With the sound of fireworks we all know that the Fourth of July celebration is here and we are deep in the midst of summer. This is not traditionally a time when our thoughts are on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) but it is also not often that the subject of students with special needs and their IEPs make the news.
This week, WNYC radio in New York did a nice piece about parents working through the process to obtain the services their children need. Although it highlights events in one region, the dilemma that families face is universal across the United States. Follow this link to listen to this short, five-minute segment: “Special Education Overhaul Brings New Concerns About Students’ Programs” and read the accompanying story.
You may find information about the IEP process written for parents on the FamilyConnect site in the Education section, including the topics:
- Know Your Rights
- Your Child’s IFSP or IEP
- Your Child’s Educational Team
- Exploring the Options
- Alternate Media
- Keeping Track of Paperwork
- and the Expanded Core Curriculum
Education policy will be in the news in upcoming months, as we gear up for the reauthorization of IDEA. Learn more about the proposed Anne Sullivan Macy Act, dedicated to helping children with visual impairments thrive in school. Named in honor of Helen Keller’s extraordinary teacher, this legislation will require schools to:
- Provide braille texts and teach braille to students who need it
- Offer accessible classroom technology
- Include orientation and mobility training as part of regular instruction
- Increase the number of special educators trained to teach visually impaired students
While you are in the reading about education mode you might want to take advantage of another publication available through AFB entitled DOTS for Braille Literacy (Development of Teacher Support). The DOTS newsletter was first published in 1995 and has been available three times a year since then. You can access it online at www.afb.org/DOTS. If you would like to receive e-mail alerts when future issues are published, you may follow the instructions at the bottom of the first page. Although designed for educators, families will find good resources and interesting news in it.