Module 9: Introduction to Evaluation under IDEA

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A young boy is taking an eye exam and covers one eye with his hand. Un muchacho toma un examen visual y está cubriendo un ojo con la mano.by Theresa Rebhorn and Lisa Küpper
NICHCY | National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

March 2007

**Este módulo está disponible en español: Introducción a la Evaluación bajo IDEA

Evaluating children for the presence of a disability is a very important process in IDEA. This module introduces basic principles and requirements that schools must follow for evaluation, including:

  • the purposes of evaluation,
  • parent notification and consent,
  • use of the student’s native language during evaluation, and
  • the tenets of sound, valid, individualized evaluation.

The module  is available in English and Spanish, as you’ll see below. It includes:

  • a slideshow presentation in English;
  • a slideshow presentation in Spanish;
  • a Trainer’s Guide explaining all the content; and
  • handouts for participants in English and Spanish.

Please help yourself below, and download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to introduce others to IDEA 2004′s basic requirements for sound evaluation of children to determine if they have a disability.

Just looking for a quick summary of evaluation?
You’re in luck. Visit these resources on our site:

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Component #1: The Slideshows | Las Diapositivas
In English and in Spanish

There are 17 vivid slides in this introduction to IDEA’s evaluation processes.

Need tips for downloading and using slideshows?

English Slideshow
(Stored in a ZIP folder)

Spanish Slideshow **
(Saved as a Powerpoint Show. If you don’t have Powerpoint, download the free Viewer.)

PDF for Spanish Trainers | This file shows trainers how the slideshows in Spanish work. (Be sure to download the trainer’s guide to the content—immediately below—which explains the content of each slide.)

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Component #2: Trainer’s Guide to the Content

This guide to Module 9 is in English but should also be downloaded if you’re training in Spanish. That’s because here is where you’ll find the full explanation of each slide’s content. It also offers much additional info so that trainers can adapt training sessions to a length or detail suitable to the given audience. The guide is available in PDF and as an accessible Word file. Pick your pleasure!

PDF | Complete Guide

Word | Complete Guide (Accessible Word file)

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Component #3: Handouts for Participants | Folletos para Participantes
In English and in Spanish

The handouts for Module 9 are included in a packet of handouts designed to cover the entire umbrella topic of Theme C, Evaluating Children for Disability. If you’ve already downloaded the handouts for any of the other modules in Theme C (Modules 10 or 11), you have the handouts you need for Module 9. If you haven’t downloaded any handouts for Theme C yet, here they are in 2 different formats and 2 different languages.

Handouts in English

PDF | English Handouts for Theme C

Word | English Handouts for Theme C (Accessible Word file)

Handouts in Spanish | Folletos en Español **

PDF | Folletos para la Tema C

Word | Los Folletos para la Tema C (en archivo accesible)

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Note about the Spanish Translations:
In preparing the handouts in Spanish, NICHCY has chosen to use a certain vocabulary set for the terminology most frequently used in IDEA. IDEA itself is extremely and purposefully consistent about its terminology, and we felt it critical to do the same in Spanish. However, we fully recognize that there are many ways to say the same thing, and Spanish is rich with alternatives from country to country, region to region. So we’ve also prepared a glossary of the terminology used in IDEA, how we’ve rendered that terminology in Spanish, and other ways of rendering it that families may also hear. Share this with participants as you see fit or use it to guide your own translations. The glossary of terminology is available in two formats, PDF and Word:

  • PDF | Glossary of English-Spanish Terminology
  • Word | Glossary of English-Spanish Terminology

There! You’re all set to go for Module 9.

Please remember that these materials are designed to be a  thorough and authoritative introduction to evaluation under IDEA 2004. That’s why they are so detailed. As a trainer, you are free to adapt the info we’ve offered to serve the purposes and needs of your audiences and the amount of time you have to spend with them.

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Quick-Jump Menu to Other Modules

1: Top 10 Basics of Special Education
2: Key Changes in IDEA
5: Disproportionality and Overrepresentation
6: Early Intervening Services and Response to Intervention
7: Highly Qualified Teachers
8: NIMAS
9: Introduction to Evaluation under IDEA (you’re already here)
10: Initial Evaluation and Reevaluation
11: Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities
12: The IEP Team
13: Content of the IEP
14: Meetings of the IEP Team
15: LRE Decision Making
16: Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools
17: Introduction to Procedural Safeguards
18: Options for Dispute Resolution
19: Key Issues in Discipline

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NOTICE: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.