- Special education in the United States
Special education programs in the United States were made mandatory in 1975 when the United States Congress passed the
Education for All Handicapped Children Act(EHA) in response to discriminatory treatment by public educational agencies against students with disabilities. The EHA was later modified to strengthen protections to people with disabilities and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA). The EHA and IDEA both implement their mandate by requiring States to provide special education consistent with federal standards as a condition of receiving federal funds. The IDEA is found in Title 20 of the United States Code, starting at section 1400. [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ446.108] IDEA is interpreted by extensive federal regulations. [http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cregs%2C]
The two most basic rights ensured by the IDEA is that every student is entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). To ensure a FAPE, a team of professionals from the local educational agency (ie public school) and parents meet to determine the student's unique educational needs, develop annual goals for the student, and determine the placement, program modification, testing accommodations, counseling, and other special services that the student needs through the development of an
Individualized Education Program(IEP). The educational agency (ie school) is required to develop and implement an IEP that meets the standards of federal and state educational agencies.
The study of special education and special education policy brings together diverse disciplines and requires an integration of a variety of resources. To a large extent, provision of special education is governed by state and federal law as expressed in statutes and implementing regulations. Because special education law is structured upon a
cooperative federalismmodel, [http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-698.ZO.html Schaffer v Weist] , one must look to both state and federal law to understand how special education is delivered and financed in any particular state. Application of these statutes and regulations occurs at the local level by local school districts under supervision of their State government. Disputes over the application of the law begins at the local school district and travels through an administrative procedure subject to judicial review. This process, of applying law through layers of governmental decision-making is studied in the discipline of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_administrative_law Administrative Law.] In addition, aspects of special education law rest on evolving civil rights jurisprudence. But an understanding of special education requires integration of other disciplines, including education and education finance, psychology, public health and medicine.
Schaffer v Weist discusses the complex interplay of federal, state, and local implementation of the federal guarantees, often described as cooperative federalism. The Court explains: Quote|IDEA is frequently described as a model of cooperative federalism. Little Rock School Dist. v. Mauney, 183 F. 3d 816, 830 (CA8 1999). It leaves to the States the primary responsibility for developing and executing educational programs for handicapped children, [but] imposes significant requirements to be followed in the discharge of that responsibility. Board of Ed. of Hendrick Hudson Central School Dist., Westchester Cty. v. Rowley, 458 U. S. 176, 183 (1982). For example, the Act mandates cooperation and reporting between state and federal educational authorities. Participating States must certify to the Secretary of Education that they have policies and procedures that will effectively meet the Act’s conditions. State educational agencies, in turn, must ensure that local schools and teachers are meeting the State’s educational standards. Local educational agencies (school boards or other administrative bodies) can receive IDEA funds only if they certify to a state educational agency that they are acting in accordance with the State’s policies and procedures.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
A Free Appropriate Public Education means special education and related services that:
* Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge,
* Meets state requirements and the requirements of federal regulations
* Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved, and
* Complies with a lawful Individual Education Plan See [http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2007/julqtr/34cfr300.17.htm 34 CFR 300.17]
Least Restrictive Environment
The LRE mandate requires that all students' educations be with their nondisabled peers to the greatest extent possible, while still providing FAPE. The LRE requirement is intended to prevent unnecessary segregation of students with disabilities, and is based on Congress' finding that over twenty years of research and experience demonstrates that education of students with disabilities is more effective by having high expectations of the students and ensuring their access to the general curriculum to the maximum extent possible.
special educationservices (such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc) may be provided within the mainstream class (i.e. inclusion) or in a separate classroom if this is decided to be the LRE. Students receive individualized services to meet their goals, and these services are outlined in each child's IEP. Special equipment may be used, such as a standing frame, to encourage inclusion and achieve multiple IEP goals at once (i.e. standing while working on speech). A "transition plan" is also an important part of Special Educationstudents' schooling process, which focused on their life after school, and is first developed starting at age 16. The transition plan focuses on the learner's goals for the future, addressing living and employment.
Placement and inclusion
Most educators also believe that children with disabilities and nondisabled children should be taught together whenever possible. Isolating children with disabilities may lower their self-esteem and may reduce their ability to deal with other people.Fact|date=June 2007 The practice of integrating children with disabilities into regular school programs is called mainstreaming, or inclusion. Students with disabilities attend special classrooms or schools only if their need for very specialized services makes mainstreaming impossible. Many children with disabilities attend regular classes most of the school day: They work with a specially trained teacher for part of each day to improve specific skills. These sessions may be held in a classroom called a resource room, which may be equipped with such materials as braille typewriters and relief maps for blind students. Other students with disabilities attend special classes most of the day but join the rest of the children for certain activities. For example, students with mental retardation (MR) may join other children who do not have MR for art and physical education.
Although the place where instruction occurs (the setting) is seen as important in the field of
special education, the setting that instruction takes place in is secondary to the consideration of the types of curricular modifications and interventions are necessary for the student's program.
History of special education in the US
Until the passage of PL-142 in 1975, American schools educated only 1 out of 5 children with disabilities. More than 1 million students were refused access to public schools and another 3.5 million received little or no effective instruction. Many states had laws that explicitly excluded children with certain types of disabilities, including children who were blind, deaf, and children labeled "emotionally disturbed" or "mentally retarded." [Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind," a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.]
In the 1950s and 1960s, family associations began forming and advocating for the rights of children with disabilities. In response, the Federal government began to allocate funds to develop methods of working with children with disabilities and passed several pieces of legislation that supported developing and implementing programs and services to meet their needs and those of their families. Two laws provided training for professionals and teachers who worked with students with mental retardation ( PL 85-926 in 1958 and PL 86-158 in 1959). In 1961, the Teachers of the Deaf Act (PL 87-276) provided for training of teachers to work with the deaf or hard of hearing. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (PL 89-10) and the State Schools Act (PL 89-313) granted funds to states to help educate children with disabilities. In 1968, the Handicapped Children’s Early Education Assistance Act of 1968 (PL 90-538) funded early childhood intervention for children with disabilities. Several landmark court decisions established the responsibility of states to educate children with disabilities (in particular, Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens v. Commonwealth (1971) and Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972)). [TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF PROGRESSIN EDUCATING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES THROUGH IDEA, http://www.nrcld.org/resources/osep/historyidea.pdf, retrieved June 22, 2007]
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the
1973 Rehabilitation Actguaranteed civil rights for the disabled in the context of federally funded institutions or any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. It required accommodations in affected schools for the disabled including access to buildings and structures and improved integration into society.
Education for All Handicapped Children's Act of 1975
In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) Public Law 94-142 established the right of children with disabilities to receive a free, appropriate public education and provided funds to enable state and local education agencies to comply with the new requirements. The act stated that its purpose was fourfold:
*To assure that all children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education emphasizing
special educationand related services designed to meet their unique needs
*To protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents
*To help state and local education agencies provide for the education of all children with disabilities
*To assess and assure the effectiveness of efforts to educate all children with disabilities [Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975]
In 1986 EHA was reauthorized as PL 99-457, additionally covering infants and toddlers below age 2 with disabilities, and providing for associated Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP), prepared documents to ensure individualized special service delivery to families of respective infants and toddlers.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Providing Americans with disabilities similar protections against discrimination against as the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990(ADA) barred discrimination in employment (Title 1), public services and transportation (Title 2) public accommodations (Title 3), telecommunications (Title 4) and miscellaneous provisions (Title 5). It was a great step in normalizing the lives of the disabled. Title 3 prohibited disability based discrimination in any place of public accommodation with regard to full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations. Public accommodations included most places of education.
EHA becomes IDEA
The law regarding disability education underwent a change with the introduction of
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA). Prior to that time, the statutory focus in EHA was to provide access to education for disabled students who had been marginalized in the public school system. Satisfied that the goal of "access" had been reached, in 1997 Congress enacted IDEA with the express purpose of addressing implementation problems resulting from "low expectations, and an insufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching and learning for children with disabilities." 20 U.S.C. § 1400(c)(4). The statute clearly stated its commitment to "our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities." 20 U.S.C. § 1400(c)(1).
Arguably, passage of IDEA represented a significant shift in focus from the disability education system in place prior to 1997. IDEA added individualized transition plans (ITP) for transitioning individuals from secondary school to adult life or post secondary education. Special education coverage was extended to the categories of
autismand traumatic brain injury(TBI). In 1997 IDEA was reauthorized as PL 105-17 and extended coverage to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), functional behavioral assessments and intervention plans were added, and the ITP's were integrated within IEP's. An additional reauthorization was made in 2004 (below).
No Child Left Behind
Elementary and Secondary Education Actof 2001 (ESEA) PL 107-110, more popularly known as the No Child Left Behind Actrequired accountability for the academic performance of all school children, including those with disabilities. It called for 100% proficiency in reading and math by the year 2012.
The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (ATA) PL 108-364 provided support for school-to-work transition projects and created loan programs for the purchase of
assistive technology(AT) devices.
The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act reauthorization PL 108-446 changed learning disability identification procedures, required high qualification standards for
special educationteachers, stipulated that all students with disabilities participate in annual state or district testing or documented alternate assessments, and allowed in response to activities related to weapons, drugs or violence that a student could be placed in interim alternative educational setting.
Some student disability protections not covered by IDEA may be still covered under Section 504 or ADA due to a broader definitions of what constitutes a disability.
Federal funding for special education
According to a [http://csef.air.org/publications/csef/state/statepart2.pdf CSEF 2004] report Special education enrollments and expenditures have been growing steadily since the implementation of the IDEA in 1975. It appears that total special education expenditures have been growing faster than general education expenditures, but that this is primarily because the enrollments and identification of special education students has increased faster than the rate of the overall student population. Increasing special education enrollments of children birth through 21 as a percentage of total student enrollments can be attributed to several factors, including rising numbers of at-risk school-age children, and increasing numbers of preschool children, as well as infants and toddlers (0-2) served through IDEA Part C. Special education expenditures have demonstrated steady increases paralleling and likely caused by this steady, uninterrupted growth in enrollments. Based on 1999-2000 data from the national SEEP, the 50 states and the District of Columbia spent approximately $50 billion on special education services alone, and $78.3 billion on all educational services required to educate students with disabilities (including regular education services and other special needs programs such as Title I and English language learners) amounting to $8,080 per special education student.
Part B of IDEA originally authorized Congress to contribute up to 40 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure for each special education student. [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode20/usc_sec_20_00001411----000-.html 20 U.S.C. § 1411(a)] . Appropriations for special education have failed to implement that original authorization. A number of studies have sought to track the apparent disparity between the federal commitment to special education and the shortfall in funding. A 2003 study by SEEP, now the [http://csef.air.org/ Center for Special Education Finance] , determined that the per pupil expenditures for special education range from a low of $10,558 for students with specific learning disabilities to a high of $20,095 for students with multiple disabilities. [http://csef.air.org/publications/seep/national/final_seep_report_5.pdf] . According to the SEEP study, expenditures for students with specific learning disabilities were 1.6 times the expenditure for a regular education student, whereas expenditures for students with multiple disabilities were 3.1 times higher. Most states, in turn, have failed to make up the gap in federal funding, and this in turn has created financial pressures on local school districts. This has led to periodic calls for bringing appropriations in line with the original authorization.
During the 1999-2000 school year, the 50 states and the District of Columbia spent approximately $50 billion on special education services, amounting to $8,080 per special education student. The total spending on regular and special education services to students with disabilities amounted to $77.3 billion, or an average of $12,474 per student. An additional one-billion dollars was expended on students with disabilities for other special needs programs (e.g., Title I, English language learners, or gifted and talented students), bringing the per-student amount to $12,639. The total spending to educate students with disabilities, including regular education and special education, represents 21.4% of the $360.6 billion total spending on elementary and secondary education in the United States. The additional expenditure to educate the average student with a disability is estimated to be $5,918 per student. This is the difference between the total expenditure per student eligible for special education services ($12,474) and the total expenditure per regular education student ($6,556). Based on 1999-2000 school-year data, the total expenditure to educate the average student with disabilities is an estimated 1.90 times that expended to educate the typical regular education student with no special needs. [http://www.csef-air.org/publications/seep/national/AdvRpt1.PDF SEEP Study, 2004]
tate Funding Systems
According to a [http://csef.air.org/publications/csef/state/statpart1.pdf CSEF Report] on State Special Education Finance Systems, on the average, states provide about 45 percent and local districts about 46 percent of the support for special education programs, with the remaining 9 percent provided through federal IDEA funding. States use a variety of methods of allocating funds to school districts. Under a weighted special education funding system, (used by about 34% of the states), state special education aid is allocated on a per student basis. Under the weighted funding system, the amount of aid provided to local districts is based on the funding “weight” associated with each special education student. Under a flat grant system, (used in only one state) funding is based on a fixed funding amount per student.
Other states provide a flat grant based on the count of all students in a district, rather than on the number of special education students. Advocates for this system argue that it takes away the incentive to over-identify students for special education. However, the range of special education eligible students in various districts is so broad, that the flat grant based system creates significant disparities in the local effort required.
There are other funding systems in use. Under a resource-based system, funding is based on an allocation of specific education resources, such as teachers or classroom units. Resource-based formulas include unit and personnel mechanisms in which distribution of funds is based on payment for specified resources, such as teachers, aides, or equipment. Under a percentage reimbursement system, the amount of state special education aid a district receives is directly based on its expenditures for the program. The variable block grant is used to describe funding approaches in which funding is determined in part by base year allocations, expenditures, and/or enrollment. Many states use separate funding mechanisms to target resources to specific populations or areas ofpolicy concern such as extended school year services or specialized equipment. According to the CSEF report, a growing number of states have a separate funding stream that can be accessed by districts serving exceptionally “high-cost” special education students.
Maintenance of Effort
The purpose of federal special education funding is to maintain or improve the quality of special education services. This purpose would be undercut if additional federal dollars were "supplanted" by merely reducing the level of state or local funding for special education. For this reason, like many other such programs, the federal law and regulations contain accounting guidelines, requiring "maintenance of effort." The statute says that federal funds provided to the local education agency "(i) Shall be used only to pay the excess cost of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities; (ii) Shall be used to supplement State, local and other Federal funds and not to supplant such funds; and (iii) Shall not be used …to reduce the level of expenditures for the education of children with disabilities made by the local education agency from local funds below the level of those expenditures for the preceding fiscal year. [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=1413&url=/uscode/html/uscode20/usc_sec_20_00001413----000-.html 20 USC 1413] Regulations implementing this requirement begin with a test that seeks to assure that funds provided to an local education agency (LEA) under Part B of IDEA may not be used to reduce the level of expenditures for the education of children with disabilities made by the LEA from local funds below the level of those expenditures for the preceding fiscal year. [http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2007/julqtr/34cfr300.203.htm 34 CFR 300.203] Implementing this requirement fairly at the local level requires some exceptions found at [http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2007/julqtr/34cfr300.204.htm 34 CFR 300.204] .
Qualifying students for special education
Parents who suspect or know that their child has a problem making adequate school progress should request an evaluation from their local school district. The request, called a "referral for evaluation," should be initiated in writing. The referral should be addressed to the principal of the local public school or the
special educationcoordinator for the district, and should provide the child's name, date of birth, address, current school placement (if applicable), and the suspected area of disability or special need. Upon receipt of the referral, the school district will contact the parent to set up a meeting time in order to explain the process and obtain written consent to perform the necessary evaluations. To prepare for this meeting, parents should be able to describe their child's problems in depth, providing examples of their child's difficulties in the classroom. Parents can request any evaluations they feel are needed to add to the picture of the child's specific educational needs, such as speech and language testing, occupational therapy testing or neurological testing. All evaluations needed to provide a full picture of the child's disabilities must be provided by the school system at no cost to the family. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
After the referral process, the district will begin the evaluation. The law requires a comprehensive school evaluation involving all areas of suspected disability. Testing must be in the native language of the child (if feasible). It must be administered by a team of professionals, which must include at least general education teacher, one special education teacher, and a specialist who is knowledgeable in the area of the child's disability. Testing must be administered one-to-one, not in a group. Any tests or other evaluation materials used must be administered by professionals trained and qualified to administer them; i.e., psychological testing must be conducted by a psychologist trained to administer the specific tests utilized. In addition to testing, an observation of the child either in school or in a comparable situation is required for an initial evaluation, and often at later stages as well. It is through the observation that the child can be assessed while interacting with his peers and teachers. To insure objectivity and cross-referencing, this observation must be conducted by a person other than the child's classroom teacher. The observation need not be done exclusively in the child's classroom, especially when the child's suspected area of disability may become manifest in larger settings, such as the lunchroom, hallways or gym. For children over twelve years of age, vocational testing is required. This requirement is in keeping with the spirit of the IDEA 1997 Amendments that encourage preparation of children for useful employment. The vocational testing should identify areas of interest and skills needed to attain employment after graduation from school. During the testing process, the parent is free to provide any privately obtained evaluative material and reports. Although sometimes costly, private evaluations can be very valuable in providing the Special Education Committee with the expertise of specialists trained in the area of the child's disability who may have a more objective view than school system personnel. Experts may include professionals such as psychotherapists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pediatricians, medical personnel, and tutors. Professionals who have been working with the child over time can often provide the district with a long-term view of the child's needs. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
Once all the evaluative material is presented and reviewed at the meeting, the IEP team must first determine whether the child is eligible for
special educationservices. An eligible child will require special education intervention in order to enable him/her to receive the benefits of instruction and an education. If the team finds the child eligible for special education, they must then classify the child in one of 13 categories.
The following are the students in the U.S. and outlying areas aged 6 through 21 who received special education in the 2006-2007 school year. [ [http://www.ideadata.org/arc_toc8.asp Table 1-3: Students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA] ]
The IDEA allows, but does not require, school districts to add the classifications of Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) at their discretion. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
Developing the Individual Education Program (IEP)
The Individual Education Program is developed by a team (sometimes referred to as the Committee on Special Education) that must include at least one parent and the professionals who work with the student. Teachers and a representative from the school administration are generally required to attend these meetings. Parents may additionally include anyone they choose, for any reason they choose.
Parents must be notified of the meeting in writing. The notification must indicate the purpose, time and location of the meeting and list the people who will be in attendance, including the name and position of each person. If parents are unable to attend at the appointed time, the meeting should be rescheduled to accommodate the needs of the family. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
The Individual Education Program
The IEP must include:
* A statement of the child's present levels of educational performance, which describes the effects of the child's disability on all affected areas of the child's academic and non-academic school performance.
* A statement of annual goals including short-term objectives. Annual goals must describe what the child is expected to accomplish in a 12-month period in the special education program. Short-term objectives should describe the steps required to achieve the goals. Goals and objectives are specific in all areas in which the child is receiving special education services.
* A statement of the specific special education and related services to be provided to the child and the extent to which the child will participate in regular education programs.
* The projected dates for the initiation of services.
Determining the appropriate placement
After the IEP meeting the parents must be given written notice of exactly where and how the services will be provided for their child. Most often, the suggested program will be located within the public school system in the district. When a student's disability is such that his or her needs cannot be met in the district, the school district may suggest a placement in an out-of-district program. These programs can include a Day Treatment Program, a Non-public Special Education School, a Residential School or Home Instruction. In all cases, parents should visit the sites that are recommended to observe the program to determine if the program is appropriate for their child. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
:*Notice of procedural safeguards::Required content
:*Parental participation in process::Right to participate in all meetings, including identification, evaluation, placement, and all discussions regarding the educational plan. :*Parent right to review all educational records:*Parent right to an independent evaluation:*Prior written notice::Prior written notice when a school proposes to initiate a service, conduct an evaluation, change a placement, or modify an IEP; or when the school refuses to provide a parent-requested service, identification, evaluation or change of placement or IEP::Content of prior written notice :*Right to submit a complaint to SEA:*Mediation::Voluntary mediation to be provided by SEA at no cost to parents:*Impartial due process hearing
Parents may disagree with the program recommendation of the school district. In that event, parents may reject the district's recommendations by notifying the school district in a clear and concise manner of the reasons for the rejection of the IEP recommendation. This notice must be given in writing within 30 days of receipt of the program recommendation.
The IDEA provides for two methods of resolving disputes between parents and school districts. These include:
1. Mediation that may be a viable means to review small disagreements with the IEP, such as the number of sessions for a related service or the size of a special education class.
2. Impartial Hearing which is a due process-based formal proceeding that allows the parents to challenge the district's individual education plan in whole or in part. [http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/understanding_special_education_law]
tudent conduct and discipline
A student that has engaged in behavior that is in violating of student conduct codes that is punished with a suspension or change in placement exceeding 10 days must be given a
Manifestation Determination Hearing.
Diagnosis is a term that is more appropriately applied to medical classification systems, and individual professional's impression of a person's difficulties. Special education students are classified into the above referenced educational disorder categories by the eligibility team, through the evaluation process. Diagnosis from professionals outside the school system can play a large part in the decision making process.
For more details on this topic, see
tudies and Data on Special Education
A variety of resources provide global analysis for policy making in special education. The [http://www.seels.net/grindex.html Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study] (SEELS) was a study of school-age students funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education and was part of the national assessment of the 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 97). From 2000 to 2006, SEELS documented the school experiences of a national sample of students as they moved from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. One important feature of SEELS was that it did not look at students' educational, social, vocational, and personal development at a single point in time. Rather, it was designed to assess change in these areas over time.
Since 1992, the [http://csef.air.org/about_csef.php Center for Special Education Finance] (CSEF) has addressed fiscal policy issues related to the delivery and support of special education services throughout the United States. CSEF conducted The Special Education Expenditure Project (SEEP) the fourth such project sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and its predecessor to examine the nation’s spending on special education and related services in the past 40 years. Eight SEEP studies are available on the Web. [http://csef.air.org/pub_seep_national.php]
IDEA requires that the Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities. The 27th Annual Report consists of two volumes, and is electronically available. [http://www.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2005/parts-b-c/index.html]
On October 3, 2001, President George Bush established a temporary Commission on Excellence in Special Education to collect information and study issues related to Federal, State, and local special education programs with the goal of recommending policies for improving the education performance of students with disabilities. The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education (PCESE) delivered its [http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/reports/index.html report] to President Bush on July 1, 2002.
* [http://www.ed.gov/inits/commissionsboards/whspecialeducation/reports/index.html President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education] Report: A New Era: Revitalizing Special Education for Children and Their Families (2002)
* [http://www.ecs.org/html/issue.asp?issueID=112 Education Commission of the States,] Special Education, What are States Doing
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
* National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children
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