Special Education Terminology

The following is a partial list of special education terms and matters handled by our office:

Article 7 – Under IDEIA, states are required to adopt and implement certain policies and procedures to ensure that students with disabilities are provided with the protections enumerated or envisioned by IDEIA. Article 7 is the State of Indiana's response to that requirement.

Case Conference Committee (CCC) – A group of select people, including parents and school personnel, who are responsible for reviewing evaluations and determining a student's eligibility for special education services. They also develop, review, and revise the IEP or transition IEP for the student.

Child Find Requirement – A public agency is required to have written policies and procedures to locate, identify, and evaluate all students between the ages of 3, and less than 22 years old, who are in need of special education services.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) – Under IDEIA, FAPE is generally defined as special education and related services that are made available at public expense; adhere to state standards; includes preschool, elementary, and secondary education; and conforms to an IEP. These services are tailored to meet the unique needs of the student.

IDEIA – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) is a federal law that was created to confer legally enforceable rights upon students with disabilities and their parents or guardians. Further, IDEIA is reciprocal in nature and provides similar protections to local education agencies. However, for various reasons, many public schools do not follow the basic protections mandated under IDEIA. Under IDEIA, students with disabilities must be provided with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

IEP – An individualized education program (IEP) is a written document that is developed and reviewed by a case conference committee (CCC). The IEP must address the student's involvement in the general education curriculum, and record what special education and related services are necessary to ensure participation. Numerous factors and considerations go into developing an effective IEP. Parents have the right to actively participate in the CCC meeting and should make sure that the goals and objectives within the IEP are well-defined.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) – In essence, the school district shall have written policies and procedures to ensure a student with a disability is educated with non-disabled students.

Local Education Agency (LEA) – Publicly funded school corporations and other state operated schools.

Manifestation Determination Meeting – The CCC team must conduct an evaluation to determine whether the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to the disability, or was a failure of the district to implement the IEP.

Section 504 – This federal law is another source of legal protection that provides assistance to students with disabilities. This law prevents any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance from discriminating against disabled individuals because of their disability.

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