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Roadmap to Special Education Law

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Lauren Hokamp

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Roadmap to Special Education Law

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Special Education laws exist in order to give children with disabilities access to a FAPE.
Provided for in both State and Federal Law
22 Pa. Code § 14.101 "Eligible young child—A child who is less than the age of beginners and at least 3 years of age and who meets the criteria in 34 CFR 300.8 (relating to child with a disability).
Pennsylvania Law
Federal Law: Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
34 CRF 300.101 "(a) General. A free appropriate public education must be available to all children residing in the State between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school, as provided for in § 300.530(d).
2 Conditions Must be Met
1. Student is determined to have a disability under 300.8 list in federal code
2. Student REQUIRES Special Education Services
IDEA Definition of Disability 34 CRF 300.8(c)
(c) Definitions of disability terms. The terms used in this definition of a child with a disability are defined as follows:

(1)(i) Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
(ii) Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (c)(4) of this section.
(iii) A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section are satisfied.

(2) Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

(3) Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(4)(i) Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:
(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
(ii) Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance under paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section.

(5) Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

(6) Mental retardation means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(7) Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities does not include deaf-blindness.

(8) Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

(9) Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that--
(i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
(ii) Adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(10) Specific learning disability. (i) General. Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
(ii) Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

(11) Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(12) Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

(13) Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Typically conducted by multidisciplinary teams (i.e. school psycologists, teachers, parents, etc.)
3 Important Things in Evaluation
1. Psychological [IQ, Ability/Emotional]
2. Education [Where is the student learning at]
3. Speech/Language
Re-evaluations should reoccur yearly unless multidisciplinary teams agrees otherwise

How do I get an Evaluation for my Child?
2 Ways Evaluations Occur
1. Request of a Parent
a. Written
Permission to Evaluate Consent Form Sent to Parent within 10 days
Written notice from the District with decision declining to Evaluate within 10 days
b. Oral
Permission to Evaluate Request Form
Permission to Evaluate Consent Form Sent to Parent within 10 days
Written notice from the District with decision declining to Evaluate within 10 days
2. Request of School Personel
Permission to Evaluate Request Form
Permission to Evaluate Consent Form Sent to Parent within 10 days
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in IEP Meetings with the Multidisciplinary Team
What must be included in IEP?

Requirements defined by IDEA (34 CFR 300.320)
1. A statement of the child’s present
levels of academic achievement and
functional performance;
2. A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals;
3. How goals will be measured and when progress will be provided;
4. A statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided;
5. An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class;
6. A statement of any individual appropriate accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the child on State and districtwide assessments
7. The projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.

3 Important Parts of an IEP
1. Where your child is currently [PLAAF]
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

2. Where we want to be [Goals]

3. How To Get There [Special Designated Instruction]
Time and Type of Instruction

Found in Section 504 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973

34 CFR § 401
"No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives Federal financial assistance."

Broader who qualifies when compared with IDEA (No list like IDEA)

IDEA or 504 Never Both
1. Written

2. Regular Education Accommodations and/or Related Services

3. Subject to Periodic Review (Recommended Annualy)
1. Due Process Hearing

2. Mediation

3. Executive Conciliation Conference (ECC)
Due Process Hearings, What to Expect

File Due Process Complaint
(w/in 2 years when District "knew or should have know")
District must claim insufficiency of Complaint within 15 days and Hearing officer will decide issue with 5 days.

30 Day Resolution Period
Resolution Meeting MUST occur in 15 Days
Attorneys present only if parent bring one
Resolution Meeting can be waived or replaced by Mediation if BOTH parties agee

Due Process Hearing
Hearing in front of Hearing Office and a Final Decision within 45 days from the end of the resolution period



Office of Dispute Resolution assigns Mediator

No Attorney Allowed
Executive Conciliation Conference
New as of July 31, 2013

Both parties submit case to Cathy Skidmore

Evaluates the strengths and weakness of the case


Full transcript