Special Education

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WHAT IS I.D.E.A.?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities.

OBTAINING A COPY OF CONNECTICUT’S SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW
The IDEA is a Federal law and, as such, provides minimum requirements that states must meet in order to receive federal funds to assist in providing special education and related services. State law may go beyond the federal requirements. Parents may want to contact the Connecticut State Department of Education, Office of Special Education and ask about Connecticut’s laws and regulations regarding special education.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES UNDER THE IDEA?
The regulations for IDEA define a “child with a disability” as a child evaluated as having autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, developmental delays, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability (mental retardation), multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment including blindness and other health impairments.

WHAT IS SPECIAL EDUCATION?
Special education is defined as instruction and services that are specially designed to meet the child’s unique learning needs. This instruction is provided at no cost to the parents.

For more information about federal law laws and guidance, go to United States Department of Education

Connecticut State Department of Education Resource Webpage: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2626&q=322672

STATE EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER
SERC is a centralized resource center for professionals, families, and community members regarding education and early intervention for Connecticut’s children and youth and their families, particularly children with special needs, at-risk learners, and diverse learners. CT PIRC, SERC’s Parent Information and Resource Center, answers questions regarding school districts; school choice; the No Child Left Behind Act, including information on tutoring and other supplemental educational services that parents are entitled to receive under NCLB; and other education policy related issues. SERC also provides professional development and other technical assistance initiatives, family education and support, and information and materials dissemination. For more information go to:
http://www.ctserc.org

EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Child Development Infoline provides information for families of children ages 3 through 5 who have disabilities requiring special education services. Referrals can be made to their local or regional school district’s Preschool Special Education services to discuss the need for an evaluation. Information on special education, as well as the contact information is then mailed to families.

ADVOCACY GROUPS
Advocacy groups inform parents of children with special needs; educate public officials; and provide information regarding inclusive education laws, strategies for PPT meetings and taking legal action.

The following are Advocacy Groups in Connecticut:

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service names:

SOURCE: Connecticut Department of Education
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: October2016