IDEA: The Foundation of Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that was passed in 1990 and has been amended. The IDEA provides children with qualifying disabilities, from birth to age 21, with the right to a free public education that is specifically designed to meet their unique, individual needs. Some important concepts carried over Read More

Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Encourages Inclusion

A Brief Overview LRE has been an aspect of special education law since 1975, when there was widespread public concern about children with disabilities historically being segregated and denied equitable education. Research shows that children of all abilities learn social skills from one another when they learn side-by-side. Some Washington schools struggle to support access Read More

Evaluations Part 1: Where to Start When a Student Needs Special Help at School

A Brief Overview Special Education is provided through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with a qualifying disability. The first step is to determine eligibility through evaluation. This article describes that process. Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) is the “special” in special education. The evaluation determines whether SDI is needed to help a student Read More

Dyslexia Screening and Interventions: State Requirements and Resources

A Brief Overview Washington passed a law in 2018 that requires schools to screen children in kindergarten through second grade for signs of dyslexia and to provide reading support for those who need it. The law takes full effect in 2021-22. Schools already can evaluate students to identify learning disabilities and design interventions, regardless of Read More

Disability History Month Provides Opportunities for Reflection

A Brief Overview October is Disability History Awareness Month, providing an opportunity for policy makers, teachers, families and people throughout communities to reflect on the disability rights movement and work that still needs advocacy. State agencies collaborated to share biographical videos of middle-school students talking about their own diverse experiences with disability: One Out of Read More