IDEA ELL with Disabilities. 8-15-2012

Office of General Counsel
Division of Educational Equity
August 15, 2012
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or
IDEA is a formula grant program that provides
Federal funds to States, and through them to
local educational agencies (LEAs)
These funds assist States and their LEAs in
providing special education and related services
to children with disabilities. The IDEA
regulations for the Part B program are found in
34 CFR part 300
August 15, 2012
IDEA requires States and their LEAs to make
FAPE available to children with disabilities
residing in the State in the least restrictive
environment or LRE
August 15, 2012
As shown through the requirements described
below, each child’s needs must be individually
determined through specified procedures.
Parent participation is critical
August 15, 2012
Let’s define some terms:
• Special education and related services
• Provided at no cost to the parents
• Under public supervision and direction
• In conformity with an IEP
(34 CFR §300.17)
August 15, 2012
FAPE starts at the child’s third birthday and
could last until the 22nd birthday, depending on
State law or practice
(34 CFR §§300.101-300.102)
August 15, 2012
• Specially designed instruction to meet the
unique needs of a child with a disability.
• Specially designed means that the instruction
is adapted, as appropriate, to address the
child’s disability-related needs and to ensure
access to the general curriculum
(34 CFR §300.39)
August 15, 2012
Transportation and other support services that are
designed to assist a child to benefit from special
education. (34 CFR §300.34)
The regulation lists sixteen types of related services.
Some examples include:
• Audiology
• School health and school nurse services
• Interpreting services for children who are deaf or
hard of hearing
• Speech pathology services
August 15, 2012
A child who is evaluated and found to have a
disability as defined in the IDEA and who needs
special education and related services because
of the disability
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There are thirteen categories of disability in the
IDEA that States can use that range from autism
to traumatic brain injury. Other examples
• Deafness
• Hearing impairment
• Visual impairment, including blindness
• Emotional disturbance
• Other health impairment
• Orthopedic impairment
• Specific learning disability
(34 CFR §300.8)
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Informed parental consent must be obtained
before a child’s evaluation is conducted, and
parents must be given proper notice of the
proposed activity
(34 CFR §§300.300(a) and 300.304(a))
August 15, 2012
The LEA must use a variety of assessment tools
and strategies in conducting an evaluation,
including information from the child’s parent, to
determine whether a child has a disability and
the child’s educational needs and may not use
any single measure or assessment as the sole
criterion for these determinations
(34 CFR §300.304(b)(1)-(2))
August 15, 2012
Testing and other evaluation materials must be:
• Selected and administered in a manner that is
not racially or culturally discriminatory
• Provided and administered in the child’s
native language or other mode of
communication, and in the form most likely to
yield what the child knows and can do, unless
clearly not feasible to do so
• Be used for purposes for which the
assessments or measures are valid and
• Administered by trained and knowledgeable
(34 CFR §300.304(c))
August 15, 2012
A group of qualified professionals, including the
child’s parent, determine whether a child is
eligible for services under IDEA on a case by case
basis, drawing information from a variety of
sources, such as aptitude and achievement
tests, teacher recommendations, parent input,
and social and cultural background
(34 CFR §300.306(a) and (c))
August 15, 2012
A child may not be found to be a child with a
disability if the determinant factor is lack of
appropriate instruction in reading or math or
limited English proficiency
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Once a child is found eligible for special
education and related services, an LEA must
develop an IEP for the child
(34 CFR §300.306(b)(1) and (c)(2))
August 15, 2012
• Is a written document developed at a meeting
between parents and school officials, known
as the IEP Team
• Must be reviewed periodically, but not less
than annually
(34 CFR §§300.320-300.324)
August 15, 2012
The IEP must:
• Address the child’s disability-related
educational needs
• Contain, among other components, the
special education, related services, and
supplementary aids and services to be
provided to enable the child to be involved
and make progress in the general curriculum
and to participate in nonacademic and
extracurricular services and activities
(34 CFR §300.320(a))
August 15, 2012
The IEP Team must consider a variety of special
factors in developing, reviewing, and revising a
child’s IEP
For ELL students, the IEP Team must consider
the language needs of the child as those needs
relate to the child’s IEP
(34 CFR §300.324(a)(2)(ii))
August 15, 2012
Parents must be given the opportunity to be part of
the group that makes the child’s placement
decision-- the setting in which the child receives
special education and related services
(34 CFR §§300.501(b) and 300.116)
August 15, 2012
Variety of Written Notices
All required notices to parents under IDEA must
be written in language understandable to the
general public and in the parent’s native
language or other mode of communication used
by the parent, unless clearly not feasible to do
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If the parent’s native language is not a written
• The LEA must take steps to ensure that the
parent receives and understands the
information in the notice
(34 CFR §300.503(c))
August 15, 2012
All children with disabilities must be included in
all general State and district-wide assessment
programs, including assessments conducted
under Title I, with appropriate accommodations
and alternate assessments where necessary and
as indicated in their respective IEPs
(34 CFR §300.160))
August 15, 2012
IDEA does not address criteria for exiting a child
from special education and related services, but
does require a reevaluation before a child’s
eligibility can be terminated while the child
remains in school
(34 CFR §300.305(e)(1))
August 15, 2012
For more information about IDEA and the Part B
regulations in 34 CFR part 300, visit:
August 15, 2012
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