About the National Dissemination Center

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NICHCY's poster showing a zebra with multi-colored stripes and the caption "Heard of NICHCY?"

We regret to say that NICHCY is no longer funded.

About NICHCY in Spanish | en español

 Who We Are

For more than 2 decades, NICHCY has been the center providing information to the nation on:

  • disabilities in children and youth;
  • programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities;
  • IDEA, the nation’s special education law; and
  • research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities.

Our special focus has been on children and youth with disabilities (birth to age 22).

Regrettably, on September 30, 2013, our funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education ended. Our website will remain available until September 2014. Note that the new Center for Parent Information and Resources will be the new home of NICHCY resources. Visit their Resource Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources/

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How to Contact Us

Now that NICHCY’s funding has ended, we are no longer available to respond to your individual questions via phone or email. We encourage you instead to explore our website, which is rich and deep and offers a great deal of information potentially relevant to your concerns. For additional information, contact Elaine Mulligan at emulligan@fhi360.org

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What You Can Find on This Website

Publications in English and Spanish
Check out our publications right here online. Feel free to download and share them with others. Find fact sheets on specific disabilities, state resource sheets, parent guides, resource lists, and much more. All of our publications here on our website are free!

All about the Law, Early Intervention, and Special Education
Early intervention and special education are made available to eligible children with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Visit the “Disability and Education Laws” section of our website to learn more about IDEA (and other important federal legislation affecting individuals with disabilities). Visit Babies and Toddlers for information about early intervention services for children until their third birthday. If you’re looking for guidance with respect to educating school-aged children with disabilities, you’ll find easy-t0-read explanations in Children (3-22). And last but not least, detailed training materials on IDEA are available as part of NICHCY’s Building the Legacy training curriculum.

What does the research have to say about effective educational practices with children who have disabilities? How can we use research to inform our decision making and improve early intervention and special education services? Find out in our Research Center.


Other Sources of Information
Use NICHCY’s website to identify and connect with disability organizations around the country, parent groups, state agencies, and others who can offer you yet more assistance and information. Here, on the website, you can search for organizations addressing your areas of interest, find resources in your state, identify available materials, and much, much more. To start, we recommend that you take a look at the State Resource Sheet for your state and use the SEARCH box at the top of every page.

Effective Dissemination Practices
In 2008, NICHCY  began the Dissemination Initiative to spread the word about effective dissemination practices among other projects like ours. An entire section of this website is devoted to discussion and resources that can help you excel as a disseminator.

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Who Funded Us

Over the years, funding for NICHCY was provided by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education. Sadly, the project’s funding has ended as of September 30, 2013.
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Other Sources of Assistance

TA&D Network

Now that NICHCY is no longer funded, we strongly recommend that you utilize the disability-related projects within the Technical Assistance and Dissemination network, otherwise known as the TA&D network. The network consists of more than 40 projects funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education. These projects offer information and technical assistance on a broad range of disability and special education issues.

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Why was the National Dissemination Center called “NICHCY”?

Our organization served as a resource for families and educators for many, many years. Over those years, our name changed several times, as the national dialogue about disabilities changed. The acronym NICHCY was coined in the 1980′s, when federal law used the term “handicapped children and youth” to describe children with disabilities. At that time, our name was the National Information Center for Handicapped Children and Youth—hence, NICHCY.

Our official name changed again with the 1990 amendments to the Education of the Handicapped Act. Those amendments changed EHA’s name to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, reflecting people-first language. And our name changed to the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. Our name changed again in 1998—this time to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.

It’s true that NICHCY doesn’t match the first letters of our official name anymore and hasn’t for some time. But we didn’t want to lose the history and community that we had built around the name “NICHCY” over the years.

It has truly been our honor and privilege to serve you, and we hope that you can use our website well to find the information and connections you seek.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.