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NEW!!! Children’s Mental Health Disorder Fact Sheet for the Classroom - This document gives information regarding symptoms/behaviors, educational implications and instructional strategies/accommodations broken down by disorder. A very useful document.  


MI MDE Releases Revised Due Process & Complaints Documents: The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services has released revised and new guidance documents regarding the state and due process complaints and procedures. There are four documents, now available for download on the Administrative Forms and Procedures page of the OSE-EIS website: Model Special Education State Complaint Form (revised), Special Education State Complaint Procedures (revised), Model Special Education Due Process Complaint Form (revised), and Special Education Due Process Complaint Procedures. (12/10)


MI Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education Supplemented With IDEA Federal Regulations (4/09)


MI IEP Development Process: In an effort to build an integrated system to implement requirements and practices that are compliant AND focused on results for students, the OSE-EIS has developed awareness documents and training materials for the IEP Development Process. (5/10)


Choose a topic below to begin learning more about Special Education.

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Featured Articles, Resources & Websites

  • Creature Comforts: Assistance Animals Now Come in All Shapes and Species - What’s most striking about Ann Edie and her miniature guide horse, Panda, is that after the initial shock of seeing a horse walk into a cafe, or ride in a car, watching them work together makes the idea of guide miniature horses seem utterly logical. Even normal. So normal, in fact, that people often find it hard to believe that the United States government is considering a proposal that would force Edie and many others like her to stop using their service animals.

  • MI Highly Recommended! The Education Law Center - A one-stop resource for information on the laws that apply in a school setting. ELC lawyers have years of practical experience and include John Brower, Bridges4Kids’ resource attorney.

  • Districts Face Legal Challenges as They Address Special Education Needs - Vague laws, complex compliance policies, and the Web all contribute to skyrocketing litigation.

  • How to Resolve Special Education Disputes - In drafting the provisions of IDEA, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. When such disagreements occur, parents and school districts can turn to IDEA’s dispute resolution options. Find out what those options are---there’s a new one. NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, has posted a training module covering Options for Dispute Resolution which includes PowerPoint slide shows to use in training sessions, a detailed discussion of IDEA for trainers, and handouts for audience participants.

  • DOE Says States Aren't Meeting Special Ed Law's Requirements - Four-fifths of the states are falling short of federal requirements for educating students with disabilities, the Education Department says.

  • A Parent’s Guide to Response-to-Intervention - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) includes a provision that allows states and school districts to use high quality, research-based instruction in general and special education to provide services and interventions to students who struggle with learning and may be at risk of or suspected of having learning disabilities. The National Center for Learning Disabilities has written this Guide to provide an overview of the Response-to-Intervention process and its implementation and suggest questions that parents can ask about it.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Education from - For quick answers to frequently asked questions about education, the U.S. Department of Education offers an online resource filled with up-to-date information on numerous aspects of federal law, policy and initiatives. The website answers more than 100 questions related to topics addressed by the Department, including No Child Left Behind, financial aid, special education, school choice, grants and research. Topics are available in a fully searchable format that includes responses with links to additional information from internal and external sources. In addition, some answers are available in Spanish.

  • Confronting Ableism - From an early age, many people with disabilities encounter the view that disability is negative and tragic and that “overcoming” disability is the only valued result. Such an "ableist" perspective asserts that it is preferable for a child to read print rather than Braille, walk rather than use a wheelchair, spell independently rather than use a spell-checker, read written text rather than listen to a book on tape, and hang out with nondisabled kids rather than with other disabled kids. These ableist assumptions become dysfunctional when the education services provided to disabled children focus on "fixing" the disability or "changing the behavior" to the exclusion of all else. Instead, a better way to frame the purpose of special education would be to see it as a means of minimizing the impact of disability and maximizing the opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in schooling and the community.

  • Mistakes People Make: Parents - Because the stakes are so high, it is difficult for parents of children with special educational needs to advocate calmly and objectively for the educational and related services their children need.

  • The National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE) is "a national association that is dedicated to ensuring that all children and adolescents with special needs receive the best education possible. NAPCSE serves the interest of parents with children in special education by giving them numerous resources within the field of special education. By having an association that they can truly call their own, parents with children in special education now have an association that is completely devoted to their needs. NAPCSE advances and strengthens its community through networking, research, publications, and membership benefits." This is not a free service; membership dues apply.

  • Evidence-Based Practice—Wanted, Needed, and Hard to Get - While the law requires teachers to use evidence-based practices in their classrooms, the field has not yet determined criteria for evidence based practice nor whether special education has a solid foundation of evidence-based practices. Also, those teaching strategies that have been researched are difficult for teachers to access.

  • Toolkit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities - This Tool Kit, a collaboration between the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), and the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), brings together the most current and accurate information, including research briefs and resources designed to improve instruction, assessment, and accountability for students with disabilities in a format that is easy to access and to understand. The Tool Kit will assist state personnel, schools, and families in their efforts to ensure that all students with disabilities receive a quality education.

  • Question and Answer Session with Pete Wright - Parents of special education students know of Pete Wright. They know his Web site, They know he once represented a South Carolina special education student whose case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the family. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to Wright about teaching kids to read, how to keep Individualized Education Program meetings from going sour and why parents shouldn't resist standardized testing.

  • Double-Dipping: Are Kids with Disabilities Barred from Title I Programs - "I work as a speech therapist for a public school system. We have been told that students may not have Title I reading resource and special ed goals in reading because this is "double-dipping" into federal monies. Is this true?"

  • When It's Your Own Child: A Report on Special Education From Families Who Use It - The stigma once attached to children with disabilities is disappearing, according to parents of special education students. Majorities also give their local special education programs and teachers high marks. But parents offer mixed views on whether the right kids are getting the right services, with most saying too many special-needs children lose out because their parents aren't aware of what's available.

  • R&D Alert Vol. 6, No. 1: Focus on Special Education (PDF) - Contents: When Special Education and General Education Unite, Everyone Benefits, From the CEO: Improving Special Education Means Improving Education, Special Educators Responding to Shifting Definitions of "Highly Qualified", Responsiveness to Intervention: A Promising Alternative for Identifying Students with Learning Disabilities, Improving Assessment for Special Needs, WestEd Resources on Special Education, and What's New, Hot, & Useful.

  • The Special Ed Advocate: September 16, 2004 Edition - Topics include: Getting help for a child with reading problems; what does law say about passing grades; can parent get child's IEP changed: do teachers have to provide accommodations in child's IEP; prepub offer Stephen Jeffers v. School Board ends 9/28; finding help in the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities; new issue of The Beacon on high-stakes testing; Wrightslaw programs in CT, VA, OK.

  • Focused Monitoring (PDF) - How the federal government has changed its special education accountability process to focus on results.

  • National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring - To learn about individual states’ progress in implementing focused monitoring and continuous improvement processes as they reform their special education programs, click on a state in the map or a text link below the map.


CADRE LogoSpecial Education and Dispute Resolution: CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution and Special Education, offers a web site that has a wealth of information on issues related to resolving disagreements between family members and educators/service providers related to special education.  Click the logo on the left to visit their website.

Special Education Muckraker - The Special Education Muckrakers are people who care passionately about what happens to disabled kids in the public schools. We are researchers and scholars; lawyers; advocates; parents; related service providers; special educators and administrators.  We believe that all publicly-funded special education programs, placements and services should be required to be effective and efficient and humane. We know that many, at this time, are "none of the above."

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