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- A.B. 3632: This bill requires CCS, public mental health agencies, and local education agencies to coordinate the provision of services to students with disabilities.
ADA Allowances: Average Daily Attendance - a per pupil accounting of student attendance. The state of California pays districts based on total ADA for all students.
Adaptive Behavior: The child's ability to act appropriately in social situations and to take care of their personal needs.
Adaptive Physical Education: Special physical education provided by an adapted physical education specialist who assists children with motor activities such as balance, climbing and other gross motor skills.
Administrative Unit (AU): Same as RLA.
Adventitious: Acquired after birth, accidental.
Advocate: An individual who is not an attorney, but who assists parents and children in their dealings with school districts regarding the children's special education programs.
Advocacy Trainer: Someone who walks parents through the process of advocating for his/her childrd; sometimes called a 'parent partner.'
Affect: An observable emotion; anger, sadness, happiness.
Age Appropriate: Within the child's chronological age.
Age Equivalent: The chronological age in a defined population for which a given score is the middle score.
Ambulatory: The ability to move around without assistive devices.
Appropriate Placement: A specific educational setting which provides special education and related services according to the Individual Education Program (IEP).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This statute, enacted in 1992, gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities that are like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, State and local government services and telecommunications.
Annual goals: A required component of an IEP. Goals are written for the individual student and can be for a maximum of one year.
Annual Review: A scheduled meting of the IEP team on at least an annual basis to review, revise and update the IEP.
Appeal: An integral part of the due process and complaint procedures. If the party filing a complaint disagrees with the findings, the party may give input at the local Board presentation of findings or request review of the findings by the State Superintendent of Instruction. A parent or district that disagrees with a due process decision may appeal that decision through the court of appropriate jurisdiction.
Appropriate Education: "Appropriate Education," as in "free, appropriate, public education," is an educational program and/or related service(s) as determined on an individual basis which meets the unique needs of each individual with exceptional needs. Such an educational program and related service(s) shall be based on goals and objectives as specified in an IEP and be determined through the process of assessment and IEP planning in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Such an educational program shall provide the equal opportunity for each individual with a disability to achieve commensurate with the opportunity.
Assessment: Procedures used to determine whether a child has a disability and its nature and extent, and to assist in determining the least restrictive special education program and related services required to meet the student's needs. The assessment process inlcudes formal and informal tests, observation and interviews.
Appropriate Placement: A school placement in which the Individualized Education Program (IEP) of a student can be implemented.
Assessment: The gathering of information about the student to determine his or her eligibility for special education and service needs. It may include tests, observations, interviews and a review of school records or student work samples.
Assistive Technology: Any item, piece of equipment, product, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.
Audiological Services: Service provided by a licensed audiologist who identifies children with hearing losses and helps children with hearing losses to use their strengths and abilities.
Autism: A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before the age of three.
- Behavior Intervention: Acceptable interventions include positive behavioral support strategies that do not cause pain or trauma, and that which respect the student's individual needs and dignity.
- Community Advisory Committee (CAC): A committee of parents and guardians, including parents or guardians of individuals with disabilities, and representatives from schools and community agencies, which has been established to advise the SELPA regarding the development and review of programs under the comprehensive local plan.
California Master Plan for Special Education: A document adopted January 11, 1974, by the California State Board of Education which includes philosophies, goals, and guidelines for planning more comprehensive services for all individuals identified as having disabilitities.
Case Manager/Case Coordinator:The professional assigned to coordinate a referral for possible special education placement. The person is responsible for processing the child's referral from the pre-assessment parent conference through the development of the IEP, and may provide follow-up services while the child is served in a special education program.
Cognition/Cognitive Skills: Thinking skills; sometimes referred to as preacademic or problem-solving skills in preschoolers.
Complaint: An alleged violation by a public agency of any federal or state law or regulation.
Confidentiality: Assurance that no information contained in school records be released without parental permission, except as provided by law.
Core Curriculum: The district defined curriculum. The core curriculum is the range of knowledge and skills which are included in the District-adopted course of study and which must be learned for successful grade promotion and graduation. The curriculum may include academic as well as cultural, social and moral knowledge and skills. IEP goals and objectives should reflect knowledge and implementation of the District's core curriculum as adapted for the student with disabilities.
Case Carrier: The person designated by the IEP team to take the lead in monitoring a student's progress toward meeting IEP goals and objectives. The case carrier also ensures that legal timelines and mandates are met for each student on their case load.
California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS): An annual data collection in October which collects the following categories of data from California public schools (K-12): enrollment, graduates, dropouts, vocational education, alternative education, adult education, course enrollment, classified staff, certificated staff, technology, teacher shortage, and demand. Provides a basis for determining the percentage of special education students to be funded.
California Children's Services (CCS): An agency that provides physical and occupational therapy for medically eligible students.
Cognitive Disability: Difficulty in learning in the areas of reasoning, comprehension and judgment.
Communicatively Disabled (CD): Includes pupils who are deaf, hard of hearing, aphasic, severely language impaired, or who have other speech and/or communication disorders.
Community Based Instruction (CBI): Instruction in the skills needed to function in community settings. Instruction takes place both in the community and in the classroom.
Community Setting: This is a setting outside of school property where I.E.P. goals and objectives are the focus of instruction.
Complaint: One may be filed with the State Department of Education any time anyone feels that a law or rule is being violated; a state or local investigation will ensue.
Congenital: A condition that is present at birth.
- Deaf-Blind: Students with both hearing and vision disabilities.
Developmental Delay - An observed difference between a person's development and behavior and the typical development and behavior expected of people of the same age.
Deaf (DHH)or Hard of Hearing (HOH):Impairment in processing information through hearing
Designated Instruction and Services (DIS):Instruction and services not normally provided by regular classes, resource specialist programs, or special classes or centers. They include such services as speech therapy and adapted physical education.
Developmental Delay: When a child's development progresses at a slower rate than most children. This is often seen as a delayed achievement of one or more of a child's milestones. A developmental delay can affect a child's physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development.
Developmental Disability (DD): California defines a person with a developmental disability as anyone who has acquired mental retardation, autism, epilepsy or cerebral palsy before age 18 and is likely to need special services throughout life. The Federal definition uses age 22 and looks at a person?s range of abilities instead of diagnostic categories.
Developmental History: A record of the child's growth in areas such as walking, learning and talking.
District of Service: District, county office or state-operated program providing the majority of services and/or receiving funds.
Down Syndrome: A condition associated with a chromosome abnormality, usually trisomy (addition of a third chromosome to a pair) of chromosome 21, resulting in moderate to severe mental retardation, and sometimes accompanied by physical anomalies.
Due Process: All procedural safeguards of P.O. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Act of 1975 (now entitled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), shall be applicable to local education agencies and parents and students who are participants in a SELPA. Either the pupil, the parent, or the LEA may initiate a due process hearing procdure.
Due Process Hearing: A parent or LEA may request a due process hearing to resolve differences of opinion between the parent and the LEA regarding what is educationally appropriate for a particular child. The hearing is conducted by a state hearing officer who is knowledgeable in the laws governing special education. The hearing decision becomes the final administrative determination and is binding on all parties.
- Early Intervention Services: Services designed to identify and reduce the impact of a development problem as early as possible.
- An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feeling under normal circumstances;
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Early Start: California's program to help families whose infants or toddlers have, or are at risk for, disabilites or developmental delays.
California's Education Code (EC)
Emotional Disturbance (ED): Emotional Disturbance (ED): Emotional Disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely affects educational performance:
Evaluation: Procedures used by qualified personnel to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs.
Extended Year: The term "extended year" means the period of time between the close of one academic year and the beginning of the succeeding academic year. The term "academic year" as used in this section means that portion of the school year during which the regular day school is maintained. An extended year program shall be provided for a minimum of 20 instructional days including holidays. Schools must provide extended year services to individuals with disabilities if the gains for the child during the regular school year would be significantly jeopardized by a summer break without continuous structured programming.
- Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Each public school system is responsible for ensuring that each child with disabilities is served appropriately, at no expense to the parent.
- IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 2004): This federal law revised many elements of special education.
Inclusion: Providing education for students with disabilities in local neighborhood schools in general education classrooms.
Individual with Exceptional Needs (IWEN): A student whose educational needs cannot be met by a general education classroom teacher with modifications of the regular school program and who requires and will benefit from special instruction and/or services. Excluded are children whose needs are due solely or primarily to unfamiliarity with the English language or to cultural differences.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): A written individualized education plan for each special education student that includes instructional goals and objectives based upon the educational needs specified by the IEP team.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP): The individualized family service plan is an individualized plan for each family with a child in an early intervention program. It is developed by a multidisciplinary team and focuses on information about the infant/toddler and his/her family similar to information that is addressed in an IEP. The main difference between an IFSP and an IEP is that the IFSP addresses family needs directly.
Informed Consent: Means that: 1. The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her primary language or other mode of communication. 2. The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, an the consent describes the activity and lists the records (if any) which will be released and to whom; and 3. The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time.
Integration: Physical placement of students with disabilities on regular school campuses.
Independent Educational Assessment (IEA): A parent has the right to obtain, at public expense, an independent educational assessment of the pupil from qualified specialists if the parent disagrees with an assessment obtained by the public education agency. The public agency may initiate a due process hearing to show that its assessment is appropriate.
Individual Transition Plan (ITP): The ITP must be developed for students beginning at age 14 (or younger, if appropriate), and updated annually. It includes a statement of the transition service needs of the student, related to the IEP, that focuses on the student's course of study (such as participation in advanced placement courses or vocational programs). Beginning at age 16 (or younger, if appropriate), the ITP provides a statement of needed transition services for the child, including a statement of the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages, as appropriate.
- Learning Disabled (LD): Pupils with specific learning disorders affecting educational performance.
Local Education Agency (LEA): Any local school district or Office of County Superintendent which has responsibility to provide special education services to eligible students.
Local Plan: Each Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) develops a plan for delivery of programs and services to meet the educational needs of all eligible individuals with exceptional needs in that area.
Low Incidence Disability: A severe, disabling condition with an expected incidence rate of less than one percent of the total enrollment. The conditions are hearing impairments, vision impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, or combination thereof.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Placement of an individual with a disability in any program which promotes maximum interaction with the general education program in a manner beneficial to the individual student and students in the general education classroom.
Low Incidence Disability: A severe disability with an expected incidence rate of less than 1 percent of the total K-12 State-wide enrollment. Low incidence disabilities include hearing impairments, visual impairments and severe orthopedic impairments. (E.C. 56026.5).
- Mainstreaming:The planned interaction between the special education student and the typical school population which is appropriate to the needs of both.
Mediation Conference: A conflict resolution process used to resolve special education issues. The conference is held prior to holding an administrative due process hearing. It is the intent of the legislature that the mediation conference be an intervening, informal process conducted in a non-adversarial atmosphere that allows the parties to create their own solutions rather than having one imposed upon them through the judicial process. The mediation conference must be held within fifteen days of state receipt of a hearing request.
Medical Therapy Program (MTP): The MTP is a therapy branch of CCS. MTP services primarily focus on children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, arthritis and neuromuscular disorders. The MTP is usually located on a public school campus, and it is staffed by occupational and physical therapists.
Mental Age: The level of intellectual functioning based on the average for children of the same chronological age.
Mental Retardation: Significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior.
Multiple Disabilities (MD): Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation, blindness, mental retardation, orthopedic impairment, etc.,) the combination of which causes such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blind children. (34 CFR Part 300.5).
- Nonpublic Agency (NPA): Usually an individual or group certified by the State, to provide a specific special education service but who is not an employee of the public school system.
- Orthopedically Handicapped (OH): Students with specific orthopedic or physical needs which adversely affect their educational participation or performance.
Other Health Impaired (OHI): A student with a chronic medical impairment, such as asthma which impairs the student's educational performance.
Occupational Therapy (OT): A designated instruction and service (related service), that provides assistance in improving or restoring functions lost or injured through illness, accident, or deprivation.
- Physically Handicapped or Physically Disabled (PH or PD): Students with specific orthopedic needs which adversely affect their educational participation or performance.
Physical Therapy (PT): A designated instruction and service (related service), including services to provide treatment for posture stability, movement, positioning, gait training, etc.
Positive Behavior Support: Support that is specified in a behavior intervention plan that is developed by an IEP team to help a student with serious behavior problems change patterns of undesirable behaviors that interfere with learning.These supports are respectful of a student's dignity, and are successful in promoting a student's capabilities and opportunities.The support includes a reliance on data obtained from a functional analysis assessment.
Program Specialist (PS): A specialist who holds a valid Special Education credential, health services credential, or a school psychologist authorization, and who has advanced training and related experience in the education of individuals with disabilities and a specialized, in-depth knowledge of special education services.
Primary Language: "Primary Language" means the language or other mode of communication that the person first learned, or the language which is spoken in the home.
Procedural Safeguards: Specific procedures designed by state and federal law to protect the rights of children, parents and school districts.
Public Law 94-142 (Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) of 1975): Now entitled IDEA. The federal legislation governing the education of all handicapped students. PL 94-142 mandates that all public schools in the U.S. are to provide "a free, appropriate public education and related services" to "all handicapped children." PL stands for Public Law, 94 means it was passed by the 94th Congress, and 142 is the number of the law.
Public Law 101-476 (Education for the Handicapped Act Amendments): A written request for an assessment to identify an individual with disabilities, made by a parent, teacher or other service provider. District receipt of the written referral starts a fifteen day timeline for development of an assessment plan.
- Reevaluation: A comprehensive assessment conducted every three years, or sooner if a parent or teacher requests, for each student receiving special education services. Referral for Assessment - Any request for assessment, made by a parent, teacher or other service provider. Referrals for assessment should be in writing to avoid delay. Where an oral referral for assessment is made, school staff must offer assistance to the individual making the referral to put it in writing.
Referral for Assessment: A written request for an assessment to identify an individual with disabilities, made by a parent, teacher or other service provider. District receipt of the written referral starts a fifteen day timeline for development of an assessment plan.
Related Services (Designated Instruction and Services): Designated instruction and related services as specified in the IEP shall be available when the instruction and services are necessary for the student to benefit educationally from his or her instructional program. The instruction and services shall be provided by the regular class teacher, the special class teacher or the resource specialist if the teacher or specialist is competent to provide such instruction and services and if the provision of such instruction and services by the teacher or specialist is feasible. If not, the appropriate designated instruction and services specialist shall provide such instruction and services.
Resource Specialist Program (RSP): The Resource Specailist Program provides instruction and services for those individuals with disabilities who are assigned to a general education classroom for the majority of the school day.
Related Services: Specific services, also called designated instruction and services, which are required to assist a student with a disability to benefit from special education or general education. Includes transportation, speech-language pathology, audiological services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, social work services, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, and orientation and mobility services.
- School of Attendance: Refers to the school a student is attending which may or may not be in his or her area of residence.
School of Residence: Refers to the school a student attends or would attend because of the location of his or her residence in the school's attendance area.
School Psychologist: A trained professional who assists in the identification of needs regarding behavioral, social, emotional, educational and vocational functioning of individuals; analyzes and integrates information, and consults with school personnel and parents regarding planning, implementing and evaluating individuals and families.
School Social Worker: A trained professional who supports the educational program of individuals by assisting in identification and assessment of the individualís educational needs including social, emotional, behavioral and adaptive needs; provides intervention services including individual, group, parent and family counseling; provides consultation and planning; serves as liaison among home, school and community. Section 504 Accommodation: A plan of educational goals and objectives written by regular education teaches for students who demonstrate a need, but do not meet the identification guidelines for areas of disability in special education.
Special Day Class and Special Class Center (SDC and SCC): Instructional settings in which a student receives special instruction more than 50% of the day.
SELPA: Special Education Local Plan Area - one or more districts of sufficient size and scope to provide a comprehensive range of special education programs and services for students.
Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (SED): An individual who has severe problems relating to others; who is unable to learn for reasons other than intellectual functioning, who is severely aggressive or extremely withdrawn.
Severely Handicapped: Students requiring intensive instruction and training in programs serving students with disabilities such as autism, blindness, deafness, severe orthopedic impairments, serious emotional disturbances, severe developmental disabilities, and those who have multiple disabilities.
Short-Term Objective: Included on the student's IEP as a means of measuring progress toward a goal.It includes a series of intermediate steps or training activities that will take the student from his or her current level of functioning to the accomplishment of annual goals.
Special Classes: Pubic school classes which provide services to students with more intensive needs than can be met by the general education program or Resource Specialist Program or Designated Instruction and Services. Students are enrolled in the special class for a majority of the school day and are grouped according to similar instructional needs.
Special Education: Programs or services designed to meet the educational requirements of individuals with disabilities. Special education is specially designed instruction, at no cost ot the parent, to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general education program, and related services, at no cost to the parent, which may be needed to assist such individuals to benefit from specially designed instruction.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD): A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. Eligibility for services requires that there is a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the following academic areas: oral or written expression, listening or reading comprehension, basic reading skills, mathematics calculations and reasoning.
Speech/Language Pathologists: Speech/Language Pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and teachers of students with visual disabilities or hearing impairments provide appropriate diagnostic, therapy or teaching services to students according to the provision of IEPs
Student Study Team (SST): A team of educational personnel responsible for assisting classroom teachers in providing appropriate learning environments for students who may be exhibiting school related problems. Through combining knowledge and brainstorming efforts, the teams may generate solutions that enable students to remain in general education classes rather than be referred for special education programs.
Surrogate Parent: A surrogate parent is a person appointed by the SELPA to ensure the rights of an individual with disabilities when the child's situation is such that no parent can be identified or located, or the child is a ward of the state and the parents do not retain educational rights for the child.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical event resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance.
Title 5 Regulations: The California Code of Regulations which amplify the Education Code Sections dealing with public education.
Title 17: A portion of the California Code of Regulations that contains the Department of Developmental Services? regulations as well as other regulations. These regulations, starting with Section 50201, cover parental fees, conflict of interest, rules for conducting research, clients rights, fiscal audits and appeals, fair hearings, vendorization procedures, regional center administrative practices and procedures, standards and rate-setting procedures for community-based programs and in-home respite services, residential facility care and supported living services.
Title 22: A portion of the California Code of Regulations that contains the state licensing regulations for community care facilities and health facilities, as well as other regulations.
Transition: This term refers to the passage from one program, setting or environment to another.In special education, it may include, passage from an infant setting to a preschool setting, movement from preschool to kindergarten, passage from elementary to middle school programs, movement from a special day class setting to a general education setting, graduation from a high school program into a work environment or other significant changes for a student. Transition services are a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. The process begins at fourteen years and includes the student, family, education personnel and vocational and adult service providers (Vocational Rehabilitation, Regional Center, Social Security, etc.)
Triennial Assessment: Every child shall have a complete reassessment every three years or sooner if requested by the parents or teacher. Preparation for the assessment follows the same process as for an initial evaluation, including the assessment plan with written parental consent, and the 50-day timeline.
- Validity: In reference to tests, the extent to which a test measures what it is suppose to measure.
Visually Handicapped or Visually Impaired (VH or VI): A visual impairment which, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes both partial sightedness and blindness.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): Federal program that provides transition supports for eligible students who receive special education services in high school. Referral to Vocational Rehabilitation is determined by the IEP team during the studentís junior year in high school. For more information contact your childís special education teacher or guidance counselor.
- Zero Exclusion: An entry criteria philosophy which states that no one should be denied services in the particular program, regardless of the level and degree of disability, or the number of secondary disabilities.