Bureau of Special Education Secondary Transition Webpage Redesigned

We are excited to announce that the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education (BSE) Secondary Transition – Planning from School to Adult Life web page has been redesigned and is available at: https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Special-Education/Secondary-Transition.

This page is comprised of eight sections:

  • The Main page describes an overview of transition services, including the secondary transition planning process, as well as information and links for secondary transition professional learning opportunities.
  • The Documents/Forms page contains CSDE secondary transition documents/forms in the following areas: Secondary Transition Planning, Transition Assessments, Post-School Outcome Goal Statements (PSOGS) & Annual IEP Transition Goals and Objectives, Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination, Student Success Plans (SSPs), and Summary of Performance (SOP/ED635).
  • The Related Resources page contains additional resources related to secondary transition including information from other state agencies.
  • The Resources for Students and Families page contains secondary transition resources for students and families.
  • The Easing Into Secondary Transition: A Comprehensive Guide to Resources and Services in Connecticut page was developed as a result of a collaborative effort between the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Department of Aging and Disability Services (ADS), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS), the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs), the State Education Resource Center (SERC), and the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC). The guide may be used as a resource for educators, students, and families throughout Connecticut to identify secondary transition resources and services.
  • The IDEA Part B Indicators: 1, 2, 13, and 14 page contains resources and tools related to IDEA Part B Indicators 1: Graduation, 2: Dropout, 13: Secondary Transition, and 14: Post-School Outcomes and Post-School Outcome Survey (PSOS).
  • The Laws/Regulations page contains federal and state laws and regulations related to secondary transition.
  • The CT Transition Programs page contains a link to a listing of CT Transition Programs (18-21).

We hope you will utilize this valuable tool as you navigate through the secondary transition planning process.

Questions can be directed to Alycia M. Trakas by phone at (860) 713-6932 or by e-mail at Alycia.Trakas@ct.gov.

Physical Therapy in Connecticut Schools

On September 4, 2019, Bryan Klimkiewicz, Division Director, Bureau of Special Education, released a memorandum to the field regarding the guidelines for Physical Therapy in Connecticut Schools.

To review that important memorandum, please see Physical Therapy Guidelines memorandum 09-04-2019

To review the guidelines for Physical Therapy in Connecticut Schools: Best Practices and Resources document, please see https://www.ctpt.org/Customer-Content/WWW/CMS/files/SBG_Dec2018_Final.pdf

 

Writing Standards-based IEPs Using the CT Early Learning and Development Standards

IDEA states that, “the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by … having high expectations for such children and ensuring their access to the general curriculum to the maximum extent possible, in order to meet the developmental goals.” (20 U.S.C. 1400(c)

For our youngest learners, there are often questions about what constitutes the general curriculum. Since the CT ELDS outline what children birth to age five should know and be able to do, this is an easy to access tool for writing standards-based IEPS focused on access to the general education curriculum.

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education document, A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs outlines a process of writing IEPs based on state standards.  While this document refers to “content standards,” the CT ELDS address the whole child and include the following areas of development:

Look for training on writing IEPS based on the CT ELDS coming in Fall 2019.

The following are helpful resources:

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. (2013). The Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC), (2014). Enhancing Recognition of High Quality, Functional IEP Goals,

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education, (2007). A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs.

Understood for Learning and Attention Issues (2014-2018). 5 Benefits of Inclusion Classrooms.

Alabama State Department of Education, (2012). Standards Based IEPs for Preschool Children.

Vermont preschool IEP on ECTAC website:

https://ectacenter.org/~pdfs/eco/EEE-IEPSAMPLENovember15th2012.pdf

CT Early Learning and Development Standards

The CT Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS) outline what young children from birth to age five should know and be able to do and are aligned to the kindergarten CT Core Standards. The CT ELDS are the foundation of the general education curriculum for preschool that all children should be able to access, no matter the setting in which they are served.  In addition the CT ELDS can be a useful tool for planning supports for entering kindergarteners, providing a step prior to the end-of-year kindergarten standards. The continuum of learning and development articulated in the CT ELDS which begins at birth can be especially helpful for planning instruction for children with delays and/or disabilities. For more information, go to: www.ct.gov/oec/elds. On the website you are able to order CT-ELDS materials at no cost.

Timelines for Initial Evaluation

On December 21, 2018, the Bureau of Special Education issued an updated memorandum to Directors of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services regarding Timelines for Initial Evaluation. You may review this memorandum at this link: Timelines for Initial Evaluations Memorandum Dec. 2018.

 

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/>.

 

 

REMINDER: Required Legislation – Language and Communication Plan for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Effective July 1, 2012, Section 11 of Public Act (P.A.) 12-173, entitled an Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education, requires that the individualized education program (IEP) of any child identified as deaf or hard of hearing must include a language and communication plan (LCP) developed by the child’s planning and placement team (PPT).  Any child with an identified hearing loss, regardless of whether deafness or hard of hearing is the primary disability category, must have a LCP which documents the considerations and/or actions discussed and identified by the child’s PPT.

The LCP must address:

  • The primary language or mode of communication chosen for the child;
  • Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the primary language or mode of communication for the child;
  • Educational options available to the child;
  • The qualifications of teachers and other professional personnel administering the child’s LCP, including the teachers’ or professionals’ proficiency in the primary language or other mode of communication for the child;
  • The accessibility of academic instruction, school services and extra-curricular activities for the child; and
  • Communication and accommodations in the physical environment for the child.

Section 300.324(a)(2)(iv) of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that the child’s PPT consider the following areas regarding the communication needs of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing:

The child’s language and communication needs;

  • Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode;
  • The child’s academic level;
  • The child’s full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and mode of communication; and
  • Whether the child’s needs a technology device and/or service(s).

Section 11 of P.A. 12-173 requires documentation of the special considerations outlined in the IDEA and P.A. 12-173 through a LCP developed by the child’s PPT and included in the IEP of each child who is deaf or hard of hearing.  This requirement is reflected on page 10 of the IEP.  The LCP is available on the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) web site at http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/word_docs/deps/special/language_and_communication_plan.doc

The CSDE has made available the LCP since 2009 as a tool recommended for use as a best practice document for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The passage of P.A. 12-173 now makes the LCP a required part of the IEP for each child who is deaf or hard of hearing.  The CSDE has posted the LCP as part of the IEP form on the CSDE web site.  To assure that each child’s unique needs are identified and considered in the development of a child’s IEP, the LCP must be developed at the initial IEP for each child who is deaf or hard or hearing and must be reviewed at least annually and revised as appropriate. The LCP as developed and/or revised must be included in the IEP.

Additional LCP resources that are available on the CSDE website include:

Annotated Language and Communication Plan [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/annotated_language_and_communication_plan.pdf

Language and Communication Plan FAQ’s [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/faqs_langauge_and_communication_plan.pdf

Memo from Chief Operating Officer – Section 11 of Public Act 12-173: Required Language and Communication Plan for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/public_act_12_173_lcp_memo.pdf

Questions regarding the LCP can be directed to Colleen Hayles at 860-713-6922 or via email at colleen.hayles@ct.gov.