Spring is here, although you wouldn’t know it judging by the weather in some parts of the country. Spring break is upon us; so many people will be taking family vacations to reconnect with their loved ones. However, when the break is over, it will be time to get down to serious IEP business. When classes resume, there are probably 8-9 weeks of academics left until summer break and during that time your child will be preparing and taking state tests. When you think about it, the semester is almost over. Read the rest of this entry →
You are browsing the archive for Transition.
During this time of year, high school juniors and seniors are hard at work preparing for college entrance exams, writing the perfect admissions essay, touring colleges, and eagerly awaiting decision letters from their institutions of choice. While this can be an exciting, yet stressful time for all students, students with learning differences have another level of factors that they need to take into consideration when choosing the right college. It is important for these students to not only consider the skills necessary to set themselves up for success, but to also be aware of the supports available to them at the colleges where they are considering attending. Read the rest of this entry →
The following is a list of the most viewed special education advisor blogs from 2012. This doesn’t include any of our guest articles which has been published separately. 2012 was Special Education Advisor’s second full year of operation and we continue to grow more quickly that we could ever imagine. We currently have over 36,000 visitors a month and over 75,000 page views per month. We continue to grow every month and it’s all because of our members and visitors. Thank you for your continued support and without further adieu here is the list: Read the rest of this entry →
1. What is the special education law that can help my child with a disability?
The foundation of today’s special education law was passed in 1975 and enacted in 1977. This was Public Law 94-142, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. In 1990 EHA was renamed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. IDEA was most recently reauthorized in 2004. The Purpose of IDEA is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education or FAPE that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.
It’s important to note that the law only guarantees an appropriate education and not the best education. Best is a four letter word and Parents should learn to replace it with the word appropriate when discussing their child’s special education needs Read the rest of this entry →
Last year my daughter entered 6th grade and middle school. Rachel has Down syndrome and has always been fully included. Middle school conjures up visions of all kinds of difficulties for families of typical students. Add in an intellectual disability and the imagination can go wild with all the “what if’s.” Based on the testimony of many parents and students, some of those “what ifs” are real and not imagined. We had a fabulous first year of middle school and I’d like to share some of the reasons I believe this to have been so. Read the rest of this entry →
Today is my son’s graduation from elementary school. For seven years he has attended this school and he even started way back in preschool. This makes him the longest attending student in this school since none of his other preschool classmates are still around. It’s a monumental day because it marks an incredible triumph in his young life because nothing has come easy for him. I can’t think of one of life’s milestones that my son has accomplished without a little extra support. He doesn’t even grow naturally and requires a daily shot of growth hormones to help nature run its course. It’s been this way for every aspect of his life including eating, speaking, fine motor, gross motor, learning, socialization and more. The amazing thing about my son is he manages these struggles with a huge grin, a heart of gold and the desire to learn when taught correctly. Don’t get me wrong he has many strengths to compensate for his challenges and he ALWAYS find a way to compensate but it takes time, effort and patience to teach him how. This is why today we will all celebrate this major accomplishment in my son’s life because he has progressed so far but this is also why tomorrow I start to worry. Read the rest of this entry →
Another acronym? Yes! And this one’s been around for forty years. It pre-dates the first federal special education law. CILs remain a vital, but too often untapped resource for people of all ages with disabilities.
A CIL (pronounced S-ill ), is a Center for Independent Living. Sounds like a place where people live, right? But, it’s not.
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-profit community-based organizations that are run by people with all sorts of disabilities. CILs are an integral part of the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movements in this country. Read the rest of this entry →
About a month ago I posted a blog about my son’s upcoming transition IEP meeting. He will be graduating from elementary school this year and moving to middle school in the fall. My husband and I had concerns about our neighborhood middle school but we were told by our IEP Team, they did not have the authority to discuss alternative school options only alternative classroom types. We disagreed and sent a letter to the School District. You can find a sanitized copy of that letter here. Many of you commented how this is an invalid IEP if there is no one at the IEP meeting that has the authority to bind the District. You are correct but how do you prove that.
At the same time we sent the letter, we also opened a complaint with the School District’s Parent Complaint Unit. We really didn’t expect anything to come from it but we wanted to cover all of our bases prior to filing for due process. Over the last month both the Parent Complaint Unit and my Son’s current school started communicating and emailing with the District about my Son’s upcoming IEP. I know this because they both told me. The Parent Complaint Unit would call me every few days and ask me if I had heard from the School District yet. Every time I said no, they were surprised because they had communication from the School District acknowledging our concerns and that the School District would call us. Read the rest of this entry →
When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in 2004 the U. S. Department of Education through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) required states to develop State Performance Plans based on 20 indicators. The data would be submitted annually, by each State, in Annual Performance Reports. The 13th Indicator, or Indicator 13, relates to transition services for students.
The National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center (NSTTAC) which is funded by OSEP helps States achieve compliance with indicator 13 and have put together a checklist and a checklist frequently asked questions to help in their efforts. Read the rest of this entry →
September 26, 2011H. Douglas Cox Assistant Superintendent Special Education and Student Services Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education P.O. Box 2120 Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120
Dear Mr. Cox:
This is in response to your June 16, 2010 letter, written on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, to Patricia J. Guard, former Deputy Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). In your letter, you seek clarification of OSEP’s position on requirements for appropriate measurable postsecondary goals in individualized education programs (IEPs) under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Your letter refers to the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) guidance in the Indicator 13 Checklist Frequently Asked Questions (2006), which states that “students need to have at least one postsecondary goal that covers the areas of education or training, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living.” You indicate that similar guidance is provided in the NSTTAC Indicator 13 checklist, used in preparing State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report submissions. You ask whether OSEP’s position is that postsecondary goals in the areas of training, education, and employment are required, and if more than one postsecondary goal is required.
OSEP’s position continues to be that IEPs that address transition services must include appropriate measurable postsecondary goals in the areas of training, education, and employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills. However, based on your inquiry, we would like to provide further clarification on appropriate measurable postsecondary goals in the areas of training and education.
Section 614(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII) of the IDEA requires that a child’s IEP include “beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, and updated annually thereafter—
(aa) appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills.” 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII)(aa). The regulation at 34 CFR §300.320(b)(1) essentially incorporates this statutory provision.
OSEP interprets this statutory provision as not requiring, in general, that IEPs that address transition services include separate postsecondary goals in the areas of training and education.
The IDEA and its implementing regulations do not define the terms “training” and “education.” However, the areas of training and education can reasonably be interpreted as overlapping in certain instances. In determining whether postsecondary goals in the areas of training and education overlap, the IEP Team must consider the unique needs of each individual student with a disability, in light of his or her plans after leaving high school. If the IEP Team determines that separate postsecondary goals in the areas of training and education would not result in the need for distinct skills for the student after leaving high school, the IEP Team can combine the training and education goals of the student into one or more postsecondary goals addressing those areas. For example, for a student whose postsecondary goal is teacher certification, any program providing teacher certification would include education as well as training. Similarly, a student with a disability who enrolls in a postsecondary program in engineering would be obtaining both education and occupational training in the program. The same is true for students with disabilities enrolled in programs for doctors, lawyers, accountants, technologists, physical therapists, medical technicians, mechanics, computer programmers, etc. Thus, in some instances, it would be permissible for the IEP to include a combined postsecondary goal or goals in the areas of training and education to address a student’s postsecondary plans, if determined appropriate by the IEP Team. However, the guidance we are providing is not intended to prohibit the IEP Team from developing separate postsecondary goals in the areas related to training and education in a student’s IEP, if deemed appropriate by the IEP Team, in light of the student’s postsecondary plans. On the other hand, because employment is a distinct activity from the areas related to training and education, each student’s IEP must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of employment.
Therefore, OSEP will inform NSTTAC that the guidance documents referred to in your letter will need to be revised to specify that, to be consistent with the IDEA, IEPs that address transition services must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of employment, in addition to at least one postsecondary goal in the areas of training and education. Likewise, because independent living skills are distinct from employment, we will also inform NSTTAC that it will need to revise its guidance to specify that, to be consistent with the IDEA, a student’s IEP must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of independent living skills, where appropriate.
The guidance provided in this letter is incorporated in questions F-1 and F-3 in the “Questions and Answers on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations, and Reevaluations” and a new section B. has been added to the “Questions and Answers on Secondary Transition.” These revised OSEP guidance documents are posted at http://idea.ed.gov .
Based on section 607(e) of the IDEA, we are informing you that our response is provided as informal guidance and is not legally binding, but represents an interpretation by the U.S. Department of Education of the IDEA in the context of the specific facts presented.
If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Deborah Morrow at 202-245-7456 or by email at Deborah.Morrow@ed.gov.
Sincerely,Melody Musgrove, Ed.D. Director Office of Special Education Programs