IDEA IN PRACTICE by ProQuest

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Furthermore, the new amendments prohibit the use of "mitigating measures," such as medication for ADHD, books on tape, and other assistive technology, in evaluating whether a person has a disability, except for the use of eyeglasses or corrective lenses if they fully correct the vision problem. School psychologists will find these handouts useful in explaining to parents the basics of the special education law including its purpose, key definitions, parental rights, the evaluation process, categories of disabilities, developing an IEP, parent participation, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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									IDEA IN PRACTICE
B Y M A RY B E T H K LOT Z


                                                                   the educational barriers faced by home-
Americans With                                                     less children and youth with disabilities
Disabilities Act Amend-                                            and potential strategies to improve co-
ments Act of 2008                                                  ordination of services and collaboration
 The Americans with Disabilities Act                               between special education and home-
 Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 be-                                less education programs. The brief, en-
 came effective on January 1, 2009. The                             titled Homeless and Special Education
 Amendments Act broadens the interpre-                             Administrative Collaboration: Recommen-
 tation of disability, aligning it with the in-                    dations, synthesizes the issues into the
 tent of the original 1990 legislation. The                        following categories: overcoming prob-
 Act also makes important changes to Sec-                          lems caused by mobility, coordinating
 tion 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation                         between school districts/service areas,
 Act of 1973 that affects the meaning of the                        determining where services are pro-
 term “disability.” The ADAAA restores                             vided, serving the whole child within the
 the original definition of “substantially                          school district or service area, and col-
 limited” meaning that an impairment                               lecting and using data. Recommenda-
 need only result in a substantial limita-                         tions address policies and practices to
 tion, rather than a severe restriction to                         expedite enrollment, and to coordinate
 a major life activity. The definition of                          programs and services. It is noted that
“major life activities” was broadened to                           implementation of the recommenda-
 include for the first time learning, read-                         tions would result in improved compli-
 ing, concentrating, and thinking. Fur-                            ance with legal mandates and would pro-
 thermore, the new amendments prohibit                             vide a stronger foundation for improving
 the use of “mitigating measures,” such                            the collaboration between homeless and
 as medication for ADHD, books on tape,                            IDEA administrators, therefore improv-
 and other assistive technology, in evalu-                         ing service provisions and outcomes.
 ating whether a person has a disability,                          Download the full report at http://www
 except for the use of eyeglasses or correc-                      .projectforum.org/docs/Homelessand
 tive lenses if they fully correct the vision                      SpecialEducationAdministrativeCollab
 problem. This change from prior law will                          oration.pdf.
 make it much easier for a student with
 LD or ADHD to qualify as a person with a IDEA Resources
 disability and receive accommodations; The National Dissemination Center for
 however, it must still be substantiated Children With Disabilities (NICHCY),
 that the accommodations are necessary a national technical assistance center
 and reasonable.                                 funded by the U.S. Department of Edu-
                                                 cation’s Office of Special Education Pro-
 Additional Resources on ADAAA               
								
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