Severe Disabilities

Read more about students whose struggles in one or more areas of functioning substantially limit their performance of daily activities
Richard Corcoran, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education sits next to Florida Department of Education Board Chair Andy Tuck as they listen to speakers during Thursday morning's Florida Department of Education meeting. The board members of the Florida Department of Education met Thursday, June 10, 2021 at the Florida State College at Jacksonville's Advanced Technology Center in Jacksonville, Fla. to take care of routine business but then held public comments before a vote to remove critical race theory from Florida classrooms.
Richard Corcoran, Florida’s education commissioner, and Andy Tuck, the chair of the state’s board of education, listen to speakers at a meeting  in June.
Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP
Special Education Florida Changed Rules for Special Education Students. Why Many Say It’s Wrong
The new rule contains a more specific definition of what it means to have a “most significant cognitive disability.”
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Tampa Bay Times, November 4, 2021
7 min read
Assessment Vermont Questions Price Hike for Common-Core Aligned Alternate Test
The board overseeing Dynamic Learning Maps created a price structure that dramatically raises the cost of the common core-aligned test, which is intended for students with severe cognitive disabilities.
Christina A. Samuels, September 23, 2016
1 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA Panel Weighs Rules for Testing for Those With Severe Cognitive Disabilities
Changes in the Every Student Succeeds Act will mean new regulations governing the testing of about 1 percent of students with severe cognitive disabilities.
Christina A. Samuels, March 25, 2016
4 min read
Special Education Alternative Education Track Would See New Scrutiny Under Federal Bill
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, wants to ensure parents are given more information before allowing their children to be placed in an educational track with less rigor than the general education curriculum.
Christina A. Samuels, February 18, 2015
1 min read
Law & Courts Landmark Special Ed. Case Confirming 'Zero Reject' Rule Marks 25 Years
In Timothy W. v Rochester, the court confirmed that children with the most severe handicaps are entitled to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Christina A. Samuels, December 8, 2014
4 min read
School & District Management Nationwide Survey Offers Data on Sexual Abuse of Students With Disabilities
Survey respondents reported that many students with disabilities were subjected to sexual abuse many times, often by adults in the school setting.
Christina A. Samuels, June 6, 2014
2 min read
Special Education PBS Documentary Explores Life After School for Students With Autism
'Best Kept Secret' explores the postsecondary options available for six youth with severe autism in Newark, N.J.
Christina A. Samuels, September 23, 2013
1 min read
Special Education Series on Group Home Abuses Earns Journalism Honor
California Watch's reporting on problems with the state-run police force tasked to protect the vulnerable residents of California group homes was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for public service.
Christina A. Samuels, April 17, 2013
1 min read
Special Education Education Department: Testing Policy Does Not Violate Student's Rights
Mary Washer, an Oklahoma high school student with severe disabilities, was not able to use a particular accommodation to pass required state tests.
Christina A. Samuels, April 15, 2013
1 min read
Special Education Moving On From 'On Special Education'
Starting now, my focus is shifting to writing exclusively about student health, discipline, and safety and school climate.
Nirvi Shah, January 7, 2013
2 min read
Special Education Fla. Records Reveal Little Education, Much Neglect of Children in Nursing Homes
A newspaper report delving into Florida's practice of housing some children with severe disabilities in nursing homes corroborates U.S. Department of Justice concerns about the children's care.
Nirvi Shah, November 13, 2012
2 min read
Special Education Outcomes for Students With Severe Disabilities Can, Must Improve
The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination today shared a set of recommendations to better prepare students with significant disabilities for the workforce and continue their education after high school.
Nirvi Shah, September 17, 2012
2 min read
Special Education Fla. Children With Severe Disabilities Relegated to Nursing Homes
Among other things, the state turned down about $40 million that would have helped care for these children at home because the money was associated with the Affordable Care Act.
Nirvi Shah, September 12, 2012
3 min read
Special Education Military Families Overseas Struggle to Get Services for Children With Disabilities
The Government Accountability Office found shortcomings in the way Department of Defense schools provide special education services.
Nirvi Shah, September 11, 2012
2 min read