Special Education

Special Education Column

March 30, 1987 2 min read

Forty-seven states and territories are taking part this year in a new federal program to serve handicapped infants, according to a new survey of state special-education directors.

The $50-million program for handicapped children under age 2 was created as part of the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986, P.L. 99-457. When the Congress passed the measure last September, only six states were serving that population. A separate part of the new law provides strong incentives for states to extend to 3-to-5-year-olds all the rights that school-age handicapped children already receive under federal special-education laws.

“We’re really encouraged by the results,’' said Sharon Walsh, who directed the survey for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Released on May 19, the survey is the fourth the association has conducted to determine how its members plan to implement the new law.

In addition, she said, of the 36 states and territories that have designated a lead agency to oversee the handicapped-infant program, 14 have chosen their education departments. And 14 state directors said they would include “at risk’’ in their definitions of “developmentally delayed’’ children who would be eligible for the new services. Lawmakers purposely left the definition ambiguous, giving states the option of deciding whether to include at-risk children in the program.

A sweeping new law means little, however, without the funds to back it up, officials of the special-education association point out.

To ensure that the new programs are adequately financed, the organization has launched a lobbying campaign to persuade state legislatures to pass resolutions calling for full federal funding of the handicapped-infant program and the program for handicapped preschool-age children.

The first such resolution--and the model that the association hopes other states will follow--is pending in the California legislature.

Special educators became concerned after President Reagan, in his budget proposal earlier this year, recommended that the authorized funds for the programs be “zeroed out.’'

Congressional budgetmakers, however, are proposing full funding of the initiatives, Ms. Walsh said.

As handicapped students increasingly seek to enroll in colleges and universities, two organizations for the disabled have devised a guide to help them make the right choice.

The 16-page pamphlet, entitled “How to Choose a College: Guide for the Student With a Disability,’' contains questions that students who are physically or learning disabled can ask of both themselves and college representatives. The Association on Handicapped Student Service Programs in Postsecondary Education, and the Higher Education and the Handicapped Resource Center are publishing the guide.

It is available, free of charge, by writing the HEATH Resource Center, One Dupont Circle, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20036-1193, or by calling (800) 54-HEATH.--D.V.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education The Pandemic Made It Harder to Spot Students With Disabilities. Now Schools Must Catch Up
After more than a year of disruption for all students, the pressure's on to find those in need of special education and provide services.
13 min read
Aikin listens to her eight-year-old son, Carter, as he reads in the family’s home in Katy, TX, on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Carter has dyslexia and Aikin could not help but smile at the improvement in his fluency as he read out loud.
Kanisha Aikin listens to her 8-year-old son, Carter, who has dyslexia, as he reads aloud in the family’s home in Katy, Texas.
Annie Mulligan for Education Week
Special Education What Employers Can Teach Schools About Neurodiversity
The benefits of neurodiversity have gained traction in business, but college and career support for students with disabilities falls short.
8 min read
Special Education The Challenge of Teaching Students With Visual Disabilities From Afar
Teachers of students with visual disabilities struggle to provide 3-D instruction in a two-dimensional remote learning environment.
Katie Livingstone
5 min read
Neal McKenzie
Neal McKenzie, an assistive technology specialist, works with a student who has a visual impairment in Sonoma County, Calif.<br/>
Courtesy Photo
Special Education 'They Already Feel Like Bad Students.' A Special Educator Reflects on Virtual Teaching
In a year of remote teaching, a high school special ed teacher has seen some of his students struggle and some thrive.
4 min read
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, sits for a photo at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, Calif., on April 21, 2021.
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, says remote learning has provided new ways for some of his students to soar, and has made others want to quit.
Sarahbeth Maney for Education Week