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EQUALS IN PARTNERSHIP BASIC RIGHTS FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc. 35 Halsey Street, 4th Floor Newark, NJ 07102 1-800-654-SPAN firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.spannj.org 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 BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS AND ADVOCACY Introduction 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 FEDERAL LAWS Introduction 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? WHAT IS AN INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM? Introduction 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……………………………………………………………. LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT AND INCLUSION Introduction 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? TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD Introduction 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? CONFLICT RESOLUTION Introduction 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 Mediation Due Process Preparation For Due Process Hearing Placement of Student During Procedures Complaint Investigation Emergency Relief Section 504 - How Can A Complaint Be Filed? APPENDIX A: PARENT ACTION TOOLS Becoming A Full Participant In Developing Your Child’s IEP Clarifying Your Goals for Your Child APPENDIX B: MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES WORKSHEETS 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 APPENDIX C: POSITIVE STUDENT PROFILES & GOALS-AT-A-GLANCE…. 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) APPENDIX D: IEP QUESTIONS & CHECKLIST Questions For Collaborative Team To Ask: Developing IEP & Assessing Results Of Instruction & Services Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) Checklist APPENDIX E: WHO'S WHO IN YOUR CHILD'S LIFE & CLASS CHECKLIST. Who’s Who In Your Child’s Life? Classroom Observation Checklist APPENDIX F: SAMPLE LETTERS & REQUEST FORMS Sample Letter Requesting An Evaluation Sample Letter Requesting An Independent Evaluation New Jersey Department of Education Request for Mediation/Due Process/Emergency Relief Hearing APPENDIX G: NJ DOE OSEP POLICY LETTERS 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 APPENDIX H: CLEAR VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW 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 APPENDIX I: ACRONYMS & GLOSSARY OF TERMS Acronyms……………………………………………………………………………………………….……. 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 others. 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: email@example.com (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: firstname.lastname@example.org ) Cumberland, Salem 223 Moore Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 Contact: Toni Slowinski (e-mail: email@example.com ) (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: firstname.lastname@example.org ) (973) 279-7100 Fax: (973) 523-1150 Area Served: Newark and surrounding communities Contact: Sheila Mendez (e-mail: email@example.com ) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact:Joyce Andrews (e-mail: email@example.com ) Trenton Alan Haber Jr. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com ) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Camden Contact: Zoie Barnett (e-mail: email@example.com ) ASPIRA Suzanne Mouldovan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.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, Pemberton Plainfield 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: email@example.com ) Contact: Vicky Sheppard Maria E. Rodriguez (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.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 BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS AND ADVOCACY Introduction 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. DEVELOPING A VISION OF ADVOCACY 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. PARENTING YOUR CHILDREN 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). GREAT EXPECTATIONS 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. PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING 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 assessments Depend on people, families, educators, Depend on professionals to make and direct service workers to judgments 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. UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD’S ABILITIES AND DISABILITY 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. BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS / COLLABORATIVE TEAMING 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? WHY DO PARENT / PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIPS TAKE SO MUCH WORK? 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. APPROPRIATE ASSERTIVENESS 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. ASSERTIVENESS INVENTORY FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES 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. Occasionally Sometimes Usually Always Never 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 meetings? 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? Occasionally Sometimes Usually Always Never 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 meetings? 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 skills. BECOMING AN ADVOCATE FOR YOUR CHILD 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 to become more productive and responsible. b. Note taking: Get names and roles of those present as well as the date, place, time, and 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 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 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. THE NEED FOR SELF-ADVOCACY 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. EDUCATIONAL SELF-ADVOCACY TIPS 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 Introduction 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. FACT SHEET ON INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA) 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. YOU AND THE LAW: OVERVIEW OF KEY FEDERAL LEGISLATION Following in chronological order are some important laws protecting children with disabilities and families. 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 drafted. 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 funds. 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 disabilities. 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 epilepsy. 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 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 ADD.” 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. CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: HOW CAN WE MEET THEIR NEEDS THROUGH SECTION 504 & IDEA? 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? FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT (“FAPE IN LRE”) a. Identify eligible students b. Non-discriminatory assessment & eligibility determination (initial & annual review) Team knowledgeable about child and Multi-disciplinary team (also triennial) disability 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 Guide. CHAPTER THREE WHAT IS AN INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM? Introduction 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 child. SPECIAL EDUCATION DELIVERY CYCLE Step 1: IDENTIFICATION Step 2: EVALUATION (Parents must sign consent form prior to initial evaluation and all subsequent evaluations and prior to initial “placement” or receipt of special education services) Step 3: DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY Step 4: INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) DEVELOPED (30 calendar days from determination of eligibility) Step 5: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IEP (90 calendar days from the date that parent signs the evaluation consent form) Step 6: MONITORING OF THE IEP Step 7: ANNUAL REVIEW AND/OR 3-YEAR REEVALUATION THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) 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 STEP 1: IDENTIFICATION OF THE STUDENT 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. ADVOCACY TIPS DURING IDENTIFICATION 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) STEP 2: DETERMINATION OF WHETHER AN EVALUATION WILL BE CONDUCTED 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. STEP 3: IDENTIFICATION OF THE COLLABORATIVE PLANNING TEAM 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. STEP 4: EVALUATION 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 services. 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 consent. 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. RIGHTS AND ADVOCACY TIPS IN THE EVALUATION CYCLE 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 education). 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 dated. 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 disorder. 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 districts. THE THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES 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. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN REQUESTING INDEPENDENT EVALUATION 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 services. STEP 5: DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICES 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. ADVOCACY TIPS REGARDING ELIGIBILITY 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. STEP 6: IDENTIFICATION OF THE STUDENT’S STRENGTHS, NEEDS AND SKILLS 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 reflected. 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. STEP 7: DEVELOPMENT OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 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 player. 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 washing. 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. CRITERIA FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF FUNCTIONAL GOALS IN THE IEP 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 goal)? 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 consequences? 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 environments? 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 environments? 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. STEP 8: IDENTIFICATION OF SUPPORTS AND SERVICES 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 determined. 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 following: 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 Support 6 -- In-class Pull-Out 6 7-9 Single Subject Multiple Subject 6 7-9 Replacement support are classified and enrolled on a general education class register. 3 -- In-Class Pull-Out 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 10 10 12 -- 8 8 8 3 9 3 8 4 9 3 9 9 9 Not applicable in HS Not applicable in HS SECONDARY 4-6; 7-9 with 2 aides 7-9 (2 aides) 11-16 11-13 13-16 10-12 10-12 10-12 9-12 9-12 9-12 9-12 Aide 7-9 -- -- -- -- 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. 6A:14-4.1(e). 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 program. 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. STEP 9: IDENTIFICATION OF LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT 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. STEP 1 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. STEP 2 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. STEP 3 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). STEP 4 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). STEP 5 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. STEP 6 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). STEP 7 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. STEP 10: ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 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 CROSSWALK OF ELIGIBILITY CATEGORIES 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 Deafness 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 Deaf-blindness 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 CROSSWALK OF ELIGIBILITY CATEGORIES 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 teachers; 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 problems. 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; and 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 calculations. 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 only. 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. STEP 11: PROVISION OF ONGOING SUPPORT AND MONITORING 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. ADVOCACY TIPS FOR THREE-YEAR REEVALUATION 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 hearing. 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. HOW PARENTS PARTICIPATE AS COLLABORATIVE TEAM MEMBERS 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) ADVOCACY TIPS IN PREPARING FOR THE IEP MEETING 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 meeting. 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. ADVOCACY TIPS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE IEP MEETING 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 IEP DOCUMENT 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 evaluation. 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, etc.) 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 development. 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). FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IEPs 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 meeting. 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 begins? 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 Administrator Related Service Personnel (physical, occupational, P.T.A. Organization speech therapist; counselor) 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 LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT & INCLUSION Introduction 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. DETERMINING THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD 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 down 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 as 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. rapidly as 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 child. 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. WHAT IS “SUPPORTED INCLUSIVE EDUCATION”? 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 HOW DOES INCLUSION DIFFER FROM MAINSTREAMING? Mainstreaming 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. Inclusion 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. “SUPPORTED INCLUSIVE EDUCATION” DOES MEAN: 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- wide. The building promotes cooperative/collaborative teaching arrangements. Parents are involved in designing and supporting the education program of their son or daughter. Administrators, teachers, and students learn to accept, understand and value individual differences. There is building-based planning, problem solving, and ownership of all students and programs. “SUPPORTED INCLUSIVE EDUCATION” DOES NOT MEAN: 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. LEGAL BASIS FOR LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT 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 satisfactorily.” 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. WHY IS INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IMPORTANT? 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 TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD Introduction 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. NEW JERSEY SPECIAL EDUCATION CODE ON TRANSITION Definition “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 programs. 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 preferences. 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 desires. 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 other. 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. AREAS FOR TRANSITION PLANNING 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. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 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). PARENT STRATEGIES FOR INVOLVEMENT 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 disability. 5. Provide opportunities for students to attend college fairs for students with learning disabilities. 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 campuses. 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 example: 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.) WHAT CAN I DO AS A PARENT? 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 dryer 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 needed 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 equipment 3. Following rules 4. Listening to supervisors’ instructions 5. Asking for help when necessar CHAPTER SIX CONFLICT RESOLUTION Introduction 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. EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATING SKILLS 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 child. 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 time. HOW TO PROBLEM SOLVE AND PRESENT YOUR CONCERNS 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. PROBLEM SOLVING WITH SCHOOL PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATORS 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 charity. 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 professionals. 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). PEOPLE AND AGENCIES WITH WHOM TO WORK 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 makers. 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 MEDIATION, DUE PROCESS, AND COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION 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 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. DUE PROCESS 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 MEETING 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. PREPARATION FOR DUE PROCESS HEARING 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 PLACEMENT OF STUDENT DURING PROCEDURES 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. COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION 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 parents. EMERGENCY RELIEF 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 education? 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 process? 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 district? 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 - HOW CAN A COMPLAINT BE FILED? 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 PARENT ACTION TOOLS BECOMING A FULL PARTICIPANT IN DEVELOPING YOUR CHILD’S IEP 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. CLARIFYING YOUR GOALS FOR YOUR CHILD 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 WORKSHEETS 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 intelligences. 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. MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE SCORING SHEET 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, experimenting, Logical- science materials, manipulatives, trips by reasoning questioning, figuring out Mathematical to the planetarium and science puzzles, calculating, etc. museum 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 Bodily- 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 deeply setting goals, meditating, secret places, time alone, self-paced Intrapersonal inside dreaming, being quiet, projects, choices themselves CHECKLIST FOR ASSESSING STUDENTS’ MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES 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 age) _____ 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 games) _____ 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). MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES: STRATEGIES IN THE CLASSROOM 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 PROFILES & GOALS-AT-A-GLANCE Positive Student Profile PLACE PHOTO This form is to be filled out by the parent to provide a “snapshot” HERE 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 PLACE PHOTO 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 SAMPLE 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 PHOTO HERE 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. GOALS-AT-A-GLANCE 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. Academic: Social / Emotional / Behavioral: Communication: Daily Living: Transition to Adulthood (No later than age 14): Other: ______________________________________________________________________________ Adapted from: Thousand, J.S., Project Director. The Homecoming Model: Educating Students Who Present Intensive Educational Challenges Within Regular Education Environments, September 1986. GOALS-AT-A-GLANCE 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. Academic: 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 SAMPLE follow multi-step directions develop strategies to calm himself learn to work individually improve social skills increase interaction with peers Communication: 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 honds-on, class X X modified tests class sight words class X RC X flash cards, rebus special X A to assist OT OT room OT W adapt. PE M, T, gym 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. person activity responsible Recess T, P Open Time T Math RC, T Lang Arts T, A Activity Time T, P, A Science/ Social Studies T, P, A Recess/ Lunch, Lunch A, P Story Time T Reading RC, T Art/ Music/ special Library Gym gym, T Activity 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 Open Time X X X X X X X X X X X X X 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 defensiveness independently IEP Goals Follow multi-step calm himself Decrease tactile individually vocabulary Learn to dress Identify coins directions Add/subtract Learn to work Write letters Ask for help routine turns skills Tell time APPENDIX D IEP QUESTIONS & CHECKLIST 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 considered: _____ 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 performance? _____ 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 outcomes?3 _____ 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 development? _____ 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? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATIONAL PLAN (IEP) CHECKLIST 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. CHECKLIST 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. BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR IEP REVIEW, ANSWER QUESTIONS 1, 2, AND 3. 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____ QUESTIONS 4-12 ARE TO BE USED WITH THE COVER PAGE OF THE IEP. 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 & CLASSROOM CHECKLIST 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: Age: 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: CLASSROOM OBSERVATION CHECKLIST 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. CLASSROOM 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? TEACHER 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? CURRICULUM 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? PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT 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? POSITIVE SUGGESTIONS 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 SAMPLE LETTERS & REQUEST FORMS SAMPLE LETTER REQUESTING AN EVALUATION [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. SAMPLE LETTER REQUESTING AN INDEPENDENT EVALUATION [Your Address] [Your Phone Number] [Today’s Date] [Director of Special Services] [Board of Education] [Address] [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 NJ DOE OSEP POLICY LETTERS 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. Attachment 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 IDEA. 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 regression; 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 CLEAR VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW 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. WHO TO CALL & WHO TO WRITE 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 COUNTY SUPERVISORS OF CHILD STUDY 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 ACRONYMS 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 GLOSSARY OF TERMS A 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 language. B 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. C 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 person. D 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 children. 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 disabilities. 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. E 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 themselves. 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. F 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 future. 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. G 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. H 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. I 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. J 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. L 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 disadvan-tages. 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 satisfactorily. 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. M 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 class. 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 classroom. 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 IFSP or IEP. N 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 potential. 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. O 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. P 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. R 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. S School-To-Career (STC): New Jersey’s model of the federal School-To-Work Oppor-tunities Act. 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 state. 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 norms. 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. T 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 disabled. U 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) 235-9320. APPENDIX J RESOURCES ORGANIZATIONS SERVING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARC New Jersey 985 Livingston Avenue North Brunswick, NJ 08902 908-246-2525 http://www.arcnj.org 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 301-565-3842 Fax: 301-565-5342 http://www.thearc.org 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 973-484-7554 http://www.aspira.org/NewJersey.html 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 973-643-3876 http://www.acnj.org 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 301-654-6549 http://www.acch.org/index.htm Parents and professionals in a united effort to affect positive outcomes for children in today's challenging healthcare environment. 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 202-628-8787 http://www.childrensdefense.org/index.html 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 973-648-2324 http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dhsbvi1.html 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 609-292-6243 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 http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dhsddhh1.html 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 areas. Division of Developmental Disabilities Capital Center, CN 726 Trenton, NJ 08625-0726 800-832-9173 http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dhspwd1.html 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 609-292-5987 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 732-257-6662 Fax: 732-257-7373 TDD: 732-257-4442 http://www.eastersealsnj.org 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 609-392-4900 http://www.esrin.esa.it:8080/handy/postcard/uk_epif.html 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 973-624-1815 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 http://www.familyvillage.wisc.edu 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 908-571-1221 http://www.ldanatl.org/ 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 http://www.msaa.com 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 800-572-1717 http://www.mdausa.org 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 202-289-0777 Fax: 202-289-0776 http://www.childadvocacy.org 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 301-587-1788 http://nad.policy.net 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 http://www.nichcy.org 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 203-746-6518 http://www.rarediseases.org 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 202-463-2299 Fax: 202-463-9403 http://www.npnd.org 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 732-613-0400 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 609-633-6833 http://www.state.nj.us/njded/specialed/index.html 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 609-292-5676 http://www.state.nj.us/health/ 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 973-648-2324 800-962-1233 (in NJ) http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices 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 800-367-6274 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 888-248-0822 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 http://www.njso.org 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 908-782-7475 http://www.sbatsr.org 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 973-642-8100 Fax: 973-642-8080 800-654-SPAN (in NJ) http://www.spannj.org 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. TASH 29 West Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 210 Baltimore, MD 21204 410-828-8274 Fax: 410-828-6706 http://www.tash.org 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 732-235-9300 Fax: 732-235-9330 TDD: 732-235-9328 http://www2.umdnj.edu/boggsweb 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 888-322-1918 609-392-4004 http://www.ucpanj.org/ 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 http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP Promotes and ensures the free appropriate public education of children and youth with disabilities from birth through age 21.
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