Preschool PlanFor this Final Project, you will be given the opportunity to pull together everything you have learned these past five weeks into a cohesive classroom plan for a three- to five- year-old preschool program. The following is the make-up of your classroom. You have 12 students total:Eight students are typically developing. One student has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. One student exhibits the following behaviors but has not been diagnosed with any particular learning need or disability.
Limited language Jumps from activity to activity Engages only in parallel play One student who has a Sensory Processing Disorder (e.g. she is sensitive to light, sound, smells, and textures such as paint, sand, glue, and clothing and she avoids physical proximity to people). One student who is both cognitively and linguistically advanced.For this classroom plan, you must show your administration or director that you have the necessary strategies in place to effectively instruct each of your 12 students based on their individual needs. You will present this in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation will be 14 to 16 slides (not including title and reference slides), one slide for each of the following elements:
A title slide Create a mission statement regarding developmentally appropriate practices with three- to five-year-olds (i.e. what is DAP and how does it apply to your teaching of these children?) An outline of the laws governing exceptional children that impact your instruction A description of the classroom environment you will provide for these 12 children A discussion of how you will communicate with the families of your students in order to meet the individual needs of each child A description of two to three specific instructional approaches you will utilize in your instruction, as well as why you feel your chosen approaches will be effective An explanation of your instructional techniques/plans for the eight typically developing students A description of your instructional plan, including accommodations, modifications, and services available to your student who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder A discussion of your instructional plan, including accommodations, modifications and services available to your student who exhibits certain behaviors but has not been diagnosed An explanation of your instructional plan, including accommodations, modifications and services available to your student who has a Sensory Processing Disorder A description of your instructional plan, including modifications/extensions for your student who is cognitively and linguistically advanced.Create a sample lesson plan using the required Lesson Plan Template, showing how you will meet the needs of all learners for your chosen lesson (remember, the lesson you choose must be developmentally appropriate). It is required that you use the Lesson Plan Template to complete this portion of your assignment. It is suggested that you utilize the Early Childhood and Child Development: Lesson Plan Handbook as a guide for how to more effectively plan this lesson. An explanation of why you feel you have a comprehensive plan for meeting the needs of all of your studentsA reference slide You are encouraged to creatively address the material by including graphics, charts, and/or graphs. This presentation must be formatted according to APA style, including the title and reference slides and citing within slides when applicable. The notes section of the PowerPoint should be utilized in order to effectively elaborate on each necessary component. Lastly, you must use at least five scholarly resources (e.g. peer-reviewed journal article, book, website for a special education organization, etc.) as well as the course text. Remember to cite your sources throughout the presentation in order to support your ideas.reference for chapters attached:Powell, S. R. & Driver, M. K. (2013). Working with exceptional students: An introduction to special education. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.What Is Special Education?
1
Pre-Test
1. You can use the terms disability and handicap
interchangeably. T/F
2. The history of special education began in Europe.
T/F
3. The first American legislation that protected
students with disabilities was passed in the 1950s.
T/F
4. All students with disabilities should be educated
in special education classrooms. T/F
5. Special education law is constantly reinterpreted.
T/F
Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
1. Describe the differences between a disability, a disorder, and an impairment.
2. Discuss the contributions of the most important early pioneers in the area of special education.
3. Describe IDEA and explain how it changed education for students with disabilities.
4. Explain the components of an IEP.
5. Discuss how the courts have interpreted IDEA since 1975.
6. Describe Section 504 and explain how it is used for the education of students with disabilities.
1
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Introduction 
CHAPTER 1
Introduction
W
hat does the term special education mean to you? Do you think about people in wheelchairs and the blue parking spaces at the mall? Or do you think about the room down
the hall for the “special class”? Do you know someone with a disability? If so, how does
the disability affect that person? How does it affect you?
Most often when people think about special education, they think about a subset of the educational system characterized by wheelchairs or special classes. But special education is much
more complicated and involved. In fact, special education is a branch of education that provides
specialized, or individualized, instruction to students with disabilities. Disabilities refers to conditions or functions that impair a person’s ability to do something, and the term will be discussed
throughout this book.
Your career path may be in the area of special education or general education (or something
entirely different). If you plan to teach, though, you are almost guaranteed to have students with
disabilities in your classroom, regardless of your teaching assignment. It is therefore important for
you to learn how to teach students with disabilities, to understand disability characteristics, and
to be well versed in special education legislation.
This chapter will give you a historical perspective on the education of people with disabilities and
an idea of what special education is today. Along the way, you will learn about legislation and
court cases that affect students with disabilities and their teachers. You will get an idea of how
far society has come with respect to the education of all students, and also what advances the
educational community must work toward in the future.
From My Perspective: Why I Chose Special Education
Hi. My name is Melissa, and I am one of the authors of this book. My interest in students with disabilities
began to develop when I was in college. At the time, I was a sociology major who had been helping run a
nonacademic afterschool program for middle school students for three years. In my senior year, I began
part-time substitute teaching, and I would sporadically run into students from my afterschool program.
I gradually began to realize that several of my afterschool students were enrolled in “academic” or “collaborative” classes, where they received special education services. I had never considered that these
particular students might have a disability. Over the course of the year, I learned that many of them did.
I also learned that many of them were struggling both academically and behaviorally in school as they
faced the transition to high school. This surprised me, as they all excelled in our afterschool program.
My first experience with students who have disabilities helped to broaden my understanding of what
life with a disability might entail. I realized that my previous understanding was limited to perceptions
of more severe cognitive or physical disabilities. I also learned that a disability does not define a person;
(continued)
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Section 1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
CHAPTER 1
From My Perspective: Why I Chose Special Education (continued)
it is just one piece of their overall identity. My afterschool students reaffirmed my belief that each
individual has unique strengths and needs, and that I shouldn’t make assumptions based on a limited
understanding of others. These experiences proved to be the first of many that eventually led me to
become a special education teacher.
From My Perspective: Why I Chose Special Education
Hello. My name is Sarah, and I am one of the authors of this book. My first experience with kids with
disabilities occurred when I was 17 years old. A group of people from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) came to my high school to recruit volunteers for their summer camp. I had never even
heard of muscular dystrophy, but I thought working at a summer camp sounded fun.
When I got to camp, I didn’t know what to expect. Before the campers arrived, we received training
on proper care for kids with walkers and wheelchairs. All this information was helpful, but it also
frightened me. I had never talked with someone in a wheelchair, and now I was expected to lift them
in the shower or pool!
When the campers arrived, I was matched with a 7-year-old named Kyle. He had difficulty walking,
but he wasn’t using a wheelchair. I quickly learned that Kyle and all the other campers were just
fun, interesting kids. I met kids with muscular dystrophy who were my age. They used wheelchairs
and had limited mobility. I learned to be very thankful for my health, and I also learned to have
empathy for others.
Camp only lasted 6 days, but it made a huge impact on my life. I returned to camp for 8 more years,
and I made many wonderful friendships with campers and counselors. My experiences from MDA camp
helped me decide to become a teacher and work with students with disabilities.
1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
T
oday approximately 50 million students are enrolled in public schools in the United States,
from kindergarten through grade 12 (Aud et al., 2012). Of those students, over 6.5 million
(13\%) receive special education services (Figure 1.1).
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CHAPTER 1
Section 1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
Figure 1.1: Percentage of Students in the United States by Disability Type
Specific learning disabilities is the most prevalent disability in the United States, followed by speech
or language impairments. Those two categories represent 60\% of students in special education in this
country (Aud et al., 2012).
Specific learning disabilities 38\%
Speech or language impairments 22\%
Other health impairments 11\%
Disability Type
Intellectual disability 7\%
Emotional
6\%
disturbance
Autism 6\%
Developmental
6\%
delay
Mulitple disabilities 2\%
Hearing impairments 1\%
Orthopedic impairments 1\%
0\%
10\%
20\%
30\%
40\%
Source: From The Condition of Education 2012: Children and Youth With Disabilities, Figure 9.1, p. 33, Institute of Educataion Sciences, U.S. Department of
Education.
The number of students with disabilities who receive their education in a general education classroom has significantly increased over the last 30 years because of federal legislation aimed at
including students with disabilities in general classrooms to the greatest extent possible (Figure 1.2)
(Aron & Loprest, 2012; McLeskey, Landers, Hoppey, & Williamson, 2011).
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CHAPTER 1
Section 1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
Figure 1.2: Percentage of Students With Disabilities in the General Classroom
Over half of students with disabilities spend 80\% or more of their school day in a general education
classroom. This means that general education teachers, not special education teachers, provide most of the
instruction for these students.
100
80
60
80\% or more of time in general class
\%
40
79-40\% of time in general class
20
Less than 40\% of time in general class
0
1990-91
1995-96
1997-98 1999-2000 2001-02
2003-04
2005-06
2007-08
2009-10
School Year
Source: From The Condition of Education 2012: Children and Youth With Disabilities, Figure 9.2, p. 33, Institute of Educataion Sciences, U.S. Department of
Education.
Definitions of Special Education Terms
As you learn the best practices and important legal issues involved in the instruction of special
education students, you will encounter hundreds of terms and acronyms. Some of the most common terms are disability, handicap, disorder, impairment, and exceptionality.
A disability is a condition or function that impairs a person’s ability to do something. A disability is
described by the Americans with Disabilities Act as limiting one or more major life activities, such
as walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, caring for
oneself, working, sitting, standing, lifting, or reading. A mental or physical condition that impairs
a person’s ability to do something used to be called a handicap, but the term disability shows
respect for all people and is now the favored term (Baglieri, Valle, Connor, & Gallagher, 2011).
Today, the term handicap is used to refer to something people create in the environment to make
it difficult for a person with a disability to navigate, learn, work, or do other activities.
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CHAPTER 1
Section 1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
A disorder is a condition or illness that affects the function of a person’s body or mind. Disorders are medical conditions that impair a person’s ability to do something. Some examples of
disorders include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Down syndrome, along with many other developmental disabilities, is also considered a disorder.
An impairment is a condition in which the ability to do something is diminished. The term
impairment is often used to describe people who have reduced vision (i.e., people with visual
impairment), but who are not blind, or people who have low hearing (i.e., people with hearing
impairment), but who are not deaf.
When something is described as exceptional, it is considered quite different from average. Students in special education may be described as having an exceptionality. You may hear the terms
“exceptional children” or “exceptional learners,” and these terms refer to students who require
special education services.
Person-First Language
Teachers should be mindful of the terms they use to refer to and describe people with disabilities.
Until recently, a person with a disability might commonly have been described as a “retarded
person” or a “dyslexic kid.” However, these terms indicate that the disability owns the person, and
they show a disrespect for human beings. We are all people first, regardless of our characteristics;
we must respect one another and realize that we have more in common with other human beings
than we have differences.
Person-first language was introduced in 1992 to put people first, before a description of their
disabilities, and to describe what a person has rather than who the person is. Table 1.1 shows
examples of correct (respectful, person-first) use and incorrect use.
Table 1.1: Examples of Person-first Language
Correct/respectful
Incorrect/judgmental
Celia has a speech impediment.
Celia is speech-impaired.
Martin has Down syndrome.
Martin’s Downs.
Courtney has a learning disability.
Courtney is learning disabled.
David has an intellectual disability.
David is retarded.
AnnaMarie receives special education services.
AnnaMarie’s in special education.
AnnaMarie is a sped.
Mr. Smith uses a wheelchair.
Mr. Smith’s in a chair.
The student with dyslexia
The dyslexic kid
Students with disabilities
Disabled students
Sped student
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Section 1.1  Key Concepts in Special Education
CHAPTER 1
Person-first language can be a little tricky, and not everyone agrees on exactly how to use it. In the
Deaf community (why Deaf is capitalized is discussed in Chapter 10), people prefer to say “Kayla
is deaf” rather than “Kayla has deafness.” The same goes for those who are blind: “Tyler is blind”
is preferred over “Tyler has blindness.” The autism community states that a “person with autism”
means that autism can be separated from the person, which they do not believe is accurate. When
you are unclear about whether to use person-first language, go with what seems more mannerly,
and ask the person with a disability what he or she prefers.
Students Who Receive Special Education Services in Schools
Just as the language used to describe people with disabilities has changed over the years, so have
the key principles that guide the education of students with disabilities. In today’s classroom, key
ideas include a free appropriate public education (FAPE), an Individualized Education Program
(IEP), and the least restrictive environment (LRE). These principles are introduced here, and you
will learn about their evolution as you continue through Chapter 1.
Federal law requires schools to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for all students
with disabilities aged 3 through 21. The definition of FAPE is unique for each student and includes
educational services that are in compliance with state instructional standards and the student’s
Individualized Education Program (IEP) (Conroy, Yell, Katsiyannis, & Collins, 2010).
An IEP describes the special education placement of a student and the services the student
receives. An IEP team, comprised of the student’s general education teacher, parents or guardians, a special education teacher, and other essential school staff, collaborates on the IEP. Students
with disabilities are guaranteed public funding to complete their public school education. Determining what an “appropriate” education is for each child, though, has a controversial history and
is subjective for each child.
Part of FAPE for students with disabilities involves determining where students will receive instruction in the school environment. To provide the most appropriate education, schools often seek to
instruct students with disabilities in the general education setting whenever possible. However, not
all students will benefit from full inclusion in the general education classroom because the nature
of their disability may prevent them from being successful (Rozalski, Stewart, & Miller, 2010).
The setting in which students receive instruction is determined by the IEP team and is known as
the least restrictive environment (LRE). The LRE can range from the student’s spending 100\% of
the school day in a special education class to receiving all of his or her instruction in the general
education classroom (McLeskey, Landers, Hoppey, & Williamson, 2011). Depending on the setting,
students with disabilities may be taught primarily by a special education teacher or by both a general and special educator in the general education classroom. Students who receive the majority
of their instruction in a special education classroom may be integrated into the general population
through nonacademic electives or school meals.
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Section 1.2  History of Education for Students With Disabilities
CHAPTER 1
1.2  History of Education for Students With Disabilities
T
he practices and laws that have advanced the rights of students with disabilities and made
special education what it is today have not been in place very long. Probably some of you
(or your parents or grandparents) attended a school in which special education students
were separated from the regular classroom or excluded entirely from going to school. It was only
through the efforts of many people and organizations that students with disabilities are treated
fairly in schools today. Many events throughout the 19th and 20th centuries led to the first special
education law for students with disabilities, signed in 1975.
Early Special Education Efforts
in Europe
In the Middle Ages, people with disabilities were
often forced to be servants, fools, or jesters. The
role of the “fool” might involve setting up an event
for the entertainment of others. For example, in the
15th century, blind people were placed in a fenced
area with a pig and armed with a stick (Wheatley,
2010). They were told they could eat the pig if they
could kill it. Unfortunately, many of their blows fell
on the other people in the pen, much to the amusement of the paying crowd. Other people with disabilities were put to death, left to die, or locked
away in institutions. Some people were chained to
beds and treated inhumanely.
In the 1700s and 1800s, people with hearing and visual
impairments began to receive better treatment, and
iStockphoto/Thinkstock
languages like sign language and Braille were developed to help them communicate. Charles-Michel de
In the Middle Ages, people with disabilities
l’Épée founded the first school for the deaf in 1760; he
were outcasts of society. Like this court
helped create a system of sign language. One of the stujester, they were often put on display so
dents from his school, Laurent Clerc, learned sign lanpeople could laugh at their differences.
guage in France. He then moved to the United States
and helped with the development of American Sign
Language. To assist people with visual difficulties, Louis Braille, who was blind himself, created his own
form of written communication—a series of raised dots that people could “read.”
Also in the 1700s and 1800s, physicians began to turn their attention to treating people with
mental difficulties in more humane ways. Phillippe Pinel, a French physician, supported the idea
that patients who were mentally ill should not be kept in chains (as they often were) and should
receive individual attention or therapy.
Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard was another French physician who devoted many years to the education of a child known as Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron. Itard’s mentee, Edouard Seguin, wrote
the first book on educating students with mental difficulties, The Moral Treatment, Hygiene, and
Education of Idiots and Other Backward Children. In 1848, Seguin moved to the United States and
established a number of schools for students with intellectual disabilities.
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Section 1.2  History of Education for Students With Disabilities
CHAPTER 1
Special Education in the United States
During the 19th century, most attention paid to students with disabilities in the United States
focused on students who were deaf or blind. Students with developmental or intellectual disabilities received some attention as well. Education for all these groups, however, was very limited
geographically and economically. Most schools for students with disabilities were in large cities
and only wealthy people could afford to send their children there.
The 20th century, in contrast, was a time of rapid change for students with disabilities. Educators
built on the foundations laid in the 19th century to develop many assessments that they could use
to determine what difficulties students were having. Many court cases were fought to provide an
appropriate education for all students, and these cases led to a number of special education laws
that will be discussed in the next section.
Timeline of Significant Events in the United States
The following are some of the most significant events of the 19th and 20th centuries that led to
improved conditions and advocacy for individuals with disabilities:
• 1817: Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons opened in West Hartford. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet started the school with
Laurent Clerc and Mason Cogswell (who had a deaf daughter). The school was eventually renamed the American School for the Deaf, and it still exists today.
• 1829: New England Asylum for the Blind opened in Boston, Massachusetts. John
Dix Fisher, a Boston physician, worked with principal Samuel Gridley Howe to open
the school with six students. The school was eventually renamed Perkins School for
the Blind.
• 1840: Rhode Island was the first state to pass a law mandating compulsory education
for students. Schools, however, continued to exclude students with disabilities for the
next 135 years.
• 1848: Experimental School for Teaching and Training Idiotic Children opened in
Waltham, Massachusetts. This was the first school for students with developmental
disabilities in the United States; it was the idea of Samuel Gridley Howe. Later renamed
the Walter E. Fernald State School, students participated (without consent) in controversial experiments involving radiation.
• 1864: Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind
opened in Washington, DC. The school’s founder was Edward Miner Gallaudet (son of
Thomas Gallaudet). The institution was renamed in 1954 as Gallaudet University to
honor Thomas Gallaudet. It was the first institution of higher education in the United
States for students with disabilities, and the focus of the university was the education
of the deaf and hard of hearing.
• 1876: The first advocacy group for people with disabilities was formed as the Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feebleminded Persons.
Now called the American Association on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities,
this organization aims to promote appropriate practices and policies and protect the
human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
• 1893: Watson v. City of Cambridge. The student in this case was barred from school
because the school believed the student was too “weak minded” to benefit from
instruction (Russo & Osborne, 2009). Initially, the jury ruled in favor of the student,
but the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of the school.
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Section 1.2  History of Education for Students With Disabilities
CHAPTER 1
• 1905: The Binet-Simon Intelligence Test was published by Alfred Binet and Theodore
Simon in France. The test assessed student’s memory, attention, and verbal skill to
give an idea of a student’s “intelligence.” The test was revised by a Stanford University psychologist in 1916 and renamed as Stanford-Binet. The Wechsler-Bellevue
Intelligence Scale (now named the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) was introduced
in 1939. The development of these assessments was important because the assessments provided teachers and school personnel with ways of classifying and identifying students.
• 1918: All states in America had mandated compulsory education for students by this
year, but many students with disabilities continued to be excluded from public schools.
• 1919: Beattie v. Board of Education of Antigo. A 13-year-old boy named Merritt
Beattie suffered from paralysis and was unable to control his voice or limbs (LaNear
& Frattura, 2007). His facial muscles often contorted, which caused severe speech
difficulties and uncontrollable drool. His school suggested that his appearance had a
disturbing effect on teachers and other students and believed that he would be better
taught at a school for the deaf (even though Merritt’s progress in the classroom was
adequate). At first the court ruled in favor of letting Merritt continue his education at
his local school, but the ruling was overturned later by the Wisconsin Supreme Court,
which found that schools could exclude students that harmed the interests of the
school (Yell, Rogers, & Rogers, 1998).
• 1922: The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) was formed at the Teachers College
of Columbia University to advocate for the education of students with disabilities
(Weintraub, 2012). The goal of the CEC was to emphasize individualized education
for exceptional children and to establish professional standards for educating exceptional children.
• 1933: A group of parents in Ohio formed the Cuyahoga County Council for the
Retarded Child to help students who had been expelled or excluded from public
schools. Similar organizations formed across the United States and eventually came
together as the National Association of Retarded Children in 1950, now referred to
as The ARC.
• 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. This case ruled that “separate but
equal” schools for African American and Caucasian students were unconstitutional.
This ruling helped the civil rights movement gain momentum, and helped push for
equal education for students with disabilities (Shealey, Lue, Brooke, & McCracy, 2005).
• 1962: President John F. Kennedy’s Panel on Mental Retardation convened and suggested that people with mental retardation (now called intellectual disabilities) and
other mental illnesses would be better served in residential communities. The panel
encouraged current institutions to improve the quality of service.
• 1964: The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination in hiring, promoting, or firing based
on sex or race. Similar to Brown v. Board, this act encouraged disability advocates to
call for equal access to schools for students with disabilities. Neither the Civil Rights
Act nor Brown v. Board had anything to do with civil rights for individuals with disabilities. Rather, advocates used the Act and the case to argue that civil rights legislation
was needed for individuals with disabilities.
• 1965: As a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was guided through Congress
by President Lyndon Johnson, the U.S. Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The first federal law to address the education of
children with disabilities, it covered funding for primary and secondary public schools
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Section 1.2  History of Education for Students With Disabilities





pow85736_01_c01_001-034.indd 11
CHAPTER 1
and promoted equal access to education for all students. The Bureau for Education of
the Handicapped (BEH) is created as part of ESEA, but an education for students with
disabilities was still not mandatory in the United States.
1969: Wolf v. State of Utah. Two students with intellectual disabilities had been
denied an education in the public schools. Their parents contested that a public
school education should be available to all students, regardless of disability. The
court ruled that all students from age 6 to 21 had the right to a free and appropriate
public education.
1970: Diana v. State Board of Education. In this case, Diana was a Mexican-American
student in California who struggled in her classes. An intelligence test indicated that
Diana had a mild intellectual disability. The case indicated that the school misidentified Spanish-speaking students because the intelligence test was administered in the
student’s non-native language: English. The court ruled schools cannot administer
culturally-biased tests or tests administered in English to students who are not proficient in English. A similar case, arguing discrimination against an African-American
student based on an intelligence test, was argued in 1979 with Larry P. v. Riles. The
overrepresentation of Hispanic and African-American students continues to be an issue
in special education (Fletcher & Navarrete, 2003; Waitoller, Artiles, & Cheney, 2010).
1971: Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. In this case, PARC argued that a state law not allowing students to
attend school “who have not attained the mental age of five years” was illegal. The
outcome was that students with intellectual disabilities would be provided with a free
public education until age 21, and that each student should be placed in the least
restrictive environment for that student (LaNear & Frattura, 2007).
1972: Mills v. Board of Education. Students in the Washington, DC, public schools had
been refused attendance at school because of mental or behavioral disabilities. The
school district claimed that they could not admit these students because the district
did not have the appropriate funds to educate students with disabilities. The court
ruled a district could not keep students with disabilities from school because of a lack
of funds, and parents and guardians had the right to due process when the school
was making decisions about a student’s education. Due process is the system that
parents or guardians use if they disagree with a school district’s special education
plan for their child. It involves the parent or guardian and the school district presenting their cases to a third-party impartial administrator familiar with special education
law (Zirkel & Gischlar, 2008).
1973: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was the first law that granted civil rights to
people with disabilities. Institutions receiving federal funding, such as libraries, public
housing, and airports, needed to become accessible to people with disabilities. As public schools also receive federal funds, Section 504 stated that schools cannot discriminate based on disability. Today, Section 504 is important because it provides protection
to students with disabilities who do not otherwise qualify (Aron & Loprest, 2012).
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Section 1.3  Special Education Legislation Affecting Public Schools Today
CHAPTER 1
1.3 Special Education Legislation Affecting Public
Schools Today
A
s you have seen, the protection of the civil rights of individuals was advanced by U.S.
law and the interpretation of the courts over the course of the 20th century. Civil rights
laws initially protected African Americans and women, but advocates for people with
disabilities used these advancements to argue that the civil rights of people with disabilities (and
especially students with disabilities) were equally important.
Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, many schools began their own special education programs,
but nothing was mandated by the federal government. However, the PARC and Mills cases, described
in the previous section, opened a floodgate from which came numerous court cases charging schools
with discrimination of students with disabilities (LaNear & Frattura, 2007). These court cases, along
with civil rights legislation, ushered in a seminal year for students with disabilities: 1975.
Public Law 94-142
In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA or EHA).
This federal law, often referred to as PL 94-142, was the first to mandate that schools provide
education to students with disabilities. The law provided billions of dollars to schools to provide special
education services.
Several important components of EAHCA were introduced earlier in this chapter. First, public schools, if
they wanted to continue to receive federal funds,
had to guarantee FAPE to all students between the
ages of 3 and 21, regardless of the student’s disability. The concept of zero reject was born, which
means that no students with disabilities can be
denied a FAPE unless the student (or the parent or
guardian) opts for a non-public school placement.
Everett Collection/SuperStock
President Gerald Ford signed the EAHCA
into law in 1975. Ford was optimistic
about the law because it granted the same
educational rights to all students, but he
questioned how funds would be generated
to support it because special education perpupil costs are often more than those for
typical students (Verstegen, 2011).
pow85736_01_c01_001-034.indd 12
Second, students with disabilities should receive their
education in the LRE. The education of a student with
a disability should be as similar to the education of
a student without a disability as possible. The initial
term used for providing an education for students
with disabilities in the general classroom was mainstreaming. With mainstreaming, students with disabilities were placed in general classrooms with slight
accommodations to help these students succeed.
Many people now refer to this practice as inclusion,
although some people still use both terms (Connor &
Ferri, 2007; Odom, Buysse, & Soukakou, 2011).
Inclusion aims to educate students with disabilities along with students without disabilities in the
LRE to the maximum extent appropriate (Rozalski
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et al., 2010). With inclusion, special education services are often provided to the student in
the general classroom (Ross-Hill, 2009). The LRE is based on the individual student’s needs and
should benefit the student to the greatest extent possible (Obiakor, 2011). Students may spend
all their time in the general classroom. Students may have no additional support, accommodations, assistance from special education teachers or aides, assistance from general education
teachers or aides, or assistance from an interpreter.
Alternatively, students may spend some of their
school day or school week receiving specialized services in a special education classroom or program.
They may go to offices or classrooms to receive specialized instruction from a therapist or specialist. A
minority of students will spend all of their school
day in a special education classroom, and a few
students may exclusively attend special education
schools or programs (e.g., day schools, residential
schools, hospitals).
A third important component of the EAHCA is
that students with disabilities must have a team
of school personnel who work with the parent or
guardian to conduct an extensive evaluation of the
student and determine whether the student has a
disability. Written parent or guardian consent must
be obtained before the evaluation can take place.
During the evaluation, nondiscriminatory assessments must be used.
Exactostock/SuperStock
The majority of students with disabilities
Fourth, once it is determined that a student has a
spend most of their school day in the general
disability, a team of school personnel and the parclassroom. The placement decision must
adhere to the individual student’s least
ent or guardian develop an IEP that helps guide
restrictive environment. Schools must make
the student’s education. Long-term (i.e., year-long)
proper accommodations and modifications
goals and a plan to assess and meet those goals are
to help students with disabilities succeed.
necessary parts of an IEP. With the original version
of EACHA, short-term (i.e., monthly or semester)
objectives to track progress towards meeting long-term goals were mandated. Short-term objectives, however, are not a necessary IEP component even though many school districts still include
short-term goals on the IEP.
A fifth EAHCA component is procedural safeguards (i.e., due process) that must be instituted by
schools to protect parents or guardians and students with disabilities. Under due process, parents
must give consent for a special education evaluation and for placement into special education.
Parents also have the right to review their student’s records at any time. If parents or the school
disagree about a student’s evaluation or placement, parents have the right to an independent
evaluation paid for by the school district. Parents also have the right to a hearing and the right to
appeal any decision from a hearing.
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Reauthorizations of PL 94-142
Since 1975, when the enactment of PL 94-142 laid the groundwork for the education of students
with disabilities in the United States, the law has undergone five important revisions. Another
reauthorization will take place in the next few years.
1983 Amendments: Funding Changes
In 1983, PL 98-199 amended the EAHCA by adding provisions that affected funding. First, parent
information centers (PICs) received funding by the federal government so parents could learn
about their rights and the rights of students with disabilities. Funding was also appropriated to
include students with disabilities from birth to age 3 and to provide transition services for adults
with disabilities from school to work or to living arrangements.
1986 Amendments: Extension of FAPE and Child Find
With PL 99-457, the EAHCA was amended again in 1986. Changes included extending FAPE to students with disabilities who were aged 3 to 5. Also, programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities received increased attention in a program called Child Find. Child Find requires states to find
and evaluate all students with disabilities from birth to age 21 (Bateman, 2009). This program is
based on the idea that identifying students with disabilities as early as possible allows intervention
as early as possible (Jackson & Needelman, 2007). Any infant or toddler receiving special education services receives an early intervention IEP called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
The IFSP is written for the child and the family. Similar to an IEP, the IFSP states the child’s strengths,
the outcomes for the child, which special education services the child will receive, when the child
will receive the services, and who will deliver the services. Most children with an IFSP will receive
services in their home or in a setting that is as naturalistic as possible (Wolery & Hemmeter, 2011).
A service coordinator helps with ensuring that provisions in the IFSP are met. Many students with
an IFSP may receive physical therapy or occupational therapy services. Children might also learn
to use assistive devices, such as a hearing aid or a communication board.
1990 Amendments: IDEA
A major reauthorization of the EAHCA occurred in 1990 with PL 101-476. First and foremost, the EAHCA
was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This name change reflected an
emphasis on person-first language and more respectful terminology in general. IDEA reaffirms FAPE
and LRE, along with IEPs. It places special emphasis on the use of assistive technologies, including
devices or services (evaluation, therapy, or training) to educate students with disabilities.
IDEA also includes students from ages 3 to 21, made more funding available for programs for
infants and toddlers with disabilities, and mandated formal transition plans in IEPs for students
starting at age 16. IDEA also added two new disability categories—autism and traumatic brain
injury—bringing the number of disability categories to 13.
1997 Amendments: Assessments and Discipline Procedures
In 1997, IDEA was reauthorized again to mandate that students with disabilities participate in
state and district assessments. A student could undergo such assessments with accommodations
or modifications as outlined in the student’s IEP. IDEA 1997 also required states to develop and
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administer modified assessments for students with disabilities severe enough to exclude them
from taking the regular assessments.
The 1997 amendments also added discipline procedures for students with disabilities; the regulations required schools to implement functional behavioral assessments and behavioral intervention plans for students with disabilities whose behaviors were disruptive (Aron & Loprest, 2012).
2004 Amendments: Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act
In 2004, IDEA was reauthorized again as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement
Act (IDEIA). Many people refer to the law as IDEA 2004—the term used in this book. IDEA 2004
included substantial changes from previous versions of the law and restated the mandates from
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) specific to students with disabilities.
Key points of IDEA 2004, which are discussed later in this chapter, include hiring highly qualified
teachers who use evidence-based teaching practices, providing an alternative method for identifying specific learning disabilities (SLD), changing mandatory components of the IEP, and outlining
plans for students with behavioral challenges.
Thirteen Disability Categories of IDEA 2004
To qualify for special education services under IDEA 2004, students must meet criteria in at least
one of 13 categories. Each of these categories, which will be described more fully in subsequent
chapters, is introduced here using the terminology as stated in the Regulations of IDEA 2004:
1. 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.
The term autism does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected
primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance (see the definition below).
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, and that
adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
4. 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.
f) Schizophrenia.
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This term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined
that they have an emotional disturbance.
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.
6. Mental retardation (now called intellectual disability) means significantly sub-average
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 the student cannot be accommodated in special education
programs designed 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 (a) 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 (b) adversely
affects a child’s educational performance.
10. 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 do
mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain
injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. This term 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. This term 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 includes blindness and involves an impairment in vision that, even
with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes
both partial sight and blindness. (U.S. Department of Education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Regulations, Part 300/A/300.8/c.)
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ADHD is not a separate IDEA 2004 category. Students with ADHD are often categorized under
other health impairment if these students are to receive special education services. Giftedness is not a disability category, although many schools house gifted programs in their special
education departments.
There is an additional category under IDEA 2004 called developmental delay. This category is
used to identify students on a temporary basis. A developmental delay occurs when a child is
not meeting developmental milestones at typical times. Delays can be seen in motor, social,
language, or thinking skills.
The category of developmental delay can be used under Part C for children from birth to 3 years and
Part B for children ages 3–9. This category cannot be used for students over 9 years of age. Developmental delay is a temporary category that allows students to receive appropriate services until
an official diagnosis (e.g., learning disability, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance) is made.
No Child Left Behind Act
The 2001 reauthorization of the ESEA was titled the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB forced
major changes in educational practices for all students, including students with disabilities. One
of the hallmarks of NCLB was the provision of mandatory testing for students in grades 3 through
8 and 10 through 12, with schools working toward 100\% proficiency in reading and mathematics
(Yell, Katsiyannis, & Shiner, 2006). The law stipulates that schools must demonstrate adequate
yearly progress (AYP) toward meeting the 100\% proficiency by 2014. Ninety-five percent of students in a school and within each subgroup in a school (e.g., special education) must participate
in the AYP assessments.
Thus, NCLB stipulates that 95\% of special education students must meet AYP benchmarks; it also
mandates that only 1\% of students in a school can participate in an alternate assessment, and
students eligible for the alternate assessment must demonstrate significant cognitive disabilities
(Elliott & Roach, 2007). Many schools are not making AYP and feel this expectation is unreasonable (Purcell, East, & Rude, 2005).
NCLB also expects students with disabilities to participate more in the general education curriculum, as most students with disabilities will be taking the same standardized assessments as their
peers without disabilities. The NCLB explains that a student’s IEP or 504 Plan should include information on whether the student will participate in an alternate assessment and how the student
will participate in the general curriculum.
NCLB also demands that all students be taught by highly qualified teachers, and that teachers use
evidence-based practices in the classroom (Collins & Salzberg, 2005). Evidence-based practices
are teaching practices that have been tested and determined to be effective. It takes a lot of time
and money to identify evidence-based practices, and the list of known evidence-based practices is
sparse. Many of the NCLB aims laid out in 2001 were restated in IDEA 2004 so schools understand
the specifics regarding students with disabilities.
Components of IDEA 2004
Some of the major components of IDEA 2004 that have already been discussed in detail include FAPE,
LRE, IFSP or IEP, Child Find, and transition planning. Similar to NCLB, IDEA 2004 mandates all students
with disabilities be taught by a highly qualified teacher (HQT). The law requires that all teachers of
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Section 1.3  Special Education Legislation Affecting Public Schools Today
students with disabilities receive appropriate preparation and ongoing professional development to
meet the academic and functional needs of the students. In addition, and similar to NCLB, all special
education teachers should be certified to teach special education (Russo, Osborne, & Borreca, 2005).
The law also placed a major emphasis on using evidence-based practices for instruction.
Tips for the General Classroom: What Works Clearinghouse
As a classroom teacher, you are often given textbooks and teacher manuals to guide
your instruction. Are these evidence-based practices? How would you know? The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the research organization within the U.S. Department of Education.
IES compiles lists of evidence-based programs for teachers with the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC).
A panel of experts from IES reviews published and unpublished research and systematically reviews the
research to see if each study meets key WWC components. Most importantly, the panel of experts uses
WWC standards to determine if students benefitted from the educational practice in a positive way.
Studies can be rated as meets evidence standards without reservations, meets evidence standards with
reservations, or does not meet evidence standards. Results from the evaluations are posted for anyone
to access on the WWC website.
For example, if an elementary teacher is looking for an evidence-based practice to help students with
alphabet skills, she can use the WWC search function to find all the evaluated programs. The teacher
can see the names of each intervention (i.e., program or teaching practice) and the extent of evidence of the intervention. Based on this evidence, the teacher can make a wise decision about which
evidence-based practice to use in her classroom.
Figure 1.3: Sample Search Results From the What Works
Clearinghouse (WWC)
On the WWC, teachers can search for programs to help students in specific areas. For example, if a
teacher wanted to find evidence-based programs related to teaching about the alphabet, they can
search “literacy” and “students with disabilities.” This list about programs focused on alphabetics shows
teachers the effects of specific programs.
Alphabetics
Intervention
Topic
Early Intervention
in Reading (EIR) ®
Literacy (Beginning
Reading)
Reading Recovery ®
Literacy (Beginning
Reading)
Stepping Stones
to Literacy
Literacy (Beginning
Reading)
Ladders to Literacy
Literacy (Beginning
Reading)
Earobics ®
Literacy (Beginning
Reading)
Improvement Index
36
– 50
+50
34
– 50
+50
– 50
+50
30
25
– 50
+50
25
– 50
+50
Effectiveness Rating
Extent of Evidence
–– –
0 + – + ++ Small
–– –
to Large
M
0 + – + ++ Medium
–– –
S
0 + – + ++ Small
–– –
0 + – + ++
++ Medium to Large
–– –
S
0 + – + ++ Small
Source: What Works Clearinghouse, Insitute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
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Another major change revolved around the identification of students with learning disabilities (LDs).
Until 2004, most schools used a discrepancy model to identify students with LDs. A discrepancy
model looks at a student’s present academic performance in comparison with that student’s possible
performance (as generally measured with an intelligence test) to determine whether a discrepancy
exists between where the student is expected to perform and where the student actually performs.
The use of the discrepancy model had been criticized because often schools would wait a few
years—perhaps until third or fourth grade—to identify students, because a discrepancy was more
obvious at that time; this practice delayed interventions or services. Thus, IDEA 2004 proposed
Response to Intervention (RTI) as an alternative to the discrepancy model. Both of these options
are discussed in Chapter 3.
Additionally, IDEA 2004 introduced changes to due process. Parents now have two years to contest a violation of IDEA 2004. If parents or guardians want to file a due process claim, they must
file a complaint with the school district. The district must respond to the complaint within 15 days
and schedule a resolution session. If the complaint cannot be resolved within 30 days of receipt of
the complaint, then a due process hearing can take place.
IDEA 2004 also included new guidelines on the discipline of students with disabilities. Prior versions of IDEA mandated that students with disabilities be moved from their current educational
placement only when the behavior the student exhibited was dangerous or related to weapons or
drugs. IDEA 2004 made it easier for schools to remove students for non-dangerous, non-drug, or
non-weapon behaviors, with a maximum 45-school-day removal.
Students who have been removed from their placement may receive their education in an alternative setting; services must continue to be provided, and teachers should help the students make
progress toward the IEP goals. If a student faces disciplinary action based on a behavior that is
manifested by the student’s disability, the IEP team, which includes parents, is required to determine if the student’s misbehavior was a manifestation of the disability.
Special Education Referral, Evaluation, and Identification
If parents or guardians suspect that their baby or toddler may be experiencing delays due to a disability, they can request a free evaluation conducted by a team of professionals. For babies, toddlers, and children who have not started school, this evaluation usually takes place in the child’s
home environment so that the child is more comfortable, though some evaluations occur in a
clinic or office setting.
Students may be identified with a specific disability or the student may be identified as having a
developmental delay. If it is determined that the child has a disability or delay, an IFSP (for children from birth to age 3) or IEP (for children ages 3–5) is developed by a team of professionals
with the parent or guardian.
Many students, as noted, are not diagnosed and referred for special education before they are
school age. When students in school show persistent difficulty or failure in the general education classroom, they can be referred for special education. General education teachers, school
administrators, and parents or guardians can all request for the identification process to begin. If
personnel from the school suggest an evaluation, the school must contact the parents in writing
to obtain consent and make all reasonable efforts to get in contact with the parent or guardian.
(If a parent or guardian refuses consent, the school district can go through due process to try to
override the parent or guardian’s decision.)
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Once a referral or request for evaluation occurs, the evaluation must take place within 60 days
(unless a specific state has set a different timeline). For school-age students, the evaluation takes
place in a school, clinic, or medical setting.
From My Perspective: Being the Parent of a Child With a Disability
Hi. I am Kris, and I am a former special education teacher who has
spent countless hours on IEP teams. But as a mom of a special needs
child, I have had a different experience on the “other side of the
table.” While I recognized it was a process fraught with anxiety for
families, I did not appreciate its complexities before living through it.
Just knowing the importance of the IEP can cause stress. It provides
the legal and educational framework for all school-based decisions
and guides my son’s teachers, therapists, and administrators as they
work with him each day. As his mom, I must be his advocate, explaining his rare disorder, describing his strengths and weaknesses, and
informing others of strategies that are likely to work. He does not
Comstock Images/Thinkstock
fit any mold, and no one knows him like I do. The responsibility of
guiding him toward his hopes for the future lies principally with me.
So the anxiety and emotions that this process triggers is great—even for someone very familiar with
the process and terminology.
I worry about false assumptions other team members may make about my son, about my ability to
accurately portray him so that others will take seriously both his abilities and his deficits, about who will
be implementing the IEP and how it will be implemented, and about how I am perceived. I also want to
make certain I remain open to the unique expertise and perspective each of the other team members
bring. Achieving this balance—understanding the process, advocating for my son, and being open to
input from helping professionals—is a challenge, and one I must face year after year.
A team of school officials and the parents or guardians analyze the student data to determine
whether the student has a disability as outlined in IDEA 2004. An individual teacher never diagnoses a student with a disability. Depending upon the disability, a diagnosis is made by a team of
school personnel or by a medical professional.
If the student is found to have a disability, an IEP team is formed. The IEP team includes school professionals who will be directly involved with the student’s education and the parent or guardian, unless
the parent or guardian declines participation (Cheatham, Hart, Malian, & McDonald, 2012). At age 16,
the student must be invited to be a part of the IEP team whenever transition issues will be discussed.
For most disability categories (i.e., deaf-blindness, deafness, hearing impairment, orthopedic
impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment), the determination of disability is conducted by medical professionals. Many of these students enter school already having a disability
diagnosis, and then an IEP team is formed and the IEP is written. For some of the other disability
categories (emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, specific learning disabilities, or speech
language impairment), the responsibility for evaluation is placed more on the school because the
student’s difficulties are more school-based than medical in nature. Subsequent chapters will discuss the specific evaluation of each of these disabilities.
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Section 1.4  Details of the Individualized Education Program
CHAPTER 1
1.4  Details of the Individualized Education Program
T
he IEP is developed once a student is identified as qualifying under one of the 13 disability
classifications of the IDEA 2004. The IEP is the legal document that ensures that students
with disabilities are receiving a FAPE and making adequate progress each school year, and
the school district is bound by law to follow it.
Components of the IEP
First, the IEP has a statement of the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional
performance (PLAAFP), usually a narrative of the student’s academic and functional performance.
The PLAAFP generally explains the effect of the student’s difficulty or disability on academic and functional performance. The IEP team may ask the following questions to help write the student’s PLAAFP.






What are the student’s present levels of achievement?
Why is the student struggling?
When will it be apparent whether the IEP plan is working?
Who will monitor progress?
Where will services take place?
How will the school provide information to the parents?
The narrative is typically written with a positive tone, focusing on the student’s strengths. For
example, instead of saying, “Jorge cannot read full sentences and he does not comprehend text,”
the PLAAFP may state, “Jorge is able to identify letter names and letter sounds. Jorge needs assistance with decoding of words.”
Second, an IEP contains a list of annual goals. IEP goals serve as a bridge between grade level
expectations and the student’s present level of performance. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited (SMART) (Jung, 2007). To be SMART, a goal has to be
written so the outcome is specific and measureable. A goal cannot be a broad, sweeping statement, such as “Jaden will read better.”
Depending upon the student’s disability, goals may be academic, functional, or behavioral. Here
are a few examples of different IEP goals:
• Jaden will read first-grade material orally at 110–130 words per minute with 95\%
accuracy.
• Jaden will state the correct time on an analog clock with accuracy (to the nearest 5
minutes) in 9 out of 10 problems.
• Jaden will remain in her seat for 10 minutes, with no more than 3 prompts as measured by the observation checklist.
The IEP must clearly specify when and how a student’s progress toward meeting annual goals
will be measured. Sometimes, short-term objectives accompany these goals to describe how the
student’s progress towards meeting the annual goal will be quantified and measured. Short-term
objectives used to be a necessary component of the IEP, but IDEA 2004 states that short-term
objectives are necessary only for students who will take alternate assessments (Russo et al., 2005).
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Third, the IEP includes a list of the services provided to the student, who will provide these services, the duration of the services, how these services will enable the student to participate in
the general education classroom to the greatest extent possible, and where the services will take
place. Many students with disabilities will spend most of their school day in the general classrooms with accommodations or modifications to the general curriculum.
Other students may receive some or all of their education in a resource or self-contained special
education classroom. The IEP outlines the curriculum for the student in these settings. All instructional practices listed in the IEP for the student should be evidence-based, if possible. The IEP
also details who (e.g., general classroom teacher, special education teacher, speech therapist) will
provide services to the student.
Fourth, an IEP has an account of the monitoring of student progress to ensure that students are
on track to meet their goals. Progress can be monitored in a number of ways:









Progress monitoring assessments
Academic assessments
Observations
Checklists
Rubrics
Interviews
Portfolios
Work samples
Video or audio recordings
The progress must be quantifiable, and often data related to progress is graphed to easily see
trends in student performance (Hessler & Konrad, 2008).
The IEP may include other disability considerations, such as a health plan and/or student behavior
plan. If the student is eligible for taking an alternate assessment, information on the assessment
must be included in the IEP. If the student is able to take assessments using accommodations,
those accommodations must be written into the IEP.
Once a student reaches 16 years old, a transition plan is included to prepare students for post-high
school education and career opportunities. Transition refers to the student’s post-secondary plans.
Some students may plan on attending college, while others may enter the work force or go to vocational school. Other students may move into residential communities or continue to live at home.
Transition plans help students develop the appropriate skills (e.g., note-taking, riding the bus, making
appropriate change) for their post-secondary plans. The transition plan in the IEP is evaluated yearly
and focuses on both the student’s academic and functional needs (Brooke & McDonough, 2008).
The IEP Team
While the IEP is primarily written by the special education teacher, it contains input from general
educators, administrators, other service providers, parents or guardians, and, when appropriate,
the student. Federal law requires an annual meeting where the special and general educators,
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Section 1.4  Details of the Individualized Education Program
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administrators, other service providers, parents/guardians, and the student review and agree on
the IEP and adjust it if appropriate. Schools and districts may choose to hold more frequent IEP
meetings to ensure students are being appropriately challenged and supported.
Any member of the IEP can be excused from a meeting if his or her area of expertise is not discussed at the meeting. However, parents have to agree, in writing, that the IEP team member can
be excused, and the team member must provide a written report with information relevant to the
student’s progress in his or her area of specialty before the IEP meeting occurs.
Special Education: Your Profession
Court Cases That Arose From IDEA Conflicts
With so many regulations and amendments concerning the education of people with disabilities, it’s
not surprising that there are often disagreements between schools and parents of students with disabilities over such concepts as what exactly is an appropriate free and public education and just what
is the least restrictive environment. While many cases about FAPE and LRE have been argued in court,
several landmark cases have allowed courts to provide more explanation about what is appropriate for
students with disabilities (Aldersley, 2002):
• Espino v. Besteiro (1981). Raul Espino was a 7-year-old with multiple disabilities caused from a
car accident when he was an infant. One of Raul’s difficulties was that his body could not regulate its temperature. When his Texas school placed him in an air-conditioned cubicle in a nonair-conditioned classroom, Raul’s parents asserted that this was a failure to provide Raul with
an education in his LRE. The court ruled that an air-conditioned classroom, rather than just a
cubicle, was a special education service that the school should provide.
• Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley (1982). Amy Rowley
was a first grader who was deaf and required an interpreter. Amy’s school in New York initially
agreed to provide funding for an interpreter but later rescinded the offer. Amy’s parents lost an
initial claim in due process, and the case ended up going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court;
it was the first case about a part of the EAHCA to be heard by the Court. The Court ruled that a
FAPE for Amy was being met without the school’s having to hire an interpreter because Amy was
demonstrating progress in the classroom and proceeding from one grade to the next like other
students (Redfield & Kraft, 2012). Many people felt the Rowley decision was a defeat for people
with disabilities (Seligmann, 2012). Despite Amy’s tumultuous beginning in education, she now
has a Ph.D. and is a college professor.
• Lachman v. Illinois State Board of Education (1988). Benjamin Lachman was a student who was
deaf. His school district wanted to place him in a school that was not his neighborhood school to
participate in a special class. Benjamin’s parents wanted him placed in his neighborhood school
with a speech interpreter. The courts ruled that the district’s decision to educate Benjamin in
a special class for deaf students was not in violation of LRE. The district had to ensure it would
educate Benjamin, said the court, but the district was not required to provide an education to
meet the student’s maximum potential.
(continued)
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Section 1.5  Further Legislation Affecting Individuals With Disabilities and Their Education CHAPTER 1
Special Education: Your Profession
Court Cases That Arose from IDEA Conflicts (continued)
• Daniel R.R. v. State Board of Education (1989). Daniel, a 6-year-old pre-kindergarten student with
a moderate intellectual disability, spent half of his day in a general classroom and half of his day
in a special education classroom. Because Daniel was not succeeding in the general classroom
and required constant monitoring, the school decided to place him in a special education class
for the entire day. Daniel’s parents argued that this placement violated FAPE and LRE. The court
ruled for the school district, stating that students with disabilities should receive an education
similar to students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate, but schools do not
have to provide that education in the general education classroom if the general education classroom setting is inappropriate to provide a FAPE.
From Daniel, the courts developed a two-pronged test to determine whether a school was providing a
student FAPE in the LRE: (1) Can the education in the general classroom with the use of supplemental
aids and services be achieved satisfactorily? and (2) If it cannot, has the school mainstreamed the child
to the maximum extent appropriate?
1.5  Further Legislation Affecting Individuals With
Disabilities and Their Education
I
n 1973, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act included provisions for people with disabilities,
and its mandates extend to schools. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act outlined
access rights for people with disabilities, and many of these rules apply to schools, as well.
Section 504
When students with disabilities do not qualify for special education services under IDEA 2004,
Section 504 funding can be used for their education. Section 504 is civil rights legislation that is
part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (Holler & Zirkel, 2008). This legislation mandates that students with disabilities have an equal
opportunity to participate in all programs receiving federal funds. Schools have more flexibility
with Section 504 than IDEA 2004.
One key difference between Section 504 and IDEA 2004 is the definition of disability (Schraven
& Jolly, 2010). Under the IDEA 2004 definition, students must qualify in 1 of the 13 disability
classifications to be eligible for special education. The educational outcomes of the students
must be adversely affected. The broader Section 504 definition includes individuals who have
(1) a mental or physical impairment that (2) substantially limits (3) a major life activity. This definition can extend services to those individuals who may not be currently meeting these criteria
but have either a record of meeting them or are regarded as meeting them (Zirkel, 2011).
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Section 1.5  Further Legislation Affecting Individuals With Disabilities and Their Education CHAPTER 1
Students who have an identified disability under IDEA 2004 are inherently covered by Section
504 (Holler & Zirkel, 2008). For example, a student with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) may not qualify as one of the 13 disability classifications because there is not enough evidence to show a substantial limitation to his or her educational performance. However, that student may need support. A 504 plan may be developed to ensure that the student with ADHD is still
protected throughout his or her education. The plan specifies classroom accommodations and/or
services for the individual student (Zirkel, 2011). Like an IEP, a 504 plan is designed to ensure that
a student receives the support needed to be successful in a public school setting.
Table 1.2: Comparison of IDEA 2004 and Section 504
IDEA 2004
Section 504
Evaluation
Parent or guardian must
consent to evaluation by a
team of professionals. Student
must be re-evaluated every
1–3 years.
Parents or guardians must
receive notice (but not have to
consent) to evaluation by team
of professionals. Student must
be reevaluated periodically.
Identification
Student must qualify under (at
least) one disability category
and educational performance
must be adversely affected.
Student must have difficulty
with (at least) one major life
activity.
Plans
Student must have an IEP that
addresses specific services.
The IEP also includes longterm goals, LRE placement,
assessment accommodations,
and transition plans.
Student must have a Section
504 plan that addresses
specific services.
Due process
Parents or guardians and the
school make their case at an
impartial hearing. Student
remains in placement until
decision is made.
Parents or guardians and the
school make their case at an
impartial hearing. Student does
not have to remain in placement
until a decision is made.
Source: deBettencourt, 2002.
Americans With Disabilities Act
Individuals with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed
in 1990, this law reinforced and extended the civil rights provided to people with disabilities
under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ADA prohibits any discrimination against people with disabilities in government, public spaces and accommodations, employment, commercial facilities,
pow85736_01_c01_001-034.indd 25
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Wrap-Up
CHAPTER 1
public transportation, and telecommunication. For
example, it restricts questions that employers can
ask potential employees about disabilities, and
requires employers (with more than 15 employees)
to make reasonable accommodations for people
with disabilities.
The ADA is also important because it requires that
people with disabilities have access to public education, transportation, recreation, voting, courts, and
social services. It has guidelines for providing access
(e.g., ramps, parking spaces, bathroom stalls) to
people with disabilities and allocates federal funds
to businesses and organizations that need to make
accommodations or modifications for accessibility to people with disabilities. Since 1990, all new
public buildings must adhere to ADA guidelines for
access, and older buildings must be altered within
reason. In response to several court cases (Anfang,
2003), the ADA was amended in 2008 to expand
the definition of disability to be a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more
major life activities.
National Geographic/SuperStock
Not only do students with disabilities need
special education services at school, but
schools are also required to provide proper
transportation to and from school. Here, a
teacher helps a student get off a wheelchairaccessible school bus.
Wrap-Up
• Disability, handicap, disorder, impairment, and exceptional are all terms that can be used
in specific situations to describe students in special education. People-first language
should be used when referring to students with disabilities, except in the Deaf, blind,
and autism communities.
• The early efforts to educate people with disabilities began in Europe and spread to the
United States. The Civil Rights movement helped advocates for people with disabilities
gain momentum to provide education for all students with disabilities.
• PL 94-142 established educational rights for students with disabilities. Reauthorizations of
PL 94-142 led to the most recent version of special education legislation, IDEA 2004. Some
of the most important concepts are free appropriate public education (FAPE), least restrictive environment (LRE), Individualized Education Program (IEP), Child Find, transition, and
due process. The regulations of No Child Left Behind extend to students with disabilities.
• IEPs outline all aspects of a student’s education and must include: the student’s present
levels of academic achievement and functional performance, long-term goals, the measurement of progress toward meeting long-term goals, services the student will receive,
accommodations and modifications, and how the student will participate in standardized assessments. The IEP team consists of the student’s general education teacher,
special education teachers, parents or guardians, and other essential school staff who
may work with the student.
• Section 504 can be used for the education of students with disabilities if a student does
not qualify under IDEA 2004.
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Post-Test
CHAPTER 1
Post-Test
1. What is a disability?
a. A disease.
b. A handicap.
c. When someone’s ability to participate in one or more major life activities is impaired.
d. When an illness affects the body or mind.
2. Which is not an example of person-first language?
a. Caitlin has a learning disability.
b. Caitlin was diagnosed with a learning disability.
c. Caitlin receives special education services.
d. Caitlin is learning disabled.
3. Which disability groups received the most attention from early advocates?
a. Deaf, blind, and intellectual disabilities
b. Learning disabilities
c. Autism
d. Physical disabilities
4. Which court cases were vital to gaining national attention for a law to protect students
with disabilities?
a. Plessy and Brown
b. PARC and Mills
c. Watson and Beattie
d. Lachman and Daniel R.R.
5. Why is PL 94-142 important?
a. The law was a reaction to the Civil Rights movement.
b. The law guaranteed a free, public education for all students.
c. The law required students with disabilities to participate in assessments.
d. The law mandated highly qualified teachers for all students.
6. How is LRE defined?
a. The least restrictive placement for a student to participate in general education to
the maximum extent appropriate.
b. By the Rowley decision.
c. The least restrictive environment for a student to participate in special education.
d. The least restrictive placement for a student to participate in general education that a
school district can afford.
7. Which is not mandated by NCLB?
a. Highly qualified teachers for all students.
b. Evidence-based practices for instruction.
c. 95\% of students participating in statewide assessments.
d. Child Find.
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Answers and Rejoinders to Pre-Test
CHAPTER 1
8. Which is not a mandatory component of an IEP?
a. A transition plan for students starting at age 16.
b. A list of short-term objectives.
c. A list of annual goals.
d. A statement of the student’s present level of performance.
9. Which question is involved in the two-pronged test?
a. Is the child receiving appropriate supplemental aids?
b. Is the child receiving appropriate supplemental services?
c. Is the child included to the maximum extent appropriate?
d. Is the child receiving appropriate modifications?
10. What is the major difference between an IEP and a Section 504 plan?
a. A 504 is more specific.
b. A 504 plan is put together by an individual.
c. An IEP is put together by a team.
d. Sections of an IEP are mandated by law.
Answers: 1 (c); 2 (d); 3 (a); 4 (b); 5 (b); 6 (a); 7 (d); 8 (b); 9 (c); 10 (d)
Discussion Questions
1. Why did disability advocates push for person-first language, and why do some disability
groups not embrace it?
2. What events occurred in the U.S. that lead to the passing of PL 94-142?
3. How do IDEA 2004 and Section 504 differ?
Answers and Rejoinders to Pre-Test
1. True. A mental or physical condition that impairs a person’s ability to do something
used to be called a handicap, but the term disability shows respect for all people
and is now the favored term (Baglieri, Valle, Connor, & Gallagher, 2011). Today,
the term handicap is used to refer to something people create in the environment to make it difficult for a person with a disability to navigate, learn, work, or
do other activities.
2. True. Charles-Michel de l’Épée founded the first school for the deaf in 1760; he helped
create a system of sign language. One of the students from his school, Laurent
Clerc, learned sign language in France. He then moved to the United States and
helped with the development of American Sign Language.
3. False. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, many schools began their own special
education programs, but nothing was mandated by the federal government.
These court cases, along with civil rights legislation, ushered in a seminal year
for students with disabilities: 1975.
4. False. Many students with disabilities will spend most of their school day in the general
classrooms with accommodations or modifications to the general curriculum.
Other students may receive some or all of their education in a resource or selfcontained special education classroom.
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CHAPTER 1
Acronyms Used in Chapter 1
5. True. In 1973, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act included provisions for people
with disabilities, and its mandates extend to schools. In 1990, the Americans
with Disabilities Act outlined access rights for people with disabilities, and many
of these rules apply to schools, as well. Special education law is constantly being
updated and revised.
Additional Resources
• The Disability History Museum has thousands of historical documents highlighting the
experiences and stories of people with disabilities.
www.disabilitymuseum.org
• This site has an interactive timeline of individuals with disabilities, dating back to 400 BC.
www.disabilityhistoryweek.org/
• All the statutes and regulations of IDEA are available on this site from the U.S. government.
http://idea.ed.gov
• This site, from the state of Connecticut, is devoted to providing resources to parents or
guardians and service providers of infants and toddlers with disabilities.
http://www.birth23.org/
Acronyms Used in Chapter 1
Acronym
Definition
ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADHD
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder
AYP
Adequate Yearly Progress
BEH
Bureau for Education of the Handicapped
CEC
Council for Exceptional Children
EAHCA
Education of All Handicapped Children Act
EHA
Education of All Handicapped Children Act
ESEA
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
FAPE
Free Appropriate Public Education
HQT
Highly-Qualified Teacher
IDEA
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IDEA 1997
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IDEA 2004
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IDEIA
Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act
IEP
Individualized Education Program
IES
Institute of Education Sciences
(continued)
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CHAPTER 1
Key Terms
Acronyms Used in Chapter 1 (continued)
Acronym
Definition
IFSP
Individualized Family Service Plan
LD
Learning Disability
LRE
Least Restrictive Environment
MDA
Muscular Dystrophy Association
NCLB
No Child Left Behind
OCD
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
PARC
Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children
PICs
Parent Information Centers
PL 94-142
Education of All Handicapped Children Act
PLAAFP
Present Level of Academic Achievement and
Functional Performance
RTI
Response to Intervention
SLD
Specific Learning Disabilities
SMART
Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and
Time-Limited
WWC
What Works Clearinghouse
Key Terms
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  The
law mandating equal access to public spaces
for people with disabilities.
free appropriate public education (FAPE)  The
type of education that is guaranteed to all
students, regardless of disability.
disability  A function or condition that impairs
the ability to do something.
handicap  The previous term for disability.
disorder  A function or condition that affects a
person’s abilities.
due process  The system that parents or
guardians use if they disagree with a school
district’s special education plan for their child.
exceptionality  Another term for special
education.
pow85736_01_c01_001-034.indd 30
impairment  A condition that diminishes a
person’s ability to do something.
inclusion  The education of students with
disabilities along with students without disabilities in the LRE to the maximum extent
appropriate.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)  A
program written for all students with disabilities (ages 3–21) who qualify under IDEA 2004,
which outlines the student’s placement in
special education.
5/7/13 8:13 AM
References
CHAPTER 1
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)  A
plan for young infants and toddlers (ages
birth–3) who qualify under IDEA 2004, which
outlines services the child may receive related
to special education.
person-first language  An approach to speaking about disabilities in which the individual
is mentioned before the disability (e.g., “the
student who has dyslexia” rather than “the
dyslexic student”).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA)  A law that protects the rights of students with disabilities.
Section 504  The part of the Rehabilitation Act
under which students who do not qualify for
special education services under IDEA may be
able to receive special education services.
least restrictive environment (LRE)  The setting where, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities should receive
their education.
special education  The specialized branch of
education providing services to students with
disabilities.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)  The law mandating that almost all students, regardless of disability, participate in statewide assessments,
be taught by highly qualified teachers, and be
taught with evidence-based practices.
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Teaching Students in
Special Education
2
Pre-Test
1. The placement of a student in a general classroom
depends upon the student’s disability. T/F
2. Special education classrooms may not be the best
placement option for students with disabilities. T/F
3. With collaboration, a general education and
special education teacher teach in the same
classroom. T/F
4. Teachers should try to work with families to
support students with disabilities. T/F
5. All students with disabilities can take a modified
assessment. T/F
Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
1. Define the concept of inclusion.
2. Describe how the IEP team makes placement decisions.
3. Describe ways that general education, special education, and specialists collaborate with one another.
4. Discuss the different models for co-teaching.
5. Explain how teachers can bridge the gap between home and school.
6. Describe the types of accommodations that are common for assessments.
35
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CHAPTER 2
Introduction 
Introduction
A
lmost all students with disabilities attend their local neighborhood school. And in these
local schools, the majority of them will spend at least part of their school day in a general
education classroom (see Figure 2.1). Do you plan to be a special education teacher, or do
you intend to teach in a “regular” (general education) classroom? Maybe you intend to become a
school counselor or speech therapist. You may not be planning to teach or work with students in
special education, but in all likelihood, you will be responsible for the education of these students
from your very first teaching position.
Figure 2.1: Where do Special Education Students Receive Instruction?
Approximately 95\% of students who receive special education services receive all or part of their instruction
in their regular neighborhood school. Less than 5\% attend a school, institution, or facility that is not their
regular school.
Regular class (
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