High School Halt: Ways to Support Youth Working on Adult Life Plans During COVID-19

A Brief Overview The pandemic and its impact on education may feel especially confusing for youth working toward graduation and life-after-high-school plans. Read on for information about how to support young people working on their diplomas and goals for college, vocational education, independent living, and more. The state continues to navigate questions related to graduation Read More

Families with Disability Concerns Take Extra Care when Planning for Emergencies

A Brief Overview All families prepare for emergencies, but extra planning is critical when a loved one has a disability. The Family-To Family Health Information Center provides Information about COVID-19 and updates about local, regional, and statewide healthcare policies and programs. Virginia Commonwealth University offers an Emergency Preparedness Tool Kit for People with Disabilities through Read More

School to Adulthood: Transition Planning Toolkit for High School, Life, and Work

Looking to the future can feel exciting, hopeful, confusing, overwhelming—or all emotions at once. For families supporting a young person with a disability, it’s never too soon to begin planning to ensure a smooth process from the teen years toward whatever happens next. This toolkit supports families as they organize this multiyear project. Learn the Read More

Tips for Communicating as a Member of the IEP Team

A Brief Overview When families and schools meet to discuss a student’s special education program, they can find Common Ground by remembering that everyone wants the student to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Two short videos, A Tale of Two Conversations, provide a quick look at how a meeting might feel like one Read More

COVID-19 and Disability: Access to Work has Changed

By Kyann Flint The world of work is generally not built for the disability community. Federal laws guarantee the right to work and the right to accommodations, but modern-day jobs do not always give each person an opportunity to succeed. Many workers with disabilities must try harder to make the job fit, and some employers Read More

Special Education Process Demystified in 10 Steps

Here is basic guidance about how special education works. For a bit more detail, visit the 10-Step Guide to the Special Education Process provided by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Procedural Safeguards protect family and student rights throughout the process. Referral: Is there a known or suspected disability condition that may significantly Read More

Toolkit Basics: Where to Begin When a Student Needs More Help

When a student has unmet needs and may need new or different school-based services, what to do next can feel confusing or overwhelming. PAVE provides this toolkit to support families in taking initial, critical steps. These guidelines apply regardless of where school happens. Is Disability a Factor? Before acting, the family can consider disability and Read More

Key Information and Creative Questions for Families to Consider During COVID-19 Closures

A Brief Overview Districts are responsible to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students within their boundaries with known or suspected disabilities that significantly impact access to learning. Read on to learn more about FAPE and student rights. Federal and state requirements to ensure that children with qualifying disabilities can access early learning Read More

Sample Letter to Request Evaluation

When a student is struggling in school and there is reason to suspect the challenges are disability related, anyone can refer the student for an educational evaluation. The final section of this article includes a sample letter for requesting a no-cost evaluation from the school district. PAVE provides an article with more detail: Evaluations Part Read More