WVSD Special Services


Innovation Center: 9206 Zier Road, Yakima, WA 98908


Fax: (509) 972 5561

A Parent's Guide to Special Education


This symbol means “Section” as in “§ 300.7 Child with a disability” in the IDEA regulations


Alternative augmentative communication


American Association on Mental Retardation


American Council of the Blind


The term used to describe a building which can be easily entered, approached or used by a person with a disability. The term also can be used to describe a program which is adapted for a person with a disability.


Teaching supports and services that the student may require to successfully demonstrate learning. Accommodations should not change expectations to the curriculum grade levels. Examples include, extra time for assignments or tests, the use of taped textbooks, study carrel, etc.


The Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public transportation, telecommunications, access to public services programs, and activities of state and local governments, as well as those of commercial facilities, private businesses, and nonprofit service providers. The ADA was signed into law July 26, 1990


Americans with Disabilities Act

Adapted Physical Education

Specially designed instruction in physical education to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

Adaptive Behavior

How a person with a disability adjusts to his/her surroundings.


Attention deficit/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


Activities of Daily Living


Alternative dispute resolution


Supporting someone in a cause; representing or speaking for another person.


Academy for Educational Development


American Foundation for the Blind


American Federation of Teachers

AG Bell

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Alternative Assessment

Use of assessment strategies, such as performance assessment and portfolios, to replace or supplement assessment by machine-scored multiple-choice tests.

Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA )

A comprehensive civil rights law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Signed into law on July 26, 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.). It is a wide-ranging legislation intended to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities.

Annual goals

Statements on your child's IEP that describe what he or she can be expected to accomplish in one year in the area of need.

Annual review a

Meeting held each year to review the previous school year's IEP and to write a new IEP for the upcoming school year.


American occupational therapy association


American psychiatric association


Adaptive physical education

Applied Behavior Analysis ( ABA )

An intensive, structured teaching program. Behaviors to be taught are broken down into their simplest elements. These elements are taught using repeated trials where the child is presented with a stimulus. Correct responses and behaviors are rewarded with positive reinforcement. When incorrect responses occur, they are ignored and appropriate responses are prompted and rewarded.


American physical therapy association


Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee


Autism Society of America


American Society for Deaf Children


American speech-language-hearing association


American sign language


The way a team gathers information to determine if a child has special needs. The team evaluates the child's social, communication, cognitive, adaptive, motor, vision and hearing strengths, weaknesses and functioning levels.

Assistive Technology Service

Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device. (IDEA, section 1401)

Assistive Technology

Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.


Assistive technology


Alliance for Technology Access


American therapeutic recreation association


A person who determines the range, nature and degree of hearing loss.


Behavioral disorder

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A plan and/or strategies, program or curricular modifications, and supplementary aids and supports developed by a planning and placement team (PPT) to teach a child appropriate behaviors and eliminate behaviors that impede his/her learning or that of others. It should be positive in nature, not punitive.


Bureau of Indian Affairs or Brain Injury Association


Bureau of Special Education


Chronological age


Corrective action plan


Central auditory processing disorder


Using a tube to drain off fluid, especially urine; often necessary with children who have special medical. Needs.


Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities


Council for Exceptional Children


Cystic fibrosis


Code of Federal Regulations. The rules and regulations of federal agencies as published in the Federal Register. The federal regulations for the implementation of the IDEA were published in the March 12, 1999,Federal Register, Part II, Department of Education, 34 CFR Parts 300 and303.


Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Child with a disability

A child with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services. (IDEA, Section 1401)


Center for Independent Living


Center for Law and Education


Means that you have been given all the information necessary to make an informed decision; about the proposed activity. This information must be given in your native language or other mode of communication. It also means that you understand and agree in writing to the proposed activity. The documents you sign must describe the activity and list any records that will be released. It must also list who will receive these records. Giving your consent is voluntary and you may withdraw your consent at any time.


Process that occurs when teams of educators (and support staff) who have diverse expertise work together deliberately and creatively to plan successful educational programs for children.

Cooperative Learning

Non-competitive teaching strategy in which children are divided into small groups for learning activities which have cooperative goals. Each child has a clearly defined role, and each role is , -equally. Valued.


Cerebral palsy


Community parent resource center


Comprehensive System of Personnel Development


Child study team

Curriculum Adaptations.

Changes made in the general classroom curriculum that allow each child to actively participate as his or her own level and meet his or her individual goals.




Developmental delay

DD Act

Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. Last amended in 1994, this Act is in the 106th Congress for reauthorization. The DD Act supports state developmental disabilities councils, state protection and advocacy agencies, university-affiliated programs, and other projects of national significance to enhance the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities.


Department of Defense Dependent Schools


Department of Education


Department of Rehabilitative Services


Down syndrome


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the


Department of Social Services

Due Process

A series of steps safeguarded by law (IDEA) that protect the rights of parents and their children with disabilities.

Early Intervention Services

Services provided to children with developmental delays from birth through their 3rd birthday.

Easter Seals


Early childhood education


Emotional disturbance


Education Department General Administrative Regulations. These establish uniform administrative requirements for federal grants and agreements awarded to institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations. Entities that apply for and receive federal grant funds must follow EDGAR regulations


Education of Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) (EHA)

The Federal Law passed by Congress in 1975. The law deals with the process of providing children with disabilities a free, appropriate education. The law is, now called IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act).


Education of the Handicapped Act (now IDEA). The name of the original1975 legislation entitling children and youth with disabilities to a free appropriate public education.

EI Early



Educable mentally handicapped


Educable mentally retarded

Environmental Accommodations

Changes that are made to adapt the learning., environment of the classroom so that each child can participate successfully.


Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment


Educational resources information center


Educational service agency


Extended school day


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This law contains several federal programs designed to address the needs of disadvantaged students. The largest, Title 1 (formerly Chapter 1), is an $8 billion program designed to ensure that students in high poverty schools meet high standards. The law was amended in 1994 to strengthen provisions around high state standards for all students, accountability for schools and districts that continually under perform, and strong parental involvement and quality program requirements for schools and districts receiving Title 1 funds. The law is currently in the process of being reauthorized


English as a Second Language


Extended School Year or Extended Year Services


Procedures used to determine whether your child has a disability and the nature and extent of special education and related services necessary.

Extended School Year (ESY)

Special education and related services that are provided to a student in accordance with the student's individualized education program (IEP); beyond the normal school year; and/or school day and at no cost to parents. The determination of the need for ESY services to a student is determined by the PPT on an individual basis.

Extended School Year Services (ESY)

Special education and related services that are provided outside the normal school year.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

A federal law, enacted in 1984, that gives all parents of students under 18 or students over the age of 18 or attending post-secondary schools, the right to see, correct and control access to student records.


Free and Appropriate Public Education


Fetal alcohol syndrome


Functional behavioral assessment


Facilitated communication


Full educational opportunity goal


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Legislation giving parents the right to inspect and review their child’s educational records, to amend errors or inaccuracies in those records, and to consent to disclosure of records


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health


Freedom of Information Act . Enacted in 1966, this law entitles any person to the right to request access to federal agency records or information. There are some exemptions and exclusions that apply. Nearly all state governments have FOIA-type statutes that apply to state and local public agencies.


Freedom of Information Act


Federal resource center

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Special education and related services that are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; meet state and federal requirements, include preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education; and are provided according to an IEP.

Functional Behavior Assessment ( FBA )

A FBA is an assessment that looks at why a child behaves the way he or she does, given the nature of the child and what is happening in the environment. It is a process for collecting data to determine the possible causes of problem behaviors and to identify strategies to address the behaviors.


Interim alternative educational setting


Interagency coordinating council


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (formerly EHA). This law states that children with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education, including procedural protections and the right to an education that is standards based. The latest amendments to this special education law were passed in 1997.


The decision that a child is eligible for special education. Individualized Education Program (IEP) A written education program for a child with a disability that is developed by a team of professionals (administrators, teachers, therapists, etc.) And the child's parents; it is reviewed and updated at least yearly and describes the child's present performance, what the child's learning needs are, what services the child will need, when and for how long, and identifies who will provide the services.


Independent educational evaluation


Individualized education program


Individualized family service plan


Institution of Higher Education


Independent living center


The practice of providing a child with disabilities with his or her education within the general education classroom, with the supports and accommodations needed by that student. This inclusion typically takes place at the student's neighborhood school.

Independent Educational Evaluation

An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the education of your child.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Written education program for a child with disabilities according to the guidelines of IDEA. The plan must be developed by a team which includes the parents or guardian.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Federal Law dealing with the process of providing children with disabilities with a free, appropriate, public education. Same as EHA.


Used a variety of ways within the literature, may mean either inclusion or mainstreaming, as defined herein. The context of the discussion determines its meaning.


Person who interprets or translates communication in a way, that is most familiar to a person who is hearing disabled.


Learning disability


Local education agency

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated. With children who are non-disabled;. And that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that regular education-in-regular -classes with. The use of supplementary aids and services. Cannot be achieved satisfactorily.


Limited English proficiency


Least restrictive environment


Mental age


The general education setting, where students without disabilities receive their education.


The practice of providing, a student with disabilities with some of his or her education in a general education classroom. Mainstreaming is not particularly synonymous with inclusion or may be called partial inclusion. The word implies that the student with disabilities receives a part (often the majority) of his or her education in a separate, self-contained special education classroom.

Manifestation Determination

The process for reviewing whether there is a relationship between your child's disability and the behavior that is subject to the disciplinary action.


Muscular dystrophy

MD or MH

Multiple Disabilities or Multiply Handicapped


Muscular dystrophy association


Mildly mentally retarded

Mod MR

Moderately mentally retarded


Changes made to curriculum expectations in order to meet the needs of the student. Modifications are made when the grade level or age appropriate expectations are beyond the student's level of ability. Modifications may be minimal or very complex depending on the student performance. Modifications must be clearly acknowledged in the IEP.


Mental retardation

Multi-factored Evaluation (MFE)

Process of using more than one test or evaluation procedure to determine, the- child's level of functioning in academics and behavioral performance, motor and language skills, vision, hearing, social and emotional status and general intelligence. The procedure should be conducted by more than one person.


National Association for the Education of Young Children


National Alliance for the Mentally Ill


National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems


National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments


National Association of State Boards of Education


National Association of State Directors of Special Education


National Council on Disability


National Council on Independent Living


National Center for Learning Disabilities


National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education



National down syndrome society


Neuro-developmental treatment


National education association

Neighborhood School

The public school a child would normally attend if he or she did not have a disability. As long as the student is a resident of the neighborhood served by the school, he or she may attend that school.


National Federation for the Blind


National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities


National Indian child welfare association


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research


National mental health association


National Organization of Parents of Blind Children


National Organization for Rare Disorders


National Parent Network on Disabilities


National Parent to Parent Support and Information System


Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Whenever a federal agency proposes to publish new or amended regulations to enact a law (such as IDEA) the proposed regulations are issued in the Federal Register for public review and comment. The NPRM designation indicates that these are proposed regulations, out for public comment. Once finalized, regulations are published in the Federal Register as Final Rules and Regulations.


Notice of Proposed Rule Making

O & M

Orientation and Mobility

Occupational Therapy

Related service that strengthens and develops a child's fine motor skills.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder


Office for Civil Rights


Oppositional defiant disorder

Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

A branch of the U.S. Department of Education that enforces several Federal civil rights laws (such as, Section 504) that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. These laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, disability and on the basis of age. Frequently asked questions about the relation between IDEiA and Section 504.

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

A division of the U.S. Department of Education dedicated to improving results for children with disabilities ages birth through 21, by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. OSEP administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).


Other health impairment


Orthopedic impairment


Office of Management and Budget


A person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing the broad scope of constituent interests. In Washington State there is an Educational Ombudsman through the Governor's Office. Excellent information is available there. The Office of the Education Ombudsman (OEO) helps solve conflict and disputes between Washington families and elementary and secondary public schools so that students have every opportunity to stay in school and succeed. They are part of the Governor’s Office and function independently from the public school system.

Orientation and Mobility

Related service focusing on training a child with a disability (particularly visual impairments) to move independently within his/her environment.


Office for Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S.


Occupational therapy

P & A

Protection and Advocacy Agency


Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights


Peer-assisted learning system

Parent-Teacher Conference

A conference is a time for parents and teachers to share information, solve problems, and form a relationship that will help the student succeed. Suggestions about parent-teacher conferences are here.


Plan for Achieving Self-Support. A part of the SSI statute that permits the exclusion of income and resources of individuals who are blind or disabled, if an individual needs such income/resources to fulfill an approved PASS. PASS allows income to be set aside in order to reach a goal toward independence, such as starting a business, going to school, or obtaining training for a job. PASS set-aside money does not reduce SSI benefits.


Plan for Achieving Self-Support


OSEP’s Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports


Positive behavioral supports


Personal care attendant


Physical disability


Pervasive developmental disorder

Peer Interaction Support

Providing opportunities and the support that some children may need to be able to initiate and maintain relationships with other children.


Perkins Act

Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

Physical Therapy

Related service that focuses on helping children strengthen, improve, or develop their gross motor skills, such as walking, crawling, running and wheelchair' activities.


Parent Information and Resource Center

Planning and Placement Team (PPT)

A group of professionals who represent each of the teaching, administrative and pupil personnel staffs and who, with the parents, are equal participants in the decision making process to determine the specific educational needs of the child and develop, review and revise a child's IEP. A planning and placement team reviews referrals to special education, determines if the child needs to be evaluated, decides what evaluations will be given to the child, and determines whether the child is eligible for special education services.


Present Level of Educational Performance or Present Level of

Positive Behavior Supports (PBS)

An approach to addressing challenging behaviors that includes functional assessment of the behavior, organizing the environment, teaching skills, rewarding positive behaviors, anticipating situations and monitoring the effect of interventions and redesigning interventions as necessary.



Preschool Special Education

Specially designed instruction that meets the needs of child with a disability between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

Present Levels of Educational Performance

Statements that should accurately describe the effect of your child's disability on his or her performance in any area of education that is affected, including academic areas and non-academic areas.

Prior Written Notice

An explanation why the school district proposes or refuses to take an action. The school must inform parents of any actions proposed or refused by the PPT, a description of other options that the PPT considered, an explanation why those options were rejected including assessment information used to make the decision. All this must be done in writing. In Connecticut , prior written notice is attached to the IEP. The proposed action cannot be implemented until five school days from the date the parents receives the notice.




Physical therapy


Parent Training and Information Center

Public Expense t

He school district either pays for the full cost of evaluation, or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent.


Person who works with visually impaired children by reading school assignments to them.


Process of recommending a child suspected of having a disability that may require special education and related services for evaluation. Referrals can be made by parents and/or professionals.


Process of recommending a child suspected of having a disability that may require special education and related services for evaluation. Referrals can be made by parents and/or professionals.

Regional Education Service Center ( RESC )

A Connecticut public educational authority formed by four or more boards of education for the purpose of cooperative action to furnish programs and services.

Related Services

Support, services needed to help your child with a disability benefit from special education.


Related services


Rehabilitative services agency


Speech/language impairment


Speech/language pathologist

S/P D or S/P H

Severe/Profound Disability or Handicap


Supplementary Aids and Services


Spina bifida


Spina Bifida Association of America


Service coordinator


Special education


State education agency


Special education advisory committee

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. A civil rights statute designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Some individuals who do not qualify for services under IDEA may receive services and/or accommodations under Section 504.

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

A federal civil rights statute that protects the rights of persons with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, which includes public schools.


Serious emotional disturbance

Short-Term Objectives

Intermediate steps leading to each goal. These objectives must be measurable and understandable to all IEP participants.


Sensory integration


State improvement grant


State implementation plan


Specific learning disability

Special Education

Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability

Speech and Language Pathologist

Professional educated in the study of human -communication, its development and its disorders. By evaluating the speech and language skills of children and adults, the speech-language pathologist determines if communication problems exist and decides the best way to treat these problems. Stay-put describes your child's educational status during a due process hearing. Usually, your child must remain in his or her present educational placement unless the IEP team agrees to change the placement or an impartial hearing officer issues a ruling changing the placement.


Specific Power of Attorney


Social security administration


Social Security Disability Income. Cash benefits paid to individuals who are blind or have other disabilities and who have previously worked under(i.e., paid into) Social Security.


Social security disability income


Supplemental Security Income. A supplemental cash benefits program administered by the Social Security Administration for individuals who are blind or have other disabilities who have little or no income or resources.


Student study team

Stay Put

The requirement that your child must stay in his or her current program or placement during the course of a due process hearing, unless you and the school district agree to a change.

Supplementary Aids and Services

Aids, services, program modifications, and/or supports for school personnel that are provided in general education classes or other education-related settings to enable students with disabilities to be educated with students who are non disabled.

Surrogate Parent

Someone who is appointed by the state to act in the place of a child's parent, representing the child in all areas of educational matters, if the child's parent cannot be located, or is removed from the home.


Formerly The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps


Traumatic brain injury


Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf

Team Teaching

Two or more teachers, who sometimes have different-areas of, expertise (e.g. Special ed and general ed), cooperatively teaching a class or unit.

The Arc

Formerly The Association for Retarded Citizens

The Perkins Act

The Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1998. The purpose of this act is to develop more fully the academic, vocational, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who choose to enroll in vocational and technical education programs. The act applies to the general population and to the following special populations individuals with disabilities; individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children; individuals preparing for nontraditional training and employment; single parents; single pregnant women; displaced homemakers; and individuals with limited English proficiency.


Trainable mentally handicapped


Trainable mentally retarded


A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed with an outcome­ oriented process, that - promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, and/or community participation.


Tourette syndrome


Tourette syndrome association, inc.


Training and Technical Assistance


Teletypewriter (phone system for the deaf)


Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act

U.S. Government.


University affiliated program


Visual impairment

Voc Ed

Vocational education


Vocational rehabilitation

Special Services Staff Directory

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