One obstacle in
advocating for a child with a disability is finding the time to do research. We
spend hours collecting information so you can spend your time learning, not searching.
While you are here, be sure to check our list of free online newsletters about legal, special education law and advocacy, disabilities information, and education. Each newsletter has a link to subscribe.
Accommodations and Modifications
Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of Students with Disabilities. (in html) Developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards Assessing Special Education Students. (pdf format)
The Accommodations Manual presents a five-step process for individualized educational program teams, 504 plan committees, general and special education teachers, administrators, and district-level assessment staff to use in the selection, administration, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of instructional and assessment accommodations by students with disabilities. The guidance in the manual pertains to students with disabilities who participate in large-scale assessments and the instruction they receive.
Improving Accommodations Outcomes: Monitoring Instructional and Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.Third in a series of three CCSSO publications for states addressing accommodations and students with disabilities. This publication provides a comprehensive professional development guide for states to establish or improve quality accommodations monitoring programs.
Assistive Technology Consideration to Assessment This WATI Assessment process provides an overview of the assistive technology consideration,
Accessibility: A Guide for Educators - Empowering students with accessible technology that enables personalized learning. This guide from Microsoft provides information about accessibility and accessible technology to help educators worldwide ensure that all students have equal access to learning with technology. In English and Spanish.
The Essential Guide to Assistive Technology. Marshall Raskin, Ph.D. provides an overview of assistive technologies and advice about selecting appropriate tools for children with learning problems. Free download (21 pages).
& Child Mental Health
Request a kit (click here) and an Autism Speaks Autism Response Team coordinator will contact you by phone, to get some additional information so that a kit can be personalized for you and your child.
Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment. This publication provides professionals, policymakers, parents and others with "best practice" recommendations and rationale for screening, evaluating and assessing individuals suspected of having autistic spectrum disorders. These guidelines are the product of nearly a year's work by experts in the field of autistic spectrum disorders and are based on validated scientific evidence, clinical experience and clinical judgment.
Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development's Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development: AUTISM (PDF). This 40 page, PDF document includes a Synthesis on autism, Autism and its impact on child development, The impact of autism on child development, Autism and its impact on young childrens social development, Autism and its impact on child development, Autism intervention, The effect of early intervention on the social and emotional development of young children (0-5) with autism, and Autism intervention.
Educating Children with Autism (National Academy Press). This 276 page publication from National Science Academy is used as evidence in due process hearings on behalf of children with autism. Includes research about effective educational programs for children with autism; early intervention; recommends one-on-one therapy or direct instruction a minimum of 25 hours a week, 12 months a year; more. Download this publication for free from National Academy Press.
Education: Children with Autism. The Government Accountability Office published
this report to answers questions submitted by Congress about special education
for children with autism.
Behavior & Discipline
Bully Prevention in Positive Behavior Supports. Giving students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction,
and a redefinition of the bullying construct from the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Prevention Research & IDEA Discipline Provisions: A Guide for School Administrators - (U. S. Department of Education) Describes research-validated practices for safe, effective learning environments for all children.
Disbelief - Moving Beyond Punishment to Promote Effective Interventions for Children
with Mental or Emotional Disorders (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law).
Prevention and early intervention for children with emotional disorders; functional
behavior assessments; positive behavioral interventions; how this works in real
Discipline Flow Chart. Protections in the IDEA apply to students who have been found eligible for special education. They also apply to students for whom the school is deemed to have knowledge that the child might have a disability. These are students who have not yet been found eligible, but the school had a basis of knowledge of a disability, including students who have been referred for initial evaluation.
Schoolwide Prevention of Bullying (Northwest Regional Educational Library). 30 percent of American children are involved in bullying, as bullies, victims, or both. Approximately 15 percent are severely traumatized or distressed by bullies . . . Despite these numbers, bullying behavior is rarely detected by teachers, and is even less frequently taken seriously. This booklet provides an overview of what is known about bullying behavior and successful efforts to address it; profiles anti-bullying programs and offers resources. Download in pdf (28 pages)
Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools (U. S. Department of Education & Office for Civil Rights & National Association of Attorneys General). Many children experience sexual, racial and ethnic harassment at school. This Guide provides step-by-step guidance about how to protect students from harassment and violence. Download
Preventing Bullying: A Manual For Schools and Communities. This document addresses the problem of bullying in schools and defines bullying, discusses the seriousness of this behavior and the effectiveness of a comprehensive approach, and presents strategies for teachers, students, and parents to use when dealing with bullying situations. It also provides examples of innovative and successful approaches used by schools in different parts of the country.
Assessments and Accommodations (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) by Stephen D. Luke, Ed.D. & Amanda Schwartz, Ph.D. Accommodations play an important role in educational settings for students with disabilities. But what accommodations are Appropriate for which
students? How do accommodations affect students’ learning and their performance on tests? This Evidence
for Education addresses these and other questions and
explores the research base in this area.
& Special Education
Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education (National Academy Press). Recommends that schools use comprehensive reading assessments to identify students at risk of academic failure and provide high quality instruction; urges states to raise teacher certification and licensing requirements to include effective intervention methods. Share this report with school board members so they understand how research-based teaching methods will reduce the number of children who are not learning to read. Download
Children with Disabilities Placed By Their Parents in Private Schools: An IDEA Practices Toolkit (the Council for American Private Education and the IDEA Local Implementation by Local Administrators Partnership). Provides explanations of the procedures regarding the education of students with disabilities voluntarily placed by their parents in private schools. This toolkit will help anyone involved in the process - parents, staff and administrators of public and private schools. Toolkit Update Page and CAPE's analysis of the reauthorized IDEA 2004.
to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child
Behind. The National Council on Disability found that all states were out
of compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act law and that " .
. . efforts to enforce the law over several Administrations have been inconsistent,
ineffective, and lacking any real teeth." Download
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Guide to the Individualized Education Program
An IEP Team's Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans (Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice) Learn how to identify causes of child's behavior (what the child "gets" or "avoids" through the behavior) and the IEP team's responsibility to develop proactive instructional strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, to address behaviors that interfere with learning. Introduction & chapters in html Download as pdf file
Disabilities & Dyslexia
Preparing for Special Education Mediation and Resolution Sessions: A Guide for Families and Advocates. A joint publication of The Advocacy Institute and The Children's Law Clinic Duke University School of Law.
Educational Accountability Under NCLB (Council of Chief State School Officers,
2002). Outlines states' responsibilities for parts of the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2002, focuses on provisions that will be more difficult for states to implement.
No Child Left Behind - What Will it Take? (Fordham Foundation). Focuses on testing and accountability; includes articles about testing systems, adequate yearly progress, accountability requirements, more.
New Report: Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children. Currently, the U.S. legal system is not protecting the rights of parents with disabilities and their children. Two-thirds of state child welfare laws allow courts to determine a parent is unfit solely on the basis of a parent’s disability. Report offers draft model state and federal statutory language to correct the discrimination faced by parents with disabilities in the United States. (National Council of Disability, September 2012)
IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (2010). “Reading difficulties are the most common cause of academic failure and underachievement." These Standards provide a content framework for courses and delineate proficiency requirements for practical application of this content (e.g., interpretation of assessments, delivery of differentiated instruction, and successful intervention with a child or adult with a reading disability).
NELP Report: Developing Early Literacy. Summary from Reading Rockets. The National Early Literacy Panel looked at studies of early literacy and found that there are many things that parents and preschools can do to improve the literacy development of their young children and that different approaches influence the development of a different pattern of essential skills. National Institute for Literacy.
Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks For Teaching Children To Read: Kindergarten Through Grade 3. Describes the five essential components of reading instruction: 1) phonemic awareness, 2) phonics, 3) fluency, 4) vocabulary, and 5) text comprehension; summarizes what researchers know about each skill; implications for instruction; proven strategies for teaching reading. Published by the Partnership for Reading, a collaborative effort of the National Institute for Literacy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U. S. Department of Education. To order bound copies of this free publication, go to EdPubs and request Publication # EXR0007B.
Framework for Informed Reading and Language Instruction: Matrix of Multisensory Structured Language Programs. This publication from the International Dyslexia Association explains different reading programs and what they cover. These programs, when properly implemented, have been successful in teaching students to read, write, and use language.
Ten Myths of Reading Instruction (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2003) Describes the most damaging myths and misconceptions about reading instruction. If your child has reading problems, print and distribute this 13 page article to the IEP team.
Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature
on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction. Summary of the report
by The National Reading Panel about the effectiveness of various approaches to
teaching children to read. To order bound copies of this free publication, go
to EdPubs and request publication # EXR0002P.
Whole Language Lives On: The Illusion of "Balanced" Reading Instruction (2000). Four in ten of our fourth-graders lack basic reading skills. Millions of children are needlessly classified as 'disabled' when their problem is that nobody taught them to read when they were five and six years old ... We know what works for nearly all children when it comes to imparting basic reading skills to them. We also know what doesnt work for most children. Its called whole language or "balanced" instruction.
Retention - Achievement and Mental Health Outcomes (National Association
of School Psychologists) 6th grade students rated grade retention as
the single most stressful life event, higher than the loss of a parent
or going blind. Retained students are less likely to receive a high
school diploma by age 20, receive poorer educational competence ratings,
and are less likely to be enrolled in any post-secondary education program.
Retained students receive lower educational and employment status ratings
and are paid less per hour at age 20.
Position Statement on Student Grade Retention and Social Promotion (National Association of School Psychologists) "Through many years of research, the practice of retaining children in grade has been shown to be ineffective in meeting the needs of children who are academically delayed."
Grade Retention Fallacy (Harvard Civil Rights Project) "Research
tells us that fear and humiliation are not the strongest motivators for
Passing on Failure, Eliminating Social Promotion (American Federation of Teachers) "Grade-by-grade standards for students are essential. These standards support academic rigor and ensure fairness by defining the expectations for success for all students."
Early Intervention Works, Grade Retention Doesn't (University of Wisconsin)
Exploring the Association Between Grade Retention and Dropout (California School Psychologist)
Response to Intervention: RTI Project
Response to Intervention: A Primer for Parents - from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). This paper explains (a) the essential components of Response to Intervention; (b) key terms; (c) the role Response to Intervention plays in special education eligibility; (d) how parents can be involved in the process; (e) potential benefits of RTI; and (f) next steps in implementing RTI approaches.
Section 504 & ADA
with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and
Responsibilities (U. S. Department of Education). Five-page booklet answers
questions about admissions, accommodations & academic adjustments, documentation,
evaluations, and discrimination under Section 504 of the
Asked Questions About Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(U. S. Department of Justice) 13-page publication explains how ADA requirements
apply to Child Care Centers; describes ongoing enforcement efforts in child care
by Department of Justice; provides resource list of information about the ADA.
New Career Paths for Students with Disabilities by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002).The number of students with disabilities attending higher education institutions is climbing. More than one million students with disabilities are now enrolled in American colleges and universities. This publication chronicles the life experiences of students with disabilities who were educated after passage of major legislative protections and suggests five key areas for the focus of future disability legislation, policies, and initiatives.