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1

A Parent's Guide to Special Education in NYS for Children 3-21

This guide contains comprehensive information on the special education process in New York State, beginning with the initial referral for special education services. Special education means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education services and programs are provided at no cost to the parent. 

2

Guide to Transition Services

This is a guide to assist in the transition process for youth with disabilities and their families. Topics include: definitions of IEP; categories of transition services; post-secondary goal; the rights of students and parents; and advocacy tips. The guide also includes a list of transition services and supports in New York City and transition planning timeline.

3

NYS Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Program

Regional associates at the Quality Assurance office located in your school district will answer questions about special education. Within each office, Regional Associates, who are employees of the State Education Department, are assigned to specific school districts and special education programs. The Regional Associate oversees preschool and school-age special education services and serves as a resource to parents, school district personnel, and private providers. Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct Quality Assurance Reviews of public and private special education programs. The purpose of the review is to determine compliance with federal and State special education laws and regulations. Areas of strength and weakness in regard to effective evaluation and instructional practices are identified as part of the review process. The goal of the review is to make programs more effective and to positively affect student results.
  • Provide technical assistance to parents, school district personnel, and special education programs.
  • Provide general information regarding services for students with disabilities to parents, school district personnel, private providers, and other stakeholders.
  • Oversee certain grant applications for the expenditure of federal IDEA  funds.
  • Investigate complaints alleging a public or private special education program's noncompliance with federal or state law or regulation pertaining to the education of students with disabilities.

The Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Offices. When contacting the regional office, please identify your county, school district, or special education program so that you may be directed to the appropriate Regional Associate.

 

4

School Decision Guide

This web page provides short quizzes that can help you organize your thinking and get closer to making decisions about what is best for your child. The quizzes include:

  • Start kindergarten now or wait a year?
  • Move up or repeat a grade?
  • Switch schools or stay?
  • Enroll in high education or focus on work?

5

Tip Sheets - Employment, Education, Living Skills and More

This web page provides an extensive collection of downloadable tip-sheets, briefs, posters, infographics and videos, many of which were developed and reviewed with input from young adults with serious mental health conditions and given their "stamp of approval."

Education

  • What is a 504 Plan and How Can it Help my Teen?
  • My Mental Health Rights on Campus
  • Teens on IEPs: Making my Transitions Services Work for Me
  • Tools for School: Accommodations for College Students with Mental Health Challenges

Living Skills

  • Telling your Money What to Do: The Young Adults Guide
  • How to Speak up and be Heard: Self Advocacy
  • My Must Have Papers
  • Keeping in Contact with Your Professional
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), What Happens to your SSI when you Turn 18?

Other

  • Becoming an Adult: Challenges for those with Mental Health Conditions
  • Young Adults Getting Involved: Participatory Action Research & Transition Age Youth
  • Crossing the Divide: Programs that Bridge Child and Adult Mental Health Services
  • Building a Community of Practice to Support Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

 

6

Use Your IEP Meetings to Learn How to Advocate for Yourself

This Tip Sheet for Teens provides useful information to help teens practice self-advocacy in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.

Developed by the Council on Children and Families and Funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council