Understanding the Language of Special Education

  • Assistive Technology Device: A piece of equipment or product which is used to increase, maintain, or improve the way a child with a disability interacts and communicates with the world around them.


    Assistive Technology: Supports to help a child with a disability use an assistive technology device. These supports include evaluating the needs of the child; providing the device; and then training the child, the child's family and the professional who work with that child in the use of the device. 


    Chapter 14: The state law pertaining to the delivery of special education services and programs. It is called a regulation or sometimes called a rule.


    Child with a Disability: A child evaluated as having an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, emotional disturbance, or orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, another health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who as a result of the disability needs special education and related services.


    Due Process: The procedure that parents can use to disagree with the decisions of school district officials concerning special education. The parent is informed of this right through the procedural safeguards, which describes the options of a pre-hearing conference, a formal hearing, and appeals.


    Evaluation: The process used to determine if a child has a disability and if special education is needed. The evaluation looks at how the child learns, the kinds of instruction that would be successful and the kinds of instruction that have been tried and have not resulted in success.


    Evaluation Report (ER): The report that is compiled and written by the evaluation team (which includes parents) following an evaluation. It contains all of the information gathered from the team members, including the results of assessment. From the report, the evaluation team determines the student's eligibility and need for special education programs.


    Evaluation Team: A team of educators, other professional individuals, and the child's parents that reviews all formal testing of a child and all other evaluation material. The evaluation team must issue a written report stating if the child is a child with a disability who needs special education and making suggestions about the program and services needed.


    Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): A program of education and related services for a child with a disability that is designed to meet the child's special education needs and which allows the child to make meaningful progress in the educational setting. It is provided without charge to parents.


    Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The federal law which governs the provisions of special education services and the rights of parents of a child with a disability.


    Individualized Education Program (IEP): The plan written by the IEP team (including parents) that specifically describes the programs and services necessary for a free appropriate public education for the child with a disability.


    Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Part of the federal and state law that deals with determining an exceptional student's placement. To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are to be educated with students who are not disabled. The removal of a student from the regular education environment occurs only when the disability is such that the student cannot satisfactorily be educated in the regular class setting or the student exhibits behaviors that impede his/her learning or that of others.


    Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP): The form issued to parents to inform them of the placement recommended by the IEP team.


    Related Services: Services necessary to provide specially designed instruction to ensure the child benefits from the special education programs. A few examples are special transportation, counseling, and physical therapy.


    Special Education: An educational program individually designed to meet the unique education needs for a child with a disability. A special education professional is directly involved as either a consultant or a provider of services.


    Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): Adapting the content, methods, or delivery of the instruction as is appropriate based on the unique needs of the child with a disability.


    Transition Services: Specific planning in school that helps to prepare students with disabilities to participate more effectively in higher education or job training, community participation, independent living, continuing and adult education, and employment when they leave school.


    List of Acronyms from Pattan