January 2013 | News You Can Use

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Grounded in the Law



So many factors can affect children’s education: changes in personnel, school policies, budget adjustments, state laws, and more. Fortunately, the education of students with disabilities is protected by several federal laws.

This month we’re offering resources that help families, educators, and other personnel navigate and understand the protections offered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Assistive Technology Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Happy New Year to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities


Disability and Education Laws
NICHCY devotes an entire section of our website to federal legislation that relates directly or indirectly to individuals with disabilities, particularly children and youth. Visit the NICHCY Laws page to connect with more info on IDEA, Section 504, the ADA, and the Assistive Technology Act!

Journal Articles on Special Education Law
Another section of NICHCY’s website is devoted to bringing you full-length articles on special education and disability law (especially IDEA and Section 504) from peer-reviewed journals.

Easy-to-read Publications on IDEA
NICHCY offers many summaries on the nation’s special education law. Examples include:

Categories of disability under IDEA (available in English and Spanish)

Developing your child’s IEP (available in English and Spanish)

Questions and answers about IDEA

Questions often asked by parents about special education services (available in English and Spanish)

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

Dialogue Guides for IDEA 2004 Part B Regulations
Dialogue Guides are models for conducting interactive discussions across stakeholders in states and districts around implementation of IDEA 2004. Topics include Discipline Regulations, Regulations related to Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meetings and Changes to the IEP, the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS), and more.



IEP FAQs Pop-Up — Special Factors in IEPs
This pop-up feature from Wrightslaw offers answers to common questions on behavior problems, limited English proficiency, assistive technology, communication problems, and more.

Parents, know your rights
The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) called Procedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability and, at the same time, give families and school systems several mechanisms by which to resolve their disputes. Find out more about each parental right, at:

Derechos de los padres
The same information about parental rights is available in Spanish, at:

Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and Section 504
This Parent Advocacy Brief will help you understand the changes brought about by the ADAAA, how they apply to Section 504, and how they may impact children with disabilities, including learning disabilities, as well as other conditions such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Complete a form to download this FREE e-book.

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Introduction to IDEA Part C: Three Interactive Modules
The Washington Systems Improvement Project Team developed three modules for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers Program: Foundations of Early Intervention;
Initial and Ongoing Functional Assessment; and Developing Initial and Continuing Individualized Family Service Plans.

Video| Major Changes to Part C Regulations
A 20-minute video featuring Alexa Posny, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), highlights some of the major changes to the regulations.

NECTAC Resources: Federal Regulations for Part C of the IDEA
NECTAC serves Part C-Infant and Toddlers with Disabilities Programs and Part B-Section 619 Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities in all 50 states and 10 jurisdictions to improve service systems and outcomes for children and families. They have a page with a collection of resources focused on Part C regulations.

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Questions & Answers on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations and Reevaluations
Get it from the source — the U.S. Department of Education offers this helpful guidance on common questions related to Transfer of Students with IEPs, Initial Evaluation Timelines & Determination of Eligibility, IEP Team Membership & IEP Meetings, Consent Provisions, Related Services, and Secondary Transition.

Alternate Achievement Standards for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Non-regulatory guidance on alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Accessible Textbooks in the K-12 Classroom
This educator’s guide to getting accessible materials for your students comes from the center that knows all about accessible instructional materials, the AIM Center. It’s subtitled: An Educator’s Guide to the Acquisition of Alternate Format Core Learning Materials for Pre-K-12 Students with Print Disabilities.

Placement and School Discipline
This article takes a not-so-brief look at how a student’s placement can be affected by disciplinary actions at school.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities
This guidance document from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education clarifies the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in the area of public elementary and secondary education. Section 504 requires a school district to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability.

Final Amendments to FERPA
This Federal Register notice on the final amendments to the regulations for implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) includes comments and discussion on use of social security numbers, disclosures beyond state lines, disclosures to organizations conducting studies, and more. FERPA is meant to protect the privacy of education records while allowing for the effective use of data.

Restraint and Seclusion
The Department of Education has identified 15 principles that states, local school districts, preschool, elementary, and secondary schools, parents, and other stakeholders should consider as the framework for policies and procedures related to restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities. Following the 15 principles is meant to ensure that any use of restraint or seclusion in schools does not occur except when there is a threat of imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others.

Discipline, in Detail
What authority do schools have to apply discipline rules to students with disabilities who violate a code of student conduct? Find out the details on IDEA’s discipline procedures, which guide how schools respond to behavioral infractions of children with disabilities.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N110002 between FHI 360 and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@fhi360.org. We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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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.