The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
November 23, 2004

Issue - 287
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. IDEA 2004 Update: Changes to Key Statutes

2. Purposes of IDEA: Work, Independent Living, Education

3. Transition Svcs for Work, Education, Independent Living

4. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY, MO

5. Free Pubs! Transition & Your Child's IEP

6. Help for College Students with Disabilities

7. Scholarships for Students with LD

8. Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the changing world of special education.

Highlights: IDEA 2004 update - changes to key statutes; purposes of IDEA; definitions changed; transition services; Wrightslaw programs in OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY, MO; free pubs about transition & your child's IEP; help for college students; rights & responsibilities in college; scholarships. Download this newsletter.

Quote of the Week: Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2004 Alexa rankings)

1. IDEA 2004 Update: Changes to Key Statutes

On Friday, November 19, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. The President is expected to sign the bill this week.

What does this mean to you?
In our books and training programs, we focus on five key statutes that parents and teachers to know and understand:

Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
Section 1401 - Definitions
Section 1412 - State Responsibilities (the "Catch All" statute)
Section 1414 - Evaluations and IEPs
Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)

In the files below, you will find the full text of IDEA 2004 with the changes in these five statutes. Text deleted from IDEA has been struck through. Text added to IDEA is in italics.

IDEA 2004: Changes to Key Statutes

Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes
Section 1401 - Definitions
Section 1412 - State Responsibilities (the "Catchall" statute) - Additional change on 11/21/04!
Section 1414 - Evaluations, Reevaluations and IEPs
Section 1415 - Procedural Safeguards (Rules of Procedure)

Tip: Plan to read these files more than once. Use a highlighter to mark important passages. Make margins notes to help you remember key points.

As you read, keep in mind that Congress intended to align the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) with No Child Left Behind, the federal general education law. The full text of the No Child Left Behind Act is in Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind.

Note:Wrightslaw: Special Education Law includes the full text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA) includes the five key statutes. These files are cross-referenced with Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (FETA).

We will publish additional articles about specific issues (i.e., highly qualified teacher requirements, IEPs, IEP meetings) over the next weeks and months.

2. Purposes of IDEA: Employment, Independent Living . . . and Further Education

As Pete says, "The 'Purposes' section of IDEA is the most important statute. 'Purposes' is the mission statement." So how is "Purposes" different in IDEA 2004? (The underlined words are new.)

20 U.S.C. § 1400(d) Purposes

(1)(A) to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living . . .

(3) to ensure that educators and parents have the necessary tools to improve educational results for children with disabilities by supporting systemic change system improvement activities . . .(Section 1400 - Finding and Purposes)

Further education? Cool!

To learn more about changes in IDEA 2004, please go to our new IDEA 2004 page.

3. Definitions: IDEA 2004 - Transition Services for Education, Work, Independent Living

When you look at the Definitions in Section 1401, you'll see that several new definitions were added to IDEA 2004 - core academic subjects, highly qualified teacher, homeless children, Limited English proficient, universal design and ward of the state. Other definitions were revised. The definition of "Transition services" is now:

(34) TRANSITION SERVICES - The term `transition services' means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that--

(A) is designed to be a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability
to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
(B) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests . . . " (Note: the underlined words are new in IDEA 2004)

Learn more:
Making the Transition from School to Work by Sue Heath
and IEP & Transition Planning: Frequently Asked Questions

4. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY, MO

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

Schedule: Winter 2005

Edmond Oklahoma: December 4, 2005 - FREE to parents and educational caregivers

Orlando, FL: January 21-22, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)

Cherry Hill, NJ: February 18-19, 2005 (Boot Camp!)

Cincinnati, OH - Mini Boot Camp - February 23-24, 2005 - SOLD OUT!

Long Island, NY - LIACSN, Inc. - March 4-5, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)

Kansas City, MO - Paseo Academy - March 29, 2005

All participants in these programs will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, with their registration (Value: $59.90).

Pete & Pam Wright's Schedule for 2005. I
f you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for 2006.)

5. Free Pubs: Transition and Your Child's IEP

It's time to begin planning so your child knows what is necessary to prepare for work, further education and independent living. These free publications and resources will help:

Transition Requirements: A Guide for States, Districts, Schools, Universities, and Families - Western Regional Resource Center

Legal Requirements for Transition Components of the IEP - Barbara D. Bateman, Ph.D., J.D.

The IEP for Transition Age Students - National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and The Pacer Center

Transition Planning: A Team Effort - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Moving On to High School: A Tip Sheet for Parents of Children on Individualized Education Plans - Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

Secondary to Postsecondary Education Transition Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities - National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities

Vocational Assessment: A Guide for Parents and Professionals - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

What Works: Transition Research - National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

Career Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges - National Collaboration on Workforce and Disability

Visit our Free Pubs Page to download free publications about IEPs, special education, transition, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, discipline, and much more.

6. Help for College Students with Disabilities

College-bound students need to learn self-advocacy skills - how to present information about their disability and accommodations so professors want to help. If students master these skills, they are more likely to make a successful transition from high school to college. Download the Wrightslaw Flyer: Help for College Students with Disabilities.
More Wrightslaw flyers.

IEPs do not follow students into college. Make sure you and your child know what to expect. Read Your Rights and Responsibilities in College by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civl Rights.

Learn more about Section 504 & life after high school.

7. Scholarships

Now is the time for high school seniors to visit college campuses and get a head start on their college applications. Read about college scholarships for students with learning disabilities.

These books will answer many questions that students have when deciding on a college.

Peterson's Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders - More than 750 college programs in the U.S. and Canada for special needs students.

The K and W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder - A resource book for students, parents, and professionals.

Visiting College Campuses - When to go, how to get there, where to stay, and how to get the most from your visit - complete profiles of the nation's 249 most toured schools - information on campus tour schedule, interviews, and local accommodations.

8. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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