expectations include feeling control over one’s life, a feeling of meaning in one’s life, and a
sense of one’s own value. Research by Shelley Taylor provides a theoretical backbone for these
concepts. But these feelings are universal, as noted by one parent:
       I am the parent of three sons. The youngest is a child with blindness and chronic illness.
       My vision is no different from that of other parents. I want my child to be happy,
       productive, loved, in love, and accepted.
Finally, Great Expectations entail mixed emotions from families. Family members may be
anxious or confused about the future: they may feel unsure. They may be disappointed when
their Great Expectations do not materialize. Society’s attitude towards people with disabilities
can create mixed emotions. Brothers and sisters also experience the mixed emotions that
accompany Great Expectations for people with disabilities.
Visions... Dreams... Great Expectations. The challenge faces all of us. The rewards are there
for all of us. But only if all of us have Great Expectations for each other, especially for people
with disabilities and their families. After all, Great Expectations are for everyone.
Stop for a moment and write down your Great Expectations for your child and family. What is
your vision for your child at age 21? For your family?

Excerpt from: Beach Center on Families and Disability, Families and Disability Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 1,
Spring 1990.


Formerly services were planned around what bureaucracies could provide people with
disabilities. Slowly we are changing who has the power to plan. Person-Centered Planning
revolves around an individual with disabilities who is the “focus person.” By listening carefully
to the dreams, desires, visions and hopes for their future, one can begin to identify ways in which
opportunities can be created to fulfill the person’s dream. This process is a way of looking for
all gifts, talents and capacities in an individual through a circle of support. The circle of support
consists of people who make the commitment to journey with the individual, ensuring that
his/her dreams come true.

Person-Centered Planning begins with a series of MAPS (McGill Action Planning System).
These are visual flip charts that highlight the many facets of a person’s life. There is a history
MAP, a relationship MAP, a dreams and nightmares MAP, a medical MAP, a short term goals
MAP, and a far more visionary future focused MAP. There can be others but that is decided as
the process gets underway. The reason for such graphics is that many people with disabilities
have difficulty reading; the MAPs are very picturesque and colorful. The focus person selects
the people whom they would like to be a part of their circle, and each person makes a
commitment to provide a variety of supports and opportunities.

This process allows for linkages to communities, friendships to be fostered, religious connections
to be increased, and employment prospects to be heightened. It changes the way we traditionally
have supported people with disabilities. We are moving away from the belief that there is
something wrong with the individual, something that constantly has to be addressed and “fixed,”
to believing that anything is possible. It is a question of understanding what supports are
necessary and how opportunities can be created to realize their dreams.
                             How Do We Describe People?
Person-Centered Planning challenges us to value each person as unique, filled with gifts, talents and
possibilities, to find ways to discover our common experience, and work together to build a life where
these gifts can be shared with others.

         From   System-Centered                                 Toward   Person-Centered
                Focus on labels                                      See people first
         Emphasis on deficits, needs                            Search for capacities, gifts
      Invest in standardized testing and
                                                            Spend time getting to know people
                                                         Depend on people, families, educators,
      Depend on professionals to make
                                                              and direct service workers to
                                                                 build good descriptions
                                                                   Gather folklore from
         Generate written responses
                                                              those who know people well
         See people in the context of                           See people in the context
           human service systems                                 of their local community
             Distance people by                                 Bring people together by
          emphasizing differences                          discovering common experiences
           Protect and congregate                               Negotiate acceptance by
             people with labels                                   building relationships

                Who Makes the Decisions? Who is in Control?
Person-Centered change challenges us to learn together with people how to solve problems over time to
make meaningful change happen.

         From System-Centered                                   Toward   Person-Centered
           Professionals in control;                          Shared decisions with person,
           Professionals know best                                  family, and friends
   Delegate work to direct service workers                   Empower direct service workers
                                                                 to make good decisions
    Rely on standardized interdisciplinary                   Create Person-Centered teams
           teams to generate plans                             to solve problems over time
    Organize efforts in conference rooms                Organize efforts in community to include
      for convenience of professionals                  person, family, and direct service workers
  Take action to follow rules and regulations                  Reflect together as basis for
                                                                      setting priorities
         Spend lots of time planning                         Spend lots of time taking action,
         with little time to take action                        with regular times to reflect
 Respond to need based on job descriptions                 Respond to people based on shared
                                                         responsibility and personal commitment
       Create distance through process                     Share struggle by working together

 Adapted from The Person-Centered Middle Management Training Program, The University Affiliated Program
 of UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1991.

There is growing evidence that children grow and learn best when the focus for instruction and
intervention is on their strengths, abilities, and interests. However, as a parent of a child with
disabilities, it is also important for you to be knowledgeable about the nature of your child’s
disability. Our philosophy at SPAN is that you are the expert regarding your child and the
constant in your child’s life. When you become informed regarding your child’s abilities and
disability, you will be a better advocate for your child. The following list includes ways to
obtain this knowledge:
  1. List your child’s abilities, skills and talents. What is it about your child that gives you joy?
     (See Multiple Intelligences in Appendix B and Positive Student Profile in Appendix C.)
  2. Read current books, articles, journals related to your child’s disability.
  3. Attend lectures and conferences.
  4. Be aware of local, state and non-profit service providers.
  5. Become involved in a local parent group for the purpose of support, information sharing,
     and confidence building. In addition, get involved in your PTA and school-level
     management or advisory teams.
  6. Join national and state disability-specific organizations and relevant advocacy groups or
     agencies. (See Appendix J for a list of organizations.)

Through networking with other parents and supporting professionals, you can gain valuable
information that will help you with day-to-day problem solving and long-range planning.

SPAN has many resources related to individual disabilities and information regarding national
disability-specific organizations. Your search can often begin with a call to our office at 1-800-
654-SPAN or (973) 642-8100.

The intent of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), the federal law guaranteeing a free
appropriate public education to each child with a disability, is to enable parents to participate as
equal partners in the development of their child’s educational program. A collaborative team
consisting of both parents and professionals is essential to better define the needs of the child.
The guidelines below will help you build this foundation.
   1. Recognize that parents and professionals have areas of knowledge and skills to contribute
      to the joint task of working together for the benefit of the child.
   2. Encourage mutual respect.
   3. Establish a working relationship with your child’s educators.
   4. Promote a sense of joint responsibility.
   5. Develop honest, direct, and clear communication.
   6. Maintain an open exchange of information.
   7. Support shared planning and decision-making.
The Collaborative Team Process
A collaborative team requires effective parent/professional communication, which has been
shown to result in improved educational programming for students. Both parties bring important
information to the relationship. Professionals bring specialized training, knowledge and
experience; parents provide keen insight based on firsthand intimate knowledge of the child.
The collaborative team is a group of people who:
    Work together to achieve at least one common goal
    Believe that all team members have unique and needed expertise
    Demonstrate parity by participating as teacher and learner, consultant and consultee
    Distribute leadership of function among all members of the group
    Use a collaborative teaming process.
Benefits of Collaborative Teams
   Increased ownership and commitment to goals
   More successful implementation of planned interventions
   Shared knowledge and expertise
   Increased cohesiveness and willingness to work together on future projects
   Increased evidence of “process gain”- generating new ideas through group interaction not
      generated through individual work
When developing a team, three questions need to be answered:
  1. Who has the expertise needed by the team?
  2. Who is affected by the decision?
  3. Who has an interest in participating?

This article reminds us that parents have equal status as part of the collaborative planning team for their
children and must work on learning negotiation skills to resolve conflict.

What is a partnership? It is hard to work toward something you can’t define. The dictionary
defines a partnership as “a relationship between two people in which each has equal status and
a certain independence, but also has obligations to the other.” There are some interesting words
and concepts in this definition.

The first and most often discussed concept in this definition is “equal.” Partners are supposed to
be equal. It does not mean they have equal knowledge in all areas. It does not mean they have
an equal amount of education. It means that each has equal status. We must:
  1.   Think of ourselves as equal and believe that our knowledge and opinions are valuable;
  2.   Learn to communicate assertively and express opinions directly while respecting others;
  3.   Realize that anger over past wrongs keeps us from equal communication; and
  4.   Understand that being aggressive and not willing to see the professional person’s point of
       view can make partnerships impossible.

Threatening due process with every disagreement instead of learning negotiation skills or going
to the principal or program director without first trying to solve the problem with the teacher
does not create an atmosphere for positive working relationships. Our power as parents is real
and is designed to protect the interests of our children. It should not be used to intimidate.

Professionals can also build walls that prevent equal partnerships and, in some cases, can stop
parent participation. In fact, many parents who burn-out or stop participating report they are
“tired of fighting to be heard” or feel their opinions have no worth. Professionals need to:
    1. Not assume that it is your job to take care of our children and make things easier for us.
       We have much valuable information to offer;
    2. Remember that keeping your professional distance and using big words or jargon makes
       us feel you do not care and do not want to communicate;
    3. Think about the “when” element as you schedule a meeting to make it easy for parents to
       participate (fathers too!);
    4. Realize that most of us do not need therapy because we did not cause our child’s
       condition and we do have the capacity to be a part of the decision-making team; and
    5. Learn how to listen.

Remember, equal is tough because we are conditioned to believe that someone is always in
charge. But equal partnerships benefit our children.

The next word that we should consider in our definition of partnership is independence. As
parents, we want the right to disagree with teachers or other service providers without damaging
their professional reputations. We also must allow the professional the right to disagree with
us... but not the right to eliminate our input from the process. In other words, we do not have
to like each other. We do not have to agree with each other. We do have to work together to
design a program that best meets the needs of the child.

Finally, let’s talk about obligation. The first obligation for both the parent and the professional
is to the child. The child’s education or progress is the only issue. We need each other to
develop the whole picture of the child’s needs and prepare him or her for the future. School plus
home and community give us a complete picture. One without the other offers only half the
needed information and half the possibilities.

As parents, we are guaranteed the right to participate in decisions concerning our children. This
right carries an obligation. Participation is our responsibility. The professional in this partner-
ship is responsible for recognizing the value of our opinions and for facilitating or making parent
participation easy. The final obligation for both parent and professional is to stop looking at
each other as adversaries and to start advocating for the needs of the child together. We both
need to communicate, facilitate, educate, and participate.

This article is adapted from Pro-Oklahoma Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2, Spring 1990, Parents Reaching Out in
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK. It was adapted from an article originally published in ECAC News Line,
Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center, Davidson, NC.

Assertive behavior yields positive results. Sometimes people confuse being assertive and being
aggressive. Following are definitions to describe these behaviors and their anticipated outcomes:
Assertive Behavior
      Definition: Interpersonal behavior in which an individual actively communicates his/her
      personal rights without violating the rights of others. Assertive behavior is a direct,
      honest, and appropriate expression of one’s feelings, opinions, and beliefs (Alberti and
      Emmons, 1979; Lazarus, 1971).
      Results: Development of long term effective relationships; concerns and questions are
      discussed and handled in a positive manner.
Non-Assertive or Passive Behavior
     Definition: Interpersonal behavior that enables an individual’s rights to be violated in
     one of two ways: 1) an individual ignores his/her personal rights; 2) others are allowed to
     infringe upon an individual’s personal rights. The individual is denying and inhibiting
     him/herself from expressing actual preferences.
     Results: Person experiences behavior resulting in hurt and anxious feelings. By
     allowing others to violate one’s rights, desired goals are seldom achieved.
Aggressive Behavior
     Definition:     Behavior in which an individual expresses his/her rights without
     consideration for the rights of others.
     Results: The violation of the rights of others results in domination and humiliation.
     Although goals may be perceived as accomplished, negative feelings and frustration are
     generated as end results. Also, results may be short lived since cooperation is needed by
     all to ensure success of a program.


This questionnaire has to do with your interactions with school personnel. Think back about the
past year and how you responded in meetings when interacting with your child’s teacher and
child study team. Answer the questions in terms of how you did respond, not in terms of how
you would have liked to respond. Please answer all the questions by circling your response.

  1.   When you have concerns regarding your child’s program, do
       you contact school within a week?
  2.   Do you keep eye contact with professionals you are talking to in
  3.   If a professional says or writes something inaccurate about your
       child, do you ask for it to be changed?
  4.   Do you express appreciation to professionals when they make
       an extra effort for your child?
5.   At school conferences, when you differ with a person you
     respect, do you speak up for your own viewpoint?
6.   Do you refuse to follow through on unreasonable requests made
     by school professionals at meetings?
7.   In a conference do you state that you were wrong about a
     particular issue if you feel you were?
8.   Do you ask for clarification at meetings when professionals talk
     in jargon?
9.   Do you paraphrase what staff has told you in your own words to
     make sure you understand what they mean?
10. Do you probe for additional information during a conference
    when you feel it is needed?
11. In meetings do you feel confident when discussing your child’s
    strengths and needs?
12. Do you consider the viewpoints of others at meetings and, if
    appropriate, actively acknowledge your agreement?
13. When you feel that your opinion is correct do you stand your
    ground and not give in?
14. Do you initiate setting timelines with staff in meetings?


15. At the end of meetings do you summarize what was
    accomplished and what is going to be done?
16. Do you bring notes to meetings in order to remember what
    points you want to bring up?
17. Do you take notes in order to remember and document the
    outcome of meetings?
18. Do you feel you are given the time to consider issues and not
    “talked into” signing Individualized Education Program (IEP) or
    Annual Review forms at the end of the meetings?
19. Do you contact members of the school team before major
    educational meetings to find out what their positions are on
    particular issues?
20. Do you communicate clearly and concisely at meetings with
    school professionals?
     21. Do you feel you are open-minded, and not too sensitive, about
         the comments that professionals make about your child in
     22. When you disagree with professionals in meetings do you
         support your opinions with logical and persuasive arguments?
     23. Do you come to meetings with school professionals with specific
         goals you would like to accomplish during the meeting?
     24. At the end of meetings with school staff, how frequently do you
         feel you have met most of the goals you set out for the meeting?
     25. How often did you attend meetings at school such as parent-
         teacher conferences, Annual Reviews, or IEP meetings?
     26. How often do you attend PTA or other important school
         decision-making meetings?

Now that you’ve completed the test, take a look at your answers. Ideally, your answers should
fall into the “always” or “usually” columns. For those areas in which you answered
“sometimes,” “occasionally,” or “never,” you may need to consider working on improving these


1. Know your child’s abilities.
    Understand your child’s disability.
    Identify your child’s needs and your family’s
     concerns, priorities, and resources.
2. Consider a wide range of possible issues:
      a. Medical
          Does your child have a medical home (a place where professionals have a complete
           picture of his/her medical needs)?
          Does your child require assistive devices (braces, glasses, etc.)
          Are you registered with Special Child Health Services if your child has significant
           medical needs or disabilities? (See Resources in Appendix J)
      b. Related Services
          Does your child need occupational therapy? Physical therapy? Recreation? Travel
            training? Counseling?
          Does your child need speech and language therapy (for expressing or understanding
            ideas through communication)?
          Have you considered integrating therapies into general education classroom
            activities? 1

1   The law requires that integrating therapies is the first option considered in the delivery of services
   c. Positive Behavior
       Are you able to manage your child’s behavior?
       Does s/he get along with peers?
       Are there particular times, places or people that cause your child to exhibit negative
        or challenging behaviors? Do you understand why your child exhibits these
        behaviors (the “functions” they serve)?
       Could your child benefit from a positive behavioral support plan?
   d. Self Help
       Is your child satisfactorily toileting, grooming, eating, dressing, etc.?
   e. Social / Emotional Development
       Does your child have positive relationships with peers, family members, other adults?
       Does your child participate in social activities?
       Does your child have friends at home and at school?
       Is your child becoming a contributing member of the community?
   f. Diagnosis and Assessment
       Do you understand the results of testing and are they appropriate to your child?
   g. Educational Progress
       Is your child’s program appropriate to his/her abilities and needs? (“Appropriate”
        means tailored to meet your child’s unique needs and to develop his/her strengths)
       Does the program bring your child into contact with non-disabled children to the
        maximum extent appropriate?
   h. Recreation
       Is your child involved in a social activity program such as Scouts, a YMCA program,
        the 4-H, or a computer club?
   i. Family Support
        Do you receive respite care?
        Do you visit with friends?
        Are you involved with family activities, friends, a support group?
   j. Legal Services
       Do you need legal assistance?
   k. Financial Supports
       Are you eligible to receive financial assistance? Social Security benefits?
3. Prioritize your concerns; no one can work on every front simultaneously.
4. Become involved with and seek help from:
    Parent support groups
    State protection and advocacy agencies
    State and local voluntary agencies
    Participate in teacher conferences, parent group meetings, school functions
5. Be prepared.
    Research services and options
    Know your rights and relevant laws or where to get information about them
       Know how the system operates and know how to work within it for your child’s benefit
       Know agency personnel, school board members, school psychologists, legislators
       Obtain names, addresses and telephone numbers as contacts for help and information
       When talking with people face-to-face or on the phone have records available
       Follow up phone conversations with a confirming letter
       Maintain a home file and take it to meetings (see “What to Include in Your Child’s Home
        File” in this manual)
       Review records before meetings
6. Develop good communication skills; it is just as important to know how to say
   something as it is to know what to say.
    Build and maintain good relationships with those working directly with your child
    Maintain close contact with the teacher, share information and suggestions, be supportive
    Communicate a sense of teamwork
    Don’t feel intimidated or attempt to intimidate others
    Try to see things from the other person’s perspective
    Come to meetings prepared to be positive
    Try not to feel resentful or get defensive
    Ask questions when in doubt
    Avoid endless complaints
7. Encourage immediate action.
    Be goal oriented. Resolve one issue at a time. Know the purpose of your call or meeting
      and stay on that purpose until it has been achieved.
    Before hanging up the phone or leaving a meeting, know exactly what, when and where
      your next steps are.
    Document events and decisions through:
      a. Letter writing: Letters create pressure and build accountability and encourage others
         become more productive and responsible.
      b. Note taking: Get names and roles of those present as well as the date, place, time,
         primary purpose of meeting.
      c. Record keeping: Record and follow up on timelines.
8. Follow up.
    Periodically visit services and programs and talk with your child, the teacher, and service
      providers to see if decisions are being followed.
    Speak up if plans and decisions are not followed.
9. Remember to acknowledge people’s efforts.
10. Be persistent.

Adapted from: The National Information Center for Handicapped Children and Youth (NICHCY), article in
November 1984 Information Newsletter: Self-Advocacy: How to be a Winner, Tony Appolloni, Ph.D., California
Institute on Human Services, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA and Five Steps to Becoming Your Child’s
Best Advocate, Exceptional Children’s Advocacy Council, Davidson, NC 28036.

If your child is in foster care but your rights have not been legally terminated, school authorities
must seek your consent before evaluating or placing your child in special education. Only if you
cannot be found, despite diligent efforts, or if you are not mentally capable of making a decision
regarding consent, can they proceed without you.


If you are a foster parent of a child whose parent is unavailable or incapable, you may make
educational decisions concerning the child’s education if the foster child is your relative (kinship
foster child). If you are a non-related foster parent who has a long-term relationship with your
foster child, you are “the parent” for purposes of making special education decisions.

If you are a short-term foster parent, you may become your foster child’s surrogate parent. A
surrogate parent is appointed if the child has no parent, guardian, or person acting as a parent. In
order to become a surrogate parent, you must understand your role as a surrogate parent, commit
to fulfilling that role on behalf of your foster child, and have no interests that conflict with the
interests of your foster child. The district must name you as the surrogate parent.

If you are not willing to be the surrogate parent, another surrogate parent must be appointed to
make educational decisions for your foster child. Surrogate parents may not be employees,
agents, or officers of the local school district or State Education Department or Social Services
Department. They must undergo the surrogate parent training and, whenever possible, must be
the same racial, cultural, or linguistic background as the child (Foster parents are not considered
employees of the Social Services Department). Your foster child’s social worker, caseworker, or
foster care agency cannot be appointed as the surrogate parent.

All people have a basic right to equality, including people with disabilities. It is necessary that
as parents we ensure this right for our children. In order to actually gain equality, young adults
must “take control of their own lives, speak independently, act on their own behalf and most of
all be respected for who they are - people first.” This control involves participating in the
community as valuable, productive and independent citizens.
Children must learn appropriate behaviors, how to receive services and make their abilities and
desires known. To begin this learning process, parents should give their child choices to allow
them to associate decision-making with consequences. If we give our children no choice or
responsibility for their actions, we teach that irresponsible behavior is acceptable. “It is not wise
to allow children to develop bad habits because they experience disabilities and we feel sorry for
them.” These inappropriate behaviors lead to alienation from their peers and the community. In
addition, children must realize they have choices and learn how to express them effectively.
Knowing the consequences, a child may prefer to participate in a particular activity or choose a
particular option. Being able to express this desire creates a great feeling of satisfaction. When
allowed to make independent choices and express control over their lives, children and young
adults feel more responsible and gain more confidence.
We must help our children to feel they are valuable contributors to the family and community in
order for them to express these roles fully. For example, when we give them chores around the
house, they realize they are expected to do their share along with everyone else. Responsibility,
self-confidence, appropriate behavior, and independence are important skills and concepts for
children to learn to enable them to participate and contribute to the community. “Learning to
behave responsibly requires support, practice, and mistakes” - but when children are successful,
they feel good about themselves. Children should be invited to their own IEP meetings and have
an opportunity to briefly reflect on their progress during the current year and help define goals
and supports for the coming year. They may decide not to stay for the entire meeting, especially
young children, but having a chance to state their views gives them more control over school life
and a chance to practice self-advocacy.
In becoming more involved and productive members of peer groups and a community, a child
(with the parents’ help) must plan for his/her future and understand his/her desires and needs.
Equally important is helping the child to recognize his/her abilities. This self-awareness allows
the child to have reasonable expectations and set desirable goals which are designed for success.
Persons with disabilities want the equal opportunity for “independent living - the ability to
participate in society, work, have a home, raise a family, and generally share in the joys and
responsibilities of community life. This includes the ability to choose where to live and how,
and… to carry out activities of daily living that non-disabled people often take for granted.”
Our children have desires and dreams for themselves that must be heard and acknowledged. We
should help them experience satisfying living, working, and recreational opportunities. Through
independence, understanding, and responsibility they become more confident and content with
themselves and their abilities. This helps them to deal better with their disabilities, thereby
becoming better self-advocates and more effective communicators. A cycle begins to develop
which makes their lives personally rewarding.
Adapted and quoted from: Roots and Wings - A Manual About Self-Advocacy, Susan Lehr, The Federation for
Children with Special Needs, Boston, MA 02116.

Go over these tips with your child. Talk about the ones that apply. Let your child begin to
advocate for him/herself as much as possible, but never push a student into the advocate position.
Children should gradually take on more responsibility as they become more self-assured,
knowledgeable about their needs, and mature enough to advocate for themselves. The
groundwork for self-advocacy should begin in grammar school.

   1. Before your child can learn self-advocacy, s/he needs to fully understand his/her
      strengths and weaknesses or disabling condition(s).
   2. Discuss and rehearse what your child might say to the teacher(s) and the manner in which
      it could best be presented. Remember to help your child learn to be polite and tactful.
         Right or wrong, the teacher will be his/her teacher for the year and your child must live
         with this situation.
    3.   Not everyone may agree with all classroom modifications in spite of a well-developed
         IEP. Your child must, therefore, be able to state why s/he needs these changes. If needed
         modifications are not provided, you, and eventually your son or daughter, must be
         prepared to find ways to convince the teacher and have information to support why
         modifications are needed.
    4.   Your child must learn that there are appropriate times to ask questions and talk with the
         teacher. The middle of a history lecture is not a good time to ask for help in math.
    5.   The student and parent should not forget to mention and thank the teacher for helpful
         things s/he does already.
    6.   Whenever a problem in the classroom prevents effective learning and your child is not
         able to deal with it alone, parents may need to discuss it with the teacher(s). It is usually
         best to do this at a meeting in the fall, right after school has started. Request that your
         child’s teachers be present, along with anyone else who knows your child and can help
         explain your child’s needs.
    7.   Understand the classroom implications of the learning problem or disability, and help
         relate this to the teacher. Have specific modifications in mind, along with suggestions for
         implementing them with the least amount of disruption to the classroom.
    8.   Include your youngster in meetings whenever possible, even for a portion of the meeting
         time. A student may want to write or tape any questions or concerns s/he feels should be
         discussed if s/he cannot attend a meeting. A child is more likely to “buy into” an
         educational program if s/he has had some input into goals and activities.
    9.   Both parents and teachers may need some support in helping youngsters learn to cope.
         When dealing with students with disabilities, knowledge of the special education process
         and laws will be very important as well. Parent support groups, aides or assistants in the
         classroom, parent training and teacher in-services can all help to prevent parents’ and
         teachers’ burnout and enhance education. Parents and teachers working together to teach
         educational organization and coping can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life,
         helping him/her to succeed in school and develop skills, self-confidence and pride that
         can last a lifetime.

From Coping with School, (1987), by Lisa H. Gamsby, P.I.C., P.O. Box 1422, Concord, NH 03302.

                                      CHAPTER TWO

                     FEDERAL LAWS

            Chapter Two includes an outline of the key provisions of the Individuals
            with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Following the fact sheets on this
            law is a brief description of other key federal laws. You can obtain a copy
            of these laws by writing to your Congressman.
          Within the Fact Sheet on IDEA you will see references to the New Jersey
          Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. 6A:14). These are New Jersey’s regulations
          regarding special education services. It is through N.J.A.C. 6A:14 that the
          principles of IDEA are defined in our State. Obtain a copy of the code from
          your local school district Department of Special Services and read through
          at least once, underlining any areas that pertain to your child.

          Think of yourself as participating in the evolution of rights for children.
          Express your ideas at public hearings about how you think children with
          disabilities - and all children - can best be educated. Stay informed through
          our SPAN Newsletter, The Bridge, regarding new developments in the law.
          Also, join our Parents Engaged in Public Policy (PEPP) list to receive
          action alerts on education, health and human services critical to your child
          and family.

Laws or statutes govern the affairs within a community or among states and come through
elected officials (U.S. Congress, state legislature, etc.).

Rules or regulations are written to assist agencies with specific procedures to carry out the law.
Rules have the same force as the law.

Policies (written or unwritten) or guidelines are often developed by governmental bodies (school
districts, state agencies, etc.) to help carry out rules more efficiently. Sometimes they are in
conflict with the intent of law. If they are in conflict with the law, they do not carry the force of
law and can be challenged.
Laws, regulations and policies can be changed when they do not work for families and students.
Often this requires working closely with other civil rights and education activists.

What does the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) say?
It is the purpose of this act to assure that all children with disabilities have available to them a
free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services
designed to meet their unique needs and to assure that the rights of the children with disabilities
and their parents or guardians are protected. (P.L. 94-142 sec.3, 89)
When a law is passed, the government agency in charge of working with or enforcing that law
writes regulations, or rules, explaining what the law means. These regulations also define, or
give the meanings, of the words used in the law. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education
issued new regulations for the reauthorized IDEA.

Who is protected?
“Children with disabilities” means those evaluated as having mental retardation, hearing
impairment or deafness, speech impairment, visual impairment, serious emotional disturbance,
orthopedic impairment, other health impairments, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities, or as
having specific learning disabilities, who because of those impairments need special education
and related services. The act encompasses all children with disabilities ages 0-21 (from 0-3,
infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays are eligible for early intervention
services under the auspices of the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services).

What are the Six Principles of IDEA?
   1. Zero-Reject / Child Find: A school system cannot exclude a student with a disability
      from a public education because of the specific nature or degree of his/her disability. All
      children and youth from birth to 21 who may have disabilities must be located and
      provided with appropriate educational services. All states are required to implement
      child find procedures to locate unserved children and to inform parents or guardians of
      available programs.
   2. Parent Participation / Shared Decision-Making: Participatory democracy is a
      term that describes decision-making in the schools or in other public agencies. It refers to
      the legal right or political opportunity of those affected by a public agency’s decision to
      participate in making those decisions. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
      carries out parent/consumer involvement through policy in the following ways: Notice,
      Evaluation, Individualized Education Programs, Procedural Due Process, Advisory
      Panels to the State Education Agency, and Protection/Access to Records.
   3. Nondiscriminatory Testing, Classification, and Placement: Students who are
      being considered for specialized services must be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team
      including at least one teacher or specialist with knowledge in the area of the specific
      disability. Test or assessment instruments must be administered in the child’s native
      language or other modes of communication. Testing instruments must be validated for
      the specific purpose for which they are used and tailored to assess specific areas of
      educational need and not merely those designed to provide a single general intelligence
      quotient. No single test can be used as the sole criterion for determining placement into a
      special education program. A multidisciplinary team must carry out the assessments.
      Additional methods of evaluation would include observations of the student in his/her
      natural environment, at home, in the classroom or playground to better assess current
      skill levels. Progress, services and placement must be reviewed at least annually and
      revised when necessary.
   4. Individualized and Appropriate Education
      a. Free Appropriate Education: All students with disabilities must be provided
         with appropriate services, personnel, and facilities necessary to meet full educational
         opportunities. In regard to students with disabilities this would include: appropriate
         student-teacher ratios, qualified teachers and service providers, appropriate age
         ranges within classrooms, normal school day hours, interactions with peers without
         disabilities, adequate supportive staff, appropriate and adequate materials and
         equipment, functional curriculum content, including the Core Curriculum Content
         Standards applicable to all students for that age and grade, data based instruction, and
         transportation services. These services are to be provided at no cost. [(N.J.A.C.
           6A:14-1.1(a)), (C.F.R. 300.300)] In order to ensure proper staff preparation, a
           comprehensive system of personnel development was developed. As required, the
           State must include: (a) a system for the continuing education of regular and special
           education and related services personnel to enable these personnel to meet the needs
           of children with disabilities under this part; (b) procedures for acquiring and
           disseminating to teachers, administrators, and related services personnel significant
           knowledge derived from education research and other sources; and (c) procedures for
           adopting, if appropriate, promising practices, materials, and technology, proven
           effective through research and demonstration.
       b. Individualized Education Program (IEP): For each student with disability, a
          written statement must be developed and implemented which includes 1) a statement
          of the student’s present level of educational performance including strengths and
          needs; 2) a statement of annual goals including short-term instructional objectives
          tied to the Core Curriculum Content Standards; 3) a statement of specific education
          and related services to be provided to the student and the extent to which the student
          will be able to participate in general educational programs to enable progress in the
          Core Curriculum Content Standards and to meet other needs; 4) the projected dates
          for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of services; and 5) appropriate
          objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least
          an annual basis, whether the short-term instructional objectives are being achieved.
          [(N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.6), (34 C.F.R. 300.340-350)]
   5. Least Restrictive Environment: To the maximum extent appropriate, students with
      disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are
      to be educated with non-disabled children with needed supports, services, modifications
      and accommodations. A continuum of alternative placements must be available to meet
      the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services.
      [(N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.10), (34 C.F.R. 300.550)]
   6. Procedural Safeguards / Impartial Procedural Due Process: Procedural safe-
      guards assure fairness. Due Process ensures that children and families, schools and
      professionals are all treated equally. Procedural Due Process, the right to notice and the
      opportunity to protest, is a necessary educational ingredient in every phase of the
      education of a child with a disability. Procedural Due Process is seen as a constitutional
      requisite under the requirements of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that no person
      shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. This means no
      child with a disability can be deprived of an education without exercising the right to
      protect what happens to him or her. [(N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.6-7), (34 C.F.R. 300.500-515)].
Parents of children with disabilities must be given prior notice at each step of the process. The
safeguards available to the parents include mediation and impartial due process hearings, a
description of action, and a description of the evaluation procedures. The notice must be written
in language understandable to the general public and provided in the native language of the
parents. Written consent must be obtained from the parents before any action is taken to conduct
any evaluation (initial or re-evaluation) or place the student in special education. Due Process
will be explained fully in Chapter Six of this manual.
Excerpted from Free Appropriate Public Education: The Law and Children with Disabilities, H. Rutherford
Turnbull III; Iowa Exceptional Parent Center, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 1994-5.

Following in chronological order are some important laws protecting children with disabilities and

P.L. 89-10: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
   Provided a comprehensive plan for readdressing the inequality of educational opportunity for economically
   underprivileged children. Became the statutory basis upon which early special education legislation was

P.L. 89-313: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Amendments of 1965
   Authorized grants to state institutions and state-operated schools devoted to the education of children with
   disabilities. The first federal grant program specifically targeted for children with disabilities.

P.L. 89-750: The Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1966
   Amended Title VI of P.L. 89-10 and established the first federal grant program for the education of youth with
   disabilities at local school level, rather than at state-operated schools or institutions. Established the Bureau of
   Education of the Handicapped (BEH) and National Advisory Council (now National Council on Disability).

P.L. 91-230: The Education of the Handicapped Act of 1970
   Amended Title VI of P.L. 89-750 and established a core grant program for local educational agencies, known as
   Part B. Also authorized a number of discretionary programs.

P.L. 93-112: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
   Provides a comprehensive plan for providing rehabilitation services to all individuals, regardless of the severity
   of their disability. Also provided for civil rights enforcement under Section 504. Amended by P.L. 98-221 in
   1983, and by P.L. 99-506 in 1986. For more information, see following section in this chapter and additional
   information in Chapter Six.

P.L. 93-380: The Education Amendments of 1974
   These amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act contained two important laws. One is the
   Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1974, the first to mention the provision of an appropriate
   education for all children with disabilities. Also re-authorized the discretionary programs. The second
   important law, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, often called Buckley Amendment, gives parents
   and students under the age of 18, and students age 18 and over, the right to examine records kept in the
   student’s personal file.

P.L. 94-142: The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975
   Mandated a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities, ensured due process rights,
   mandated education in the least restrictive environment, and mandated Individualized Education Programs
   (IEPs), among other things. This was the core of federal funding for special education.

P.L. 98-199: The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1983
   Re-authorized the discretionary programs including the establishment of services to facilitate the transition from
   school to work for youths with disabilities through research and demonstration projects; the establishment of
   parent training and information centers; and funding for demonstration projects and research in early
   intervention and early childhood special education.

P.L. 98-524: The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1984
   Authorized funds to support vocational education programs to include youths with disabilities. The law stated
   that individuals who are members of special populations must be provided with equal access to recruitment,
   enrollment, and placement activities in vocational education.
P.L. 99-372: The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986
   Provides for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs to parents and guardians who prevail in administrative
   hearings or court when there is a dispute with a school system concerning their child’s right to a free
   appropriate special education and related services.

P.L. 99-457: The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986
   Mandates services for preschoolers with disabilities and established the Part H (now Part C) program to assist
   states in the development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and statewide system of early intervention
   services for infants and toddlers (birth to age 3). Also reauthorized the discretionary programs and expanded
   transition programs.
P.L. 100-407: The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988
   Primarily purpose to help states develop comprehensive, consumer-responsive programs of technology-related
   assistance and to extend the availability of technology to individuals with disabilities and their families.
   “Assistive technology device” is broadly defined to give states flexibility in developing programs. Assistive
   technology services include eight activities related to developing consumer-responsive services with federal
P.L. 101-127: The Children with Disabilities Temporary Care Reauthorization Act of 1989
   Part of the larger Children’s Justice Act, P.L. 99-401. Title II of this law includes provisions to fund temporary
   child care (e.g., respite care) for children who have a disability or chronic illness and crisis nurseries for
   children at risk of abuse or neglect. In 1989, P.L. 101-127 extended and expanded this program for two years
   and included an increase in funding for these programs from $5 million to $20 million in 1990 and 1991. By
   July 1990, 87 grants were awarded to states to develop and establish respite care programs and crisis nurseries.
P.L. 101-336: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
   Based on concepts of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with
   disabilities in employment, public accommodation, transportation, State and local government services and
   telecom-munications. The most significant federal law assuring full civil rights of all individuals with
P.L. 101-392: The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1990
   Amended P.L. 98-524 for the purpose of making the U.S. more competitive in the world economy. Closely
   interwoven with the Education of the Handicapped Act (P.L. 94-142) toward guaranteeing full vocational
   education opportunity for youth with disabilities.
P.L. 101-476: The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990
   Changed the name of Education for all Handicapped Children Act to the Individuals with Disabilities Education
   Act (IDEA). Reauthorized and expanded the discretionary programs, mandated transition services and assistive
   technology services to be included in a child’s or youth’s IEP, and added autism and traumatic brain injury to
   the list of categories of children and youth eligible for special education and related services.
P.L. 101-496: The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1990
   Authorizes grants to support planning, coordination, and delivery of specialized services to persons with
   develop-mental disabilities. Provides funding for the operation of state protection and advocacy systems for
   persons with de-velopmental disabilities. The original law was enacted in 1963 by P.L. 88-164. In 1987, P.L.
   100-146 significantly expanded the Act to include persons with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, and
IDEA Amendments of 1997
   Brought many changes to the law initially passed in 1975 as P.L. 94-142. In addition to the free and appropriate
   public education, the amendments specifically cover: participation of children with disabilities in State and
   district-wide assessment programs; the way evaluations are conducted; parent participation in eligibility and
   placement decisions; development and review of the IEP; transition planning; voluntary mediation; and
   discipline of children with disabilities.
Goals 2000: The Educate America Act, 1994
    Provides a framework for meeting the National Education Goals by supporting new initiatives at federal, state,
    local, and school levels to provide equal educational opportunity for all students to achieve high educational and
    occupational skill standards and to succeed in the world of employment and civic participation. Initiatives will
    need to be undertaken to provide all students with opportunities to meet high standards.
Adapted from: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) Vol. 1, Nov. 1, 1990.

There are several other legislative initiatives that can assist children and their families. For
more information, contact SPAN or your representatives in Washington, D.C.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is often called “Civil Rights Law for the
Disabled.” The first law of this kind, Section 504 states:
        “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps2 in the United States... shall, solely by
        reason of his or her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the
        benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving
        Federal financial assistance...”
This regulation applies to all recipients of Federal financial assistance from the Department of
Education. Recipients include state education agencies, elementary and secondary school
systems, colleges and universities, libraries, vocational schools and state vocational rehabilitation
agencies, many childcare and after-school providers, and most municipal recreational programs.
Recipients of federal funding that operate education programs (public schools) must provide a
free appropriate public education which may consist of general or special education and related
aids and services that are designed to meet the individual student’s needs. Further, it is required
that students with and without disabilities be placed in the same setting, to the extent appropriate
to meet the needs of the individual with a disability.
Section 504 defines a “handicapped person” as any person who (i) has a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such
impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities defined in the
regulation include: caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing,
speaking, breathing, learning, and working. A determination that a child does not fit a category
of disability named in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is not a sufficient
determination that the child does not have a disability under the Section 504 definition. It is
possible for a school district, for example, to violate Section 504 by failing to provide a child
with a disability with a free appropriate education even though the child was not entitled to it
under IDEA.

2 Please note that the word “handicap” is used throughout this article when quoting Section 504 because the
language of Section 504 has not changed.
If there is reason to believe that a child has a disability, the school district must evaluate the
child. The school district is not required to have a separate evaluation process for Section 504
from IDEA. However, they must follow the requirements for evaluation specified in the Section
504 regulation. There is no eligibility criteria for funding nor is there an assignment of a
classification in Section 504, as there is for IDEA. Under Section 504 they must answer the
following questions: Is there impairment? Does it substantially limit a major life activity? What
are the accommodations or services that are needed to keep that impairment from substantially
limiting the activity (i.e., learning)? A student in school may be entitled to Section 504 services
even if the disability does not limit their ability to learn, but rather limits their ability to attend
school or participate in school activities. An evaluation needs to be conducted before
determining the student’s needs.
The Local Education Agency (LEA, the school district) should draw upon a variety of sources in
the evaluation process to minimize any margin for error. Tests and evaluation materials should
be chosen to assess the specific areas of need and must be administered by trained personnel (see
Chapter Three for further details on the evaluation procedure).
Schools must establish a system of procedural safeguards that permit a student’s parents to
participate in or contest decisions regarding the identification, evaluation and placement of the
student. The procedural safeguards do not have to be different than those provided under IDEA.
Procedural safeguards must include, however, notice, opportunity for parents to examine relevant
records, impartial hearing with opportunity for parents to participate, representation by counsel,
and an appeals procedure.
There must be a designated 504 Grievance Coordinator to facilitate procedural safeguards within
the district. This should be someone in school administration not effected in the dispute to
coordinate grievance internally and solve it amicably. Contact your case manager to learn who
has that responsibility.

Services through Section 504 for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
“Under Section 504, if a parent believes their child is handicapped by Attention Deficit Disorder,
the Local Education Agency [LEA, your school district] must evaluate the child to determine
whether he or she is handicapped as defined by Section 504. If an LEA determines that the child
is not handicapped under Section 504, the parent has the right to contest that determination. If
the child is determined to be handicapped under Section 504, the LEA must make an
individualized determination of the child’s educational needs for regular or special education
and/or related aids and services.”
 “Should it be determined that the child with ADD is handicapped for purposes of Section 504
and needs only adjustments in the regular classroom, rather than special education, those
adjustments are required by Section 504. A range of strategies is available to meet the
educational needs of classroom teachers with ADD. Regular classroom teachers are important in
identifying the appropriate educational adaptations and interventions for many children with
Excerpted from the policy memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Education on September 16, 1991.

For more information on ADD/ADHD, contact the SPAN office at 1-800-654-SPAN to request a
copy of our ADD/ADHD packet.

                 Section 504                                           IDEA
                                     Who Must Comply?
   Recipients of federal dollars                      State education agencies (SEA)
                                                       Local education agencies (LEA)
                                                       Entities that contract with SEAs or LEAs
                                                        to provide educational services for a
                                                        child with a disability

                                     Who is Protected?
   Individual who has, has had, or is perceived       Child, 0-21 years, with disability, that
    as having a physical or mental impairment           affects ability to learn and requires
    which substantially limits one or more major        special education.
    life activities; caring for oneself, performing    Covered disabilities: mental retardation,
    manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing,             hearing impaired, speech/language
    speaking, breathing, learning, working);            impaired, visually impaired, serious
    limits ability to attend, participate, receive      emotional disturbance, autism, traumatic
    benefit from schooling. (Examples: cerebral         brain injury, other health impaired,
    palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple       learning disabled, multiply disabled,
    sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease,         deaf, deaf-blind
    HIV/AIDS, dyslexia, dysgraphia, rheumatoid
    arthritis, ADD/ADHD, cystic fibrosis, severe
    allergies, asthma.)

                                     What is Required?
                                a. Identify eligible students
             b. Non-discriminatory assessment & eligibility determination
                               (initial & annual review)
   Team knowledgeable about child and            Multi-disciplinary team (also triennial)
              Right to independent evaluation and to provide relevant information

                 Section 504                                           IDEA

                           c. Provision of necessary services:
     Services/Accommodations PLAN: Non-                     Individualized Education Program
      discrimination, reasonable accommodations,              (IEP): Annual goals, short-term
      meaningful program access, adequate                     instructional objectives, methods to
      education                                               determine if they are being achieved
     Accommodations: physical barrier removal,              Special education and related
      seating placement, extended time for                    services, assistive technology,
      testing, testing modifications, adjust class            transition services, audiology,
      schedule, rest periods, use of aids (tape               psychological services, physical
      recorders, calculators, computers, audio-               therapy, occupational therapy, medical
      visual equipment, modified texts).                      services for diagnosis and evaluation
     In class or pull-out services: note-taking              only, school health services, recreation
      (class and homework), oral catheterization,             (including therapeutic), counseling,
      administration of medication (no waivers,               social work services, transportation,
      inhalers, oral, epipen), monitoring of blood            speech pathology, parent counseling/
      levels, monitoring of physical status,                  training, and administration of
      behavior management plan, consultation                  medication (this is not an exhaustive
      services coordination, tutors, counseling,              list)
      OT/PT, etc.

                d. Services in Least Restrictive Appropriate Environment:
      the class or school that the student would be in if not disabled; not to be removed from general
       education class unless the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general
     education classes with use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

     Comparable facilities if segregated                    Continuum of placement/services
     Meaningful program accessibility

                                          e. Confidentiality

                    What Are Due Process / Accountability Mechanism?
     LEA Sec. 504 Grievance Coordinator → US                LEA → SEA → US Dept of Education
      Dept of Education Office of Civil Rights                Office of Special Education Programs
     No exhaustion of administrative remedies               Exhaustion of administrative remedies
     Impartial hearing, or OCR complaint, or                Impartial hearing at Office of Admin-
      immediate federal court (Sec. 1983)                     istrative Law → Federal or State Court

Written by Diana MTK Autin, Esq.

For more information on Section 504 and schools, contact the SPAN office at 1-800-654-
SPAN to request our Section 504 fact sheet and information packet. For information on
Section 504 and childcare, request our Map to Inclusive Child Care brochure and Resources

                                    CHAPTER THREE

         The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the “road map” to your
         child’s education. It is both a process and a product. Specific steps lead to
         the development of the document. Chapter Three walks you through the
         steps in the process. It explains what happens at each stage and identifies
         the participants and their roles and responsibilities.

         The process is as important as the product. It begins with conducting tests
         and assessments, then knowledgeable school personnel and parents meet to
         determine whether the student needs special education services. The
         development of an IEP requires that you think through your priorities for
         your child deeply and carefully. The process concludes with a lengthy
         document, an individualized educational plan. The plan is designed to
         address the individual strengths and weaknesses of the student. But equally
         important, the IEP is the avenue by which parents become equal partners in
         educational decisions about their child. By planning together, parents and
         professionals develop, monitor and evaluate a program that benefits the

                                         Step 1:
                                         Step 2:
                (Parents must sign consent form prior to initial evaluation
                    and all subsequent evaluations and prior to initial
“placement” or receipt of special education services)


             (30 calendar days from determination of eligibility)

(90 calendar days from the date that parent signs the evaluation consent form)



                           THE IEP PROCESS
                          1. Identification of the Student

       2. Determination of Whether Evaluation Will Be Conducted

            3. Identification of the Collaborative Planning Team

                                      4. Evaluation

                   5. Determination of Eligibility for Services

         6. Identification of Student’s Strengths, Needs and Skills

                    7. Development of Goals and Objectives

                   8. Identification of Supports and Services

               9. Identification of Least Restrictive Placement

                                   10. Eligibility Criteria

                11. Provision of Ongoing Support and Monitoring

Sometimes parents know at birth or shortly after that their child will need special help and
services. At other times a learning difficulty does not become apparent until the child grows
older and matures. Each district adopts and maintains its own written procedures for identifying
those students ages 3-21 who reside within the local school district who may be educationally
disabled and who are not receiving special education and/or related services. Children under age
3 who may experience developmental delays or disabilities must be referred to early intervention
programs or other appropriate services.

Contact SPAN at 1-800-654-SPAN for our Early Intervention packet and guide.


   1. Parents can identify that their child may be experiencing physical, sensory, emotional,
      communication, cognitive and social difficulties.
   2. Parents can initiate the identification process themselves. SPAN recommends that all
      such requests be made in writing.
   3. Parents must be provided written documentation of the interventions attempted in general
      education settings.
   4. Parents should monitor the intervention period closely and see evidence of progress. If
      not, a formal written request for evaluation by the child study team should be made.
   5. If the district in writing refuses to evaluate your child, your options are:
      a. Mediation
      b. Due process hearing (see also Chapter 6)


Once a referral is received, within 20 days the district or school meets with the parents to
determine whether an evaluation will be conducted. If you do not receive a written response
from the school, you should request a meeting with the Director of Special Services in writing.

   NOTE: There is no “waiting list” for evaluations, even in the summer.

In reality, there are actually two teams. These are:
The Core Team: The members who are involved directly in the day to day educational
program which may include the parents; the student, when appropriate; peers; multidisciplinary
team; general and special educators; local administrators; related service providers; and support
personnel (i.e., paraprofessionals).
The Support Team: Consists of individuals who serve students on a more itinerant basis.
They may be social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, nurses, vision specialists,
audiolo-gists, behavior specialists, etc.
Members of the teams need frequent access to each other for problem solving, decision-making
and support. Planning strategies need to be flexible to meet the changing needs of the student.
All team members are encouraged to provide support for each other. Meetings occur on a
regular basis and ongoing communication is maintained to keep all members updated.

                                   The Child Study Team
The child study team is a multidisciplinary team of professionals, at least two of whom conduct
the evaluation as follows:
A. Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC)
    Reviews the student’s educational history;
    Confers with the student’s teacher(s);
    Evaluates and analyzes the student’s academic performance and learning characteristics.
B. Psychologist
    Confers with the student’s teacher(s);
    Assesses the student’s current cognitive (thinking and learning), social, adaptive and
     emotional status.
C. School Social Worker
    Evaluates the student’s adaptive social functioning and emotional development;
    Evaluates social and cultural factors that influence the student’s learning behavior in the
     educational setting.
D. Speech Therapist/Teacher (Children ages 3 to 5 years and children for whom
    speech and language delays are a part of their disability)
In addition, for every referred child, the School Nurse (Health and Medical):
     Reviews and summarizes available health and medical information regarding the child
     Transmits this summary to the team for the meeting to help in the consideration of
        whether there is a need for a health appraisal or specialized medical evaluation

The Child Study Team will prepare written reports of the results of their assessments. Additional
evaluations by specialists (at no cost to the family) may be required, (i.e., if a child is to be
classified “neurologically impaired” a neurologist’s evaluation is required; or for “emotionally
disturbed” a psychiatric evaluation is required).
It is important to seek out a specialist who is knowledgeable about the developmental needs of
children and experienced in evaluating children with disabilities with an eye on what is
educationally relevant.

   Parents are a part of any decision-making team throughout the special education process.

After it has been determined by the parent and the Child Study Team that an evaluation is
needed, the child study team notifies the parents in writing. The team determines the pupil’s
communication skills and dominance in English or other native language. Written consent must
be obtained prior to conducting the initial evaluation and all subsequent evaluations.
Initial Evaluation
All evaluations must be completed in a timely manner. After receiving parental consent for
initial evaluation, the school district has 90 days to complete the evaluation, determine
eligibility and, if the child is eligible, develop and implement the IEP.
When a child turns three years old before the end of a school year, your school district may opt
to contract services with your Early Intervention provider for the remainder of the school year
including an extended school year program, if appropriate. There should be no interruption of

   Parents have the right to ask for written documentation of the law to verify what a Child
   Study Team or district tells them. Sometimes parents are told that districts don’t offer a
   program or they just don’t “do” certain things in the district. Request in writing to
   receive a copy of citations they refer to. Also, it is wise to bring a copy of the New Jersey
   Administrative Code 6A:14 to meetings so that accurate references can be made.

If a parent withholds consent for evaluation and the school district feels strongly enough about
the need for testing, the school district may request a due process hearing to try to get
authorization from the Office of Administrative Law to carry out testing without parental
An initial evaluation must include at least two of the following areas: a) health, b) psychological,
c) educational and d) social.
Standardized Tests
Standardized tests are typically used during evaluation procedures. The law requires that where
appropriate, or required, the use of a standardized test(s) shall be:
   a. Individually administered;
   b. Valid and reliable;
   c. Normed on a representative population; and
   d. Scored as either standard scores with a standard deviation or norm referenced scores with
       a cutoff score.
Tests are selected and administered to ensure that when a test is administered to a child with
impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test accurately reflect the child’s aptitude or
achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting
the child’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, except where those skills are factors
which the test purports to measure.

Educational Tests
The educational evaluator (usually the Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant) evaluates your
child’s achievement and related areas. These tests diagnose difficulties in reading, spelling,
mathe-matics, and spoken language. The evaluator looks for an indication of learning
disabilities or for consistently delayed performance, such as a child with reading scores two or
three years below his/her actual grade level. Scores on tests given by the educational evaluator
are reported in terms of grade equivalents (“G.E.”) or mental age (“M.A.”). An “M.A.” of 6.1
means that the child performs at a level equivalent to a child 6 years and one month old. The
educational tests usually given are: the Wepman-Auditory Discrimination Test, the Peabody
Individual Achievement Test, the Illinois Test of Linguistic Abilities, the Wide-Range
Achievement Test, the Woodcock, and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test.
Psychological Tests
  1. IQ Tests: The “Intelligence Quotient” test is interpreted as a measure of a child’s
     potential for academic achievement. The IQ test compares the child who took the test to
     an “average” child of the same age: a full scale of 100 indicates that the child is exactly
     “average.” The law prohibits placing students in special education programs based solely
     on IQ scores alone. The IQ test has also been determined to have a disproportionately
     negative impact on African-American and other children of color, so its use must be
     carefully determined and implemented.
  2. Psychomotor Tests: These tests measure a child’s ability to copy designs, which is
     interpreted to indicate whether s/he has problems in visual perception.
  3. Projective Tests: Projective tests are used to identify personality disturbances and are
     used by psychologists to evaluate a child’s personality characteristics such as mood,
     attitude, anxiety, self-image, imagination, maturity, and perception of reality. There are
     no right or wrong an-swers; the child’s responses are interpreted subjectively by the
     psychologist who administers the test.
Adapted from: Securing An Appropriate Education for Children with Disabilities in New York City: A Guide to
Effective Advocacy, by Advocates for Children of New York, January 1992.

                                     Functional Assessments
In an effort to focus more closely on the educational needs of the pupil, functional assessments
have been added as an additional component to the evaluation process. They must include:
    a. A minimum of one structured observation by a Child Study Team member in other than a
       testing situation (such as the child’s classroom)
    b. An interview with the pupil’s parent(s), and other pertinent people - these can include the
       student, parents and family members, peers, friends, educators, and others
    c. An interview with the teacher identifying the student (if applicable)
    d. A review of the pupil’s developmental/educational history, which can include a collection
       of student’s work, formal and informal test results, medical history
    e. A review of interventions documented by classroom teachers.
The functional assessment may include one or more of the following: surveys and inventories,
analysis of work samples, trial teaching, self-report, criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based
assessment, informal rating scales, and other appropriate tools.

A functional assessment is another tool for assessing the skills and needs of students that
primarily consists of interviews and observation. An IEP should include goals and objectives
that reflect functional and chronological age appropriate activities across a variety of integrated
environments. Always include a discussion of the student’s strengths (see Positive Student
Profile in Appendix C) when discussing assessment results.

1. Find out who are the members of your Child Study Team. Identify the professional
   who serves as your case manager. Provide information about your family that is
   educationally relevant (some personal matters have no bearing upon the child’s
2. Network with other parents, especially those in your community.
3. You have a right to receive a copy of all of the test and assessment results. Be sure to
   request copies of these results prior to IEP meetings to allow time to read and
   understand them. Make sure they accurately reflect your child’s strengths and needs;
   correct any inaccuracy or discrepancy [N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.9]. Have a copy of your
   child’s entire pupil record and ensure that every document is accurate, signed and
4. The testing and evaluation must be completed by a multidisciplinary team using two or
   more evaluation procedures [N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.5(a)]. You can and should review testing
   procedures and can ask for modification of, revision of, or additional procedures. A
   minimum of one structured observation by a child study team member in an
   environment the child is comfortable in is required. [6A:14-3.4(d)6]
5. Monitor the evaluation process. Attend all scheduled evaluations with your child,
   particularly younger children. Children are inherently different. Settings for the
   testing environment should be applicable to that child’s learning style. Be sure that the
   method of testing is conducive to your child’s needs, i.e., psychological tests should be
   performed in a small room with no distractions for a child with attention deficit
6. Assessments drive the outcome of the curriculum and if only pen and pencil tests are
   used, they may not accurately reflect the true ability of the child. Functional
   assessments are new ways of evaluating students and are one of the components
   required as part of the evaluation process. Observing the child in real environments in
   and out of school will reflect his/her true abilities. Assessments also drive the day-to-
   day classroom instruction.
7. When consent for the initial evaluation is requested, the district must provide parents
   with a copy of their Procedural Safeguards which are found in Subchapter 2 of
   N.J.A.C. 6A:14. These are rights and protections for parents, pupils and school

Parents should be aware that there are new views of how to assess intelligence, which do not rely
solely on IQ scores. Traditionally, intelligence has been conceptualized as a single overall
measure-ment of cognitive processing that changes very little with age and experience. A newer
theory by Howard Gardner redefines intelligence as the ability to solve a problem or to create a
product in a way that is considered useful in one or more cultural settings. Instead of accepting
the notion of intelligence as a single entity, no matter how simple or complicated, Gardner points
to the existence of several separate “families of abilities.” According to his theory, intelligence
is not adequately captured by the ability to answer items on standardized tests. Instead, the
educational evaluation must encompass a broader range of abilities.
See Appendix B for more information on Multiple Intelligences, including tests and strategies.
Use the information you gather about your child when completing their Positive Student Profile,
found in Appendix C.


You have a right to ask for an independent evaluation if there is a disagreement with the
evaluation provided by your district. This should be provided at no cost to you. This
testing may involve either a new set of all child study team evaluations or just one or two
areas of testing. The district must either agree to pay in a timely manner or request a due
process hearing to prove their evaluation is appropriate (within 20 calendar days).
Getting a second opinion can often be helpful when there is disagreement with the
evaluation(s) provided by your district. Disagreements may be due to inaccurate, inappro-
priate or incomplete information. An independent evaluation can provide a positive step in
resolving conflicts at an early stage. There is a formal procedure outlined in N.J.A.C.
6A:14 for parents who want an independent evaluation paid for by the district. Following
are some important steps:
1. Send a written request specifying your desire for an independent evaluation to your
   director of special services by certified mail or hand deliver and obtain a receipt.
   Request either a partial or full child study team evaluation or specify additional
   evaluations provided by a specialist. Make a copy of your request for your own
   records. In your letter, request information about where to obtain an independent
   evaluation. SPAN also has a list of state approved clinics and agencies. You do not
   need to indicate why you want an independent evaluation.
2. Before you make an appointment for a second opinion, be sure you have received
   written verification of the district’s plan to pay.
3. Remember that any independent evaluation submitted to the district’s child study team
   must be considered in making decisions regarding special education and/or related

When the initial evaluation is completed, a meeting is held including the child study team and
the parents. The purpose of the meeting is to determine whether the pupil is eligible for special
education and related services.
Whether or not a pupil is eligible for special education and related services, the parent(s) and the
referring staff member must be given a written summary, signed by the child study team, of all
decisions and recommendations. If your child is determined to be not eligible for special
education services, you can appeal this decision.

1. Usually the eligibility meeting leads directly into the IEP meeting, so prepare yourself
   for participation in the development of the IEP. If you feel you need more time to
   discuss the IEP you can request another meeting.
2. We recommend strongly that once your child is determined “eligible” that you postpone
   discussion of the classification until your child’s needs, annual goals and objectives, and
   appropriate services are discussed. This avoids the problem of classifying a child, then
   having that classification drive the planning process. Every child is entitled to have a
   unique program developed to address his/her specific learning abilities and needs.

If the team determines, after the evaluation cycle, that your child is not eligible to receive special
education services the process ends here, unless you do not agree. The team is responsible for
determining if the student is eligible to receive services through Section 504 or referring you to
the Section 504 team. Read Chapter 2 on Section 504 for further information.

Schools often identify and focus on a student’s deficits, and fail to look at the total child. All
children possess strengths and gifts that need to be identified as well. Parents can play an
important role in ensuring that their valuable knowledge and understanding of their child is

 See information on Multiple Intelligences in Appendix B and fill out Positive Student Profile
 and Goals-At-A-Glance in Appendix C in preparation for this step.

For all children, we need to think about why we choose specific goals. When considering goals
and objectives that reflect your child’s individual needs and abilities, keep in mind the following:
    a. The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards: All children with
       disabilities must have goals and objectives that are tied to the CCCS, the information that
       all children are supposed to learn.
    b. Student preference: Teach the student responsible decision-making and provide
       opportunities to make choices every day - ranging from what to wear to how to use
       leisure time. Respect your child’s interests and preferences.
    c. Parent preference: We know our children well. When developing goals our values
       and visions should be respected.
    d. Chronological age appropriate: Jim and Paul are 13 years old. The skill to be
       learned is stacking. Jim stacks dishes as he empties the dishwasher, a chronologically
       age-appropriate activity, as contrasted with Paul who stacks nesting cups, not
       chronologically age-appropriate.
    e. Applying skills in new places: Often skills learned in one setting are not applied to
       others. If a child learns to say, “Milk, please” in speech class, but does not use this skill
       in the cafeteria, then the goal will not be achieved.
    f. Physical enhancement: Consider any activities that maximize physical development.
    g. Social Contact: Select a skill that will increase appropriate social interactions. For
       example, a child learns to shake hands when s/he meets someone.
    h. Expanding horizons / Increasing the number of environments: Look at the
       contrast between a child who is picked up at home by mini-bus, goes to school, and as
       soon as school ends is delivered directly home versus the child who learns about public
       transportation and a set of socialization skills through participation in after school
       programs that enable him/her to attend a movie, go to church, or join a cub scout troop.
    i. Functionality: Select skills required for daily living (i.e., learning to load a dishwasher
       instead of stacking blocks).
Using these dimensions as guides, we can work toward improving the quality of life of students
with disabilities. We can help them to acquire useful and productive skills to enhance
independence and work potential, and also to enlarge their circle of friends and expand their
opportunities for community interaction.
Adapted from: Dr. Lou Brown et al, The “Why Question” in Education Programs for Students Who Are Severely
Intellectually Disabled, University of Wisconsin under a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special
Education, Division of Innovation and Development Grant, 1985.

                            A Case For Teaching Functional Skills
A dilemma often results when an attempt is made to translate test items failed at particular levels
or mental ages into actual tasks to be taught. These evaluation tools were never intended to be
used in this manner, and the result is that students end up spending most of their school day
being taught skills that are totally artificial and/or extremely age-inappropriate. Given the time it
takes students with moderate to severe mental disabilities to acquire even functional skills, there
is no justification for devoting instruction to teaching items selected from a developmentally-
based hierarchy of supposed “pre-requisite” skills. A scenario of the outcome for one such
student is shown below.
                                      My Older Brother Daryl
18 years old, Trainable Mentally Retarded. Been in school 12 years. Never has been
served in any setting other than elementary school. Had many years of “individualized
instruction.” Learned to do lots of things!
Daryl can now do lots of things he couldn’t do before! He can put 100 pegs in a board
in less than ten minutes while in his seat with 95% accuracy. But he can’t put quarters
in a vending machine.
He can do a 12-piece Big Bird puzzle with 100% accuracy and color the Easter Bunny and
stay in the lines! He prefers music, but was never taught how to use a radio or cassette
He can fold primary paper in halves and even quarters. But he can’t fold his clothes.
He can sort blocks by color, up to 10 different colors! But he can’t sort clothes for
He can roll Play-Dough into wonderful clay snakes! But he can’t roll bread dough and
cut out biscuits.
He can string beads in alternating colors and make a pattern on a DLM card! But he
can’t lace his shoes.
He can sing the ABC’s and tell me the names of all the letters of the alphabet when
presented on a card in upper case with 80% accuracy. But he can’t tell the men’s room
from the ladies’ room at McDonald’s.
He can be told it’s cloudy/rainy and take a black felt cloud and put it on an enlarged
calendar (with assistance). But he still goes out in the rain without a raincoat or hat.
He can identify with 100% accuracy 100 different Peabody Picture Cards by pointing!
But he can’t order a hamburger by gesturing.
He can walk a balance beam front-wards, sideways, and backwards! But he can’t walk
up the steps or bleachers unassisted in the gym to go to a basketball game.
He can count to 100 by rote memory! But, he doesn’t know how many dollars to pay
the waitress for a $2.59 McDonald’s coupon special.
He can put the cube in the box, beside the box, behind the box. But he can’t find the
trash bin in a McDonald’s and empty his trash in it.
He can sit in a circle with appropriate behavior and sing songs and play “Duck,
Duck, Goose.” But nobody else in his neighborhood his age seems to want to do that.
I guess he’s just not ready yet.
Reprinted from December 1987 issue of the TASH Newsletter, by Preston Lewis.


A functional assessment is an important tool for assessing the skill repertoire and needs of
students that primarily consists of interviews and observation. Following an assessment, an IEP
should be developed which includes goals and objectives that reflect functional and
chronological age appropriate activities across a variety of integrated environments. Always
include a discussion of the student’s strengths (see Positive Student Profile in Appendix C) when
discussing assessment results.
Once the assessment process has been completed, a plan is written that consists of goals and
objectives that will have desired outcomes for the student and family. The following criteria
need to be considered in setting priorities across skill areas:
1. Are the goals FUNCTIONAL for the student?
    Have the goals been developed around the desires of the student?
    What family needs have been considered when determining these goals?
    Are the goals being considered chronologically age appropriate?
    Are these required across a variety of different environments?
    Can these goals be used often?
    What is the student’s present level of performance of these goals?
    Does someone have to do it (perform the activity) for the student?

2. Will the goals result in more opportunities for interaction with non-disabled peers?
    What goals does the society value?
    What are non-disabled peers being taught?
    What are non-disabled peers doing?
    What goals would reduce non-disabled/disabled discrepancy (social significance of
    What goals would lead to less restrictive alternatives?
    What goals would promote independence?

3. What are the GOAL characteristics?
    What are the skills involved in this goal?
    What are the skills needed and enhanced by this goal?
    What skills can be integrated across goals?
    What goals can be recombined into opportunities for more complex skills?
    What goals will meet the largest variety of the student’s needs?
    What goals will provide opportunities for practice (in appropriate environments)?

4. How will the goals be taught?
    What goals will make maximal use of the student’s learning strength and style?
    What is the student’s learning rate?
    How well is the student able to tolerate change, confusion, chaos, etc.?
    How well is the student able to generalize?
    How well is the student able to respond to natural and instructional cues and
    Where does the student have difficulty in a given sequence or activity?
    What patterns emerge across environments, materials, cues, persons, etc., when the
     student has difficulty?
    Is the student’s communication understood across persons and environments?

5. Where should the goals be taught?
    Are the environments chronologically age appropriate?
    Are the environments accessible (i.e., community) for teaching during school hours?
    Are the environments preferred by the student?
    Are the environments frequently used by the student, non-disabled peers, and his family?
    Are there opportunities to teach many goals in these environments?
      Is there a high probability that the student will acquire the goals needed to function in these
      Are the environments appropriate for the student now (currently) and in the future (subsequently)?
      Are the environments safe for the student and/or will the student likely acquire the safety
       skills necessary to participate in the goals within the environment?
Throughout meetings with the student, parents, family members, educators, child study team,
and other pertinent and interested parties, discussion must be centered around prioritizing goals
established as a result of completed assessments. In developing the goals, the question to
continually ask is, “Are these goals and activities relevant beyond the student’s school years?”

Adapted from Falvey, M.A. Community Based Curriculum: Instructional Strategies for Students with Severe
Handicaps, Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (1989)

Other Important Considerations
Following are some important areas for discussion. Some of these may be incorporated as goals
or activities in the IEP. Not all items will be relevant to all students and some students may have
needs not reflected here.
   1. Parent Roles in Implementing the Plan: Parents should be given sufficient notice
       to attend meetings.
   2. Home/School Communication: A communication notebook may be used between
       the parent and the teacher(s).
   3. Physical Education: Are accommodations needed in gym or is adaptive physical edu-
       cation needed?
   4. Enrichment Classes and/or Electives: Can all students enroll in elective courses?
   5. Extracurricular and Leisure Activities: Are there after-school activities that may
       be appropriate?
   6. Social Skills: Are there opportunities for interaction with peers in non-academic
   7. Behavioral Skills: Will a positive behavior plan be necessary?
   8. Vocational Skills: Does the student have an opportunity for job sampling?
   9. Counseling: Would the student benefit from counseling by the school psychologist or
       guidance counselor?
   10. Medication: Does the school nurse need to administer medication during the day?
   11. Fire Safety: Have provisions been made for students in wheelchairs?
   12. Field Trips: Will medication need to be administered on the trip? If so, who will be
       responsible for this? (NOT the parent!)
   13. Transportation: Will a special bus be necessary? Is a child restraint system required?
       Is an aide needed on the bus for safety/health issues?
   14. Accessibility: Is the entire building accessible?

   Remember: IDEA requires that children with disabilities be provided the opportunity
   to participate in all aspects of the school’s program, including non-academic and
   extra-curricular activities, with supports and accommodations if needed.

Once the team has determined the goals and objectives, they are ready to make recommendations
concerning services, supports, accommodations and modifications.
Analyze each classroom option available and determine which is appropriate. Choices to be
considered should be in the least restrictive environment and age-appropriate. Other factors to
consider are location, class size, instructional strategies, teaching styles, and materials used.
For those students who are already in a general education classroom and it is determined that it is
still the least restrictive environment, then the supports and services that are necessary need to be
Once the placement has been determined the next important step is developing a schedule of
activities which describe in detail: needed adaptations, materials, location of services, people
responsible for providing those services, and any other resources needed. (See IEP Goal/Activity
Matrix and Classroom Activity Analysis Worksheet in Appendix C.)
Determine which activities may be needed to prepare for the student’s arrival to the new
placement (i.e., a visit to the new classroom by the student). In addition, any special instructions
that may be needed to prepare the student for placement should begin (i.e., a student going into
Junior High will need to know how to operate a locker). Advance preparation should be made to
acquire the resources that have been determined to be necessary (i.e., hiring an instructional aide,
or developing a peer tutoring system). If technical assistance is needed the team must decide
who will provide it, exactly how it will be implemented and how often it will be provided.
The team should develop a system for parent/teacher communication. Determine who will be
responsible for communication (i.e., teacher, instructional aide, case manager) to be the primary
contact person. Parents’ input should be encouraged and seriously considered throughout the
planning process. Parents should never be denied their rights to have high expectations for their
son or daughter.

Program / Placement
Placement should be determined after IEP goals and services have been designed. We suggest,
however, that parents visit all appropriate programs as soon as possible after evaluations have
been completed. These are described in subchapter 4 of N.J.A.C. 6A:14. Use the Classroom
Observation Checklist in Appendix E to guide your assessment of each program you visit.

Program Options
These program options reflect new changes in the New Jersey Administrative Code. A full
continuum of alternative placements shall be available to meet the needs of pupils with
disabilities for special education and/or related services. These options include the following:
1.    Regular class with supplementary aids and services including, but not limited to, the
      a. Curricular or instructional modifications or specialized instructional strategies;
      b. Supplementary instruction;
      c. Assistive technology devices and services as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.3.
      d. Teacher aides; and
      e. Related services.
2.    Resource programs;
3.    A special class program in the student’s local school district;
4.    A special education program in another local school district;
5.    A special education program in a vocational and technical school;
6.    A special education program in the following settings:
      a. A county special services school district;
      b. An educational services commission; and
      c. A jointure commission;
7.    A New Jersey approved private school for the disabled or an out-of-state school for the
      disabled in the continental United States approved by the department of education in the
      state where the school is located;
8.    A program operated by a department of New Jersey State government;
9.    Community rehabilitation programs;
10.   Programs in hospitals, convalescent centers or other medical institutions;
11.   Individual instruction at home or in other appropriate facilities, with the prior written
      approval of the Department of Education through its county office;
12.   An accredited nonpublic school which is not specifically approved for the education of
      students with disabilities according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-6.5;
13.   Instruction in other appropriate settings according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.1(d); and
14.   An early intervention program (which is under contract with the Department of Health and
      Senior Services) in which the child has been enrolled for the balance of the school year in
      which the child turns age three.

Resource Centers
The term “resource room” has been amended to “resource center” to reflect the more flexible
program options now available. Resource center programs offer individual and small group
instruction. Pupils may receive either support or replacement resource center instruction in
either in a general education classroom or a separate room. The resource center teacher shall
hold certification as “teacher of the handicapped.”
The amount of time a pupil may receive resource center instruction has been expanded to include
up to the pupil’s entire day for replacement or support instruction in the general education
classroom, and up to one-half of the pupil’s instructional day in a separate resource center.
In-class support:
This is a program of instruction where the general and special education teachers are
collaboratively involved in planning and implementing special strategies, techniques, methods,
and materials to address learning problems of pupils with educational disabilities engaged in the
general education classroom lesson. Instructional responsibility for the pupil shall be shared
same time and in the same activities as the rest of the class. Students who receive in-class

                                                                                                                             being taught in the general education classroom. A pupil receiving in-class instruction shall be

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NJ STATE SPECIAL EDUCATION CODE CLASS TYPES AND SIZES
                                                                                                                             included in activities such as group discussion, special projects, field trips, and other regular
pupil’s IEP. Support instruction provided in the pupil’s general education class shall be at the

                                                                                                                             The intent of in-class replacement service is such that the subject being taught which is being
between the general education class teacher(s) and the resource center teacher as described in the

                                                                                                                             replaced should be appropriate to the child’s needs but also be aligned and related to the subject

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NEW NAME                                 OLD NAME                      PRESCHOOL/ELEMENTARY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No Aide             Aide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6                 --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6                7-9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Single Subject
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Multiple Subject                                                                    6                7-9
support are classified and enrolled on a general education class register.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             3                 --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             6                7-9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Single Subject
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Multiple Subject                                                                     4                 --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combined Support / Replacement In-Class                                                    3
                                                                                                                             class activities as deemed appropriate in the pupil’s IEP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Team Teaching In-Class Resource Program                                                 Maximum of 8 students receiving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (full-time general and special educators)                                                    resource instruction
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Special Classes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Auditory Impairments                        Auditorily Handicapped                         8                9-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Autism                                      Autistic                                       3                4-6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Behavioral Disabilities                     Emotionally disturbed                          9               10-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cognitive-Mild                              Mentally retarded – educable                  12               13-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cognitive-Moderate                          Mentally retarded - trainable                 10               11-13
                                                                                                     In-class replacement:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cognitive-Severe                            Mentally retarded – day training eligible      3        4-6; 7-9 with 2 aides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Learning / Language                         Communication handicapped;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10               11-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mild-Moderate                         Neurologically or perceptually impaired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Severe                                                                               8                9-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Multiple Disabilities                       Multiply handicapped                           8                9-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Preschool Disabilities                      Preschool handicapped                          --      1-8; 9-12 with 2 aides
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Visual Impairments                          Visually handicapped                           8                9-12
                                                                                                                                                                                            No Aide














                                                                                                         Not applicable in HS

                                                                                                                                Not applicable in HS

                                  4-6; 7-9 with 2 aides

                                                                                  7-9 (2 aides)












Obtaining Extended School Year Services
Students classified in New Jersey may be entitled to a school program that extends beyond the
usual school year. In order to be eligible for such a program, each child’s individual educational
needs must be considered. For a child to receive summer schooling, there must be evidence that
the child regresses significantly over the vacation break and that it takes a long time for the child
to recoup (relearn) this loss of skills. If you want to demonstrate that your child needs an
extended school year program, ask your child’s teacher(s) and therapist(s) to keep careful records
of what happens during a vacation period (any school holiday). In addition, keep your own
records. If you can demonstrate a pattern of significant loss following vacation periods, you can
begin to justify the need for a summer program to your child study team. As you can see,
extended school year must be something you begin to prepare for and discuss with the child
study team and school personnel early in the school year. Do not put off planning for extended
school year until May or June.
In determining whether extended school year programming is necessary for a child, remember
that most students can sustain short breaks without significant losses, and may only have a
regression/ recoupment problem when their program is interrupted for a long period of time.
This student may require a year-round continuous program of special education and/or related
services designed to maintain his/her level in those skill and behavior areas identified as crucial,
if the student is to reach his/her educational goals.
Adapted from PIC REPORT, January 1989, Parent Information Center, Concord, NH 03302.

See Appendix G for the NJ Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP) Policy Paper on Extended School Year Services.

Least Restrictive Environment Preschool Placements
In the case of a preschooler with disabilities, there may be no comparable option because the
district does not operate a preschool program for nondisabled children. Therefore, it is important
to note that for preschoolers with disabilities, placement in a regular preschool program in
another district or in a privately operated program in the local community is a less restrictive
placement option than the district’s self-contained preschool disabled classroom.
To promote preschool placement in the least restrictive environment, a provision was added to
the special education code. According to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-4.3(c), preschoolers with disabilities
may be placed in a private early childhood program, if appropriate, to provide the opportunity for
education and interaction with nondisabled preschoolers. The program must be licensed or
approved by a governmental agency; the program must be nonsectarian. The district must assure
that the student’s IEP can be implemented and any special education or related services must be
provided by appropriately certified and/or licensed professionals. Paraprofessionals may be used
to provide services, when appropriate, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.9(a)4 or N.J.A.C.
The discussion regarding placement for all preschool age students with disabilities must begin
with consideration of a regular classroom program with supplementary aids and services. When
the IEP team determines that a regular class placement is needed to provide a free, appropriate
public education, all efforts must be taken to locate appropriate regular classroom settings where
the student’s IEP can be implemented.

Related Services

What are “Related Services”?
The term “related services” refers to a variety of supportive educational services that may be
provided to students with a disability as part of their special education program. Providing
appropriate related services is a very important part of a “free appropriate public education.” A
full range of services is available to students who are classified, at no cost to their parents, based
on educational need. It is important to note that the IEP should address the full educational
performance of a student, including both academic and non-academic (daily life activities,
mobility, etc.) areas.

How is eligibility for related services determined?
Nearly any child could “benefit” from speech and language therapy or from the services of a
social worker. The key to whether or not a child is considered eligible for a related service is
found in IDEA. Schools must provide those related services that “are required to assist a child
with a disability to benefit from special education.” In other words, the related service must be
necessary in order for the child to learn and participate in his or her school program. No limit
can be put on the number of related services a child receives, provided they are all necessary.
Likewise, the amount of time the service is offered must be sufficient for the child to get the help
he or she needs.
Related services are listed in the IEP, including the amount of time per week the child will
receive each service and the expected length of time the service will be required. The types
of related services your child may receive are determined by his/her specific educational needs
and are recommended by the IEP Team, which includes the parent, based on their evaluation of
your child. A district may not have a policy or practice that every child who needs a particular
related service gets it in a predetermined group size for a predetermined number of minutes and
sessions each week. This must be determined individually.
See Appendix G for the NJ Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP) Policy Paper on Related Services.
What are the basic types of related services?
Thirteen related services are listed in IDEA, but other services may be offered if they are
required for the child to benefit from his or her special education program.
  1.    Audiology: Identifying and diagnosing children with hearing loss, and determining
        what measures need to be taken to help (such as hearing aids, auditory training,
        consulting with parents and teachers, etc.).
  2.    Counseling Services: Services provided by qualified personnel such as social
        workers, psychologists and guidance counselors to help a student with problems in school
        or in planning for the future.
  3.    Early Identification: Each special education agency must implement a formal plan to
        find children with disabilities as early as possible, usually through a pre-school screening
  4.    Medical Services: Services provided by a physician to determine the nature of the
        child’s disability and its implications for his or her special education program.
  5.    Occupational Therapy: Services to help children develop fine motor coordination
        and daily living skills necessary to their success in school and the community.
  6.    Physical Therapy: Services to help with the child’s gross/total body movements,
        muscle tone and coordination and balance and equilibrium as he or she progresses
        through the developmental sequence.
  7.    Parent Counseling and Training: Services to help parents understand their child’s
        special needs and what they can expect of him in relation to normal child development.
  8.    Psychological Services: Services which include conducting assessments, making
        interpretations and recommendations based on those assessments, working with students
        individually or in small groups, and providing consultation to teachers, other school
        personnel, and parents.
  9.    Recreation: Services that include evaluating the student’s functioning during his or her
        leisure time and providing therapeutic recreation programs either in school or through
        community agencies.
  10.   School Health Services: Services provided by the School Nurse which may include
        vision and hearing screenings and maintenance of current medical records on all students.
  11.   Social Work Services: Services that help teachers and parents to locate appropriate
        community resources and to implement effective educational programs for students.
  12.   Speech Pathology: Services concerned with identification and diagnosis of students
        with speech and language difficulties and with providing therapy to the student and
        consultation to school personnel to remediate those difficulties.
  13.   Transportation: Services which include providing travel from home to school
        including any specialized equipment necessary to transport each child safely (such as
        adapted buses, lifts, and ramps).
  14.   Assistive Technology: Any devices or services necessary for a child to benefit from
        special education and related services, or to enable the child to be educated in the least
        restrictive environment.
  15.   Travel Training: Training people with disabilities to use public transportation safely
        and independently given the issues that arise with specific disabilities such as physical,
        cognitive, and visual impairments.
Adapted from S. Lataen and J. Nye, Parents as Effective Partners, LaGrange Area Department of Special
Education, LaGrange, IL, 1986.
Since 1975, under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), your child has a right
to be educated in the “Least Restrictive Environment” (LRE). This means your child with a
disability has a right to be educated:
     With non-disabled peers;
     In a general education classroom with appropriate supports;
     In the school your child would attend if he or she did not have a disability; and
     In a school as close to your home as possible.

The following process is the list of steps you can follow at the IEP meeting to determine whether
the least restrictive environment criteria have been met for your child.

Have my child’s educational goals and objectives been developed prior to the placement
recommendation? Are the goals clearly stated, and are the objectives measurable?
      YES: Proceed to the next step!
      NO: This is a violation of IDEA. The state’s LRE policy Memorandum notes: “An
      appropriate decision making sequence begins with the question of what are the pupils
      educational needs” (NJ LRE Policy Memorandum, p.3). Inform team members of this,
      and state that it is unacceptable, and that you expect clear and measurable goals and
      objectives for your child before any decision of placement.

Have my child’s educational needs (as expressed in the evaluation) been accurately addressed
by the proposed educational goals and objectives?
        YES: Proceed to the next step!
        NO: This is a violation of IDEA. “There should be a direct relationship between the
        present levels of educational performance and the other components of the IEP.”
        (Question 36, IDEA Appendix C). Clarify educational needs.

Have the special education, related services, and assistive technology devices or services my
child needs been determined prior to the placement decisions?
        YES: Proceed to the next step!
        NO: This is a violation of IDEA. Identify the special education, related services, and
        assistive technology devices or services your child needs. Make sure there is a “direct
        relationship between the present levels of educational performance… and the specific
        education and related services to be provided.” (Question 36, IDEA Appendix C).

Has the general education class with appropriate supports been examined as the first possible
placement option? Has it been examined not as it currently exists, but as it might be modified?
       YES: Proceed to the next step!
       NO: This is a violation of IDEA. “Each placement option is examined not only as it
       currently exists, but as it might be modified. Regular class placement is examined as the
        first option… If the school has given no serious consideration to placing the child in the
        regular classroom with supplementary aides and services and modifying the regular
        program to accommodate the child, then the least restrictive environment provision of the
        IDEA has most likely been violated” (NJ Policy Memorandum, p.3).

Have all possible services and supports, such as speech, occupational, physical, recreational
therapies, curricular or instructional modifications, environmental accommodations, training for
teachers, or any other supports deemed beneficial been considered to meet the individual needs
of my child in the general education classroom?
       YES: General education classroom placement must be available as an option. Proceed
       to the next step!
       NO: This is a violation of IDEA. Look at all aids and services that exist that can provide
       support. Some support, such as assisted technology, teacher aides, or specialized
       instructional strategies, are listed in N.J.A.C. 6A:14. In-district resources are not the only
       resources to be considered. Plan for your child to be placed in the general education
       classroom with whatever supports the team can envision to enable the student to succeed.

Have the benefits of the general education class placement, in comparison to a special class,
been examined (those to both my child with a disability as well as to the non-disabled children)?
       YES: General education classroom placement must be available as an option. Proceed
       to the next step!
       NO: This is a violation of IDEA. “…the appropriateness of placement in the regular
       classroom is not dependent on the pupil’s ability to learn the same things that other
       students learn in the regular classroom. The benefit from social interaction of the pupil
       with non-disabled peers is a legitimate benefit that can be derived from placement in the
       regular classroom… Two examples of the many beneficial social and academic effects
       that may accrue to a pupil with disabilities include positive peer models and high
       expectations for achievement. The potentially beneficial effects on the other children in
       the class are fostered as they learn to understand and accept the individual differences of
       their peers” (NJ LRE Policy Memorandum, p.4).

Unless there is a clear-cut reason why my child’s needs cannot be met in the general education
classroom with all of the previous considerations taken into account, then my child should be
placed in the general education class with supports. Are the supports being provided? Are there
opportunities for interactions with children without disabilities?
       YES: Continue to monitor the program for increased opportunities, especially
       considering supports that may help increase interaction.
       NO: This is a violation of IDEA. Examination of all areas of the daily school
       environment should be made to identify opportunities for academic and non-academic
       interactions, and written into the IEP. (NJ LRE Policy Memorandum, p.4).

Written by the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education, P.O. Box 8226, Turnersville, NJ 08012.

The classification of students is required by law and should be based on the evaluations of the
Child Study Team, the parents and other specialists. Keep in mind that appropriate services and
an appropriate placement are far more important than the label attached!

    Services and supports to be provided to a child are in no way restricted according to the
    classification of the child, i.e., a child who is classified as autistic would not
    automatically be eligible for more services than a child classified perceptually
    impaired. The supports and services to be provided are decided upon the needs of each
    individual child, not the classification.

New Jersey State Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
Under the new code, students are classified as eligible for special education and related services
if they meet eligibility criteria for one of the disabilities listed below and defined on the
following pages. Please note the changes in terminology.

        CURRENT TERMINOLOGY                                FORMER TERMINOLOGY
Auditorily Impaired                               Auditorily Handicapped
       Hearing impairment
Autistic                                          Autistic
Cognitively Impaired                              Mentally Retarded
       Mild cognitive impairment                         Educable
       Moderate cognitive impairment                     Trainable
       Severe cognitive impairment                       Eligible for day training
Communication Impaired                            Communication Handicapped
Emotionally Disturbed                             Emotionally Disturbed
Multiply Disabled                                 Multiply Handicapped
       Multiple disabilities
Orthopedically Impaired                           Orthopedically Handicapped
Other Health Impaired                             Chronically Ill
Preschool Disabled                                Preschool Handicapped
Social Maladjustment                              Socially Maladjusted
Specific Learning Disability                      Perceptually Impaired
Traumatic Brain Injury                            Neurologically Impaired
Visually Impaired                                 Visually Impaired

New Jersey State Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
AUTISM (AUT): “Autistic” means a pervasive developmental disability that significantly
impacts verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects the
student’s educational performance. Onset is generally evident before age three. Other
characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and
stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, unusual
responses to sensory experiences and lack of responsiveness to others. The term does not apply
if the student’s adverse educational performance is due to emotional disturbance as defined
below. An assessment by a certified speech-language specialist and an assessment by a
physician trained in neurodevelopmental assessment are required.
DEAF-BLINDNESS (DB): “Multiple disabilities: Deaf-blindness” means concomitant hearing
and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other
developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education
programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness.
EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE (ED): “Emotionally disturbed” means a condition exhibiting
one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree
that adversely affects a student’s educational performance due to:
      1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;
      2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and
      3. Inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances;
      4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
      5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school
HEARING IMPAIRMENTS (HI): “Auditorily impaired” corresponds to “auditorily handi-
capped” and further corresponds to the federal eligibility categories of deafness or hearing
impair-ment. “Auditorily impaired” means an inability to hear within normal limits due to
physical impair-ment or dysfunction of auditory mechanisms characterized by “deafness” or
“hearing impairment” defined below. An audiological evaluation by a specialist qualified in the
field of audiology and a speech and language evaluation by a certified speech-language specialist
are required.
      1. “Deafness”: The auditory impairment is so severe that the student is impaired in
          processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification and the
          student’s educational performance is adversely affected.
      2. “Hearing impairment”: An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating,
          which adversely affects the student’s educational performance.
MULTIPLE DISABILITIES (MD):                   “Multiply disabled” (excluding deaf-blindness)
corresponds to “multiply handicapped” and means the presence of two or more educationally
disabling conditions. Eligibility for speech-language services as defined in this section shall not
be one of the disabling conditions for classification based on the definition of “multiply
disabled.” “Multiply disabled” is characterized as concomitant impairments, the combination of
which causes such severe educational problems that programs designed for the separate disabling
conditions will not meet the student’s educational needs.

MENTAL RETARDATION (MR): “Cognitively impaired” corresponds to “mentally retarded”
and means a disability that is characterized by significantly below average general cognitive
functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior; manifested during the
developmental period that adversely affects a student’s educational performance and is
characterized by one of the following:
   1. MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: “Mild cognitive impairment” corresponds to
       “educable” and means levels of cognitive development and adaptive behavior in home,
       school and community settings that are mildly below age expectations with respect to all
       of the following:
           a. The quality and rate of learning;
           b. The use of symbols for interpretation of information and solution of problems;
           c. Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls within a
               range of two to three standard deviations below the mean.
   2. MODERATE COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT:                         “Moderate cognitive impairment”
       corresponds to “trainable” and means a level of cognitive development and adaptive
       behavior that is moderately below age expectations with respect to the following:
           a. The ability to use symbols in the solution of problems of low complexity;
           b. The ability to function socially without direct and close supervision in home,
               school and community settings; and
           c. Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls three
               standard deviations or more below the mean.
   3. SEVERE COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: “Severe cognitive impairment” corresponds to
       “eligible for day training” and means a level functioning severely below age expectations
       whereby in a consistent basis the student is incapable of giving evidence of understanding
       and responding in a positive manner to simple directions expressed in the child’s primary
       mode of communication and cannot in some manner express basic wants and needs.
OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENTS (OHI):                    “Other health impaired” corresponds to
“chronically ill” and means a disability characterized by having limited strength, vitality or
alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems, such as a heart condition, tuberculosis,
rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning,
leukemia, diabetes or any other medical condition, such Tourette syndrome, that adversely
affects a student’s educational performance. A medical assessment documenting the health
problem is required.
ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRMENTS (OI): “Orthopedically impaired” corresponds to “orthoped-
ically handicapped” and means a disability characterized by a severe orthopedic impairment that
adversely affects the student’s educational performance. The term includes malformation,
malfunc-tion or loss of bones, muscle or tissue. A medical assessment documenting the
orthopedic condition is required.
PRESCHOOL DISABLED (PRE):                “Preschool disabled” corresponds to “preschool
handicapped” and means an identified disabling condition and/or a measurable developmental
impairment which occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years and require special
education and related services. The federal definition includes all pupils age 3 to 5 who are
eligible for special education and related services.
SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES (SLD): “Specific learning disability” corresponds to
“perceptually impaired” and means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological
processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest
itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical
    1. It is characterized by a severe discrepancy between the student’s current achievement and
        intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas:
            a. Basic reading skills;
            b. Reading comprehension;
            c. Oral expression;
            d. Listening comprehension;
            e. Mathematical computation;
            f. Mathematical reasoning; and
            g. Written expression.
    2. The term does not apply to students who have learning problems that are primarily the
        result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, general cognitive deficits, emotional
        disturbance or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
    3. The district shall adopt procedures that utilize a statistical formula and criteria for
        determining severe discrepancy. Evaluation shall include assessment of current academic
        achievement and intellectual ability.
SPEECH-LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS: Divided into two categories as follows:
   LANGUAGE IMPAIRED (LI): “Language impaired” corresponds to “communication
   handi-capped” and means a language disorder in the areas of morphology, syntax, semantics
   and/or pragmatics/discourse that adversely affects a student’s educational performance and is
   not due primarily to an auditory impairment. The problem shall be demonstrated through
   functional assessment of language in other than a testing situation and performance below 1.5
   standard deviations, or the 10th percentile on at least two standardized oral language tests,
   where such tests are appropriate. When the area of suspected disability is language, an
   evaluation by a certified speech-language specialist is required. The speech-language
   specialist shall be considered a child study team member.
   SPEECH (SP): A speech disorder in articulation, phonology, fluency, voice, or any
   combination, unrelated to dialect, cultural differences or the influence of a foreign language,
   which adversely affects a student’s educational performance; and/or a language disorder that
   meets the criteria for language impaired and the student requires speech-language services
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI):                   “Traumatic brain injury” corresponds to
“neurologically impaired” and means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external
physical force or insult to the brain, resulting in total or partial functional disability or
psychosocial impairment, or both. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in
impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning;
abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities;
psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information-processing; and speech.
VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS (VI): “Visually impaired” corresponds to “visually handicapped”
and means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the student’s
educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. An assessment by
a specialist qualified to determine visual disability is required. Students with visual impairments
shall be reported to the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Planning does not stop when the student is placed. The team is an ongoing resource to be used
throughout the school year. A schedule of follow up meetings should be determined; the number
may depend on the need for it, allowing for “emergency” meetings scheduled when required.
Monitoring should be done to observe how the existing program is going and to determine if
existing supports are adequate, or which need to be altered, added, or eliminated.

                                Monitoring Your Child’s IEP
After the IEP meeting and the IEP has been developed and implemented, your involvement
continues to be important. Keeping track of your child’s individual program, making sure that it
is working as planned and agreed upon is a team effort, with parents as equal partners. The IEP
is a “living” document that can always be revised as necessary. Parents need to monitor its
growth and development. View monitoring also as your providing follow-along support.
Monitoring responsibilities are designated in the IEP. Though Child Study Team members and
teacher(s) have a mandate to monitor progress, the parents have an important role in seeing that
the program is implemented as written.
A variety of monitoring and evaluation techniques are used, including standardized tests,
teacher-made tests, and systematic observation of the student to document encouraged behaviors
(i.e., how often a child initiates conversation with peers). The monitoring and evaluation tools
utilized should match the goals and objectives. For example, a paper-and-pencil test could not
be used to monitor the student’s interaction with his peers. Take steps to monitor your child’s
educational plan:
   1. Have current copies of the IEP, New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14, medical reports,
      local school policies and procedures, important phone numbers, etc. in a file at home.
   2. Personally meet the teachers/therapists/other professionals who work with your child.
   3. Are the services being given as specified?
       Observe in the classroom
       Ask your child how school is going and what s/he did that day
       Offer materials to help in class
   4. Develop a monitoring plan:
       Attend teacher conferences                Discuss school at home
       Monitor phone contacts                    Review homework
       Become a school volunteer                 Network with other parents and school personnel
   5. Maintain a notebook between you and the professionals, so you can follow through on
      activities, share notes and information on your child, and track progress at home.
   6. Keep a log of your personal observations about your child at home, in school, in the community.
   7.    Save your child’s written work (samples of school assignments, tests, etc.).
   8.    Think about your child’s progress, or lack of it, and act to make any changes or revisions.
   9.    How often will progress be measured - daily, weekly, monthly?
   10.   Is the classroom setting still appropriate according to your child’s age and skills?
   11.   Are there other programs and services that could benefit your child?
   12.   Involve yourself in local programs and information groups to increase your knowledge of
         available programs or techniques (local ARC, Learning Disabilities Association, United
         Cerebral Palsy Association).

                                         Annual Reviews
The annual review is a meeting to develop, review and/or revise a student’s educational program.
Although Individualized Education Programs can be reviewed and revised at any time
throughout the year, most IEPs in New Jersey are reviewed annually in the spring. Before your
IEP/annual review meeting, it is necessary to prepare so you can participate on an equal basis
with all other participants. Keep in mind that you are the expert regarding your child.
Who? The Case Manager of the Child Study Team, parent(s), general and special education
teacher(s), and pupil, if appropriate, and other individuals at the discretion of the parents and
district board of education.
What? The purpose of the annual review meeting is to review and revise the IEP and to
determine the appropriate services. Also, participants make recommendations for the next year’s
program based on progress made in reaching the goals and objectives stated in the former IEP
and on the child’s current needs. If you are concerned that your child is not making anticipated
progress, you can ask for a meeting with the Child Study Team at any time during the year. The
U.S. Supreme Court determined in the Rowley case that a child is entitled to FAPE – a Free
Appropriate Public Education - and be given the opportunity to make sufficient progress to move
from grade to grade with their non-disabled peers.
When? At least annually and also under specific situations:
   By June 30 of a child’s last year in a preschool program;
   By June 30 of a student’s last year in elementary school and includes input from the staff
    of the secondary school;
   During a 21-year old student’s last year in an educational program and includes input
    from parents, the case manager, the pupil, if appropriate, and other individuals as
    appropriate to develop non-binding written recommendations concerning services and
    resources available in the community.
Remember: In addition to annual review, you should receive ongoing reports at least as often
as report cards for non-disabled peers, reflecting progress in the Core Curriculum Content
Standards and toward annual goals and objectives.

                         ADVOCACY TIPS FOR ANNUAL REVIEWS
1. Review the information in this entire chapter of the Basic Rights Manual.
2. All of the advocacy tips for each step in the special education delivery cycle apply to
   preparation for annual review. Be sure especially to review the IEP Checklist and
   Advocacy Tips for Preparing for and Participating in the IEP.

                                   Three-Year Reevaluation
A reevaluation to determine the status of the student is conducted at least every three years or
sooner if needed. This can include the use of formal assessments and/or a review of existing
evaluation data to determine if there is continued need for special education services. At this
time the student will be assessed once again to determine if his/her needs, abilities and/or
learning difficulties have changed. If there is reason to believe a full reevaluation is necessary
prior to the three-year mark (child has made substantial gains or is not making satisfactory
progress), it may be requested by the parents or the child study team.
The parent and Child Study Team design an evaluation plan as described in the previous
evaluation section.
At least two Child Study Team members carry out evaluation procedures. For students with
auditory disabilities, an audiologic and speech and language assessment must also be conducted.
The reevaluation procedure follows the same guidelines as those for initial evaluations (N.J.A.C.
6A:14-3.4(d) 1-6, which includes functional assessments).
Parents participate in the writing of the evaluation plan.


1. Parent consent is required unless (a) the parent doesn’t respond to a written notice of
   intent to conduct reevaluation, or (b) the district requests and prevails at an impartial
2. Be sure that your evaluation questions are incorporated in the evaluation plan.
3. Reevaluations must be conducted when a change in eligibility, classification or
   significant change in placement is being considered.
4. Review advocacy tips in Evaluation and Obtaining an Independent Evaluation earlier in
   this chapter.


                            Preparing For The IEP Meeting
Following is a list of important steps to prepare for your IEP meeting:
  1. Gather and review information and records:
     a. Copies of your child’s IEP and school records, including:
          Permanent or cumulative records (usually kept in the principal’s office) of grades,
              attendance, disciplinary actions, standardized test scores and teacher’s comments.
              Health records including immunization history, results of hearing tests, or any
                other medical tests given to your child.
            Temporary guidance records, or “anecdotal” files recording your child’s daily
                behavior. These files (found in the guidance office) are not kept for every child.
            Teachers’ and guidance counselors’ private notes for their own use and their
                personal property. As long as they do not share them with anyone else and do not
                place them in your child’s records, they are not required to disclose them to you.
      b. Schoolwork, notes from teachers, personal observations of your child, and periodic
            progress reports.
      c. Any educational and medical records and other information gathered outside school.
  2. Review the core curriculum for the grade your child is in. This will inform you of the
      material which will be covered for the school year in the general education classroom.
      You can obtain this from your school or the Board of Education office.
  3. Know your legal rights. Have a copy of New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14 (rules
      regarding special education) and the Code of Federal Regulations (34 C.F.R.), and
      highlight those areas in the code that relate to your child.
  4. Complete the IEP checklist to be sure you have all necessary elements and considerations.
  5. List any significant changes such as operations, medication changes, changes in the
      family, etc., which may be important to note.
  6. Complete the Positive Student Profile and IEP Goals-At-A-Glance in Appendix C. If
      possible, send a copy of each to the Child Study Team two weeks prior to the IEP meeting.
  7. List the related services your child needs to meet his/her goals (extended school year,
      transportation, therapies, etc.).
  8. Think about what problems your child is having with the current program. Ask yourself:
      For any goals and objectives not met, why were they not accomplished? How can the
      program be modified to help my child accomplish these goals? Are these goals and
      objectives important enough to warrant working on them for another year?
          a. Change of strategies
          b. Change in method of teaching
          c. Increase or decrease difficulty of methods
  9. List any services your child needs but is not receiving.
  10. Make a list of the questions you want answered and concerns you would like addressed.
  11. Share your feelings, thoughts and concerns with other family members, friends or
      advocates to help clarify your thinking.
  12. If you are bringing someone other than your spouse, notify your case manager.
  13. Observe all class and program options that might be possibilities for your child. (Use the
      Classroom Observation Checklist in Appendix E)

1. Decide if you need more information: Do you know your child’s present level of
   performance? Have you received progress reports? Are you aware of testing that may
   need to be done? Is it time for a three-year reevaluation?
2. Get answers to your questions. Observe your child in the present program or visit some
   of the classrooms that will be available next year. If possible, visit the classroom more
    than once at different times in the day. Meet with teachers and other staff to find out
    what they think about the child’s needs and the types of appropriate programs. (Do not
    limit your options to programs that are currently available.) Read your child’s records.
3. Find out who will attend the IEP meeting. Make plans for your own support. When
   you are notified of the meeting time and place, ask who else has been invited to attend,
   and if you believe someone providing services to your child has not been included in the
   meeting and should be, ask that they be invited. Ask if a draft IEP has been developed.
   If it has, then request a copy prior to the meeting. It would be helpful to invite someone
   for moral support, to take notes for you, or to present additional information, such as a
   friend, family member or minister/priest/rabbi.* Let the school know whom you are
   asking to come with you.
4. Make sure enough time has been scheduled for the meeting. Ask how much time has
   been scheduled for the meeting. If you feel the time scheduled for the IEP meeting is
   too short, ask to meet at another time or begin work with everyone agreeing to a future
   meeting should every issue not be discussed. Make sure you have enough time to ask
   questions and share your opinions.
5. Be ready to support your ideas and requests. Find information in the records, progress
   reports, evaluation results and elsewhere to support your ideas or requests. Know
   WHY you are making requests or suggestions. Have a “back-up” plan or suggestions
   that can be part of “give and take” to negotiate with school staff.
6. Plan for the meeting.
   a) ORGANIZE your materials. (Reports, letters, etc.)
   b) WRITE DOWN your questions.
   c) KNOW what you want to say.
   d) REVIEW Assertive Communication Skills.
   e) PRACTICE communicating assertively.
7. Be positive. Assume that you and school system personnel can work together to develop
   an appropriate program for your child. Get anger and frustration out before the

                             Active Participation In The IEP Meeting

Once the parent and Child Study Team have identified a meeting date and time, the parent must
be given written notice of the meeting, including date, time, place, purpose, and participants.
IEP meetings must be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time and place. A translator must be
available to parents with hearing impairment or for whom English is not the primary language.
Be sure you have done all your homework before the day of your actual IEP meeting. You, the
parent, have the responsibility to attend and participate in the meeting.

Following are some reminders:

* In general, SPAN does not have the capacity to provide an advocate to attend this meeting with you. However, in
certain limited situations, SPAN staff or a volunteer SPAN Resource Parent may be able to attend.
     1. Think of yourself as part of a team. You are an expert regarding your child.
     2. Commit yourself to working together. You are in it for the long run!
     3. You are a member of the team. Present yourself as “team able.” Think about what
        makes you comfortable with others (interpersonal dynamics).
     4. Make sure you have all your notes with you along with a copy of your child’s records and
        a copy of N.J.A.C. 6A:14 for reference, if necessary.
     5. If you are unclear as to whom your case manager is, find out at this meeting. Also,
        clarify each participant’s role and feel free to address questions or concerns to the
        appropriate person.
     6. Have any questions or concerns written down and check them off as they are answered so
        you can ensure that all your concerns are addressed. Prioritize and address the issues that
        are most important to you. Discuss one issue at a time.
     7. Have your goals clearly in mind and on paper so you can see how well they fit in with the
        goals proposed by the rest of the team. If at all possible, obtain a copy of the draft IEP, if
        there is one, before the meeting. Make sure you review it thoroughly and highlight any
        areas of concern. View the document as a draft until your input is included.
     8. Share your concerns and information as the discussion progresses. Share relevant
        information about your child by contributing what you know about your child’s skills,
        interests, weaknesses, and strengths.
     9. Be creative, open-minded, and be prepared to negotiate. There may be alternative ways
        to meet goals.
     10. Do not hesitate to ask participants to clarify any information or statements that are
         unclear to you. If you do not understand the meaning of an educational term, ask for an
         example or demonstration of what is meant.
     11. You can tape record the meeting, but because this may be intimidating to other team
         members, you may want to reserve this strategy only if there has been repeated breaking
         of promises. It is best to advise your district in advance that you will be tape recording
         the meeting.
     12. If you feel you did not have enough time to discuss all of the important issues, feel free to
         ask when you can meet again to continue the discussion.
     13. Thank team members for their input and participation.


1.    Participate in all meetings regarding your child to demonstrate your desire to be an
      active participant on the team.
2.    Follow up on timelines to ensure the IEP is completed on time.
3.    Take notes about decisions made, activities for follow-up and timelines.
4.    Bring a friend, relative or advocate to the meeting.
5.    Take time to review fully the final draft of the IEP before signing off on it. Before you
      sign the proposed IEP, take it home and highlight any questions or concerns so you
      can later get clarification from the team and can feel comfortable that the IEP is
      meeting your child’s needs. Remember, the only time your signature is required is for
      the first IEP that is developed for your child.
6.    Where appropriate, have the student participate in the meeting.
7.    View any document presented at the beginning of the IEP meeting as a “working”
      document as opposed to a final IEP. Do not accept a document that has been fully
      developed prior to the meeting without your consideration or input.
8.    Know who in your school district is responsible for decision making regarding related
      services (for example, the Director of Special/Pupil Services, Assistant
      Superintendent, etc.). Important: the district can determine which specific staff
      member will serve as the district representative. However, the representative should
      be able to ensure that whatever services are set out in the IEP will actually be
      provided and that the IEP will not be vetoed at a higher administrative level within
      the agency. Thus, the person selected should have the authority to commit agency
      resources (i.e., to make decisions about the specific special education and related
      services that the agency will provide to a particular child. (34 C.F.R. Appendix C,
      question 13.) These decisions must be made at the IEP meeting.
9.    Remember that the IEP can always be revised at any time during the school year,
      should you think changes are required. You should ask your case manager for a
      meeting to discuss the changes.
10.   Always follow up any requests in writing.

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) gives parents a “voice” in their child’s education.
By working together, parents and professionals develop a program that benefits the child. Much
of the responsibility for your child’s education falls on you. Parents are the experts regarding
their child and are equal partners throughout the evaluation and IEP process. It is up to you to
help develop, evaluate and monitor the IEP.
The IEP is also a written plan that addresses your child’s special needs and abilities. It is
developed at a meeting of school personnel and you, the parents. The plan should not be exactly
like anyone else’s. Even though other children may have the same disability, all children have
unique needs and abilities.
The IEP does not guarantee success. It does guarantee that the school system must provide the
necessary services, programs, equipment, and facilities as listed in the IEP.

The IEP should be:
      Current
      Child-centered (based on your child’s individual needs)
      Clear and concise
      Collaborative (a combined effort)
      Comprehensive (including both strengths and needs)
      Accurate
      Based on age- and grade-appropriate Core Curriculum Content Standards
The IEP must be:
   a. In effect at the beginning if each school year for every child with a disability who is
      receiving special education from the district;
   b. In effect before special education and related services are provided to a child; and
   c. Implemented as soon as possible following the meeting.
As your child’s advocate, you must participate in the development of the IEP document. The
purpose of this section is to familiarize you with the required elements of the IEP. Either use it
to evaluate your child’s current IEP or to assist you in the development of your child’s first IEP.
The IEP must include:
   a. Any needed specialized equipment or materials
   b. Instructional strategies fitted to the pupil’s learning style
   c. Techniques and activities designed to support the personal and social development of the
      pupil (N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.6 (xv-xvii))
Often times the current status statement becomes merely a list of the things your child cannot do.
It is your responsibility to ensure that a balanced view of your child is conveyed to people who
will work with him/her. Be sure that your child’s strengths and accomplishments are included
(See Positive Student Profile in Appendix C).
Remember: you have goals for your child that should be included in the IEP (IDEA requires that
the IEP team consider your goals for enhancing your child’s education). For example, some self-
help goals may be very important to you such as dressing, grooming, etc. This can be addressed
through your child’s educational program (See Goals-At-A-Glance in Appendix C).

      Goals are annual plans; objectives are the intermediate steps necessary to reach the
       annual goals.
      Goals and objectives should be positive, observable, and measurable.
      Goals and objectives should be written for all aspects of your child’s special education
       program. Parents should play a major role in the development of goals and objectives.
Time Frame: Following the development of the IEP, the program should be implemented no
more than 30 days after the IEP has been written and within 90 days of your written consent for

                                  PARENTAL SIGNATURE
Parental signature is required in order for the local school district to implement an
evaluation or a special education program (the IEP):

   When the child is first referred to the Child Study Team for a formal and complete
    evaluation and prior to any reevaluation. The parent must sign that s/he has approved
    the evaluation plan.
   Once a child is determined eligible for a special education program and/or related
    services, the parent must sign the very first IEP in order for the school district to start
    services for the child as designed in the IEP.

                              Required Components of the IEP
The following checklist contains items often identified by parents and professionals as important
components of appropriate educational programs. [(N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.6(d)), (34 C.F.R. 300.346)]
A. Statement of Eligibility for Special Education and/or Related Services: This
   statement should specify behavior and learning characteristics that warrant special education
   and/or related services.
B. Current Educational Status: This statement summarizes the skills and abilities the
   student has achieved as well as areas of need. Areas must include, but are not limited to:
   academic, achievement, cognitive functioning, personal and social development, and
   physical and health status. Other areas which can be included where appropriate are:
   language proficiency, communication style, physical education and recreation needs,
   prevocational and self-help needs.
C. Annual Goals: Annual goals based on the student’s current educational status represent
   anticipated outcomes that the student can reasonably be expected to achieve in one year’s
   time. The task of selecting appropriate goals should involve the student, where appropriate,
   parents, child study team members, teacher(s), and perhaps administrators.
D. Objectives: IEP objectives are derived from the annual goals and represent specific,
   measurable, intermediate steps that should be taken to reach the goals. Well-defined
   objectives will provide the team with a measure to determine if the anticipated outcomes
   have been realized.
E. Description of Student’s Educational Program: This should include:
   1. Is the program in the Least Restrictive Environment (the class and school the child would
       attend if s/he did not have a disability, or if not, a setting as close as possible to general
       education setting student would attend if not disabled)?
   2. Extent to which student will participate in general education program.
   3. Exemptions from general education program options and/or graduation requirements.
   4. Accommodations, adaptations and/or exemptions from standardized tests (HSPT, SAT,
   5. Transition Plan: a statement of the needed transition services including, if appropriate, a
       statement of each public agency’s and each participating agency’s responsibilities or
       linkages, or both, before the student leaves the school setting.
   6. If transition services are needed, the IEP shall include a statement to this effect and basis
       upon which that determination was made.
   7. Statement and reason for length of time in special education program.
   8. Language of instruction if not English.
   9. A statement describing the special education and/or related services, including the
       frequency and duration of services, and the date when they will begin.
   10. Defined roles and responsibilities of specific school personnel for implementing the IEP.
       (For additional people to know, see “Who’s Who in Your Child’s Life?” in Appendix E.)
   11. The criteria, procedure and schedule to determine if the pupil’s goals and objectives are
       being met. This section should include a discussion of the frequency of progress reports
       and face-to-face meetings to evaluate the student’s progress. We strongly recommend
       that parents have monthly phone contacts with classroom teacher(s) and quarterly
       meetings with the case manager and other personnel on the collaborative team.
   12. Exemptions from local disciplinary policies and/or procedures.
   13. Any specialized equipment or materials.
   14. Instructional strategies fitted to the pupil’s learning style.
   15. Techniques and activities designed to support the pupil’s personal and social
   16. Rationale/reasons for type of educational program and placement.

The planned schedule of time the student will be served by specialists, special education
teachers, bilingual or English-as-a-Second Language teachers, general education teachers, and
related service personnel is no longer a required element of the IEP. Be sure to include this
information in the student’s IEP as additional relevant information (See the IEP Checklist in
Appendix D for more information on required components in the IEP).

The following questions and answers were adapted from Appendix C to Part 300 of the Code of
Federal Regulations. “Public agency” refers to the State Education Agency (State Department of
Education), Local Education Agency (district you live in), and any other political subdivisions of
the State that are responsible for providing education to children with disabilities.
Are parents required to sign the IEP?
Parent signatures are not required, except for the first IEP developed for the child. However,
having such signatures is considered by parents, advocates and the public agency personnel to be
useful as one way to document whom attended the meeting. This is useful for monitoring and
compliance purposes.
Who can initiate IEP meetings?
IEP meetings are initiated and conducted at the discretion of the public agency, however, if the
parents of a child with a disability believe that the child is not progressing satisfactorily or that
there is a problem with the child’s current IEP, it would be appropriate for the parents to request
an IEP meeting. The public agency should accommodate any reasonable request for such a
If a child with a disability has been receiving special education in one public agency and
moves to another, must the new public agency hold an IEP meeting before the child is
placed in a special education program?
It is not necessary if a copy of the child’s current IEP is available; the parents indicate that they
are satisfied with the current IEP; and the new public agency determines that the current IEP is
appropriate and can be implemented as written. If a current IEP is not available or if the public
agency or parent feel it is not appropriate then an IEP meeting must be held within a short time
after the child enrolls in the new public agency. If the public agency or the parents feel
additional information is needed or that a new evaluation is necessary before a final placement
decision can be made, it would be permissible to place the child in an interim program before the
IEP is finalized.
If a child with a disability is enrolled in both general education and special education
classes, which teacher should attend the IEP meeting?
Both. A meeting to develop or review the IEP must include at least one general education
teacher and one special education teacher, both knowledgeable about the student’s performance
or the district’s programs. The child’s general education teacher must, to the extent appropriate,
participate in the development, review and revision of the child’s IEP, including assisting in the
determination of appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies, supplementary aids
and services, and program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided
for the child. The general education teacher need not be physically present at all phases of the
IEP process, but must participate in those aspects of the IEP meeting related to the general
curriculum and modifications, accommodations, etc. to curriculum or instruction.
Is it permissible for a public agency to have the IEP completed when the IEP meeting
No. It is not permissible for a public agency to present a completed IEP to parents for their
approval before there has been a full discussion with the parents of (1) the child’s need for
special education and related services, and (2) what services the public agency will provide to the
child. The public agency can have a drafted IEP, but they must make it clear to the parents at the
outset of the meeting that the services proposed by them are only recommendations for review
and discussion with the parents.

                     What to Include In Your Child’s Home File
   1. Keep records chronologically with the most recent on top.
   2. Each year, list your child’s:

         Local School                   Child Study Team                   School District
          Personnel                                                        Policy Makers
                                       Case Manager
     Teacher                                                          School District
                                       Learning Disability
     School Principal                                                  Superintendent
                                          Teacher Consultant
     Special Education Teacher                                        School Board Members
                                       Psychologist
                                                                       Special Education
                                       Social Worker
                                       Related Service Personnel
                                          (physical, occupational,
                                                                       P.T.A. Organization
                                           speech therapist;
    3. List the chain of command within the school system, beginning with local and ending
       with state and federal. Include addresses and telephone numbers for easy reference.
    4. A copy of your state’s administrative code (N.J.A.C. 6A:14), distributed at no cost by:
          a. Your local district, Department of Special Services
          b. The State Department of Education: please call (609) 292-0147 and specify that
             you are a parent of a child with a disability.
    5. A copy of IDEA and its regulations. You can obtain a copy from your congressperson.
       Please ask him/her for a copy and identify yourself as a resource on the abilities and
       needs of children with disabilities.
    6. Copies of all records from your child’s school progress reports, psychological reports,
       and any other papers the school district may have regarding your child.
    7. Report cards.
    8. Copies of test results and recommendations from independent assessments.
    9. All written (including handwritten) letters and notes to and from school personnel.
    10. All written communication with outside professionals regarding your child’s unique needs.
    11. Dated notes on parent/teacher conferences.
    12. Dated notes you have taken in conversations with your child’s physician or other
        professionals who see your child.
    13. Dated notes on all telephone conversations with school personnel or others regarding
        your child.
    14. Samples of your child’s work (written, art, workbook pages, etc.)
    15. PRISE (Parental Rights in Special Education) booklet

Adapted from Federation for Children with Special Needs, Boston, MA 02118.

                                     CHAPTER FOUR

         When developing an IEP for your child, it is important to remember that
         your child is entitled to a free appropriate program implemented in the Least
         Restrictive Environment.          This chapter discusses issues for your
         consideration when determining placement for your child. According to
         law, first consideration should always be given to place-ment in a general
         education classroom with the use of appropriate supple-mentary aids and
         services, often referred to as “supported inclusive education.”

                                     Inclusion Is A Value
We view inclusion as a value, a set of humanistic beliefs that have been encoded in federal law.
These laws clearly reflect that individuals with disabilities are valued members of society.
Inclusion is a process through which we discover our similarities, rather than our differences, and
we focus on our strengths, not our weaknesses. Inclusion does not reflect a place where special
education is provided, but in a larger sense, a way of life and a way of thinking about the future
of our children. By providing our children with opportunities to have meaningful relationships
and experiences within their family, school, and community lives, we are enabling them to reach
their fullest potential as adults.

The Least Restrictive Environment is defined in the New Jersey Administrative Code (6A:14-
2.10): “each public agency shall ensure that: to the maximum extent appropriate, a pupil with an
educationally disability shall be educated with children who are not educationally disabled;
special classes, separate schooling or other removal of a pupil with an educational disability from
the pupil’s regular class occurs only when the nature or severity of the educational disability is
such that education in the pupil’s regular class with the use of appropriate supplementary aids
and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

       Least Restrictive Placement in the Continuum of Educational Services

  Move          General Education with Special Education Support Services
   this        In-Class Resource Center Support and other Related Services
   way         Pull-Out Resource Center Support and other Related Services
  only                                                                                       Return up
                    Special Classes with Mainstreaming Opportunities in                          this
               Academic and Non-Academic Classes as Specified in the IEP                         way
    far        The law mandates non-academic mainstreaming (lunch, gym, etc.) for all
    as                                                                                            as
                 students unless it is clearly inappropriate for an individual student for
necessary                                    specific reasons.
                            Day Schools and Special Class Clusters                            feasible
                                            Residential Programs
                                              Hospital Schools
                                              Home Instruction

The following questions will assist you in considering the appropriate environment for your
    1. Where would your child attend school if he or she were not disabled? (Does
       neighborhood or family isolation occur because your child does not attend the
       neighborhood school?)
    2. What changes would have to be made at the school for your child to attend? (Physically
       accessible? Interpreter? Transportation?)
    3. What do you want for your child’s future? Difficult question, but you must have a vision
       to direct education.
    4. What skills will your child need to have for the future you envision for him or her?
       (Think in clear and simple terms: not gross motor skills, but ability to walk up stairs.)
    5. What school programs and activities might help your child develop these skills?
       (Example, cafeteria, tolerance of noise while eating.)
    6. What supports and services are needed for your child to be involved in these school
       programs or activities?
    7. What additional programs and activities should be developed for your child? (Example,
       needs for physical therapy, speech therapy, community vocational training.)

Excerpted from Steps to Integration, Utah Parent Center, Utah.

Supported inclusive education refers to the opportunity for all students, regardless of their
disability, to be educated in age-appropriate general education classes in their neighborhood
school in natural proportions*. All necessary supports are provided to students and educators
to ensure meaningful participation in the total school community.

                                           Definitions of Terms
Regardless Of Their Disability: Inclusion looks different for every student, based upon the
individual needs, strategies and resources required, and can accommodate students with the full
range of disabilities.
Age-Appropriate: Placement should be in a class with students within one to two years of the
chronological age of the student being included.
Neighborhood School: This refers to the school the child would attend if s/he did not have
an educational disability.
Supports: Supports can include, but are not limited to:
  • curricular or instructional strategies

* Natural proportions means that children with disabilities aren’t lumped together in one general education class but
distributed throughout all general education classes.
   • peer supports
   • team teaching strategies
   • assistive technology
   • environmental adaptations
   • specialized instructional strategies
   • additional adults in the classroom
   • integrated and consultative related services
Supports will be different for each student dependent upon the unique needs of each student,
class and district. Inclusive education requires creative thinking in providing these supports and
a redefinition of roles. Inclusive education also involves supports for teachers:
    • planning time
    • training and technical assistance
    • collaborative teaming
    • parental involvement
    • administrative support

The mainstreamed student’s primary placement is in a self-contained class for students with
disabilities. These students are taken out of separate classrooms for specific portions of the
school day and placed in classrooms with their non-disabled peers, often with no supports or
accommodations, and with performance expectations similar to those of the typical students.
Mainstreaming is offered primarily to students with mild disabilities, and often involves only
non-academic subjects, such as gym, art, music and lunch.
The primary placement is in the general education classroom, although instruction may also be
provided in other settings based on the student’s needs. Supports and performance expectations
vary based upon the student’s needs and goals as stated in the Individualized Education Program
(IEP). Students may be engaged in the same activity with or without modifications, or may be
engaged in parallel activities (i.e., same content area but different activity). Inclusion has come
to be preferred primarily because it connotes that students with disabilities are considered part of
the general education classroom.

      All students with disabilities attend their neighborhood school or the school they would
       attend if they were not disabled.
      Each child is assigned to a homeroom or home base in general education.
      Every student is accepted and regarded as a full and valued member of the class and the
       school community.
      “Special education” supports are provided within the context of the general education
       classroom and other integrated environments.
      All students receive an education that addresses their individual needs.
       A natural proportion (i.e., representative of the school district at large) of students with
        disabilities attends any school site and any classroom.
       No child is excluded on the basis of type or degree of disability.
       There is significant use of cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and peer supports school-
       The building promotes cooperative/collaborative teaching arrangements.
       Parents are involved in designing and supporting the education program of their son or
       Administrators, teachers, and students learn to accept, understand and value individual
       There is building-based planning, problem solving, and ownership of all students and

       Dumping children with disabilities into general education classes without the supports
        and services they need to be successful there.
       Trading off the quality of a child’s education or the intensive support services the child
        may need for inclusion.
       Doing away with or cutting back on special education services.
       Ignoring each child’s unique needs.
       All children having to learn the same thing, at the same time, in the same way.
       Expecting general education teachers to teach children who have disabilities without the
        support they need to teach all children effectively.
       Sacrificing the education of general education children so that children with disabilities
        can be included.

Adapted from Evolution of the Concept of Inclusion in School Programs for Students with More Severe Disabilities,
Barbara Wilcox.

Federal Laws Clearly Support the Concept of Inclusion:
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that “to the maximum extent
appropriate” students with disabilities “are educated with [students] who do not have a
disability” and that “special classes, separate schools or other removal... from the regular
educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that
education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved
Although the mandate for least restrictive environment has been in effect since 1975,
implementation of this has been highly inconsistent. Parents are using the legal process to
challenge the status quo through litigation. “To date, the four appellate courts to directly address
this issue have all upheld the right of children with significant cognitive disabilities to attend
regular education classes full time when the educational (academic and nonacademic) benefits
for the individual disabled child call for such placement. These decisions mark a dramatic shift
in public policy and judicial interpretation of the IDEA and the weight to be given Congressional
preference for educating children with disabilities in regular public school classes.” (From the
Full Inclusion Court Cases*: 1989-1994 by Diane Lipton, Disability Rights Education and
Defense Fund.)

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that “no otherwise qualified”
individual with a disability “shall solely by reason of his [disability], be excluded from
participation in... any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...”

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) in Title II (Public Services) states
that it is illegal for a qualified individual with a disability, by reason of the disability, to be
excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a
public entity, which includes public schools. Public services cannot be provided in a segregated
fashion simply because it is administratively or fiscally more convenient.

Preparation for Adult Living: The goal of education is to prepare individuals to be contributing
members of society. Segregated settings often cannot prepare individuals to function in integrated
community and work environments because they do not afford those with or without disabilities
opportunities to develop the attitudes, values, and skills required to get along with one another as
interdependent members of society. By attending their local schools, students with disabilities can
practice skills in the actual community settings where they’re needed and they can then develop a
sense of belonging.
Improved Learning Through Peers and Greater Exposure: Students with disabilities
who are placed in general education classes have opportunities to grow socially and academically
through peer models and exposure to a greater variety of experiences.
Growth for Peers: Through having students with disabilities in their schools and classes, peers
without disabilities learn to develop skills in dealing with others who are different from them. This
experience often leads to growth in their self-esteem and interpersonal behaviors, paving the way for
the formation of rewarding adult relationships with a variety of people in community, home, and
workplace settings.
Effective Use of Resources: When students with disabilities are educated in general education
classes, special educators provide support in that setting. This affords students the opportunity to
learn from special educators, general education classroom teachers, and classmates. The entire class
benefits from the collaboration of general education and special educators; some general education
educators feel they have learned from special educators more effective ways to assist all students in
the class.

*   One of these cases, the Oberti case, involved a student from New Jersey.
Friendship Development: Inclusion affords students with and without disabilities opportunities
to become friends with one another. Some of the friends that students with disabilities make in
school today will be their co-workers and fellow community members as they reach adulthood.
Acceptance of Differences: As students with and without disabilities interact as classmates
and friends, opportunities arise to break down barriers and help people to understand each other
better. Inclusion can help us to create a society that accepts and values persons with and without
disabilities as contributing members in all aspects of community life.
Team Building: Successful inclusion of students with disabilities requires greater collaboration
between general education and special education personnel. This teamwork can result in improved
instruction for students and improved staff morale. The parents of the students with disabilities also
become valued members of this collaborative team, sharing their dreams and aspirations for their
children’s futures.
Focus on Strengths: Inclusive education programs are characterized by a focus on the student’s
strengths, rather than the student’s deficits. This emphasis enables the educators to look closely at
areas where the student is functioning most like his typical peers, and these strengths are then used to
facilitate positive interactions with classmates.
Support of Civil Rights: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) entitles all
children with disabilities to free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. In
addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantees that people with disabilities
cannot be excluded from any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Adapted from Steps to Integration Parent Materials, Utah Parent Center, Utah and Institute on Community
Integration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

                                     CHAPTER FIVE
         On graduation day from high school, most students have plans for what will
         happen next. Students with disabilities have the same right to be fully
         prepared for their future at the point of graduation. In order for that to occur,
         there needs to be sound transition planning beginning at age 14 and evolving
         with each ensuing year until the student leaves school. Each plan is highly
         individualized and should encompass planning in the areas of post-secondary
         education, vocational education, employment (including supported
         employment), income, social security and medical insurance, living
         arrangements, leisure time activities, situational assessments, independent
         living skills, as well as provide opportunities for the student to become
         familiar with his/her home community. Each student will require different
         types of support in order to realize his/her dreams for the future. The material
         in this chapter will provide you with some tools to help you to participate in
         the transition planning necessary with your son or daughter.
“Transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an
outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities,
including post secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including
supported employment) continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or
community participation.

3.6(d) In the Individualized Education Program
Following are some key requirements related to Transition in code:
For every student classified with an IEP that is 14 years of age and older (or younger, if
appropriate) there needs to be a statement of the transition service needs. Note: 14 means the
day the student is 14, not entering into the high school setting. The statement of transition
service needs focuses on the student’s courses of study. It is an identification of and planning for
the courses (required, elective, modified or specially designed courses as well as other
educational experiences in the school or the community) that the student will be taking in each
grade or year from 14 years of age on. The concept is to identify the required courses that lead
toward graduation and to also think about, plan for and ensure that all educational experiences
offered to the student will help them achieve their desired post school goals or outcomes,
whether that be post-secondary, employment, training, inde-pendent living, etc. Long-range
planning regarding educational programming and experiences should be done for all students
with disabilities from 14 years of age on, or younger, if appropriate.
The long-range course and sequence of study is to ensure that youth with disabilities do not end
up without the courses necessary to prepare them for adult life or further training and education.
Too often students in their senior year of high school decide that further education at a college is
desired, only to discover that the course and sequence of the past four years did not prepare them
for the college they want to attend. By identifying the scope and sequence of classes necessary
to gain admission to an identified post-secondary option that student has a long-range
educational plan that will prepare them. The design of the high school educational program and
experiences must be approached with the same diligence and thoughtful planning as one entering
the college arena.
For every student classified with an IEP that is 16 years of age and older (or younger, if
appropriate) there needs to be a statement of needed transition services. This statement of
needed transition services within the IEP is a long-range two- to four-year or longer plan for
adult life. This statement or long-range plan is much broader than the statement of transition
service needs or long-range educational plan beginning at age 14. Both are necessary
components of transition planning required by law. When combined, they help assure that every
student will have a better chance of achieving their post school goals and desires. They also help
to make sure that students are linked to and will receive any needed supports, services and
The statement of needed transition services within the IEP must include at a minimum the
following areas around which long-range post-school planning is done:
     Instruction,
     Employment,
      Community experiences,
      Post-school adult living,
      Related services,
      Daily living skills if appropriate, and
      Functional vocational evaluation, if appropriate.
In developing this statement (or long-range plan) that includes each of the required major
planning areas (as listed above) one must think about and describe this statement as a
“coordinated set of and activities that promotes movement from school to desired post-school
activities.” This coordinated set of activities should be looked upon as a set of strategies.
Substituting the word strategies for activities helps one to think about a bigger picture or a plan
for adulthood that goes beyond an annual plan, annual goals, short-term objectives, or specific
learning activities.
The strategies (activities) should:
  Reflect and lead toward achieving the desired post-school outcomes of the student.
  Be based upon the student’s needs and take into account the student’s interests and
  Identify, in broad terms, those long-range strategies in each of the required transition
     planning areas that will be necessary to help the student achieve their post-school goals or
  Identify, for each strategy in each of the transition areas, all agencies (school, vocational
     rehabilitation service provider, etc.) as well as individuals (parent, student, educator,
     agency personnel, etc.) responsible for carrying out each strategy.
  Identify who will provide and pay for each strategy.
  Demonstrate how the strategies in each of the required areas are coordinated between all
     responsible parties and how needed services, programs, and supports are linked with each
  Identify the post-school services, programs, and supports that will need to remain in place
     after the student exits the public school system or that must be put into place before the
     student exits the public school system.
  Identify the agencies that will need to remain involved or become involved in the student’s
     life after exiting the public school system.
When combined, all of the strategies are in essence the big picture, long-range plan for adult life.
This plan requires the involvement of many players. As a result, there will be strategies that will
be the responsibility of parties or agencies other than the public school. It must be a coordinated
effort between all parties and agencies concerned with or involved in the life of the student.
If the participants in the Individualized Education Program meeting determine that transition
services are not needed in one or more of the specific areas, the IEP shall include a statement to
that effect and the basis upon which the determination was made.
The case manager is responsible for transition planning. Initial evaluation or reevaluation shall
include assessment(s) to determine appropriate post-secondary outcomes. The Individualized
Education Program designates the person(s) responsible to serve as a liaison to post-secondary
resources and make referrals to the resources as appropriate. In addition to the required
participants in an initial IEP meeting or an annual review meeting, the pupil with educational
disabilities and a representative of any other agency that is likely to be responsible for providing
or paying for transition services shall be invited to attend the IEP meeting. Notice of the meeting
is provided to the participants according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14.
If the pupil with educational disabilities does not attend the IEP meeting where transition
services are discussed, the district Board of Education or public agency shall take other steps to
ensure that the pupil’s preferences and interests are considered. If an agency invited to send a
representative to the IEP meeting does not do so, the district Board of Education or public
agency shall take others steps to obtain the participation of the other agency in the planning of
transition services.
If an agency other than the district Board of Education fails to provide the transition services
included in the pupil’s IEP, the district Board of Education shall reconvene a meeting of the IEP
participants. Alternative strategies to meet the pupil’s transition objectives shall be identified.
Beginning at least one year before the student reaches age 18, a statement that the student has
been informed of the rights under N.J.A.C. 6A:14 will transfer to the student on reaching the age
of majority. At age 18, the adult student has the right to make his/her own IEP decisions, unless
the parent has obtained guardianship.

Transition: Coordinated Activity / Strategy Areas
  Instruction: Use of formal techniques to impart knowledge. Typically provided in
    schools; could be provided by other entities or in other locations.
  Related Services: Transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other suppor-
    tive services as are required to help a child with a disability benefit from special education.
  Community Experiences: Services provided outside of the school building, in commu-
    nity settings by schools or other agencies.
  Employment / Other Post-School Adult Living Objectives: Services that lead to a
    job or career, and important adult activities. Could be provided by schools or other entities.
  Daily Living Skills: Activities adults do every day. Provided by schools or other entities.
  Functional Vocational Evaluation: Assessment that provides information about job
    or career interests, aptitude and skills. Could be provided by schools or other entities.

What About Graduation?
For many students with disabilities, a high school diploma and when to accept it is sometimes a
dilemma. The high school diploma can be an end to the special education services and supports
a student has been entitled to under law even though the student has not reached the end of his or
her 21st year. It’s important to know that IDEA entitles students with disabilities to a free,
appropriate public education through age 21. The U.S. Department of Education has stated that
the IDEA neither requires nor prohibits the provision of services to a student after the student has
completed the state’s graduation requirements. In other words, IDEA permits states to continue
providing services after graduation, as long as the student is still within the age requirements.

Post Secondary Education                              private school
 four-year college or university                     adult voc tech school
 community college
 trade school                                     Career Exploration and Development
   vocational evaluation                        Independent Living Skills
   career assessment                             community resource training (banks, post
   community based job exploration                 office, shopping, libraries, train stations,
   community based job sampling                    bus stations, etc.)
   shared time at voc tech                       residential living skills
   paid work experiences                         mobility/transportation
   apprenticeships                               communication skills
   part-time employment in chosen field prior    recreation/leisure
    to graduation                                 social relationships
                                                  self determination
Functional Academics                              self-medication/health and safety
 math (budget, money management skills)
 reading (identification and comprehension)     Adult Service Linkages
 writing (filling out forms, signing checks)     DVR (Division of Vocational
 computers                                        Rehabilitation), CBVI (Commission for
 job resumes                                      the Blind and Visually Impaired)
                                                  DDD (Division of Developmental
Self Determination                                 Disabilities)
 knowledge of one’s own disability               MH (Mental Health)
 knowledge of rights                             Social Security and Medicaid
 self-assessment                                 County Office on Disability
 learning styles                                 Centers for Independent Living
 appropriate communication technique             adult service providers (residential,
 assertiveness skills                             employment, recreation, etc.)
                                                  other linkages in the community based on
                                                   individual student need

                                                 Other Issues
                                                  insurance
                                                  guardianship
                                                  long-term permanency planning
                                                  family relationships
                                                  income and benefits maintenance

Developed for The New Jersey Partnership for Transition from School to Adult Life for Youth
with Disabilities.

Transition planning is a highly individualized process based on a student’s preferences and
choices in planning for their future. Your role as a parent must be:
   To assist in the development of your son/daughter’s self-determination and self-advocacy by
    creating opportunities for choices and preferences. It is important to encourage self-deter-
    mination and self-advocacy skills at an early age. All current legislation for people with
    disabilities refers to “consumer choice.” It is vital to encourage decision making to the best
    of your son/daughter’s ability, by always allowing for choice. If they need you to advocate
    on their behalf, be prepared to do so;
   To become knowledgeable about the laws governing transition and the eligibility criteria for
    graduation (Carnegie credits, standardized tests, waivers, etc.) as well as adult services, in
    order to be an effective team member in the transition planning along with your son/
    daughter, education personnel, guidance counselors, and others;
   To insist that your son/daughter participate in any planning meetings, including the IEP
    meeting, as soon as they can. This helps them to familiarize themselves with all the key
    players as well as their function, in order to collaboratively develop your child’s curriculum
    goals and necessary supports;
   To provide guidance to the transition planning team with your son/daughter around the hopes
    and desires for his/her future; developing the supports necessary through the transition goals
    and objectives in the IEP. These are based on the needs of not only your young adult, but
    also of your family. Offer your input as to the specific responsibilities the family unit is able
    and willing to assume;
   To advocate for the development of an IEP which integrates your young adult into his/her
    community and decreases his/her dependence on the family and social service systems;
   To request information on post-secondary education, vocational training, competitive
    employment (including supported employment), residential options, recreation and leisure
    activities, guardianship laws, financial needs (Social Security, including work incentives),
    medical care and insurance, social skills (self-determination curriculum), peer supports, sex
    education, and any other supports needed or anticipated being needed by your young adult
    and the family;
   To provide opportunities at home for the development of independent skills, i.e., phone use,
    shopping, setting and clearing the table, loading and unloading of the dishwasher, washing
    dishes, laundry sorting and use of washer and dryer, housecleaning, transportation skills,
    social interaction and opportunities to be aware of community services (banks, post office,
    grocery store, local stores, restaurants, hair salons).

The following strategies for involvement may be appropriate in the planning of your son or
daughter’s transition from school to adult life:
    1. If your young adult is college bound, involve the guidance counselor in the planning and
       establish the supports necessary for success. Be knowledgeable about Carnegie
       curriculum credits, High School Proficiency Test requirements, PSAT, and SAT
       (available modifications and waivers).
    2. Be clear about graduation requirements and “unofficial graduations.”
3. Find out all the necessary college entrance requirements (for two-year as well as four-
    year colleges and universities). Inquire as to any available supports for students with
    learning disabilities.
4. Look into transitional “prep” programs for the college bound student with a learning
5. Provide opportunities for students to attend college fairs for students with learning
6. Available “supports” are listed in Barron’s and Petersen’s College Guide for students
    with learning disabilities, but it is important to verify supports by visiting college
7. Become familiar with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a possible means
    to acquire particular services for your son/daughter (see Chapter Two for more
    information on Section 504).
8. Make sure a functional curriculum is the foundation of your child’s Individualized
    Education Program (IEP).
9. Actively support teachers’ efforts to provide job training in a variety of jobs in
    community-based sites, work experiences in the high school, volunteer work, summer
    jobs (inquire about the Job Training Partnership Act).
10. Become informed and aware of adult services (including Social Security), not only the
    eligibility requirements, but also the funding sources.
11. Ensure that the school, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Division of
    Developmental Disabilities are coordinating services and have assigned individuals as
    case managers well before your child graduates.
12. Insist that the transition plan specify employment training and job placement as
    appropriate, three to four years prior to your child’s graduation.
13. Be informed about ongoing innovative employment programs around the country (by
    receiving the SPAN newsletter The Bridge or joining the New Jersey Association for
    Persons in Supported Employment).
14. Work with your child at home to promote appropriate behavior, good grooming, wise
    handling of money, and completion of chores. Allow him/her to be as independent as
    possible and provide him/her with opportunities to explore and enjoy the community.
15. Maintain regular records of outcomes achieved (wages, activities, SSI, etc). This could
    be done by having the Case Manager generate a resume, either traditional or “functional.”
16. Maintain ongoing communication with program personnel in order to monitor your
    son’s/daughter’s progress and evaluate program effectiveness in relation to their needs.
17. Be informed on local funding for adult services.
18. Be involved in at least yearly updates of the IEP, Individualized Habilitation Plan (IHP),
    Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP).
19. Help to generally improve opportunities and services for adults with disabilities. For
    a. serve on the board of directors of a service provider agency
    b. join parent advocacy groups
    c. join professional organizations concerned with education or adult services
    d. serve on local, state, and national advisory committees
   20. Guardianship: The issue of guardianship is a complicated one. As parents, we want our
       young adult “children” to be independent and self-sufficient, but we also want them to be
       protected and safe. Some advocates believe that guardianship denies an adult with a
       disability their civil rights. Others believe that guardianship, or limited guardianship, is
       sometimes necessary to assure the safety and well being of some adults with disabilities.
       (For more information to help guide you in thinking about this difficult issue, contact
       TASH’s Work Group on Guardianship and the Guardianship Association of New Jersey.
       Joanne McKeown, Transition Specialist for the southern region of NJ, offers technical
       assistance under the OSERS grant. She is the Special Child Health Services Family
       Resource Specialist for Camden County.)

All parents wish for their child to reach the fullest possible extent of independence. Many of the
skills necessary can be taught at home, given time, patience and sometimes a sense of humor.
Often your child will surprise you in learning a skill or part of a skill. If he or she can’t complete
the entire skill, start with a very small part that will give him/her success (for example, taking the
vacuum cleaner out of the closet and plugging it in). Below are areas that can be stressed at
home to further help your youngster.

A. Jobs around the home                                   2. Getting up promptly
   1. Shopping for food in a store                        3. Bedtime according to individual
   2. Cooking meals                                          sleep needs
   3. Setting the table
   1. Clearing the table                              D. Making lunch before work/school
   2. Washing, drying and putting away                   1. Preparing a well balanced bag lunch:
      dishes, pots and pans                                 sandwich, drink, fruit or dessert
   3. Taking out the garbage                             2. Storing lunch
   4. Storing leftover foods                             3. When to make lunch: evening before
   5. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning, and                     or morning of
      operating the clothes washer and
   6. Putting cleaning materials away
      when finished

B. Responsibility of his/her own room
   1. Making the bed
   2. Changing sheets and pillow cases
   3. Hanging up clothes
   4. Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
   5. Making sure lights are off when
      leaving the room

C. Getting up and going to bed
   1. Setting alarm clock with enough
      preparation time
E. Taking care of how you look
   1. Showering
   2. Shaving
   3. Applying deodorant
   4. Brushing and flossing teeth
   5. Clean clothing
   6. Make up
   7. Nails
   8. Menstrual care

F. Getting to work
   1. Riding a bus
   2. Knowing how much money is
   3. What to do if you get lost
   4. Where to get bus
   5. Behavior on bus

G. Taking care of your money
   1. Counting dollar amounts up to
      $10.00, $20.00, or $100.00
   2. Using a pocket calculator to add or
      subtract money or prices
   3. Using a savings account deposit slip
   4. Shopping for and selecting small
      purchases independently
   5. Correct change for vending machines
   6. Opening a checking account

H. Getting along with others
   1. Working as a team with others to
      finish a job
   2. Waiting your turn to use a piece of
   3. Following rules
   4. Listening to supervisors’ instructions
   5. Asking for help when necessar
                                    CHAPTER SIX

         Just as in any human relationship, conflict is inevitable. It is important to
         work out disagreements as soon as you recognize them. The law is written
         to ensure parents equal participation in developing their child’s
         educational plans. But in reality equality is not an easily achieved goal.
         Often parents feel intimidated or uninformed when dealing with child
         study team members and school administrators. Whether this imbalance
         stems from the attitudes and actions of professionals or from the feelings
         and attitudes of parents, it can lead to very ineffective and unproductive
         relationships. Parents can gain confidence from the knowledge that the
         law protects them, but trying to resolve conflicts in order to avoid legal
         action can be a more productive and useful way to work with the child
         study team.

We would all like to find a way to work with our school district in an amiable and productive
manner. Our goal of developing an appropriate IEP would be achieved much more efficiently
and quickly if our relationship with our child study team was one of mutual respect and
openness. Effective negotiating skills can help to define the issues in any disagreement without
becoming personal, while allowing each person the opportunity to air his/her concerns and
opinions. We should strive to become good negotiators, for this ability may preserve our
relationships with people who have a great impact on our children, while still allowing us to be
assertive yet respectful of others.
By perfecting our negotiating skills we can become strong advocates for our children and work
with our districts for long-term change and strong relationships. We can do this without having
to resort to aggressive and unproductive tactics. We must be assertive rather than
confrontational. We must be neither a victim nor victimize others.
Negotiation also deals with the feelings and frustration of those with whom we are disagreeing.
Just as we can become angry or defensive when trying to get services for our children,
professionals also react to attitudes and accusations made by parents. They may become
defensive when presented with requests or demands they feel are inappropriate. It is, therefore,
necessary to recognize this human element and approach it in a more productive manner.
Keep in mind beforehand that many times professionals and child study team members truly
have the interests of our children in mind but may just disagree about what is appropriate. We
must recognize that individuals have different ideas about what is right and we must respect and
be open to differing solutions. Creating an atmosphere that encourages each person to express
his/her differences of opinion can be an opportunity to look at things with a different perspective
and come up with creative and innovative solutions. But this atmosphere must be supported and
respected by both parents and professionals.
Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. It is a back-and-forth
communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side share some interests
or opinions but do not agree on others.
Negotiation should focus upon choosing options based on their merits for children, rather than
trying to win through an argumentative process focused on what each side says it will or will not
do. It suggests that we look for mutual gains wherever possible. Overall, we must always keep
everyone’s main goal in sight: the development of an appropriate program that benefits our
Although negotiation takes place every day, it is not easy to do well. Standard strategies for
negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out, or alienated - and frequently all three. Do
not become discouraged if you walk out of a meeting only to realize you should have said or
done something differently. Recognize where you need practice and give it your best the next

Too often, those who advocate for change enter into negotiations with only a vague sense of
what they hope to accomplish and how to accomplish it. Preparation will help you be confident
and better able to verbalize your child’s strengths and needs. You will be ready to provide input
and assess services and information the child study team offers you.
Define the problems in terms of actions that are present or missing. You do not want to bury
your concerns in statements about your feelings. You want to state clearly what services,
modifications, or needs of your child should be addressed.
When working with the child study team and others to develop your child’s IEP, there is a
logical system of preparing and presenting your concerns. Consider the following steps:
Ahead of time:
   1. Write down the problem in one clear sentence or short paragraph.
   2. Fill out the Positive Student Profile and Goals-At-A-Glance (see Appendix C) to help
      convey your important information about your child.
   3. If your conflict involves advocating for a specific program, complete the Classroom
      Observation Checklist (see Appendix E) for each program you visit. Visit all programs
      recommended by your district. Speak with other parents to learn about other potential
      programs. Then use the chart of school personnel to identify other people who can
      resolve the problem.
   4. Collect information - obtain a copy of the complete pupil record for your child by writing
      to your Director of Special Education.
   5. Build your documentation about the problem; gather information to support your position
      and request independent evaluations when necessary.
   6. Map out strategies:
       how you will present your concerns and requests
       how you will work out differences with members of the team
       to whom you should address your concerns and questions
       try to assess what you will and will not accept
       try to anticipate the school district’s responses to your concerns and plan your
        answers to these
   7. Express your need for change. Go to the meeting with a written list of your agenda items
      and have your concerns prioritized. Start with the person closest to the problem (often
      the classroom teacher) and then work with others who have authority to make the change.
      a. Sometimes a phone call is all that is needed.
      b. Document a problem(s), in writing that is not resolved and efforts you have taken to
          resolve it in a letter to your Director of Special Education.

It is usually ideal to begin working with local level personnel. Try to find local people who can
support you and be your child’s advocate. You want to begin by making requests and addressing
concerns to your case manager. If you feel your request has not been addressed or if the case
manager gives you a definite “No” you should then decide who might be the next appropriate
person to whom you should address your concern. It is probably most beneficial for long term
gain to continue to work with local administrators who have greater decision-making power.
If you feel a telephone call would be sufficient to have your concern addressed, this would be
ideal. Keep a telephone log of each conversation and the outcomes of your conversation.
Follow-up your telephone calls with a note to confirm what you understand to be the
commitments made.
Many times a telephone call will not be effective or may not produce results. Writing a letter is a
good way to document that you have attempted to have the difficulty or request addressed.
Always keep a copy of each letter, send a copy to your case manager if you are addressing it to
someone else at the local level, or send a copy to the district director of special services if you
are making a request to the county or state. Mail your letter return-receipt requested or drop it
off and get a receipt, so you know when it is received. Usually a timeline begins once an office
receives your letter.
Requesting a meeting (by telephone or letter) is often a good idea. Meeting with decision
makers gives you the opportunity to immediately answer any questions the district might have
and you get clarification right away. Meetings can also bring in a more human element to
something that can sometimes be seen as a “task.” Follow up all meetings with a letter, thanking
the person for his or her time (if appropriate) and confirming what you understand to be the
commitments made and necessary next steps.

Interpersonal Considerations
    1. Be assertive, but don’t attack people personally. Separate the people from the problem.
   2. A good negotiator rarely makes an important decision on the spot. If you are not sure
      whether or not a proposed compromise is satisfactory, don’t be forced into a premature
      agreement. Tell them you need time to think about it.
   3. Never compromise without any thought of future consequences.
Often a conciliatory approach will be most effective, but do not abandon your goals for the sake
of getting along. If after working through the steps and really trying to work out an agreement,
there is a standstill or argument, think about what your major concerns are and consider
requesting that the meeting be adjourned. You might say, “I don’t feel this is getting anywhere.
I hope to hear from you in a week. If not, I understand I should pursue other means of conflict
resolution [my legal rights].” If you are walking out on clearly legitimate grounds and if they are
genuinely interested in an agreement, they are likely to call you back to the table. If you are in a
situation where you feel you are being intimidated, adjourn the meeting, get an advocate, and
meet again as soon as possible.

                    Procedures and Good Practices During Meetings

   1. Focus on your child’s interests. Always reaffirm both sides’ mutual desire to develop an
       appropriate program for the child.
   2. Enter a meeting with an open mind and an open ear to creative solutions.
   3. Do not threaten any action you are not prepared to carry out. Let them know you are
       aware of your rights without threats.
   4. Avoid being put on the defensive. Services should be available as a matter of right, not
   5. Refuse to discuss your own past actions and other irrelevant issues.
   6. Present your solution as one possible solution, to avoid digging yourself into a position
       and inviting rejection. Consider how similar difficulties have been resolved for other
       children. If possible, invent options for mutual gain.
   7. Present all your reasons first before offering a proposal. Sometimes when the proposal is
       announced first, the other party might tend to tune out to the reasons that follow.
   8. Keep in mind you have an objective standard by which to judge the decisions made
       (N.J.A.C. 6A:14 and federal regulations).
   9. Your choice of seating can make a difference. To project an image of confidence and
       control, you may want to sit at the head of the table or next to the person who is the
       ultimate decision maker.
   10. Bring your documents, records, etc. to the meeting so that you are as prepared as the
   11. If you bring others to support you at the meeting, try to avoid contradicting each other.
   12. Make a record of your meeting by taking notes or even bringing a tape recorder. Don’t
       hesitate to ask someone to repeat something “for the record.”
   13. Work towards establishing firm timetables and specific standards of performance.
   14. If the decision making process is being drawn out, you may want to request meeting with
       those persons who have the authority to make decisions.
    15. If a policy is stated that seems inaccurate or in violation of federal or state regulations,
        request a copy of that policy in writing.
    16. Troubleshoot. Be a resource to your child study team. Follow progress on resolving the
        problem. As a follow-up to your meeting, write a letter to the highest-ranking person
        who attended summarizing the major points discussed. The letter should highlight major
        agreements reached during the session, including timetables and standards for
        performance. If the meeting was unsuccessful, document the remaining disagreements.
        This letter should be sent via certified mail (return-receipt requested).

 Following is a progression of people and agencies to work with. You might choose to work
 slowly up the administrative levels or go directly to the top. You should choose the appropriate
 person to work with according to time concerns, degree of the difficulty, past history, needs of
 your child, etc. Individual situations call for you to work with different people at different times.

PEOPLE OR AGENCY                                WAYS TO WORK WITH SCHOOL
WITH WHOM TO WORK                               PERSONNEL & ADMINISTRATORS

                                                   Informal face-to-face conversations.
Classroom Teacher
                                                   Communication tool developed.
                                                   Informal discussion with written follow-up.
Case Manager
                                                   Written letter with your requests and concerns.
                                                   Informal discussion with written follow-up.
Other Members of Child Study Team
and/or related service providers                   Ask for support when dealing with other decision
Director of Special Services /                     Informal/formal discussion with written follow-up.
Pupil Services                                     Written letter with your requests and concerns.
                                                   Informal/formal discussion with written follow-up.
Superintendent of Schools
                                                   Written letter with your requests and concerns.
                                                   When advocating for creation of new classroom
                                                    or program.
                                                   For defining steps or getting suggestions for
Board of Education                                  problem solving.
                                                   To create change or resolve a problem which
                                                    affects a number of children.
                                                   Attend board meetings and make needs known.
County Supervisor of Child Study                   Informal/formal discussion with written follow-up.
                                                  For clarifying information and regulations.
NJ State Department of Education
                                                  Written request for:
Office of Special Education Programs
                                                    Mediation.
CN 500
                                                    Due process hearing or emergency relief.
Trenton, NJ 08625
                                                    Complaint investigation.
                                                  To give a written update on how services are
                                                   being implemented in NJ.
U.S. Department of Education
                                                  Send carbon copies of correspondence to:
Office of Special Education Programs
                                                         NJ Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20202                                     100 Riverview Plaza
                                                         CN 500
                                                         Trenton, NJ 08625

 Federal and state laws require parents and schools to work together in providing a free and
 appropriate public education for children with educational disabilities. Occasionally, in this
 cooperative effort disagreements may arise. When this occurs, the parties should first attempt to
 resolve the problem through discussion. If this is not successful, New Jersey’s special education
 regulations provide methods through which special education disputes may be resolved.
 The following information is by no means comprehensive of all regulations regarding mediation,
 due process and complaint investigation. For further information, refer to New Jersey
 Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) 6A:14. Some material regarding mediation, due process, and
 emergency relief has been adapted from Special Education in New Jersey: Mediation and Due
 Process, a brochure developed and distributed by the New Jersey State Department of Education,
 Division of Special Education, Learning Resource Center Project.

 Mediation is a voluntary and informal process for resolution of disagreements between you and
 the school district or state Department of Education staff to discuss and try to resolve differences
 of opinion concerning referral, classification, evaluation, services, placement or any issue
 regarding your child’s special education services. It is conducted with a representative of the
 state Department of Education serving as the mediator.
 The role of the mediator is non-judgmental. The mediator will lead the meeting and try to help
 both the parent(s) and the school system reach an agreement. The emphasis of the meeting
 should be on the child, his/her educational needs, and how to work together in the best interest of
 the child. The mediator does not make decisions; he or she serves to help clarify the issues,
 discuss solutions, and it is hoped, reach an agreement. If no agreement is reached, the mediator
 documents the date and participants and no record is made. If an agreement is reached, a written
 document will be developed and signed by both the parent(s) and the school district.
 Following are guidelines to assist you along the path of mediation:
     a. State Mediation - highly trained individuals assist the parent and educators in resolving
        disputes; in most instances this is a very worthwhile step because many disputes will be
        resolved through this process.
    b. Most families will not retain an attorney at this point, however, if your situation is likely
       to require due process hearing, you may wish to contact an attorney prior to mediation to
       seek representation.
    c. Be sure to complete the Mediation/Due Process Hearing/Emergency Relief Hearing Form
       (see Appendix F); write out a chronology of efforts you have taken to resolve the conflict;
       bring copies of letters you have written and reports that support your position (such as
       from educators and therapists that have worked with your child); bring samples of your
       child’s work.
    d. Bring someone knowledgeable about your child for support and to keep notes for you.
To request mediation, write to:
      Director of Special Services
      Office of Special Education Programs
      CN 500
      Trenton, NJ 08625
A mediation conference will be held within 10 days of receipt of your letter. All mediation
meetings are voluntary, informal, and non-judgmental. If mediation results in a written
settlement that is not being implemented, request implementation from the above address.

Written by the New Jersey Department of Education.

A Due Process hearing can be requested by a parent or a local school district concerning the
child’s special education placement and/or related services. The purpose of a due process
hearing is to allow an impartial party to make a decision regarding a dispute between the
parent(s) and school district. Due Process hearings are heard by the Office of Administrative
Law (OAL). The decision of the administrative law judge is final, binding on both parties and is
to be implemented without undue delay unless stayed according to N.J.A.C. 1:6A-5.4.
Parents are not required to have legal representation - they can represent themselves. But parents
should be aware that the local school district in most cases has an attorney representing them.
Parents who pursue legal representation should consider the following:
   a. Any legal representation retained should be provided by a person/attorney who is
       knowledgeable and experienced in special education rules and regulations.
   b. The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 provides that a parent/guardian who
       prevails in either a hearing or court action may recover reasonable attorney’s fees, subject
       to certain limitations. Parents should discuss the provisions of this Act with their
       attorney. (Parents should have a written agreement with their attorney, in advance,
       stating that the attorney will file for reimbursement if parents prevail.)

Due Process Hearing (2 parts)
  1. Conference
     This is an informal, non-judgmental meeting conducted by a representative of the
     Department of Education. The purpose is to assist the parties in defining the issues and
        preparing the material for transmittal of the case to the Office of Administrative Law for
        a hearing. Mediation is available if both parties agree to participate.
     2. Office of Administrative Law Hearing (Due Process Hearing)
        If agreement is not reached at the conference, the case may be transmitted by the
        Department of Education to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing before a
        judge who will decide the case.

 Request for Mediation or Due Process
 The request must be written and should include:
     The issues (the problem or disagreement)
     The relief sought (the solution): fill out the Mediation/Due Process Hearing/Emergency
         Relief Hearing Form (found in Appendix F)
     An indication that a copy was sent to the other party (local school district)
     It is also helpful to include your daytime telephone number.

                                             DUE PROCESS

     OPTION                                     PROVIDES
                                                                                HELD WITHIN

                          An informal, non-judgmental meeting conducted by
                          the Department of Education. The purpose is to
Conference                prepare the material to transmit the case to Office   7 Days
                          of Administrative Law (OAL). Mediation will be
                          available if both parties agree to participate.

                          If agreement is not reached at the conference, the
Office of
                          case may be transmitted by the Department of          14 Days after
Administrative Law
                          Education to the OAL for a hearing before a judge     conference
(OAL) Hearing
                          who will decide the case.

 To request a due process meeting, write to:
       Director of Special Education
       Office of Special Education Programs
       CN 500
       Trenton, NJ 08625

 All meetings are voluntary, informal, and non-judgmental.

 Written by the New Jersey Department of Education.

The decision rendered by a hearing officer depends on complete and accurate information to
support your complaint. This will require careful accumulation of school records and other
information on your child. The following checklist will assist you in establishing a home file
from which the majority of information of this nature can be gathered.

                                INFORMATION CHECKLIST

You should maintain copies of these in your home file. Good written records are essential.
  1.   Forms of any nature that you are asked to sign
  2.   Notices of meetings of any kind
  3.   Evaluations conducted by the school, or others, including any private evaluation you
       have obtained
  4.   Individualized Education Programs for each year
  5.   Attachments to IEPs, annual reviews, etc.
  6.   Examples of yearly homework for documentation of progress and nature of approaches
  7.   Any progress reports provided on your child
  8.   Any correspondence you receive from school relative to your child’s needs and program
  9.   Any correspondence you send to the school
 10.   Any correspondence or medical information that documents the nature of your child’s
       disability, its impact on your child, and any recommendations
 11.   All behavior programs or plans
 12.   Psychological evaluations provided by school or obtained privately
 13.   Educational assessments from any source
 14.   Letters, reports from any related service providers or special staff (speech/language,
       physical or occupational therapists, counselors, behavior specialists, case managers)

From PATHFINDER, South Dakota PTI

During the period of time in which any administrative hearing or judicial proceeding is in
progress, unless parties agree otherwise, the child for whom the hearing or proceeding is held
will remain in the present placement, receiving all the services s/he has been receiving as
specified in the IEP. Placement may not be changed, except that a school district may follow its
normal procedures for a child who is endangering self or others or may remove the child to an
interim alternative education setting for up to 45 days if the child possesses or use a weapon or
drugs illegal under the U.S. criminal code on school grounds or at a school function. See SPAN’s
Discipline and Positive Behavior Supports packets.
If the complaint is an application for admission of a child to a public school for the first time, the
child, with parent’s consent, shall be placed in the public school program pending completion of
all proceedings, administrative or judicial.

When a problem or difficulty in regard to a violation of a regulation or rule occurs, a parent or
any knowledgeable person may request a complaint investigation. This process is used to
resolve violations of federal and state regulations. It can involve a violation affecting many
pupils or even one individual’s rights to an appropriate education. A complaint might involve
the district not completing evaluations within the required 60 day timeline or the district not
providing copies of N.J.A.C. 6A:14 when a child is initially determined eligible to receive
special education services.
The complaint investigation request must made be in writing to the Director of Special
Education, Office of Special Education. The Director will designate employees of the
Department of Education to investigate the complaints. A report of the findings, conclusions and
any required corrective actions will be forwarded to the district and person who filed the
complaint within 60 days of filing. The findings and/or recommendations may be appealed to
the Commissioner of Education or the United States Secretary of Education according to state
and federal regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:14 and 34 C.F.R. 76.781.)
Complaint investigation is also available through the Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP), United States Department of Education: Director, Office of Special Education
Programs, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Once OSEP receives a request for
complaint investigation it notifies the New Jersey Department of Education to carry out the
investigation and submit their findings, but OSEP monitors the process and reviews the findings
and recommendations to insure compliance with federal regulations. Although OSEP does not
become directly involved with the investigation itself, it ensures that the state carries out the
investigation and that the findings are within federal requirements.
People may also choose to write to OSEP to let them know how programs and services are being
implemented in New Jersey. This may not necessarily be to request complaint investigation, but
rather to give OSEP an opportunity to be aware of how services are being provided. The U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is
responsible for visiting each state to “monitor” how the state education agency is meeting the
requirements of P.L. 94-142. Within OSERS, OSEP conducts these reviews. When OSEP
conducts their monitoring they consider correspondence they have received from citizens within
the state and are more aware of what to look for. They encourage input and comments from

For a small number of cases, emergency relief may be requested. Such requests must demon-
strate the following:
   1. The application has a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits;
   2. Either serious physical harm will result to a student if the relief is not granted; or the
      student’s education program will be terminated or interrupted; or
   3. The relief requested is narrowly defined to prevent the specific harm from occurring and
      will not cause unreasonable expense and substantial inconvenience.
The request must include an affidavit with a copy to the local school district. An affidavit
consists of a sworn letter by the parent(s) that the statements made are true. This letter must be
acknowledged by a notary public. To request an emergency relief hearing, use the
Mediation/Due Process Hearing /Emergency Relief Hearing Form (see Appendix F). Emergency
Relief requests meeting the requirements listed above are transmitted immediately to the Office
of Administrative Law for a hearing on the earliest date possible (usually within 5 days).

               Questions and Answers Pertaining to Conflict Resolution
Must the district notify parents of changes it proposes to make in regard to referral, evaluation,
classification or educational placement of the pupil, or to the provision of a free and appropriate
    When the district proposes to act or to make any change with regard to a pupil, the board of
    education or agency shall send a written notice to the parent(s) or guardian of the pupil no
    later than 15 days prior to the date for implementing the proposed action or change unless the
    parent(s) or guardian otherwise consents to the proposal.
When can a parent request a due process hearing?
  A parent may request a due process hearing after the school has sent written notice of a
  proposed or denied action or 20 calendar days after the date of a written request by the parent
  for a change with regard to the pupil. If a parent sends a written request to the district and
  the district does not respond within 20 days, the parent can assume the answer is, “No,” and
  can request a due process hearing.
  NOTE: If you do not file a request for mediation or due process within 15 days of any
  notice the district has provided to you, the district may proceed with its proposed action or
  change, unless the district is requesting initial evaluation or initial implementation of a
  special education program and/or related services. In these cases, the district must file and
  prevail at a due process hearing in order to proceed in its proposed action.
Is it necessary to have mediation before requesting due process?
     No. Mediation is not required before due process.

Can the pupil’s services, classification, or placement be changed during mediation or due
   No. The program, classification, or placement cannot be changed during these efforts unless:
   b. emergency relief is granted; or
   c. both parties agree to the change.
Is it necessary to have legal representation in mediation or due process?
     No. Legal representation is not required. The Department of Education does, however,
     provide parents with a listing of advocates and free or low cost legal services on receipt of a
     request for due process.
If parents choose to have legal representation, can they ask for reimbursement from the school
    Yes. The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 provides that a parent/guardian
    who prevails (wins) in either a hearing or court action may recover reasonable attorney’s
    fees, subject to certain limitations. Parents should discuss the provisions of this Act with
    their attorney.
The Office of Administrative Law has developed a video showing a simulated/dramatized
hearing. Parents who wish to view this tape can contact the nearest Learning Resource Center.
Please call SPAN for the location nearest you.
If the decision of the administrative law judge is not implemented, parents can write to Director
of Special Education at the Division of Special Education or seek a court order in New Jersey
Superior Court or Federal District Court to enforce the decision. If either the parents or the
school district disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision, they can appeal to:
     1. New Jersey Superior Court
     2. Federal District Court
This information is provided to parents with the determination of the judge’s decision.

See Appendix G for instructions on dealing with Clear Violations of the Law.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the first civil rights law guaranteeing equal
opportunity for more than 35 million Americans with disabilities. For definition and clari-
fication of Section 504, see Chapter Two.

If a person believes that any aspect of Section 504 has been violated, he or she may initiate a
complaint to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The person or organization filing the complaint
need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person
or group. A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged
discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by OCR for good cause.
The complaint should be in the form of a letter explaining:
      Who was discriminated against? (Name, address, phone number)
      In what way? (On the basis of being a “handicapped person” as defined in Section 504,
       describe how the major life activity of learning is being impacted by your child’s
       disabling condition)
      By whom or what institution? (Name of school district)
      When the discrimination took place. (On what date did the alleged act of discrimination
       take place?)
      State in full what occurred to lead you to believe your child was discriminated against.
       Provide names, dates, and other forms of information available to you, such as supporting
       documents. If you do not already have your child’s complete pupil record, this would be
       an important time to request it of your school district.
      Define the desired outcome(s).
      Who can be contacted for further information? (List the names, addresses, and phone
       numbers, if available, of any persons having knowledge of the discriminatory treatment)
      If you have filed a complaint with any other federal, state, or local civil rights agencies,
       please list these.
      Writer’s name, address, and phone number (daytime).

Send letter to:
       Office for Civil Rights, Region II
       U.S. Department of Education
       75 Park Place, 14th floor
       New York, NY 10017

For Technical Assistance (not enforcement) contact:
       Charles Masterton
       Equal Opportunity Specialist
       (212) 637-6324

                                      APPENDIX A


By law, parents are guaranteed the right to be full and equal participants in the development of
the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for their children. However, sometimes, as parents,
our level of participation is limited due to a sense that our input is not valued or taken seriously.
At times, we lack confidence in our own abilities to determine appropriate goals for our children.
To establish effective home-school partnerships and become full participants in the process, we
as parents need to learn how to present our unique knowledge of our children to the other
members of the team.
The Parent Involvement Tools included in this section will help you share your ideas with your
Child Study Team. This is YOUR data and will help you shape your agenda items for
discussion. Ask that the information be included as part of the IEP development. We are giving
you sample forms to use as a guide. We also provide you with blank forms for your child.
The first group of materials in this section is centered around the theory of Multiple
Intelligences. In addition to information about this theory, we have included some tests that can
help you identify the areas in which your child shows strengths, and strategies you and your
child’s teacher(s) can use to take advantage of those strengths. The information you gather from
this section can be reflected on their Positive Student Profile.
The “Positive Student Profile” enables parents to provide the team with a “snapshot” of their
child, focusing on the child’s strengths and capabilities. The form also reflects information
concerning the child’s educational needs, long-range goals, and the types of supports required for
the student to succeed. The “Goals-At-A-Glance” form provides a format for the parents to
present the major goals they feel the IEP should address. Another use of this form is to provide a
shortened version of the IEP for the classroom teacher, which can be updated as necessary to
reflect the student’s most current needs. We recommend that you complete these forms and send
them to the team two weeks before the IEP meeting so that your input can be reflected in the
working copy of the document presented at the meeting. You should also bring copies of these
forms to the meeting to ensure that the discussion incorporates the points you have outlined.
We encourage you to fill out the following forms with your team. The Classroom Activity
Analysis Worksheet is not an activity that you can do by yourself because you need some input
from the Child Study Team and teacher. This will help you determine the nature of supports and
adaptations needed to ensure success. IEPs can become very lengthy. Therefore, summarizing
the information on the IEP Goal/Activity Matrix can make a tremendous difference, partic-
ularly to your child’s teacher. He or she will have a brief reminder that can be reviewed each
week as lesson plans are developed. Encourage your child’s teacher to keep the Positive Student
Profile together with the IEP Goal/Activity Matrix because it will serve as a reminder of the
child’s interests.
In addition, we have included Questions for the Collaborative Team to Ask, which, if
completed prior to and during the school year, will facilitate the development of an appropriate
IEP. An IEP Checklist is also provided which can be used as a guide to insure that your IEP has
all the required components.
Remember, we think these Parent Involvement Tools can really help you develop an effective
program for your child. Use the forms you are comfortable with or develop your own. But the
important issue here is that you get on the team and make your views known. These tools
cannot be discussed in a thirty-minute meeting to plan for next year, so let your team know you
want sufficient time to discuss your views. Ask that they review your information before the
meeting and also provide you written reports and assessments in advance, so that the focus of the
meeting is the planning process.

Too often, families like ours that include a child with disabilities get so involved in “treating” the
disabilities that we neglect to allow ourselves the time to dream about future goals for our
children and ourselves. We need to believe that we have some control over the future, and that
our children will be allowed the choices and fulfillment that people without disabilities take for
granted. The more positive experiences our children have in the real world, the easier it is for us
to envision how our children will contribute to our communities in adulthood. These
experiences also enable us to refine and revise our vision, based upon the emerging strengths our
children display.
Rud and Ann Turnbull of The Beach Center on Families and Disabilities in Kansas talk about the
need for us to have “Great Expectations” for our children:
        “Great Expectations are for everyone. All of us have dreams, visions and anticipations
        for the future. Most of us go out into the world, get feedback from it, and alter our
        dreams, visions and anticipations. Like everyone else, people with disabilities and their
        families have Great Expectations; like everyone else, they too need help to be able to
        have their expectations come true.”
It is important for our children to have opportunities and experiences in the real world so that we
can begin to develop these Great Expectations for their future. Inclusive Education will provide
these opportunities for our children. To begin planning for including your child, it is important
for you to give some thought to clarifying your own goals for your child. Some areas that you
might want to consider are:
       What do you want for your child’s future?
       What kinds of skills will your child need to succeed in the future you envision?
       What school programs and activities might help your child develop these skills?
       What supports and services are needed for your child to be involved in these programs
        and activities?
       What additional programs, services, supports and activities are necessary to meet your
        child’s unique needs?
This type of long-range planning will help you to know what short-term goals are appropriate for
your child. This input will be helpful when you, as part of the planning team, begin to develop
an Individualized Education Plan for your child’s inclusive education program.

Excerpt from The Beach Center on Families and Disability, Families and Disability Newsletter, Volume 2, Number
1, Spring 1990

                                          APPENDIX B

                                 MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
The Multiple Intelligence theory suggests that no one set of teaching strategies will work best for
all students at all times. All children have different proclivities in the seven intelligences, so any
particular strategy is likely to be successful with several students, and yet, not for others.
Because of these individual differences among students, teachers are best advised to use a broad
range of teaching strategies with their students. As long as instructors shift their intelligence
emphasis from presentation to presen-tation, there will always be a time during the period or day
when a student has his or her own highly developed intelligence(s) actively involved in learning.

Key Points in MI Theory
      Each person possesses all seven intelligences - MI theory is not a “type theory” for
       determining the one intelligence that fits. It is a theory of cognitive functioning, and it
       proposed that each person has capacities in all seven intelligences.

      Most people can develop each intelligence to an adequate level of competency - although
       an individual may bewail his deficiencies in a given area and consider his problems
       innate and intractable, Gardner suggests that virtually everyone has the capacity to
       develop all seven intelligences to a reasonably high level of performance if given the
       appropriate encouragement, enrichment, and instruction.

      Intelligences usually work together in complex ways - Gardner points out that each
       intelligence as described above is actually a “fiction”; that is no intelligence exists by
       itself in life (except perhaps in very rare instances in savants and brain-injured
       individuals.) Intelligences are always interacting with each other.

      There are many ways to be intelligent within each category - there is no standard set of
       attributes that one must have to be considered intelligent in a specific area.
       Consequently, a person may not be able to read, yet be highly linguistic because he can
       tell a terrific story or has a large, oral vocabulary. Similarly, a person may be quite
       awkward on the playing field, yet possess superior bodily-kinesthetic intelligence when
       she weaves a carpet or creates an inlaid chess table. MI theory emphasizes the rich
       diversity of ways in which people show their gifts within intelligences as well as between

                        MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES TEST
Where does your true intelligence lie? This quiz will tell you where you stand and what to do
about it. Read each statement. If it expresses some characteristic of yours and sounds true for
the most part, jot down a “T.” If it doesn’t, mark an “F.” If the statement is sometimes true,
sometimes false, leave it blank.
 1. _____ I’d rather draw a map than give someone verbal directions.
 2. _____ I can play (or used to play) a musical instrument.
 3. _____ I can associate music with my moods.
 4. _____ I can add or multiply in my head.
 5. _____ I like to work with calculators and computers.
 6. _____ I pick up new dance steps fast.
 7. _____ It’s easy for me to say what I think in an argument or debate.
 8. _____ I enjoy a good lecture, speech or sermon.
 9. _____ I always know north from south no matter where I am.
10. _____ Life seems empty without music.
11. _____ I always understand the directions that come with new gadgets or appliances.
12. _____ I like to work puzzles and play games.
13. _____ Learning to ride a bike (or skates) was easy.
14. _____ I am irritated when I hear an argument or statement that sounds illogical.
15. _____ My sense of balance and coordination is good.
16. _____ I often see patterns and relationships between numbers faster and easier than others.
17. _____ I enjoy building models (or sculpting).
18. _____ I’m good at finding the fine points of word meanings.
19. _____ I can look at an object one way and see it sideways or backwards just as easily.
20. _____ I often connect a piece of music with some event in my life.
21. _____ I like to work with numbers and figures.
22. _____ Just looking at shapes of buildings and structures is pleasurable to me.
23. _____ I like to hum, whistle and sing in the shower or when I’m alone.
24. _____ I’m good at athletics.
25. _____ I’d like to study the structure and logic of languages.
26. _____ I’m usually aware of the expression on my face.
27. _____ I’m sensitive to the expressions on other people’s faces.
28. _____ I stay “in touch” with my moods. I have no trouble identifying them.
29. _____ I am sensitive to the moods of others.
30. _____ I have a good sense of what others think of me.

Place a check mark by each item you marked as “true.” Add your totals. A total of four in any
of the categories A through E indicates strong ability. In categories F and G a score of one or
more means you have abilities as well.

               A             B            C           D             E             F           G
                          Logical-                                Bodily-       Intra-      Inter-
           Linguistic                   Musical     Spatial
                        Mathematical                            Kinesthetic    personal    personal

           7 _____       4 _____        2 _____     1 _____    6 _____        26 _____    27 _____
           8 _____       5 _____        3 _____     9 _____   13 _____        28 _____    29 _____
          14 _____      12 _____       10 _____    11 _____   15 _____                    30 _____
          18 _____      16 _____       20 _____    19 _____   17 _____
          25 _____      21 _____       23 _____    22 _____   24 _____

Totals:     ______       ______         ______      ______          ______     ______        ______

                   The Seven Multiple Intelligences in Children
Children who
                      Think                   Love                                  Need
are strongly:
                                                       books, tapes, writing tools paper
                                   reading, writing, telling
Linguistic         in words                            diaries, dialogues, discussion, debate
                                   stories, playing word
                                   games, etc.         stories
                                                       things to explore and think about,
Logical-                                               science materials, manipulatives, trips
              by reasoning questioning, figuring out
Mathematical                                           to the planetarium and science
                           puzzles, calculating, etc.
                                                       art, LEGOs, video, movies, slides,
              in images    designing, drawing,
Spatial                                                imagination games, mazes, puzzles,
              and pictures visualizing, doodling, etc.
                                                       illustrated books, trips to art museums
              through      dancing, running,           role play, drama, movement, things to
              somatic      jumping, building,          build, sports and physical games,
Kinesthetic   sensations   touching, gesturing, etc.   tactile experiences, hands-on learning
              via rhythms singing, whistling,          sing-along time, trips to concerts,
Musical       and          humming, tapping feet       music playing at home and school,
              melodies     and hands, listening, etc.. musical instruments
              by bouncing leading, organizing,         friends, group games, social
Interpersonal ideas off    relating, manipulating,     gatherings, community events, clubs,
              other people mediating, partying, etc.   mentors/apprenticeships
                           setting goals, meditating, secret places, time alone, self-paced
Intrapersonal inside
                           dreaming, being quiet,      projects, choices


Name of Student: ___________________________________

In each of the following categories, check all items that apply.

Linguistic Intelligence
_____   writes better than average for age
_____   spins tall tales or tells jokes and stories
_____   has a good memory for names, places, dates, or trivia
_____   enjoys word games
_____   enjoys reading books
_____   spells words accurately (preschool: does developmental spelling that is advanced for age)
_____   appreciates nonsense rhymes, puns, tongue twisters, etc.
_____   enjoys listening to the spoken word (stories, commentary on the radio, talking, books)
_____   has a good vocabulary for age
_____   communicates to others in a highly verbal way
Other Linguistic Strengths:
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
_____ asks a lot of questions about how things work
_____ computes arithmetic problems in his/her head quickly (preschool: math concepts are advanced for
_____ enjoys math class (preschool: enjoys counting and doing other things with number)
_____ finds math computer games interesting (no exposure to computers: enjoys other math or counting
_____ enjoys playing chess, checkers, or other strategy games (preschool: board games requiring
      counting squares)
_____ enjoys working on logic puzzles or brain teasers (preschool: enjoys hearing logical nonsense such
      as in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
_____ enjoys putting things in categories or hierarchies
_____ likes to experiment in a way that shows higher order cognitive thinking processes
_____ thinks on a more abstract or conceptual level than peers
_____ has a good sense of cause-effect for age
Other Logical-Mathematical Strengths:

Spatial Intelligence
_____   reports clear visual images
_____   reads maps, charts, and diagrams more easily that text (preschool: enjoys visuals more than text)
_____   daydreams more than peers
_____   enjoys art activities
_____   draws figures that are advanced for age
_____   likes to view movies, slides, or other visual presentations
_____   enjoys doing puzzles, mazes, Where’s Waldo? or similar visual activities
_____   builds interesting three-dimensional constructions for age (e.g., LEGO buildings)
_____   gets more out of pictures than words while reading
_____   doodles on workbooks, worksheets, or other materials
Other Spatial Strengths:

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
_____   excels in one or more sports (preschool: shows physical prowress advanced for age)
_____   moves, twitches, taps, or fidgets while seated for a long time in one spot
_____   cleverly mimics other people’s gestures or mannerisms
_____   loves to take things apart and put them back together again
_____   put his/her hands all over something he/she’s just seen
_____ enjoys running, jumping, wrestling, or similar activities (older: show this in a more restrained”
      way, e.g., woodworking, sewing, mechanics) or good fine-motor coordination in other ways
_____ has a dramatic way of expressing himself/herself
_____ reports different physical sensations while thinking or working
_____ enjoys working with clay or other tactile experiences (e.g., finger-painting)
Other Bodily-Kinesthetic Strengths:

Musical Intelligence
_____   tells you when music sounds off-key or disturbing in some way other way
_____   remembers melodies of songs
_____   has a good singing voice
_____   plays a musical instrument or sings in choir or other group (preschool: enjoys playing percussion
        instruments and/or singing in a group)
_____   has a rhythmic way of speaking and/or moving
_____   unconsciously hums to himself/herself
_____   taps rhythmically on the table or desks as he/she works
_____   sensitive to environmental noises (e.g., rain on the roof)
Other Musical Strengths:

Interpersonal Intelligence
_____   enjoys socializing with peers
_____   seems to be a natural leader
_____   gives advice to friends who have problems
_____   seems to be street smart
_____   belongs to clubs, committees, or other group organizations (preschool: seems to be part of a
        general education social group)
_____   enjoys informally teaching other kids
_____   likes to play games with other kids
_____   has two or more close friends
_____   has a good sense of empathy or concern for others
_____   others seek out his/her empathy or concern for others
_____   others seek out his/her company
Other Interpersonal Strengths:

Intrapersonal Intelligence
_____ displays a sense of independence or a strong will
_____ has a realistic sense of his/her strengths and weaknesses
_____ does well when left alone or to play or study
_____   marches to the beat of a different drummer in his/her style of living and learning
_____   has an interest or hobby that he/she doesn’t talk much about
_____   has a good sense of self-direction
_____   prefers working alone to working with others
_____   accurately expresses how he/she is feeling
_____   is able to learn from his/her failures and successes in life
_____   has high self-esteem
Other Intrapersonal Strengths:

Excerpted from Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, Alexandria, Virginia, Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development (1994).


The following list provides a survey of the techniques and materials that can be employed in
teaching through the multiple intelligences.

Linguistic Intelligence
 lectures, debates                    sharing time                         individualized reading
 large- and small-group               storytelling, speeches,              memorizing linguistic facts
  discussions                           reading to class                     tape recording one’s words
 books, worksheets, manuals           talking books and cassettes          using word processors
 brainstorming                        extemporaneous speaking              publishing (e.g., creating
 writing activities                   journal keeping                       class newspapers)
 word games                           choral reading

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
 mathematical problems on             logic puzzles and games              science thinking
  the board                            classifications and                  logical-sequential presen-
 Socratic questioning                  categorizations                       tation of subject matter
 scientific demonstrations            quantifications and                  Piagetian cognitive
 logical problem-solving               calculations                          stretching exercises
  exercises                            computer programming                 Heuristic
 creating codes                        languages

Spatial Intelligence
 charts, graphs, diagrams,            visual puzzles and mazes             creative daydreaming
  and maps                             3-D construction kits                painting, collage, visual arts
 visualization                        art appreciation                     idea sketching
 photography                          imaginative storytelling             visual thinking exercises
 videos, slides, and movies           picture metaphors                    graphic symbols
 using mind-maps and other       optical illusions               visual awareness activities
  visual organizers               color cues                      draw-and-paint/computer-
 computer graphics software      telescopes, microscopes,         assisted-design software
 visual awareness activities      and binoculars                  picture literacy experiences

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
 creative movement, mime         all hands-on activities         kinesthetic concepts
 hands-on thinking               crafts                          physical education activities
 field trips                     body maps                       communicating with body
 the classroom teacher           use of kinesthetic imagery       language/ hand signals
 competitive and cooperative     cooking, gardening, and         tactile materials and
  games                            other “messy” activities         experiences
 physical awareness and          manipulatives                   body answers
  relaxation exercises            virtual reality software

Musical Intelligence
 musical concepts                music appreciation              creating new melodies for
 singing, humming,               playing percussion               concepts
  whistling                        instruments                     listening to inner musical
 playing recorded music          rhythms, songs, raps, chants     imagery
 playing live music on piano,    using background music          music software
  guitar, or other instruments    linking old tunes with          supermemory music
 group singing                    concepts
 mood music                      discographies

Interpersonal Intelligence
 cooperative groups              group brainstorming             academic clubs
 interpersonal interaction        sessions                        interactive software
 conflict mediation              peer sharing                    parties / social gatherings as
 peer teaching                   community involvement            context for learning
 board games                     apprenticeships                 people sculpting
 cross-age tutoring              simulations

Intrapersonal Intelligence
 independent study               one-minute reflection           self-teaching programmed
 feeling-toned moments            periods                          instruction
 self-paced instruction          interest centers                exposure to inspirational/
 individualized projects and     personal connections             motivational curricula
  games                           options for homework            self-esteem activities
 private spaces for study        choice time                     journal keeping
                                                                   goal setting sessions
Excerpted from Armstrong, T. Multiple Intelligences In The Classroom.     Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development (1994).

                                         APPENDIX C

                                    Positive Student Profile                                PLACE
This form is to be filled out by the parent to provide a “snapshot”
of your child that should be reflected in his/her IEP.

1. Who is                 __?
   (Describe your child, including information such as place in family, personality, likes and dislikes.)

2. What are                 _’s strengths?
   (Highlight all areas in which your child does well, including educational and social environments.)

3. What are                  _’s successes?
   (List all successes, no matter how small.)

4. What are                     _’s greatest challenges?
   (List the areas in which your child has the greatest difficulties.)

5. What supports are needed for                           ?
    (List supports that will help your child achieve his/her potential.)

6. What are our dreams for                          ?
    (Describe your vision for your child’s future, including both short-term and long-term goals.)

7. Other helpful information.
    (List any pertinent information, including healthcare needs, not detailed elsewhere on the form.)

Adapted from: Collaborative Teams for Students with Severe Disabilities: Integrating Therapy and Educational
Services, Beverly Rainforth, Ph.D., P.T., Jennifer York, Ph.D., P.T., Cathy Macdonald, M.A., C.C.C./S.L.P.

                                    Positive Student Profile
                                             for Brian, age 11
1. Who is __BRIAN__?                                                                     HERE

    •   youngest child; Jaclyn‟s brother
    •   likes to help in the kitchen (i.e., cooking)
    •   favorite subjects are about the space shuttle and the earth
    •   favorite TV show is Reading Rainbow
    •   favorite color is red
    •   likes to ride his bike
    •   loves the beach
    •   likes to take pictures, like his dad.
    •   likes to visit the library to look at books
2. What are __BRIAN__’s strengths?
    •   imitates well
    •   is very helpful with routine household chores
    •   anticipates the needs of others (i.e., brings out the ingredients when cooking)
    •   reminds others of details (forgotten shopping lists; lights to turn out)
    •   likes to make people laugh, as well as laugh himself
    •   understands what is being said
   • empathetic towards the emotions of others

3. What are __BRIAN__’s successes?
   •   attends a general education education classroom
   •   voted “most helpful” by his peers
   •   participated in science fair, with his friend, learned about „teamwork‟
   •   behaves appropriately in class and during lunch
   •   good role model for others
   •   is very good at operating a computer
   •   can prepare his own breakfast and lunch
   •   is learning to read

4. What are __BRIAN__’s greatest challenges?
   •   inability to communicate clearly, which causes high frustration level
   •   dislikes unexpected change
   •   difficulty completing an assignment without re-direction
   •   reluctant to do things on demand
   •   difficulty with math

5. What supports are needed for __BRIAN__?
   •   to observe and learn from „typical‟ children
   •   to have a circle of friends for support
   •   to have a routine that is structured, yet flexible to allow for increased tolerance to change
   •   a curriculum which can be modified where and when needed
   •   use of assistive technology (i.e., computer), to expand ability to communicate
   •   increased opportunities to be included in community activities

6. What are our dreams for __BRIAN__?
Brian will:
   • have a circle of friends in his neighborhood
   • learn to read and write
   • expand his ability to communicate
   • eventually live independently
   • have meaningful employment
   • be an active participant in his community

7. Other helpful information:
Due to the highly imitative skills common to children with Fragile X Syndrome, Brian needs
to interact with typical peers as much as possible. Brian‟s learning style is visually
oriented, and he learns best through use of incidental learning, using information in ways
that are functional, rather than through rote learning (for example, teaching how to add by
counting apples in a store as opposed to adding numbers on a page). Brian works best with
short breaks in-between tasks. When he gets upset, it is best to try and redirect him rather
than become adversarial and force compliance. Brian‟s great sense of humor can be very
useful at doing that. Brian has a great desire to be “part of the group” and does not like to be
singled out. Therefore, a cooperative learning environment works best for him.

                                    Positive Student Profile
                                             for Christina, age 19               PLACE
1. Who is _Christina__?

   •   older sister “Kevin‟s younger than I am”
   •   a “people person,” friendly, personable
   •   generous and helpful, “I can do that!”
   •   situation comedies are a favorite TV pastime
   •   Melrose Place fan (makes no plans Monday nights)
   •   loves riding her mountain bike
   •   loves going out to eat
   •   loves getting together with her friends
   •   swimming is a favorite thing to do
   •   likes to shop at the mall
   •   likes to prepare meals and bake
   •   a real “party animal”                                             SAMPLE
2. What are _Christina__’s strengths?

   •   can clearly articulate her needs
   •   natural ability to “draw” people to her and win them over
   •   willingness to share with others
   •   sensitivity to other people‟s feelings
   •   always helpful, especially for money (typical teenager)
   •   if a friend is in need, she‟s the first one to help and support
   •   loves school
   •   takes on a leadership role whenever possible
3. What are _Christina__’s successes?

   • can prepare food for herself
   •   can call for help if necessary
   •   rides mountain bike with confidence
   •   uses bike for transportation
   •   building trust in others towards her
   •   responsible for younger children
   •   becoming strong self-advocate
   •   knowing what she likes and dislikes
   •   has asked employers about job openings, requested application
4. What are _Christina__’s greatest challenges?

   •   can be moody and stubborn at times
   •   lack of stamina and endurance
   •   being open minded about different jobs (employment)
   •   not an outdoor person
   •   not always a “team” player
   •   difficulty getting up in the morning (working on it)
5. What supports are needed for _Christina__?

   •   to accept direction and supervision from others in authority
   •   to learn how to access more of the community on her bike
   •   to learn bike safety rules
   •   a „pat on the back‟ when successful
   •   refinement of life skills for greater independence
   •   developing money skills (saving it!)
   •   improvement in the concept of time
   •   building endurance (Nautilus, part-time job)
   •   ongoing reading, writing and math
   •   a solid transition plan with realistic goals and objectives
6. What are our dreams for _Christina__ ?

   •   to have a job (preferably one working with children)
   •   to own a home (blue with a deck)
   •   to get married
   •   to continue to have a “circle of friends”
   •   to take vacations
   •   to have choices about where she works and lives, friends, roommates, where she spends leisure time
   •   identify longterm “supporters” and do estate planning to ensure Christina‟s choices are always considered
7. Other helpful information:
    No other information at this time.

Adapted from: Collaborative Teams for Students with Severe Disabilities: Integrating Therapy and Educational
Services, Beverly Rainforth, Ph.D., P.T., Jennifer York, Ph.D., P.T., Cathy Macdonald, M.A., C.C.C./S.L.P.


             This form is to be filled out by the parent and shared with the team.
    Under each heading below, enter a few major goals that you feel the IEP should address.


Social / Emotional / Behavioral:


Daily Living:

Transition to Adulthood (No later than age 14):

Adapted from: Thousand, J.S., Project Director. The Homecoming Model: Educating Students Who Present
Intensive Educational Challenges Within Regular Education Environments, September 1986.

                                        for Brian, age 11

             This form is to be filled out by the parent and shared with the team.
    Under each heading below, enter a few major goals that you feel the IEP should address.

   increase sight word vocabulary
   increase comprehension
   improve handwriting
   use computer as communication tool
   add/subtract double digit numbers

Social / Emotional / Behavioral:
   adapt to changes in routine
   follow multi-step directions
   develop strategies to calm himself
   learn to work individually
   improve social skills
   increase interaction with peers

   ask for help appropriately
   improve articulation
   talk in sentences/short phrases
   improve conversation skills

Daily Living:
    tell time
    make change
    acquire small job responsibilities

Transition to Adulthood (No later than age 14):
    expand circle of friends
                                                                                                                            This form can be completed by the
Classroom Activity Analysis Worksheet                                                                           for         parents and the multidisciplinary team                                                               
                                                                                                                            to help you determine the nature of
T = Teacher A = Aide       P = Peers   RC = Resource Center    SP = Speech Pathologist   OT = Occupational Therapist        supports and adaptations needed to       Other:
PT = Physical Therapist                                                                                                     ensure success.
Classro                                                                                                                                                Skills in
  om                               Appropriate for the Student?                                     Alternative Activities for Students                Need of
Activity                                                                                                                                               Training
                                with adapted   with adapted     with personal
    location/      as is                                                          specific                    locational/     person
                                 materials     current goals     assistance                      activity                                 materials
     activity                                                                   adaptations                    grouping     responsible
                yes        no   yes     no     yes      no      yes      no
                                                                                                                                                                         improve fine motor skills
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                increase exposure to community

                                                                                                                                                                         learn to accept help from a variety of people
                                                                                                                                                                         decrease tactile defensiveness and sensory deficits

                                                                Thousand, J.S. (Project Director), September 1986. The Homecoming Model: Educating
                                                                students who present intensive educational challenges withinr regular education environments.
Classroom Activity Analysis Worksheet                                                                                for             This form can be completed by the
                                                                                                                                     parents and the multidisciplinary
Brian                   .
                                                                                                                                     team to help you determine the
                                                                                                                                     nature of supports and adaptations
T = Teacher A = Aide        P = Peers    RC = Resource Center     SP = Speech Pathologist    OT = Occupational Therapist    PT =     needed to ensure success.
Physical Therapist
Classro                                                                                                                                                         Skills in
  om                                    Appropriate for the Student?                                        Alternative Activities for Students                 Need of
Activity                                                                                                                                                        Training
                                 with adapted     with adapted     with personal                                                                                                         person
                as is                                                                                                                                                       activity
location/                         materials       current goals     assistance           specific                      locational/     person                                          responsible
                                                                                                          activity                                 materials
 activity                                                                              adaptations                      grouping     responsible
              yes       no        yes      no     yes      no       yes       no

Yard                                                                 X               adapt games

                                                                                     use manipulat.
class                             X
RC                                                 X                                 use vocabulary
class                             X                X                                 from reading
                                                                                                         Speech        Speech/          SP                     M, W, F
class                                                                                T, Th               therapy        class

                                                                                     use of A for
class                                              X                 X               modified tests

class                                                                                sight words

class                             X
RC                                                 X                                 flash cards,
special                                                              X               A to assist
                                                                                                            OT        OT room           OT                     W
                                                                                     adapt. PE M, T,
                                                                                     Th, F                  OT             class        OT                     T

class                                                                                M, W, Th, F

                                                                          Thousand, J.S. (Project Director), September 1986. The Homecoming Model: Educating
                                                                          students who present intensive educational challenges withinr regular education environments.
                                                                    This form can be completed by the parents and the multi-
IEP Goal – Activity Matrix                         for              disciplinary team to ensure that all the IEP goals are being
____________________                                                addressed at some time during the school week.


                                                                                                                                   Recess       T, P
                                                                                                                                     Time       T
                                                                                                                                   Math         RC, T
                                                                                                                                   Lang Arts    T, A
                                                                                                                                     Time       T, P, A
                                                                                                                                     Studies    T, P, A
                                                                                                                                   Recess/      Lunch,
                                                                                                                                     Lunch      A, P
                                                                                                                                     Time       T
                                                                                                                                   Reading      RC, T
                                                                                                                                     Music/     special
                                                                                                                                   Gym          gym, T
                                                                                                                                     Time       T, A, P

                 University of Vermont: Center for Developmental Disabilities
                                                                                        This form can be completed by the parents
IEP Goal – Activity Matrix                                        for                   and the multi-disciplinary team to ensure that
                                                                                        all the IEP goals are being addressed at
Brian                              _                                                    some time during the school week.
       Lang   Activity                  Social   Lunch    Story                                                       Activity
Math                     Science                                        Reading   Art   Music    Library     Gym                  Bus    IEP Goals
       Arts    Time                    Studies   Recess   Time                                                         Time

        X       X          X             X                 X              X                         X                   X
        X                                                  X              X                         X
        X       X          X             X
        X       X                                                                                                       X
 X                         X                                                                                            X
 X              X                                  X
 X                                                 X                                                                    X

                X                                  X                                                          X         X
                                                   X                      X       X       X         X         X         X         X
 X      X       X          X             X         X       X              X       X       X         X         X         X         X

 X      X       X          X             X         X       X              X       X       X         X         X         X         X

        X       X          X             X         X                                                                    X         X

                X          X                       X       X

                                                   X       X                                        X         X         X

 X      X       X          X             X                                X       X       X         X         X         X

 X      X       X          X             X                                X       X       X                   X         X

                X                                  X                                                          X         X
 X      X       X          X             X         X       X              X       X       X         X         X         X         X

        University of Vermont: Center for Developmental Disabilities










                         Increase comprehens.

                         Write name & address

                         Improve conversation

                         Learn to share & take

                         Develop strategies to
                         Improve articulation
                         Increase sight word

                         Improve social skills
                         Go to the bathroom

                         Adapt to change in

             IEP Goals

                         Follow multi-step
                             calm himself

                         Decrease tactile

                         Learn to dress
                         Identify coins


                         Learn to work
                         Write letters

                         Ask for help


                         Tell time
                                           APPENDIX D

           Questions for the Collaborative Team To Ask:
Developing the IEP & Assessing the Results of Instruction & Services
Effective assessment, development of IEPs and instructional strategies, and provision of academic
and support services to students, requires collaboration between parents and professionals involved
with each child. Thus, each child’s collaborative team must include the parent(s), students, when
appropriate, general and special education teacher(s), and related and support services provider(s).
Students age 14 and older should attend their IEP meeting. If they cannot or do not wish to attend,
their interests and preferences must be presented and documented (the reason why they are not
participating should also be documented at the meeting). Proceeding through the following questions
as early as possible in the school year, and as necessary throughout the year, will assist collaborative
team members to exchange essential information and expectations, facilitate the development of app-
ropriate IEPs and instructional/support strategies, and assess the results of instruction and services.

Expected Outcomes

1. What are the outcomes expected for children at this age/grade/educational level? Have we
      _____ Academic outcomes                      _____ Communication outcomes
      _____ Social/Emotional outcomes              _____ Vocational/Career outcomes
      _____ Health/Medical outcomes                _____ Life-skill outcomes

2. Are these appropriate outcomes for my child with a disability?1
      _____ Yes
      _____ No.      Please explain: _______________________________________________

1 Remember: Most children receiving special education services have mild to moderate disabilities, and should be
expected to attain high academic and other standards given appropriate special instructional and support services.
3. Should any of these outcomes be modified given my child’s disability and its impact on
        _____ Yes.        Please explain: ______________________________________________
        _____ No

4. Have we considered all essential information? Have we:
     _____ As parents and other collaborative team members, completed and discussed the
            Positive Student Profile?
     _____ Reviewed previous and current assessments?
     _____ Considered the interests and preferences of the student at age 14 and older?
5. How should we reflect these outcomes in the goals and objectives on my child’s IEP?

6. Have we assessed our child’s learning styles?2 Describe and/or attach.

7. How do our child’s learning styles impact on IEP goals and objectives?

8. Have we considered and discussed what has or hasn’t worked in the past at:
        _____ School               _____ Home                 _____ Other settings

9. Given our child’s learning styles, what modifications are necessary to achieve the desired
        _____ Modifications to instructional methods _________________________________
        _____ Modifications to curriculum __________________________________________
        _____ Modifications/adaptations to learning environment ________________________

2 My child’s learning styles can be determined through a review of such instruments as the Positive Student Profile
and the Multiple Intelligences Profile.
3A review of the attached document regarding approaches for students utilizing their learning styles and focusing on
multiple intelligences will assist the collaborative team.
       _____ Modifications to instructional materials _________________________________
       _____ Assistive technology/specialized equipment ______________________________

10. What related and support services are necessary to achieve these outcomes?
11. How will these modifications be made? What is each collaborative team member’s role
    (including parents)?

12. How will these related/support services be provided? What is each collaborative team
    member’s role (including parents)?

13. What professional development and staff support is necessary to implement these services?
     _____ Assistance in modification of curriculum
     _____ Consultation with other professionals
     _____ Modeling of modified instructional strategies
     _____ Developing functional curricula
     _____ Development of community-based instruction
     _____ Conducting functional assessments
     _____ Development of in-class supports
     _____ Developing Transition goals and objectives within the IEP
     _____ Other. Describe: __________________________________________________

14. What collaborative planning time is necessary? Who will be involved?

15. Who else must we bring into this process to ensure that the necessary professional
    development, support and collaboration is available and implemented?
      _____ Building principal
      _____ Director of Special Services/Special Education
      _____ Superintendent
       _____ Central District resources.           Specify: ______________________
       _____ Other professionals in the school     Specify: ______________________
       _____ Community-based organizations         Specify: ______________________

16. Have we provided a copy of all information used to develop this form and this IEP; this
    completed form; and the completed IEP, to all collaborative team members?
      _____ Parent(s) _____ General educators _____ Special educators
      _____ Related services providers _____ Other support
      _____ Other support service providers.
      _____ Other relevant professionals. Specify: _______________
                       Tools/Methods to be Utilized to Measure Progress
The collaborative team works together to develop methods and identify tools that will be used to
determine student progress. A review of the following checklist will be helpful.

Academic Performance
1. (a) Which of the following will we utilize to determine our child’s academic progress?

       Assessment Methods                              Who Conducts?                  When?
_____ Teacher-developed testing                        ____________________________   ____________
_____ School/district standardized testing ____________________________               ____________
_____ Homework, classwork, test review                 ____________________________   ____________
_____ Criterion-referenced district tests              ____________________________   ____________
_____ Normed reference tests4                          ____________________________   ____________
_____ Multiple Intelligences assessment                ____________________________   ____________
_____ Task analysis                                    ____________________________   ____________
_____ Mastery levels                                   ____________________________   ____________
_____ Portfolio assessments                            ____________________________   ____________
_____ Evaluations                                      ____________________________   ____________
_____ Parent/home input                                ____________________________   ____________
_____ Maintenance/review of
      student progress grid                            ____________________________   ____________
_____ Areas of growth reflected on
      Positive Student Profile                         ____________________________   ____________
_____ Review of IEP Goals/
      Objectives Mastery                               ____________________________   ____________
_____ Situational assessments                          ____________________________   ____________
_____ Job sampling                                     ____________________________   ____________
_____ Interviews                                       ____________________________   ____________
_____ Other. Specify:                                  ____________________________   ____________

   (b) What modifications/accommodations must be provided?

   (c) When will this information be shared and discussed with collaborative team members?

4Examples   include language articulation and processing tests.
Social / Emotional Development
2. (a) Which of the following will we utilize to determine our child’s social/emotional
_____   Observation of on-task behavior by teacher & team members
_____   Observation of peer and adult/student interactions
_____   Observations of auditory and visual attention spans
_____   Results of group and individual work
_____   Child’s own reports on perceived development
_____   Group reports from cooperative work groups
_____   Home/parent input
_____   Areas of growth reflected on Positive Student Profile
_____   Review of mastery of IEP goals and objectives
_____   Observation at job and/or community training sites

   (b) When will this information be shared and discussed with collaborative team members?

Assessment of Achievement of Expected Outcomes
The collaborative team periodically reviews each student’s progress using the identified tools,
and asks the following questions:

1. Is my child on track (i.e., making acceptable progress) towards achieving the expected
   outcomes/goals and objectives that we set for him/her?
       _____ Yes
       _____ No.      Explain: ____________________________________________________

2. Have we considered all relevant areas:
      _____ Academic                                 _____ Communication
      _____ Social/emotional                         _____ Vocational/career
      _____ Health/medical                           _____ Life-skills

3. Are the special education instruction and services that are being provided appropriate?
      _____ Yes
      _____ No.       Explain: ____________________________________________________

4. Given our child’s progress or lack of progress, do we need to modify his/her goals and
   objectives, or the instruction and services we are providing?
      _____ No
      _____ Yes.
       If yes, what modifications need to be made? Examples:
       _____ Class size reduction
       _____ Additional services. Specify: _________________________________________
       _____ Revision of goals and/or objectives. Specify: ____________________________
       _____ Additional adaptations/modifications in learning environments. Specify: _______
       _____ Other. Specify: ____________________________________________________

5. How can we marshal our resources to provide the necessary assistance to our child?
       School resources:_________________________________________________________
       Peer resources: ___________________________________________________________
       Collaborative team resources:________________________________________________
       Community resources:_____________________________________________________
       Home/family resources:____________________________________________________

6. How does our child’s rate of growth relate to the rate of improvement of other students in:
     _____ Special education class
     _____ Age/grade appropriate general education class
     _____ School
     (i.e., is our child continuing to lag far behind the progress of general education students,
     or is s/he decreasing the performance gap?)

7. How has our child performed on the standardized tests or other assessment measures used for
   all other students?

   (a) How does this compare with the performance of other special education students in the
   same program?
    (b) How does this compare with the performance of general education students?

    (c) Were the appropriate accommodations provided in the testing process? Examples:
         _____    Extended time                 _____ Oral answers instead of written answers
         _____    Specialized place for testing _____ Use of assistive devices
         _____    Questions read aloud          _____ Other. Specify: ______________________
         _____    Large print                                _____________________________

    (d) Did we ensure that the test reflected both grade level performance and growth?5

8. Are other assessments/testing modifications necessary?

9. At annual, requested, and/or triennial reviews, how does our child’s current evaluation
compare to the previous evaluation?6 Is our child making:
         _____ Academic progress?                               _____ Progress in communication skills?
         _____ Social/emotional progress?                       _____ Progress in vocational/career skills?
         _____ Health/medical progress?                         _____ Progress in developing life-skills?

10. What factors have impacted on growth (positive and negative)? How can we address this?

11. Do modifications need to be made in instruction and/or services?
         _____ No
         _____ Yes.        Specify: ____________________________________________________

5Students  who start a school year several years behind their grade level should be given tests that allow them to
demonstrate how much progress they have made, i.e., at the beginning of their fourth grade year they were reading
at a 1st grade level, now they are reading at a 3rd grade level.
6For this to be a useful process, evaluation data must be captured so that it is easy for collaborative team members to
understand. The data must also be available to all team members.
12. Can our child be moved to a less restrictive setting? Can our child benefit from additional
    supported inclusion, full or part-time?
       _____ No, not at this time.   Explain: ________________________________________
               When will we revisit this issue? _______________________________________
       _____ Yes. If so:

   (a) What types of assistance should be provided to our child in making the transition from
       one educational setting to another that is less restrictive?

   (b) What types of assistance should be provided to the general education teacher?
       _____ Curriculum modification              _____ Team teaching
       _____ Consultation time                    _____ Classroom supports
       _____ Modeling of instructional strategies _____ Other. Specify: ________________

   (c) How can we marshal our resources to appropriately support our child?
       _____ School resources: ___________________________________________________
       _____ Collaborative team resources: _________________________________________
       _____ Community resources: _______________________________________________
       _____ Home/family resources: ______________________________________________

   (d) What can we as parents do at home to help prepare our child and assist him/her to benefit
       from the change?

   (e) What assistance can the professional members of the team provide to us as parents/family
       to help us support our child?
Additional Questions for Administrators

1. Did I provide the necessary professional development and support for all staff involved in
   providing services to this child?
       _____ Yes.     Explain: ____________________________________________________
       _____ No.      Why? ______________________________________________________

2. Did I provide the necessary collaboration/meeting time for all staff involved in providing
   services to this student?
       _____ Yes.     Specify: ____________________________________________________
       _____ No.      Why? ______________________________________________________

3. What steps must I take now to ensure that the necessary professional development, support
   and collaboration/meeting time is provided for all staff providing services to this student?

An IEP is a written plan developed by the parent(s) and the child study team that explains your
child’s unique individual needs. The IEP also describes ways in which the school district must
meet those needs.


This checklist has been developed based on the way an IEP is usually organized by the Child
Study Team. Use it to: 1) review your child’s last IEP before attending your next IEP meeting,
and 2) review his/her new IEP before you sign it.


1. Was I notified by writing of the IEP meeting or
   annual review at least 15 days before the meeting?                      yes____        no____

2. Is the IEP anniversary date correct?                                    yes____        no____

3   Is the meeting being held in a language that I understand?             yes____        no____

4. Did I receive a current copy of the Parental Rights
   in Special Education booklet at the meeting?                              yes____   no____

5. Did I receive a current copy of the New Jersey
   Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) 6A:14 at the meeting?                      yes____   no____

6. Are my address and telephone number written correctly in the IEP?         yes____   no____

7. Is my child’s classification correct?                                     yes____   no____

8. Does the Statement of Eligibility explain
   why my child receives special education?                                  yes____   no____

9. Is an Extended School Year needed? (IEP should indicate 10 month
   or 12 month school year) (Refer to question #24)                          yes____   no____

10. Do I agree with the program/placement that the
    Child Study Team (CST) has recommended for my child?                     yes____   no____

11. Are related services listed (refer to question #29)?                     yes____   no____

12. Is your child being taught in the language he or she best understands? yes____     no____

13. Does the IEP contain a section marked “Current Educational Status”?
    (Some IEPs will give this a different name, but there should be a
    section that describes the areas listed below.)                     yes____        no____

14. Does the Current Educational Status section describe the way
    my child is now?                                                         yes____   no____

   Do the statements in the Current Educational Status section address
   my child’s strengths, interests and needs in the following areas?
               Academic Achievement                                          yes____   no____
               Cognitive Functioning                                         yes____   no____
               Personal/Social Development/Adaptive Behavior                 yes____   no____
               Physical/Health Status                                        yes____   no____

15. Does the IEP include Annual Goals (e.g., what would you like my
    child to have learned by the end of the year in the areas of academic,
    social, and emotional growth)?                                           yes____   no____

   NOTE: Statements should be worded in a positive manner.

16. Does the IEP include Objectives: statements that describe specific
    measurable steps that will help my child achieve each annual goal?       yes____   no____
17. Does the IEP explain why my child is in the program he or she is in? yes____    no____

18. Did the CST explain the range of educational placements
    available to my child?                                                yes____   no____

   If so, is the placement in the least restrictive setting
   in which the services can be given?                                    yes____   no____

   NOTE: Placements listed below go from the “least restrictive” general education classroom
   with supports, to “most restrictive” residential placement.
   a. general education classroom with supports               _______________
          in district                                         _______________
          out of district                                     _______________
   b. resource center                                         _______________
          names of subjects received in resource center       _______________
   c. self-contained classroom                                _______________
          (small class of children usually with the same
          educational classification, such as NI
          (neurologically impaired))
   d. special school                                          _______________
   e. residential placement                                   _______________

19. Is your child on home instruction?                                    yes____   no____
    If yes, for how long? __________________________________
    When will my child be placed? _____________________________

20. Does the IEP state how often my child will participate with
    children in general education classes?
    (i.e., reading, music, gym, etc.)                                     yes____   no____

21. Does the IEP state whether my child is exempt from the
    school’s attendance requirements?                                     yes____   no____

22. Is my child exempt from standardized testing?                         yes____   no____

23. Does the IEP need modifications for my child to take examinations,
    including standardized tests, such as:
               ____ Extra/Unlimited Time
               ____ Oral Tests
               ____ Fewer Test Questions
               ____ In Another Classroom
               ____ Other: _______________________________________________________

24. Does the IEP state the length or my child’s school day?               yes____   no____

   School year?                                                           yes____   no____
   Does my child need an Extended School Year?                           yes____        no____

   Why or why not? (The standard for getting an extended school year is that it will take your
   child a long time to relearn what he or she was taught during the previous year.)

25. Does the IEP state who is responsible for implementing
    each service in the IEP?                                             yes____        no____

26. Does the IEP include a schedule or other ways to determine if
    progress is being made and if the goals and objectives are being met? yes____       no____
         ____ Progress Notes                _____ Parent/Teacher Conference
         ____ Report Card                   _____ Teacher contact in person
         ____ Daily/Weekly Notebook _____ Teacher contact by phone
         ____ Parent/CST Conference         _____ Other: _______________

27. Is my child exempt from local disciplinary policies?                 yes____        no____

   Why or why not? *Request a copy of the school’s disciplinary policies.

   Do I have suggestions for alternative disciplinary requirements?
   (i.e., positive behavioral supports or behavior modification plan, etc.) yes____ no____

28. Does the IEP include specialized equipment of assistive technology devices and services?
         ____ Computers                            ____ Pen Holder
         ____ Communication Board                  ____ Books in Braille
         ____ Hearing Aids                         ____ Reader
         ____ Auditory Trainer                     ____ Other: _______________

29. Does my child need services such as:     OT                          yes____        no____
                                             Speech                      yes____        no____
                                             PT                          yes____        no____
                                             Counseling                  yes____        no____
                                                 Recreational Therapy              yes____         no____
                                                 Nursing Services                  yes____         no____
                                                 Assistive Technology              yes____         no____
                                                 Adaptive Physical Education       yes____         no____
                                                 Transportation                    yes____         no____
                                                 Other                             yes____         no____

30. Does the IEP include strategies or ideas for teachers to use
    to teach my child based on the way my child learns?                            yes____         no____

31. Does the IEP include ways to improve my child’s
    social interaction skills in non-school settings?                              yes____         no____
            ____ After School Programs
            ____ Community Outings
            ____ Day Trips
            ____ Other: _________________

Transition Services For Students Age 14 and Above

32. Does the IEP include a transition plan that describes what services
    my child will receive to prepare him/her for adult life?                       yes____         no____

    NOTE: Transition plans should be based on your child’s interests, preferences and needs.

33. The transition plan in the IEP should include services in the following areas:
           ____ Instruction
           ____ Community Experiences
           ____ Employment
           ____ College and/or Trade School
           ____ Independent Living
           ____ Daily Living Skills
           ____ Other: ____________________

    If none of these services are listed, does the IEP explain why?                yes____         no____

34. Did the CST invite other agencies, such as Division of Developmental
    Disabilities (DDD) or Division of Vocational Rehabilitative Services
    (DVRS) to attend and discuss your child’s transition plan?           yes____                   no____

    NOTE: These agencies are not always able to attend these meetings. However, as your
    child gets older, (before your child graduates), it becomes more important for one of these
    agency representatives to attend the IEP meeting. Families should contact their CST case
    manager to set up an appointment with outside agencies.

Developed by Nicole Harper, Paula Lieb and Jodi Mogan, Community Education Project, Newark, NJ, 1995.
                                    APPENDIX E

                      WHO’S WHO IN YOUR CHILD’S LIFE?
You are the expert regarding your child. But others in your child’s life are important for you
to know. Take time now to fill in their names. You can find many of them listed on your child’s
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or call your child’s school to learn about Who is Who.

                                  School Information
Child’s Name:
School:                                                           Phone:
School Address:

Special Education Classification:
Special Education Placement (e.g., special class, resource center, mainstream):
Director of Special Services (Pupil Services):                    Phone:
Superintendent of Schools:                                        Phone:
Principal:                                                        Phone:
Teacher(s):                                                       Phone:
Classroom Aide:                                                   Phone:

                                    Child Study Team
Social Worker:                                                    Phone:
Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC):                  Phone:
Psychologist:                                                     Phone:
Medical Doctor:                                                         Phone:
Other Specialist(s):                                                    Phone:

On the following three pages is a checklist you may wish to copy and take with you when you
visit a potential classroom or program for your child. We strongly encourage you to complete
this form or a similar one for each class you visit in order to remember the strengths and
weaknesses you discover.

  1. What is the size of the classroom?
  2. Where is it located?
  3. How many students are in the class?
  4. What is the ratio of students to teachers?
  5. What materials are available? Are they accessible, appropriate, varied, interesting?
  6. Is the students’ work displayed?
  7. Are the students involved in their schoolwork?
  8. Is the atmosphere relaxed, but well controlled?
  9. What is the ratio of boys to girls?
 10. Is special equipment available (i.e., chairs with arm supports)?
 11. Where is the classroom located in relationship to cafeteria, therapy, outdoor play areas?
 12. Are bathrooms located in or outside the classroom?

  1. Is the teacher in control of the classroom?
  2. How does the teacher deal with disruptions?
  3. Is the teacher generally skillful in teaching the students?
  4. Does he/she break down learning tasks into steps?
 5. Is the teacher able to present different directions when students have difficulty
    understanding the first ones?
 6. Are the directions clear enough so the student knows what is expected of them?

 1. What type of developmental areas (movement, communication, social relationships) are
    included in the curriculum?

 2. How does the program address individual needs of the children?

 3. What is the daily schedule? Is it consistent?

 4. Are daily living skills incorporated into the curriculum?

 5. Are children grouped in the same skill level or within different skills in the same group?

 6. Do children work individually, in small groups, or as a total class?

 7. What type of behavior management strategies are used?

 8. How are related services (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy) scheduled?

 9. Is there time allotted for daily outdoor activity?

10. Are there field trips outside the school?

11. To what extent are the children involved with other children in the school?

12. How much time will my child spend in the general education classroom?

13. Has the general education teacher had training to work with the special education pupils?
    Will ongoing in-services be provided for general education teachers?

14. Is there a summer program?

 1. Are parents given the opportunity to observe the classroom?

 2. How can parents maintain contact with the teacher?

 3. When/how are parent conferences scheduled?
  4. When/how are progress reports written?

  5. Will teachers/therapists provide parents with suggestions for home carry over?

  6. Is there a parent organization or support group available?

  Find out about school policies during visits.

    Give sufficient notice.

    Know why you are observing.

    Don’t interrupt children. Don’t monopolize the teacher’s attention.

    Keep notes - using guidelines of positives, negatives, concerns, etc.

    Share your findings with school professionals on the child study team or the teacher if that
     is appropriate.

    Recognize that most people become uncomfortable when being observed.

Don’t be judgmental - ask questions for clarification when you have concerns.

                                     APPENDIX F


                                                     [Your Address]
                                                     [Your Phone Number]
                                                     [Today’s Date]

[Principal’s Name]
[School Name]
[School Address]
Dear ____________:

        I am the parent of ____________________, age _____, who is currently a student in
grade _____________ at _____________ School. I have reason to believe that my child has
special needs that require special education and related services. [Briefly explain why you
believe this to be true.] Please arrange to have my child evaluated by a child study team as
quickly as possible, so that an appropriate program for (him/her) can be provided.
        Thank you.

                                                 Yours truly,
                                                 [Your Name]

This sample is provided for the purpose of serving as a guide to you in composing your own letter and was
originally developed by the Education Law Center in Newark, NJ.


                                                                         [Your Address]
                                                                         [Your Phone Number]
                                                                         [Today’s Date]

[Director of Special Services]
[Board of Education]
[City, State, Zip]

Dear _______________:

        I am the parent of ______________, age _____. I am currently in disagreement with the
present evaluation completed by __________________ [member of the Child Study Team or by
the entire Child Study Team]. [Briefly explain the areas you are in disagreement with] I am
requesting an independent evaluation, to be provided at public expense.
        Please provide me with the names of approved agencies/clinics located within our county
that can provide the evaluations requested. Please also inform me of the voucher system or
method of payment in writing.
        Thank you.

                                                                         Yours truly,
                                                                         [Your Name]
This sample is provided for the purpose of serving as a guide to you in composing your own letter.

                   New Jersey Department of Education
      Request for Mediation / Due Process / Emergency Relief Hearing

Date:             _________________________

To:               Barbara Gantwerk, Director
                  NJ Department of Education
                  Office of Special Education Programs
                  P.O. Box 500
                  Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

From:             _________________________________________________________________
                  (Name of parent or school district submitting the request)

Address:          _________________________________________________________________
                  Phone:      ( ____ ) ______ - _________               Fax:    ( _____ ) ______ - ________

                  ____ Attorney                       ____ Advocate

Name:             _________________________________________________________________
                  (Name of attorney or advocate)

Address:          _________________________________________________________________
                  Phone:      ( ____ ) ______ - _________               Fax:    ( _____ ) ______ - ________

Requesting:       ____ Mediation
                  ____ Due Process Hearing
                  ____ Emergency Relief Hearing (Attach affidavit or notarized statement)

On behalf of: ________________________________________________________________
                  (Child’s name)

Child’s Address: _________________________________________________________________
District of Residence: ___________________________________________________________

School the student attends: _____________________________________________________
      NJ DOE Request for Mediation/Due Process/Emergency Relief Hearing
                                              Page 2

Please describe the nature of the problem with the school and any facts relating to the problem
(attach additional pages if necessary):

Please describe how this problem could be resolved (attach additional pages if necessary):

Signature of party submitting request: ______________________________________________

____ Please check to verify that a copy of this request was sent to other party

Name of other party: ___________________________________________________________
Address:       _________________________________________________________________
Note to parent(s) requesting a Due Process Hearing: The IDEA Amendments of 1997 require parent(s)
or their attorneys to provide the information contained within this form to the NJ Department of
Education and the district of residence. Failure to provide this information may result in a reduction in
the award of attorneys’ fees. (20 U.S.C. 1415 (b)(7), (i)(3)(F).

                                        APPENDIX G

May 24, 1999

TO:             Chief School Administrator
                Director of Special Education
                Director of a State Facility
                Administrator of a Charter School
                Administrator of an Approved Private School for the Disabled
                Administrator of a College-Operated Program
                Administrator of an Approved Clinic or Agency

FROM:           Barbara Gantwerk, Director
                Office of Special Education Programs

SUBJECT:        Provision of Related Services

The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) monitoring report of
February 16, 1999 determined that some students with disabilities were not receiving related
services in accordance with an individualized education program (IEP) as a required component
of a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). The New Jersey Department of Education is
required to ensure that children with disabilities receive related services as required by 34 CFR
§300.350(a)(1). In particular, the report focused on counseling as a related service. It noted that
services were provided without any individual determination of students’ needs and that IEPs
contained no goals and objectives that addressed the provision of this identified related service.

Related services, such as counseling, are provided to assist students with disabilities to benefit
from special education as specified in their IEPs (N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.3). Districts must develop
goals and objectives that are based on each student's need for the service. It is not permissible
for students to be placed into programs where the provision of related services is directed by the
program in which the student is placed rather than by the IEP, nor is it permissible to have the
goals and objectives of a related service determined outside of the IEP process. In addition,
students cannot be placed into settings that provide only group counseling with no opportunity
for more intensive services on an individual basis when the IEP requires them. The local district
is required to ensure all related services are provided in accordance with the IEP.
Reprint of Department of Education Policy Letter

With respect to counseling issues, districts must develop IEPs that address individual counseling
needs of students when appropriate. If the IEP team determines that counseling is needed for a
student to benefit from his/her education, then the IEP must determine the amount and intensity
of the service and have goals and objectives to address those needs. A district cannot place the
burden of providing needed counseling on the parent when a provider program does not have the
required services, nor can provider agencies unilaterally determine the extent of services to be
provided. The local education agency may be required to bring additional services to students,
regardless of the educational setting, to ensure that their individual needs are met. The Office of
Special Education Programs will focus on this issue in program reviews.

c:             David C. Hespe, Commissioner
               Barbara Anderson
               Bob DeSando
               Douglas Groff
               Madeleine Mansier
               John Sherry
               County Superintendent
               County Supervisor of Child Study
               State Special Education Advisory Council
               Office of Administrative Law
               Agency and Organization Concerned with Special Education
               Higher Education Council

May 24, 1999

TO:            Chief School Administrator
               Director of Special Education
               Director of a State Facility
               Administrator of a Charter School
               Administrator of an Approved Private School for the Disabled
               Administrator of a College-Operated Program
               Administrator of an Approved Clinic or Agency

FROM:          Barbara Gantwerk, Director
               Office of Special Education Programs

SUBJECT:       Extended School Year

The issue of extended school year for students with disabilities is of considerable importance to
this office. In the last revision of the state special education regulations, it was clarified at
N.J.A.C. 6A:14-4.3(b) that the IEP team must make an individual determination regarding the
need for an extended school year program at the IEP meeting.                  To assist districts in
understanding this responsibility, I am issuing the attached clarification.


c:             David C. Hespe, Commissioner
               Barbara Anderson
               Bob DeSando
               Douglas Groff
               Madeleine Mansier
               John Sherry
               County Superintendent
               County Supervisor of Child Study
               State Special Education Advisory Council
               Office of Administrative Law
               Agency and Organization Concerned with Special Education
               Higher Education Council

                               Reprint of Department of Education Policy Letter and Attachment
                          EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR (Attachment)
The federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and New Jersey special
education code specify the requirements local school districts must follow in providing special
education and related services to students with disabilities.
In meeting their obligation to offer each child with a disability a free, appropriate public education
(FAPE), local school districts must make available programs and services that meet a child's
individual needs. Some children may require the provision of services beyond the traditional school
year. Such services are components known as extended school year (ESY) services. Federal and
state law and regulations do not require that every student with a disability receive extended school
year services. These decisions are to be made in each individual case based on established eligibility
criteria that have evolved over the past 20+ years through case law and procedural application of the
This technical assistance document provides a summary of ESY requirements along with helpful tips
to be used by parents and school districts when addressing issues involving the provision of extended
school year services. It is the result of a concentrated analysis of leading case law and policy
interpretations by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
The document is presented in a question and answer format.
OSEP periodically examines each state’s ESY policy and implementation as part of its regular
monitoring procedures. This document was produced to enable New Jersey to meet its commitment
of ensuring the delivery of a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities.

                             FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What does Extended School Year (ESY) mean?
The term “extended school year” services means educational programming beyond the traditional
180 day school year for eligible students with disabilities as outlined by the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
2. Who must be considered for ESY services?
Every student with a disability under IDEA must be considered for ESY services. The determination
of whether a student is eligible for ESY services is made on an individual basis by the student's IEP
team and must be discussed at each annual IEP review meeting.
3. Who determines ESY eligibility?
The IEP team determines eligibility for ESY services. The team is made up of the parent, child if
appropriate, regular education teacher if the student is or may be in a regular class, at least one
special education teacher or provider, at least one child study team member, the school district
representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education and is
knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the available resources, and others at the parent's or
school's discretion.
4. What criteria should be used in making an ESY eligibility determination?
While there is no single criterion used in making an eligibility determination, case law has estab-
lished several factors to be considered. One standard is the regression/recoupment analysis which
considers the amount of regression a student experiences as a result of an interruption in educational
services with the amount of time required to regain the prior level of skill. Other criteria may include
the nature and severity of the student’s disability, the ability of the child’s parents to provide
educational structure in the home, behavioral and physical impairments, the ability of the student to
interact with nondisabled peers, the student’s vocational needs, the availability of alternative
resources, whether the requested services are “extraordinary” for the student’s condition, “emerging
skills” and “breakthrough opportunities,” as when a student is on the brink of learning to read.
Regression/recoupment analysis is an integral part of the determination of the appropriateness of
ESY services, but it is not the only measure used in determining the necessity of a structured
extended school year program.
Consideration of all pertinent information and individual student circumstances are taken into
account in determining appropriateness of ESY programming.
ESY is not limited to certain categories of disability and must be considered for all students with
disabilities receiving special education and related services as identified.
5. How is eligibility for ESY services determined?
Consideration of a broad range of highly detailed information by the IEP team is essential when
determining eligibility for ESY services. Parent/teacher ongoing communication and assessment of
the IEP goals and objectives as they relate to the regression and recoupment of a student's progress,
work samples, test results, report cards, homework, progress reports and parent observations are
examples of typical information and documentation used when determining eligibility for ESY
services. Establishing a series of measurement timelines is helpful in providing a baseline to
document regression and recoupment. In general, any information that can assist the IEP team in
developing a composite of the level of functioning and circumstances having an impact on the
student’s educational performance should be presented.
Additional factors to be considered include the following:
     The degree of the impairment;
     The degree of the regression;
     The recovery time from the regression;
     The ability of the child’s parents to provide the educational structure at home;
      The child’s rate of progress;
      The child’s behavioral and physical needs;
      The availability of alternative resources;
      The ability of the child to interact with nondisabled children;
      The areas of the child’s curriculum which need continuous attention;
      The child’s vocational needs; and
      Whether the requested services are extraordinary for the child’s condition as opposed to an
       integral part of the program for those with the child’s condition.
A schedule for collecting data about a student’s progress can be helpful. Collecting data related to the
IEP goals and objectives as they relate to ESY determination can provide the essential information in
determining not only ESY eligibility but the specific services that may be needed by the student.
Recommended Schedule:
     At the end of the regular school year;
     At the end of the summer program;
     At the beginning of the subsequent school year;
     At the end of the subsequent school year;
     Before/after school vacations;
     An ongoing collection of information throughout the school year; and
     Before/after student has been out of school for other reasons.
6. Are students required to fail in order to be eligible for ESY services?
No. Students cannot be required to fail before being eligible for ESY. ESY must be determined
individually based on the needs of the student.

7. How is ESY structured?
The IEP team will determine the type, duration, and frequency of services for a student receiving an
ESY program. The goals and objectives should be a continuation of all or part of the school year
IEP, although the ESY services may be modified to provide maintenance of acquired skills during
periods of interruption of school.
8. What types of ESY models are available?
Like any special education service decision, the individual needs of the student determine the pro-
gram and services to be provided. ESY service options may include, but are not limited to:
      Support services for maintenance of skills, such as math, reading, etc.;
      Home instruction or consultation to provide parents with support and materials to prevent
      Individual or group instruction;
      Recreational services to provide for the maintenance of identified IEP skills; and
      Services during periods of school vacation.
Some community agencies that provide recreation services have expanded those opportunities to
meet the needs of children with disabilities and youth. The opportunity to explore and develop ESY
services with community agencies may offer opportunities to design services in natural community
settings and may provide a more cost effective partnership in meeting the needs of children with
disabilities requiring ESY services.
9. Must all the services that are provided during the regular school year be duplicated in
the ESY program?
No. A student’s program and placement for ESY services may differ from the regular school year
program. When a student is determined to need ESY services, the IEP team will determine what
services need to be provided through the IEP meeting process.
10. Is a student automatically entitled to ESY services because he/she was determined
eligible the year before?
No. Eligibility determination for ESY services is made on the present needs of the student.
11. Do ESY services have to be provided in a classroom?
No. ESY services may not necessarily be provided in a classroom or school setting. The location
and delivery of program services may be provided in the home or at an alternative location (such as
the local YMCA, library, Boys & Girls Club, etc.) taking into consideration the identified individual
needs of the student in an appropriate environment.
12. When is ESY not an appropriate decision?
The purpose of providing ESY services to students with disabilities is to maintain identified skills to
prevent or avoid substantial loss of previously acquired or emerging skills or behavior. With this
objective it is expected that not every student will be in need of ESY services.
13. What happens if there is disagreement regarding ESY?
Parents and school districts are encouraged to resolve matters of disagreement. Mediation has
proven to be an effective method of dispute resolution. Upon request, the New Jersey Department of
Education will assign an impartial mediator to assist the parties in resolving differences. Mediation
is voluntary; therefore, the participants (parent(s), guardians, and school district) must agree to
mediation. In addition, parents and school districts can always exercise their right to request a due
process hearing.

More information regarding mediation or a due process hearing can be obtained by contacting the
New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, at (609) 292-0147.

                                       APPENDIX H

              Step-By-Step Instructions for Prompt Resolution of
                         Clear Violations of the Law
Call your Director of Special Services / Pupil Services (i.e., the head of special
education in your district). Inform them of the violation(s) of the law, and let them know
that you will be going to higher authorities if they do not correct the problem immediately. Do
not give them a long time to take action!

Call the County Supervisor of Child Study in the County Superintendents Office.
These offices are the State Department of Education’s representatives in each county, charged
with ensuring that local districts obey the law. Tell the County Supervisor if Child Study what
the problem is, and how it violates the law. Ask them to contact the appropriate person in your
school or district to inform them of the law immediately. Ask them to contact you as soon as
they have spoken with the appropriate school or district staff, because if you do not hear from
them within the next 24 hours (or less if true emergency, like a student being out of school) with
satisfactory news, you intend to take this matter to the next level.

Call Melinda Zangrillo, New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special
Education Programs, Policy, Compliance & Monitoring. Provide her with the
information that you provided to the County Supervisor, and ask if she can contact either the
County Supervisor’s office or your school district to resolve the matter informally by providing
the district with a little technical assistance.

If this does not resolve the problem, you may request emergent relief from the
New Jersey Office of Administrative Law by writing to the New Jersey State
Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. You must include
an “affidavit” of the problems that have led to your request for emergent, or emergency relief
and why you feel that this must be handled immediately to avoid disruption of your child’s
educational program, or harm to your child’s physical or mental well being. Emergent relief
would be appropriate if your child was out of school or threatened with exclusion from school
IEP services or Section 504 services or accommodations were changed without re-evaluation and
your consent; essential IEP or Section 504 services are nor being provided; your child will be
denied the right to attend a field trip in the near future unless you attend; or other problem that
requires immediate attention.

If it is not an emergency situation, you may proceed with filing a request for a due process, or
impartial hearing – a complaint with the NJ Department of Education – and/or a complaint with
the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.

Request for Due Process Hearing: File a request for a due process hearing whenever you
believe that your child has not been appropriately and timely identified, appropriately and timely
evaluated, appropriately and timely been determined eligible (or ineligible) for special education
and/or Section 504 services, had an appropriate IEP developed, including services to address all
areas of identified need in the least restrictive appropriate environment, and/or is receiving all
services on the IEP or Section 504 plan.

Complaint with NJ Department of Education: File a complaint with the New Jersey
Department of Education if you feel that there have been significant procedural violations, either
in your own child’s case or in the school or district as a whole. For example, if your district has
a policy that all children classified as “preschool disabled” are placed in segregated “preschool
disabled” programs, regardless of each child’s needs, you should file a complaint with the New
Jersey Department of Education. If your child is being denied an inclusionary preschool
program which you believe is appropriate for her/him, you may also file a request for a due
process hearing. In investigating and resolving complaints, the New Jersey Department of
Education will NOT determine whether or not a particular service is appropriate for your child,
merely whether or not there has been a violation of law or regulation.

Complaint with the U.S. DOE Office of Civil Rights: File a complaint with the US
Department of Education Office of Civil Rights if you feel that there has been discrimination
against your chills or other children in your school or district based on disability (and/or other
factors, such as race, sex, language, national origin, etc.). In other words, if children with
disabilities are not provided with as effective an education as students without disabilities, and
access to the full range of school and district programs, a discrimination complaint is
appropriate. For example, if all classified children in your district receive a half-day while non-
classified children are in school a full-day, this would be an appropriate matter to bring to the
attention of the Office of Civil Rights. Or if your district has after-school programs, and
excludes students with disabilities, a discrimination complaint would be appropriate.

Each of these three “non-emergency” forums will take much longer to resolve than the informal
means identified in Steps 1 – 3, or the emergent relief hearing described in Step 4. However, the
sooner you exhaust the informal steps and file a complaint or complaints under Step 5, the
sooner your concerns will be resolved.

If you want more information on due process hearings or complaints to the New Jersey State
Department of Education or the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, request
SPAN’s Conflict Resolution packet.

     Melinda Zangrillo, NJ DOE OSEP
     CN 500
     Trenton, NJ 08625
     (609) 292-0147
                  Complaint Filing with New Jersey Department of Education

To file a complaint with the NJ Department of Education, a parent may write a letter containing
the following information:

The parent is filing a complaint under Chapter 14 Special Education New Jersey Administrative
Code Title 6 Education, Section 6:14-9.2 Complaint Investigation, which provides that "(a) The
Director of the Division of Special Education or his or her designee(s) shall be responsible for
reviewing, investigating and taking action on any signed written complaint of substance
regarding the provision of special education and/or related services covered under this chapter...
(b) The investigation may include, but not be limited to, 1. Review of policies and procedures; 2.
Review of pupil records(s); 3. Observation of special class programs; and 4. Interview(s) of
complainants, staff and parents." The investigation must be completed within 60 calendar days of
receipt of a written complaint.

The parent is alleging that the school, district or state are violating state or federal special
education law, specifically, section(s) (state specific sections of the law that are being violated),
in the following manner: (state the facts that indicate that the law is being violated.

The parent is filing the complaint not only on behalf of their own child(ren) but also on behalf of
all children similarly affected by the action(s) of the school, district or state.

The parent wishes to be interviewed in the course of the investigation.

The parent requests certain corrective action, specifically listed:

The parent expects the investigation to be completed no later than 60 calendar days from receipt
of the written complaint, and sooner if possible given the severity of the noncompliance and the
potential harm to children.

The parent signs and dates the complaint, makes a copy for their own records, and sends it to:
Director of the Division of Special Education
       Barbara Gantwerk
       CN 500
       Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

                               Office of Special Education Programs
           Atlantic County                Sheralyn Gottlieb, Randi Burton    Burlington County Office of Education
             John Misieczko              Bergen County Office of Education   3 Union Street, County Office Building
   Atlantic County Office of Education      327 E. Ridgewood Avenue                   Mt. Holly, NJ 08060
       6260 Old Harding Highway                Paramus, NJ 07652                        (609) 265-5060
        Mays Landing, NJ 08330                   (201) 599-6256                       Fax: (609) 265-5932
           (609) 625-0004 x 44                 Fax: (201) 599-6255
           Fax: (609) 625-6539                                                        Camden County
                                               Burlington County                    Carolyn Carthew
           Bergen County                           Jilda Radbill             Camden County Office of Education
       West Building, Suite 513               Department of Education                  Steffanie DeBruyne
        6981 North Park Drive                      Victorian Plaza              Passaic County Office of Education
       Pennsauken, NJ 09109                      1 East Main Street                   810 Belmont Avenue
           (609) 661-3155                      Flemington, NJ 08822                 North Haledon, NJ 07508
         Fax: (609) 661-3172                      (908) 788-1414                         (973) 304-6020
                                                Fax: (908) 788-1457                    Fax: (973) 304-0149
        Cape May County
          John Misieczko                          Mercer County                          Salem County
    NJ Department of Education                     Jane Marano                       Dr. George W. Shellem
Cape May County Superintendent Office   Mercer County Department of Education    Salem County Office of Education
      4 Moore Road, DN-701                     1075 Old Trenton Road                     94 Market Street
 Cape May Court House, NJ 082 10                 Trenton, NJ 08690                       Salem, NJ 08079
      (609) 465-7911 x 1282                       (609) 588-5873                      (609) 935-7510 x 8431
       Fax: (609) 465-2094                      Fax: (609) 588-5849                    Fax: (609) 935-6290

       Cumberland County                        Middlesex County                       Somerset County
         Dr. George Shellem                      Dr. Claudia Radeke                       Linda Walters
Cumberland County Office of Education         Supervisor of Child Study               40 North Bridge Street
19 Landis Avenue, Bridgeton, NJ 08302        NJ Department of Education             Somerville, NJ 08876-1262
           (609) 451-0211                     1501 Livingston Avenue                     (908) 231-7171
         Fax: (609) 455-9523                 North Brunswick, NJ 08902                 Fax: (908) 722-6102
                                                   (732) 249-2900
          Essex County                                                                  Sussex County
      Paul Bilik, Gayle Strauss                Monmouth County                         Dr. Marylou Varley
  Essex County Office of Education                Lucille Stellatella           Sussex County Office of Education
       155 Fairview Avenue                   NJ Department of Education                 18 Church Street
      Cedar Grove, NJ 07009                        3435 Highway 9                   County Services Building
          (973) 857-5700                         Freehold, NJ 07728                    Newton, NJ 07860
        Fax: (973) 239-3492                        (732) 431-7823                        (973) 579-6996
        Gloucester County                       Fax: (732) 577-0679                   Fax: (973) 722-6902
           Celeste Curley
Gloucester County Office of Education             Morris County                          Union County
        1492 Tanyard Road                           Donna Bogard                          Karen Ellmore
         Sewell, NJ 09080                    NJ Department of Education              Department of Education
           (609) 468-6500                              CN 900                   Union County Superintendent Office
        Fax: (609) 468-9115                  Morristown, NJ 07963-0900                  300 North Avenue
                                                   (973) 285-8320                      Westfield, NJ 07090
         Hudson County                          Fax: (973) 285-8341                      (908) 654-9860
         Anthony Errichetto                       Ocean County                         Fax: (908) 654-9869
  Hudson County Office of Education              Stephen Coplin
        595 Newark Avenue               Ocean County Superintendent Office              Warren County
       Jersey City, NJ 07306                  212 Washington Street                     Dr. Marylou Varley
          (201) 319-3850                      Toms River, NJ 08753                      537 Oxford Street
        Fax: (201) 319-9650                      (732) 929-2078                        Belvidere, NJ 07823
                                               Fax: (732) 244-9242                       (908) 475-6326
        Hunterdon County                                                               Fax: (908) 475-3541
           Cheryl Messler                        Passaic County

                                           APPENDIX I

                       ACRONYMS &
                    GLOSSARY OF TERMS
ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
APA - Alternate Proficiency Assessments
CCCS - Core Curriculum Content Standards
CSPD - Comprehensive System of Personnel Development
CST - Child Study Team
DDD - Division of Developmental Disabilities
DEC - Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children
ESPA - Elementary School Proficiency Assessment
ESY - Extended School Year
EWT - Early Warning Test
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education
FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FT - Basic Flow-Through
GEPA - Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment
HSPA - High School Proficiency Assessment
HSPT - High School Proficiency Test
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IFSP - Individual Family Service Plan
LD - Learning Disability
LEA - Local Education Agency
LEP - Limited English Proficient
LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
NICHCY/NICCHY - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Handicaps
N.J.A.C. - New Jersey Administrative Code
NJDOE - New Jersey Department of Education
N.J.S.A. - New Jersey Statutes Annotated
OSEP - Office of Special Education Programs
OT - Occupational Therapy
P&A - Protection and Advocacy
PT - Physical Therapy
SAT - Standardized Achievement Test
SE - Supported Employment
SEA - State Education Agency
SPED, SPECED - Special Education
STC - School-to-Career
STW - School-to-Work
UAP - University Affiliated Program
USDOE - United States Department of Education

Abbott district: As defined by New Jersey Statutes Annotated (NJSA) 18A:7F-3, means one of
the 30 poor urban school districts. Twenty-eight districts were litigants in the original Abbott v.
Burke funding case decided by the New Jersey Supreme Court on June 5, 1990 (119 N.J. 287,
394): Asbury Park, Bridgeton, Burlington, Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Garfield,
Gloucester, Harrison, Hoboken, Irvington, Jersey City, Keansburg, Long Branch, Millville, New
Brunswick, Newark, City of Orange, Passaic, Paterson, Pemberton, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg,
Pleasantville, Trenton, Union, Vineland, and West New York. Neptune and Plainfield were
added in 1999 to bring the total to 30.
academic achievement: Refers to the level of proficiency in academic subjects such as math
and reading.
achievement discrepancy: The difference between a child’s performance and his or her
measured potential. The term is used in learning disabilities and generally refers to academic
performance lower than expected.
adaptive behavior: A parameter of classifica-tion that refers to one’s ability to be socially
appropriate and personally responsible.
adaptive physical education: Physical edu-cation modified (adapted) to meet the needs and
disabilities of exceptional youngsters.
adult service agencies: Agencies whose major focus is on providing the necessary services to
assist individuals with disabilities to become more independent.
advocacy: The process of actively speaking out, writing in favor of, supporting, and/or acting
on behalf of oneself, another person, or a cause. Advocacy can be any action to assure the best
possible services for or intervention in the service system on behalf of an individual or group.
advocate: Anyone who speaks or acts on behalf of oneself, another person, or a cause.
age appropriate: Activities, materials, curric-ulum, and environment consistent with the
chronological age of the child being served.
Alternate Proficiency Assessments (APA): The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,
reauthorized in May 1997, mandates the participation of all students with disabilities in statewide
assessments. States must develop and conduct alternate assessments for students who cannot
participate in the general state-wide assessments. As a result, the APA will be used for students
with disabilities in the statewide assessment program.
amendment: A change made by the LEA to the budget or scope of an approved appli-cation
for which the LEA has received a Notification of Award.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Federal legislation that gives civil rights protection to
individuals with disabilities. Enacted into law July 1990.
appropriate: 1. Able to meet a need; suitable or fitting. 2. In special education, it can be
referred to as the most normal setting possible. An “appropriate education” would be individual
education program specially designed to meet the unique needs of a child who has a disability.
approved program: As used in the rules pertaining to special education, a written description
of a school district’s policies and procedures for implementing its special education program that
is found by the division to comply with the laws of the state.
assessment: A collecting and bringing to-gether of information about a child’s learning needs,
which may include social, psycho-logical, and educational evaluations used to determine
assignment to special programs or services; a process using observation, testing, and test analysis
to determine an individual’s strengths and weaknesses to plan, for example, his or her
educational services. Also referred to in some instances as “evaluation.”
assessment team: A team of people from different areas of expertise who observe and test a
child to determine his or her strengths and weaknesses.
assistive device: Any item, piece of equip-ment, or product system, whether acquired
comercially, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve func-tional
capabilities of a person with a develop-mental disability. Examples include visual alerting
systems for a person with a hearing impairment, or a braille printer for a person who is blind.
assistive technology: The systematic applica-tion of technology, engineering methodolo-gies,
or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by per-sons with
developmental disabilities in areas including education, employment, supported employment,
transportation, independent living, and other community living arrange-ments. This term
includes assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
at risk: A term used with children who have, or could have, problems with their develop-ment
that may affect later learning.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD): A condition characterized by when a person is easily
distracted and has difficulty staying focused on an individual activity for any period of time. The
classification of the DSMIII-R System; inattention, and inpul-sivity are present before age 7.
ADD affects 3-5% of all students, and is not recognized as a separate category of disability under
federal educational legislation (IDEA). See also “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” as
these terms are often used interchangeably.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A condition in which a child exhibits
signs of developmentally inappro-priate hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inatten-tion. These
characteristics are usually present before the age of 7. ADHD is similar to “Attention Deficit
Disorder,” except emphasis is placed on the hyperactivity. Either ADD or ADHD is acceptable

basic-skills approach: Pertaining to instruc-tion that lays the ground work for further
development and higher levels of functioning.
Behavior Management/Modification: To develop, strengthen, maintain, decrease or eliminate
behaviors in a planned or systematic way.
carry-over: IDEA-B funds which the recip-ient has not obligated by the end of the project
period for which the funds were awarded. These funds remain available for continued use for
the expenditures during the next project period.
case management activities: 1. The activi-ties carried out by a service coordinator to assist and
enable a child and family to receive the rights, procedural safeguards, and services authorized to
be provided. 2. Priority area activities to establish a potentially life-long, goal-oriented process
for coordinating the range of assistance needed by persons with developmental disabilities and
their families, which is designed to ensure accessibility, continuity of supports and services, and
ac-countability and to ensure that the maximum potential of persons with developmental dis-
abilities for independence, productivity, and integration into the community is attained.
Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS): Standards for the seven academic and five
workplace readiness areas adopted by the State Board of Education May 1, 1996 and as, in the
future, may be revised by the State Board. These standards communicate the common
expectations for student achieve-ment throughout the 13 years of public education. The standards
are articulated in the subject areas of visual and performing arts, comprehensive health/physical
education, language arts literacy, mathematics, science, social studies and world languages. The
five cross content areas for workplace readiness are: career planning, use of technology infor-
mation and other tools, critical thinking/ decision making/problem solving, self-man-agement
and safety principles.
Child Find: A series of public awareness efforts designed to alert the community at-large to the
availability of and rationale for early childhood intervention programs and services. This service
is directed by each state’s Department of Education for iden-tifying and diagnosing unserved
children with disabilities; while Child Find looks for all unserved children, it makes a special
effort to identify children from birth to six years old.
Child Study Team (CST): Consists of a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher/
consultant, and school social worker who are employees of the school district responsible for
conducting evaluations to determine eligibility for special education and related services for
students with disabilities.
children with disabilities: Pupils ages 3 to 21, evaluated and classified in accordance with
current regulations.
civil rights: The rights of a citizen of the United States that deal with the right to due process,
informed consent, appeal, petition for change, equal protection under the law, adult patterns of
behavior, education, equal oppor-tunity, and opportunities in a least restrictive setting.
cognitive: A term that describes the process people use for remembering, reasoning, un-
derstanding, problem solving, evaluating, and using judgment. Cognition, more simply, is what
a person or child knows and under-stands, or the process of knowing.
cognitive development: The development of skills necessary for understanding and organ-izing
the world, including such perceptual and conceptual skills as discrimination, memory,
sequencing, concept formation, generaliza-tion, reasoning, and problem solving.
Comprehensive System of Personnel De-velopment (CSPD): Plan developed by districts to
ensure an adequate supply of special education, regular education, and related-services
personnel. The district must identify personnel needs and develop strate-gies to provide in
service to ensure that all staff members working with children with disabilities have the skills
and knowledge necessary to meet the students’ needs.
conservatorship/guardianship: Court-ordered mandate by which an individual or institution is
appointed (a) to manage the estate of the person judged incapable (not necessarily incompetent)
of caring for his/her own affairs; and/or (b) to be responsible for the care and decisions made on
behalf of a person when that individual, again, is determined to be unable to care for herself/
himself. In some states a guardian assists the person and the conservator assists the estate of the

developmental: Having to do with the steps or stages in growth and development before the age
of 18.
developmental age: The actual age score a child receives within a specific developmental area
as compared to the chronological age.
developmental assessment: Standardized tests intended to document the emergence of a
sequence of behaviors, skills, or abilities over a period of time.
developmental delay: When a child’s development progresses at a slower rate than most
disability: 1. A particular act that someone has problems performing, like reading a book,
running or dressing, because of an impair-ment. A disability is not a handicap unless the
individual with a disability must function in a particular activity that is impeded by his or her
physical limitation, or because society has said he or she is “unable” to perform activities for
which they, in fact, are able to perform. 2. The result of any physical or mental condition that
affects or prevents one’s ability to develop, achieve, and/or function in educational and social
settings within the “normal” rate of growth and development.
disorder: A disturbance in normal func-tioning (mental, physical or psychological).
distractibility: Attention drawn too fre-quently to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli.
Example: While being interviewed, a subject’s attention is repeatedly drawn to noise from an
adjoining office, a book that is on a shelf or the interviewer’s school ring.
Division of Early Childhood of the Coun-cil for Exceptional Children (DEC):                    The
professional organization for persons serving preschool children with disabilities.
due process: A legal term referring to an action that protects a person’s rights; in special
education, this applies to action taken to protect the educational rights of students with
Due Process Hearing: A formal legal procee-ding presided over by an impartial public official
who listens to both sides of the dispute and renders a decision based upon the law.
early intervention programs or services: Programs or services designed to meet the
developmental needs of each eligible infant or toddler and their family under Part C and also to
meet the needs of the family as they relate to enhancing the child’s development. Such services
are designed to (a) identify, assess, and treat developmental disabilities at the earliest possible
time to prevent more serious disability; (b) ensure the maximum growth and development of the
child; and to (c) assist families in raising a child with a develop-mental disability.
Early Warning Test (EWT): Administered in grade 8 from 1991-1998 was used as a primary
indicator for determining those stu-dents who might need instructional interven-tion in reading,
mathematics, and/or writing. The EWT was intended to give an indication of the progress
students were making in mastering the skills they needed to pass the HSPT11.
educable: A level of mental retardation, based on educability expectation, which involves
measured intelligence of 55 to about 70, with academic achievement at the second to fifth grade
level. Social adjustment often permits some degree of independence in the commu-nity and
occupational sufficiency permits par-tial or total self-support.
education records: Records directly related to a student and maintained by an educational
agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA): Used to determine cumulative
achievement of the Core Curriculum Content Standards through fourth grade as measured by the
statewide assessment system.
employability skills: Skills relating to choo-sing a career, getting and keeping a job, making job
and career changes, and career advancement.
employment activities: Priority area activi-ties that will increase the independence, pro-
ductivity, or integration of a person with developmental disabilities in work settings.
empowerment: The interaction of pro-fessionals with families in such a way that families
maintain or acquire a sense of control over their family lives and attribute positive changes that
result from early intervention to their own strengths, abilities, and actions.
enabling: Creating opportunities and means for families to display their present abilities and
competencies and to acquire new ones that are necessary to meet the needs of their children and
equal access: 1. The elimination of any barrier that prohibits any child from participating in
activities typically engaged in by other children. 2. As used in vocational education, providing
the same opportunity for quality vocational education to include disabled and disadvantaged
individuals and other special populations including provisions for recruitment, enrollment in all
programs, and placement of these individuals in jobs.
evaluation: As applies to educational settings, a way of collecting information (includes test-
ing, observations, and parental input) about a student’s learning needs, strengths, and interests.
The evaluation is part of the process of determining whether a student qualifies for special
education programs and services.
Extended School Year (ESY): A term referred to school programs for children with disabilities
that extend beyond 180 days, came into wide use in the 1980’s with litigation to extend the
school year for some children.
Free Appropriate Public Education(FAPE): Consists of special education and related
services that are provided at public expense under public supervision and direction and without
charge; meet state and federal require-ments; include preschool, elementary, or secondary school
education; and are provided according to an Individualized Education Program.
functional: Represents a skill that is necessary for success in daily functioning, now or in the
functional academic curriculum: Curricu-lum that teaches academic material (reading, math,
etc.) with content that is the most commonly relevant and necessary for a person’s daily living.

Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA): March 1999 marked the first administration of
the Grade 8 Proficiency Assessment (GEPA). The GEPA takes the place of the Grade 8 Early
Warning Test, which had been administered to eighth graders since March 1991. The GEPA is
intended to provide information about stu-dent progress toward mastery of the skills specified by
the Core Curriculum Content Standards in all seven subject areas.

High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA): Will replace the HSPT and will be used to
determine student achievement of the knowledge and skills specified by all areas of the Core
Curriculum Content Standards and Workplace Readiness Standards. By 2006-7, the HSPA will
test all of the standards, and students must pass all sections of the test as one of the requirements
for a high school diploma.
High School Proficiency Test (HSPT): Administered in the fall of the junior year, consists of
three sections (reading, mathema-tics, writing) that students must pass as one of the requirements
for a high school diploma. Students who do not pass all three sections receive additional
instruction and are retested on the section or sections they did not pass.

individual supports: Services, supports, and other assistance that enable persons with
developmental disabilities to be independent, productive, and integrated into their communities,
and that are designed to: (A) enable the person to control his or her en-vironment, permitting the
most independent life possible, (B) prevent placement into a more restrictive living arrangement
than is necessary, and (C) enable the person to live, learn, work and enjoy life in the community.
Individual supports include personal assis-tance services, assistive technology, vehicular and
home modifications, support at work, and transportation.
Individualized Educational Program (IEP): A written education plan for a school-aged child
with disabilities developed by a team of professionals (teachers, therapists, etc.) and the child’s
parents. IEPs are based on a multidisciplinary evaluation of the child, describes how the child is
presently doing, what the child’s learning needs are, and what services the child will need. They
are re-viewed and updated yearly. IEPs are required under Public Law 94-142, the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For children age birth through 2 years, an Indivi-dual
Family Service Plan (IFSP) is written.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP): A plan of intervention for an eligible child (age
birth through 2) and his/her family, similar in content to the IEP, which has been developed by a
team of people who have worked with the child and family. IFSPs must contain: statements
regarding the child’s present development level, strengths, and needs; the family’s strengths and
needs; major outcomes of the plan, a description of the specific interventions and delivery
systems to accomplish outcomes, statement of natural environments, name of service
coordinator, dates of initiation and duration of services, dates for evaluation of the plan, and a
transition plan.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The federal statute that mandates a free,
appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. In New Jersey, that includes
ages three to 21.

jargon: The language professionals use that no one can ever understand.
job coaching: On the job training provided by a job coach trained in the specific job.

learning disability (LD): A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes
involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an
imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calcula-tions. The
term includes, but is not limited to conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury,
minimal brain dysfunction, dys-lexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include
children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor
disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or en-vironmental, cultural, or economic
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Sets the standard that, to the maximum extent
appropriate, children with disabilities should be educated with children who are not disa-bled. It
means that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from
the regular educational environment occur only when the severity of the disability is such that
education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved
Limited English Proficient (LEP): Defined in N.J.A.C. 6:31-1.1 as describing pupils whose
native language is other than English and who have sufficient difficulty speaking, reading,
writing or understanding the English language as measured by an English language proficiency
test. Thus they would be denied the opportunity to learn successfully in class-rooms where the
language of instruction is English.
local education agency (LEA): A school district, board of education, or other public authority
under the supervision of a state educational agency having administrative control and direction
of public elementary or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or political
subdivision in a state, or any other public educational institu-tion or agency having
administrative control and direction of a vocational education pro-gram.

mainstream: The usual educational placement of a child. To mainstream a child is to place him
in a general education class or something approaching it, rather than in a self-contained special
mainstreaming: The process of integrating children with disabilities into regular educa-tional
or social programs, implementing the least restrictive environment concept. The LRE concept
provides for appropriate sup-ports and services to help the child to succeed in the mainstream
major life activities: Functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
monitoring: 1. In general, the function that involves checking a program in process to determine
its effectiveness. 2. A requirement of P.L. 94-142 that all school systems receiving federal funds
under that Act must undergo external evaluation.
multidisciplinary: Refers to two or more professionals (educators, psychologists, and others)
working together and sharing infor-mation in the evaluation, assessment, and development of an

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Handicaps (NICHCY or
NICCHY): Free information service that assists parents, educators, caregivers, and others in
ensuring that all children and youth with disabilities have an opportunity to reach their full
norm-referenced assessment: Refers to assessment where a person’s performance is compared
with the average of a larger group.
normal: A general term applied to behavior or abilities that fall within the average range; that
which is considered acceptable, not exceptional.

occupational therapy (OT): A therapy, treatment, or instructional support provided by an
occupational therapist to the child, family, and/or pertinent members of the child’s environment.
OT helps develop adap-tive or physical skills that will aid in daily living and improve
interactions with the physical and social world. It focuses on developing functional skills related
to sensory-motor integration; coordination of move-ment; fine motor skills; self-help skills
(dressing, self-feeding, etc.); adaptive devices/ equipment; computer keyboarding; position-ing
for school work; and potential work-related activities.
outcome: A desired behavior or skill to be ac-quired as a result of intervention strategies.
outcome-based: Refers to selection of an intervention based on its results.
parent: A parent, guardian, person acting as a parent of a child, or a surrogate parent who has
been appointed in accordance with the law, but not the state if the child is a ward of the state.
people-first language: The respectful way of talking or writing about persons with disabili-ties
in a manner that identifies and emphasizes the “person first” and the disability second. The use
of people first language encourages all references about a person’s needs, disabling condition,
use of specialized equipment, etc., to follow the reference to the person. Example: “a cerebral
palsied boy confined to a wheelchair” instead of “a boy with cerebral palsy uses a wheelchair.”
physical therapy (PT): Instructional support and treatment of physical disabilities provided by
a trained physical therapist, under a doc-tor’s prescription, that helps a person improve the use of
bones, muscles, joints, and nerves. It includes the use of massage, exercise, stret-ching, water,
light, heat, and certain forms of electricity, all of which are mechanical rather than medical in
nature. Physical therapy assists in maximizing a person’s general fitness, sensorimotor
development, neuro-behavioral organization, neuroskeletalmuscu-lar function, and
cardiopulmonary status.
policy/policies: Rules and regulations; as related to early intervention and special edu-cation
programs, the rules that a state or local school system has for providing services for and
educating its students with special needs.
Protection and Advocacy (P&A): Nation-wide system to protect and advocate the rights of
persons with developmental disabilities. Each state is mandated by Section 113 of the 1975
Develop-mental Disabilities Act to have a protection and advocacy agency.

residential school program: An approved, specialized educational program provided in a
facility that a child attends 24 hours a day.
resource room: A room separate from the regular classroom in which children with disabilities
can receive specialized assistance to reinforce and supplement the regular class ins-truction. The
amount of time students spend each day in the resource room varies according to individual
needs, and the remainder of the day is spent in his or her regular classroom.

School-To-Career (STC): New Jersey’s model of the federal School-To-Work Oppor-tunities
School-to-Work (STW): Federal legislation signed into law in 1994 to address the need to
develop an educational system that matches students’ educational attainment and corres-ponding
skills more closely to job opportu-nities. It reinforces the need to prepare students with high
levels of technical skills and related academic competencies.
State Education Agency (SEA): A state-level entity such as the New Jersey Depart-ment of
Education authorized under federal law to administer federal funds directed to education in the
segregated educational facilities: Educa-tional facilities separate from the mainstream
placements of nondisabled youngsters, often termed “special schools.”
special education (SPED, Speced): Instruc-tion specifically designed to meet the unique needs
of a student with a disability, including classroom instruction, instruction in physical education,
home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions.
speech therapist: Individual trained to work with others in speech improvement and cor-
rection. See “speech-language pathologist.”
speech-language pathologist: A professional educated in the study of human communica-tion,
its development, and its disorders. They conduct screenings, diagnosis and treatments for people
with communication disorders. The speech pathologist may work with a number of different
types of problems, including articulation errors, language deficits, vocabulary, pitch or voice
problems, and alter-native communication methods for individu-als who are nonverbal.
speech/language therapy: 1. A planned pro-gram to improve and correct speech and/or
language or communication problems in people who are not thought to be able to improve
without such help. 2. In reference to Part C and early intervention: instructional support to the
child, family, and pertinent members of the child’s environment for enhancing the child’s
production of speech (including developmental prerequisites) and communication skills.
Standardized Achievement Test (SAT): A measure that is administered and scored by uniform
objective procedures and for which norms have been established (prescribed routine to assure
that the process is consistent) so the scores of anyone completing the test can be compared to the
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: A stand-ardized psychological test to assess intelli-gence.
Performance is based on problem solving and developmental tasks. Originally the Binet-Simon
Scales, were revised and standardized by Lewis Terman at Stanford University.
strengths: The unique internal resources (things) of a family/child that include their capabilities
and motivations and will assist in their development: i.e., stubborn, good gross motor skills,
cognitive intactness.
supported employment (SE): Vocational training and ongoing support provided to an
individual who is working competitively at an integrated job site in the community. Supported
employment may be provided for someone who has not yet been employed in an integrated
setting; or for persons for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as
a result of a developmental disability, and who because of their disability need on-going support
services to perform such work.
systems advocacy: Influencing social and political systems to bring about change for groups of
people. Usually a coalition of people, but sometimes an individual, will seek changes, such as
changes in laws, establishing group homes where there have been none, or arranging for the
removal of architectural and transportation barriers.

team: Two or more persons who must coordinate with each other in order to get some task done.
They must also interact with and influence each other in order to accomplish that task.
transdisciplinary: Multiple disciplines work together in the initial assessment, but pro-vision of
services is provided by one or two team members.
transition: The process of bridging the time and environments between two settings, programs,
or life situations (e.g., from home to school, school to school, or from school/ home to
employment /independent living).
typical peer: The chronologically aged peers of a child with disabilities who are not identified as

University Affiliated Program (UAP): Any of the interdisciplinary training centers spon-sored
by the federal government to demonstrate innovative methods of delivering ser-vices, to train
specialists, and to do research in developmental disabilities. A UAP can be operated by a public
or nonprofit private entity, including parents of persons with developmental disabilities,
professionals, paraprofessionals, students, and volunteers, which is associated with, or is an
integral part of, a college or university. The UAP in NJ is located in New Brunswick at (732)

                                                 APPENDIX J


                                                      ARC New Jersey
                                                        985 Livingston Avenue
                                                      North Brunswick, NJ 08902
  Statewide, private, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1947 by a group of parents with a vision of building a better
                                quality of life for people with mental retardation and their families.

                                                           ARC US
                                                 National Headquarters Office
                                                1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 650
                                                   Silver Spring, MD 20910
                                                       Fax: 301-565-5342
Nation's leading organization on mental retardation, representing over seven million children and adults with mental retardation
and their families. Provides assistance in programming, research, legislation, communication, organization and other services.

                                               ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey
                                                    390 Broad Street, 3rd Floor
                                                        Newark, NJ 07104
     Promotes leadership in the Latino community through edu-cation, guidance and career counseling, college placement,
       assistance in obtaining financial aid; motivates and places Latino youth in post-secondary educational programs.

                                     Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ)
                                                       35 Halsey Street
                                                      Newark, NJ 07102
 Nonprofit statewide child advocacy organization that acts as a non-partisan voice to improve the lives and living conditions of
                                                    New Jersey's children.

                                       Association for the Care of Children’s Health
                                              7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 300
                                                       Bethesda, MD 20814
      Parents and professionals in a united effort to affect positive outcomes for children in today's challenging healthcare

                                           Center for Outreach & Service for the
                                              Autistic Community (COSAC)
                                                 1450 Parkside Avenue, Suite 22
                                                        Ewing, NJ 08638
                                                Autism Help-Line: 1-800-4-AUTISM
                                                        or 609-883-8100

                                                   Children's Defense Fund
                                                           25 E Street NW
                                                        Washington, DC 20001
Strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves, with particular attention to
    poor and minority children and those with disabilities. Educates about the needs of children and encourages preventive
                  investment before they get sick or into trouble, drop out of school, or suffer family breakdown.

                                      Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired
                                                     153 Halsey Street
                                                      P.O. Box 47017
                                                     Newark, NJ 07101
Promotes and provides services in the areas of education, employment, independence and eye health through informed choice
             and partnership with persons who are blind or visually impaired, their families and the community.

                                    Commission on Recreation for the Handicapped
                                                101 South Broad Street, CN 814
                                                      Trenton, NJ 08625
                   Advocates and assists in the development of recreation services for people with disabilities.
                                    Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH)
                                                      Capital Center, CN 074
                                                     Trenton, NJ 08625-0074
                                                 1-800-792-8339 or 609-984-7281
                                                        Fax: 609-984-0390
Advocate for New Jersey's deaf and hard of hearing population by promoting increased accessibility to programs, services, and
 information routinely available to the State's general population. Involved in social, legal, medical, education, and recreational
                                          Division of Developmental Disabilities
                                                       Capital Center, CN 726
                                                       Trenton, NJ 08625-0726
Provides services in the least restrictive environment possible, to foster individual development and independence to people with
 developmental disabilities. Provides residential and rehabilitative services, community services including information/referral,
          case management, day programs, family support and alternative living arrangements, public guardianships.

                                     Division of Vocational Rehabilitative Services
                                                 135 East State Street, CN 398
                                                       Trenton, NJ 08625
Responsibilities include training and placement. Anyone of employable age with a work disability can apply for services at any of
                                                  the division’s district offices.

                                                  Easter Seals New Jersey
                                                         1 Kimberly Road
                                                   East Brunswick, NJ 08816
                                                       Fax: 732-257-7373
                                                       TDD: 732-257-4442
Provides health and human services to individuals and their families to overcome physical, social and economic barriers so that
                      they may participate in their communities with equality, dignity and independence.

                                           Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey
                                                     206 West State Street
                                                      Trenton, NJ 08608
                      Supports people with epilepsy and produces a free newsletter sent around the world.

                                                 Education Law Center, Inc.
                                                            Room 205
                                                     155 Washington Street
                                                        Newark, NJ 07102
 Provides free legal assistance to parents, students, their organizations and concerned individuals who encounter individual or
                                         systemic problems in public school education.
                                                       The Family Village
                                                        Waisman Center,
                                                University of Wisconsin-Madison
                                                      1500 Highland Avenue
                                                    Madison, WI 53705-2280
  A global community that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for people with
              cognitive and other disabilities, their families, and those that provide them services and support.

                                      Learning Disability Association of New Jersey
                                                          P.O. Box 187
                                                     Oceanport, NJ 07757
  National, non-profit organization advancing the education and general welfare of children and adults of normal or potentially
                normal intelligence who manifest disabilities of a perceptual, conceptual, or coordinative nature.
                                                  Learning Resource Centers
                                                      North: 973-631-6345
                                               Northern Satellite: 201-539-6346
                                                     Central: 908-679-8252
                                                     South: 609-582-7000
                Provide information services, material circulation services, consultation and production services.

                                         Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
                                                      National Headquarters
                                                      706 Haddonfield Road
                                                       Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people coping with multiple sclerosis - those with MS, their families and their friends.

                                          Muscular Dystrophy Association - USA
                                                   National Headquarters
                                                  3300 East Sunrise Drive
                                                      Tucson, AZ 85718
     A voluntary health agency and dedicated partnership between scientists and concerned citizens aimed at conquering
                             neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million Americans.

                                     National Association of Child Advocates (NACA)
                                                 1522 K Street, NW, Suite 600
                                                 Washington, D.C. 20005-1202
                                                        Fax: 202-289-0776
  Only national organization devoted to building the capacity of state and local child advocacy organizations. Forum for child
  advocacy leaders to convene, share ideas and information, join efforts and strategies, sharpen their skills, and increase the
                                            impact of the child advocacy movement.

                                          National Association for the Deaf (NAD)
                                                        814 Thayer Avenue
                                                     Silver Springs, MD 20910
   Oldest and largest organization representing people with disabilities in the United States (since 1880). Safeguards the
accessibility and civil rights of 28 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans in education, employment, health care and social
                                                  services, and telecommunications.

                 National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)
                                                          P.O. Box 1492
                                                 Washington, D.C. 20013-1492
                                                 800-695-0285 or 202-884-8200
   National information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families,
                    educators, and other professionals. Special focus on children and youth (birth to 22).

                                   National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
                                                 100 Route 37, P.O. Box 8923
                                                 New Fairfield, CT 06812-8923
    Unique federation of voluntary health organizations helping people with rare diseases and organizations serving them.
    Committed to identification, treatment, and cure of rare dis-orders through education, advocacy, research, and service.

                                    National Parent Network on Disabilities (NPND)
                                               1130 - 17th Street, NW, Suite 400
                                                     Washington, DC 20036
                                                        Fax: 202-463-9403
Provides a presence and voice for families of children and adults with disabilities. Keeps members informed of, and advocates
                   for, legislation that improves the lives and protects the rights of people with disabilities.

                                New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE)
                                                        P.O. Box 186
                                                East Brunswick, NJ 08816
                                                    Fax: 732-390-3319
    A group of parents and professionals promoting fully supported inclusive educational opportunities for all students with
                                                 disabilities in New Jersey.

                                         New Jersey Department of Education
                                     Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
                                                             CN 500
                                                     Trenton, NJ 08625-0001
 Implements laws and regulations governing special education to ensure that pupils with disabilities in New Jersey receive full
                                                educational opportunities.

                                             New Jersey Department of Health
                                                  Special Child Health Services
                                                             CN 364
                                                       Trenton, NJ 08625
 Assures that all persons with special health needs have access to comprehensive, community based, culturally competent and
                                                      family centered care.

                                       New Jersey Department of Human Services
                                                 P.O. Box 47017, Halsey Street
                                                       Newark, NJ 07101
                                                     800-962-1233 (in NJ)
 Serving NJ’s most vulnerable citizens: abused and neglected children; troubled youth and families; the poor; and persons who
                are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard-of-hearing.

                                    New Jersey Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (NJP&A)
                                               210 South Broad Street, 3rd Floor
                                                        Trenton, NJ 08608
Consumer-controlled, non-profit organization that serves as New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people
                                                   with disabilities in the state.

                                           New Jersey Self-Help Clearinghouse
    Provides information and referral regarding local, state and national self-help groups as well as consultation, training and
                                                  publications to these groups.

                                                         PACER Center
                                                 4826 Chicago Avenue South
                                                 Minneapolis, MN 55417-1098
                                              612-827-2966, TDD: 612 827-7770
                      Nonprofit with 25 programs that help parents and families of children with disabilities.

                                     Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, Inc. (PCA-NJ)
                                                  35 Halsey Street, Suite 300
                                                    Newark, NJ 07102-3031
                                               973-643-3710, HandsNet: HN1874
                                                       Fax: 201-643-9222
  One of the most innovative leaders in child abuse prevention. Part of a nationwide network of chapters, PCA-NJ implements
   direct service programs in our community through research and media campaigns; training and technical assistance; and
                                                       advocacy efforts.

                                               Special Olympics New Jersey
                                                     Princeton Forrestal Center
                                                        201 Rockingham Row
                                                         Princeton, NJ 08540
                                                        800-650-SONJ (7665)
                                                         Fax: 609-734-0911
      Non-profit organization that provides athletic training and competition for children and adults with mental retardation.

                                    Spina Bifida Association of The Tri-State Region
                                        RJW Rehabilitation Institute, JFK Medical Center
                                                       84 Park Avenue
                                                   Flemington, NJ 08822
 Empowers the lives of people with spina bifida through advocacy, education, public awareness, and research, and to promote
                                                 the prevention of spina bifida.

                                    Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. (SPAN)
                                                     35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor
                                                         Newark, NJ 07102
                                                        Fax: 973-642-8080
                                                       800-654-SPAN (in NJ)
Empowers families, professionals and others interested in the well being and educational rights of children, with a commitment to
 children with the greatest need due to disability, poverty, discrimination, or other special needs. Provides information, training,
technical assistance, support and exchange of ideas through a multi-faceted program carried out by a bilingual, multi-racial staff
                                        of parents of children with and without disabilities.

                                             29 West Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 210
                                                         Baltimore, MD 21204
                                                          Fax: 410-828-6706
  An international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a
                            society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm.

                                     New Jersey University Affiliated Program (UAP)
                                                          Boggs Center, UMDNJ
                                                Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
                                                    New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2013
                                                           Fax: 732-235-9330
                                                           TDD: 732-235-9328
Provide a leadership role in the promotion of independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of people with developmental
  disabilities and their families through interdisciplinary education, community service activities and dissemination of materials.

                                         United Cerebral Palsy Association of NJ
                                                         354 South Broad Street
                                                         Trenton, NJ 08608-2502
 Dedicated to changing lives and bringing independence to people with all types of disabilities: cerebral palsy, trau-matic brain
injury, spinal cord injury, arthritis, spina bifida, mental retardation, hearing and visual impairments, alcohol and drug illness, and
                  stroke; permanent or temporary, from birth or acquired because of accidents, illness, or aging.

                                    United States Department of Education (USDOE)
                                           Office of Special Education Programs
                                                      330 C Street, SW
                                                  Mary E. Switzer Building
                                                   Washington, DC 20202
  Promotes and ensures the free appropriate public education of children and youth with disabilities from birth through age 21.

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