Individualized Education Program Document Revision Process

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is currently in the process of revising the State’s individualized education program (IEP) document. An essential component to the provision of a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities, the IEP document is the official record of a planning and placement team’s decisions regarding a student’s special education eligibility identification and program. As federal and state requirements have changed over the years, the document currently in use in the state has required multiple updates since its origination. As a result, the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) has determined that a more holistic revision of the IEP document is warranted. Our goal is to design an IEP document that is less complicated for practitioners to use and easier for parents and students to understand.

Since July 2018, the BSE has undertaken several activities related to this important work. In addition to establishing an internal team to lead the revision process, the main focus of the BSE has been to seek stakeholder input regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the current IEP document. Opportunities for feedback included a survey of special education directors, regional meetings for parents and educators, an electronic survey accessible on the CSDE website, input from students and the State Advisory Council for Special Education. The feedback received has informed the development of a draft revised IEP document. The BSE internal team also completed a review of statutory and regulatory requirements and conducted reviews of IEP documents used in other states.

In addition to the activities listed above, the BSE formed an external advisory stakeholder group consisting of 22 individuals representing various perspectives. This group met regularly throughout the year to provide comment on the current document and feedback on a draft revised IEP document. The input from this group was critical in the development of a new IEP document.

In the upcoming weeks, the BSE is prepared to post the Draft IEP document revision on the CSDE website for public comment. Following the public comment period, we will continue to engage with stakeholders to design an implementation plan.

It is important to note that the current IEP document will remain in use across the state for the entirety of the 2019-2020 school year.

Summer 2019 LifeCourse Planning Tools Professional Learning Sessions

The Bureau of Special Education, together with the RESC Alliance, is conducting two sessions for Charting the LifeCourse, a universally-designed person-centered planning framework, to assist individuals and families of all abilities and ages to develop a vision of a good life.

To learn more about the sessions for this important tool as well as how to register, visit Summer 2019 LifeCourse Planning Tools Professional Learning Sessions flyer  .

 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) LEA Requirements

Special Education Leaders and Transition Contact Persons,

The Bureau of Special Education is engaged in a partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to assist in supporting students who will be transitioning to adult supports and services.

In these bulleted links you will find:

No later than Monday, June 17, 2019, LEAs must:

  1. Complete the Section 511 LEA Documentation of Completed Transition Services form and attach the student’s most recent IEP.
  2. Submit the completed form and the student’s IEP to Andre Pope, Secretary, DORS, via mail or fax – confidential student information may not be submitted by email unless it is encrypted.
  3. Provide the parent or guardian of the student with a copy of the submitted form and IEP.

If you have questions, please contact Alycia M. Trakas at 860-713-6932 or Alycia.trakas@ct.gov.

TIME SENSITIVE: Changes to Statutory Restraint and Seclusion Requirements Effective July 1, 2018

On July 12, 2018, Special Education Bureau Chief, Bryan Klimkiewicz, issued a TIME SENSITIVE memorandum to the field regarding changes to the statutory restraint and seclusion requirements. Please review this important memorandum below.

Changes to Statutory Restraint and Seclusion Requirements (003)

WIOA Section 511 Transition Services Documentation – this notification requires the submission of completed materials on or before June 15, 2018

Notifications will also be sent by email.

Directors of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services and Transition Contact Persons:

The Bureau of Special Education is engaged in a partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Developmental Services to assist in supporting students who will be transitioning to adult supports and services.   

This posting provides you with the following links:

  • A revised memorandum related to WIOA Section 511 with detailed instructions for completing and submitting the WIOA Section 511 Transition Services Documentation form,
  • WIOA Section 511 LEA Documentation Requirements, and
  • the WIOA Section 511 Transition Services Documentation form. 

Summary of requirements for your District’s DDS students exiting school in 2018 who are known to be seeking subminimum wage employment.

By June 15, 2018, please complete the following items:

  1. Complete the attached WIOA Section 511 Transition Services Documentation form and attach the student’s most recent IEP. Complete one form for each DDS student who will be graduating or aging-out in June of 2018 that the LEA is aware of who will be seeking subminimum wage employment after leaving high school.
  2. Submit the completed form and the student’s most recent IEP to André Pope (DORS) via mail or fax – confidential student information may not be submitted by email unless it is encrypted. For students who are consumers of DDS and who are outplaced either in an Approved Private Special Education Program (APSEP) or in a Regional Education Service Center (RESC), the sending LEA is responsible for submitting the Section 511 documentation to DORS.
  3. Provide the parent or guardian of the student with a copy of the submitted form and IEP.

Please read the memorandum and accompanying materials prior to completing this task.

Thank you

WIOA Section 511 LEA Transition Documentation Memo.

WIOA Section 511 LEA Documentation Requirements.

WIOA Section 511 Transition Services Documentation Form.

 

 

 

SLD/Dyslexia Resources

The revised SLD/Dyslexia Assessment Resource Guide is now available on the SDE’s website and can be found at http://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Publications/SLD-Dyslexia-Assessment-Resource-Guide.

Also, the following document contains a list of all of the free SLD/Dyslexia online courses/modules available from SERC. These can be accessed at http://ctserc.org/about/serc-programs/dyslexia/professional-learning-resources or an abbreviated version can be found at SLD Dyslexia Free Online Courses.

 

Special Education Mediation in Connecticut – 2017

In accordance with the directive of the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is moving to a mediation system that utilizes independent contractors as mediators; as of September 1, 2017, employees of the CSDE will no longer be mediating. Please access the profiles of the new mediators, a revised form you may use to request mediation and a form to assist us with professional development using these links or the links provided at the bottom of this notification.  (Fillable forms will soon be available on our website.)

As part of the move to the new mediation system, certain changes are being made to the existing practices and procedures. Please note the following:

  • Through August, the new mediators will transition from observing mediations to conducting mediations with the current mediators observing;
  • For the current time, mediation notices will continue to be issued by the Bureau of Special Education;
  • Whether mediation is requested through use of the revised form, letter or electronic mail, we are asking that the same information requested on the form be provided in the request including a simple statement of the issues and proposed resolution;
  • Mediation requests will be assigned to the new mediators on an alphabetical, rotating basis;
  • The mediators will contact the parties to arrange the date of mediation; it is not necessary to provide dates.

We hope to make the transition to the new process as smooth as possible. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Gail Mangs                                          Mary Jean Schierberl

gail.mangs@ct.gov                              maryjean.schierberl@ct.gov

860-713-6938                                      860-713-6943

 

Mediator Biographies 2017

Request for Mediation Form 07-13-17

Mediation Response Form

 

Accessible eBooks Takes a Leap Forward

Exciting information from Benetech (also known as Bookshare), regarding Accessible eBooks and commitment from major Education Publishers. The program will empower publishers to produce accessible eBooks and educators to easily recognize accessible content during the procurement process. This is a big step forward on our march toward making sure eBooks serve all students equally. The following article provides information related to accessible eBooks. This should not be considered the CSDE’s endorsement of any product or agency.

 

BENETECH ESTABLISHES GLOBAL CERTIFIED ACCESSIBLE PROGRAM TO ENSURE CONTENT SERVES ALL STUDENTS EQUALLY

PALO ALTO, Calif. — June 22, 2017 — Benetech<https://www.benetech.org/>, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, today announced Global Certified Accessible<https://www.benetech.org/our-programs/literacy/born-accessible/certification/>. The program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.

Global Certified Accessible ensures students unable to read standard print due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability have equal access to the same content as their peers. The program has a global footprint in order to serve students around the world. Benetech developed the certification standards and serves as the lead certification provider for North America. Dedicon provides certification for mainland Europe, Royal National Institute of Blind People for the United Kingdom, and Vision Australia for Australasia.

“The importance of electronically published books continues to grow, but many ebooks lack core accessibility features that students require, falling short of procurement requirements and student needs,” said Jim Fruchterman, founder and CEO, Benetech. “As the nonprofit operator of Bookshare<https://www.bookshare.org/>, the largest online library of accessible books, Benetech is well suited to offer a Global Certified Accessible program that not only gives procurement offices the confidence that comes with third-party certified materials but also allows publishers to serve a larger addressable market.”

Global Certified Accessible is part of Benetech’s Born Accessible<https://www.benetech.org/our-programs/literacy/born-accessible/> initiative, which encourages the education community to request accessible digital content and engages the publishing community to produce content that is accessible from the moment it is created. As a result of the recently released EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 and the growing demand for accessible materials, leading publishers and educational institutions are increasing their support for accessibility as a business and a classroom imperative.

Ingram Content Group’s VitalSource® and CoreSource® will include the accessibility ratings for eTextbooks from publishers participating in the Global Certified Accessible program as a part of their metadata and catalog feeds through Bookshelf®, VitalSource’s content-delivery platform. By doing so, procurement offices and school districts will be able to easily identify and prioritize third-party certified, accessible eTextbooks from publishers who choose to participate.

“VitalSource is excited to help accelerate the adoption of accessible publishing,” said Rick Johnson, VP of Product Strategy, VitalSource®. “As a global solutions provider, receiving accessibility certifications from Benetech and their global partners is a logical choice. As publishers increase their ability to produce content that provides access to all students, having a trusted source that can certify their accessibility will provide a welcome level of transparency to all involved.”

Learn more about Global Certified Accessible<https://www.benetech.org/our-programs/literacy/born-accessible/certification/>.

 

 

Connecticut Alternate Assessment System FAQ Regarding Students with Disabilities

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document related to the Connecticut Alternate Assessment System that includes important information regarding students with disabilities. You may access that document at Frequently Asked Question and Answers About the Connecticut Alternate Assessment System [pdf] or at http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2626&q=322680#CMT

For questions related to this document please contact Rhonda Kempton, Education Consultant, Bureau of Special Education, (860) 713-6924 or Rhonda.kempton@ct.gov.