Resource Links

Academic Supports for Students with Disabilities

This brief is one in a series aimed at providing K-12 education decision-makers and advocates with an evidence base to ground discussions about how to best serve students during and following the novel coronavirus pandemic.


The ADA and Face Mask Policies (Updated: June 10, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world in many ways. People with disabilities, people with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, and people over the age 60, are at a higher risk of becoming infected and most likely to become seriously ill. Safety measures such as social distancing, stay at home orders, and the wearing of face masks or cloth face coverings are now part of our daily lives. For the purposes of this document, the term “face mask” will be used for both face masks and cloth face coverings.

Wearing a face mask is one important way to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a face mask in public places like grocery stores and pharmacies, where it is hard to stay six feet apart from other people. [1] Several state and local governments are requiring the use of a face mask when in public spaces.

Wearing a face mask may be difficult for some people with a disability. State and local government agencies or private businesses that want customers to use a face mask may have questions and concerns. This fact sheet offers answers to questions about the issue of face mask policies, wearing face masks, reasons why a person with a disability might not be able to wear a face mask, and the legal rights a person has under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Click here to read more.


Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) provides toolkits for caregivers supporting individuals with autism during this pandemic.


Back-to-School Checklist for Families of Children with Health Needs

Family Network on Disabilities (FND) in Florida and the Department of Health in Florida developed a tool for families of children with health needs to use when talking to medical providers about their children returning to school.


Back-to-School Resources for Families and Educators

For families and educators alike, the transition into this school year comes with new challenges. Going “back to school” might mean attending in person with lots of distancing, soldiering through another round of remote learning, or some of both.

No matter your situation, the Child Mind Institute offers practical tools and expert advice to help you make the best of going back to school during the coronavirus crisis. If your child needs specialized help, learn about clinical care at the Child Mind Institute here.


Back to school after lockdown – tips from an NHS Psychologist

What will it be like for our kids? How will my child adjust to school after months at home? As well as adjusting academically to full-time education again, the emotional impact will be big too.

We spoke to NHS Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Shreena Ghelani, about how parents can help their get kids ready to return to school, whenever that might be. Click here to read what she has to say.


The Branch, a program of PAVE, provides sample documents and medical guidance for family caregivers who are responsible for children because of a parent’s military service.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a page to track national news and updates related to the outbreak.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have relaxed rules in order to give states more flexibility in providing medical and early learning services through remote technologies. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) has a webpage on teleintervention. Topics include training for families learning to navigate technology for online learning and appointments.


A simply written 8-page booklet about Coronavirus, created by and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is available for download from the Center for START Services at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability.


COVID & Kids’ Mental Health (January 2022)
The Child Mind Institute provides access to several resources for COVID and Kid’s Mental Health including the following topics.

  • Supporting Kids During COVID
  • COVID and Mental Health Challenges
  • Supporting Kids With Autism During COVID
  • COVID and Learning
  • Parenting & Self-Care During Covid
  • Remote and Hybrid Learning: Tips for Teachers

COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act—recently updated with information about streateries and medical setting visitor policies (January 2022)
The Justice Department has updated its “Common Questions About COVID and the ADA” to address two COVID-era issues affecting people with disabilities: first, ensuring that medical facilities’ visitor policies take into account the rights of people with disabilities to receive equal access to care; and second, ensuring that outdoor retail or dining spaces (sometimes called “streateries”) are accessible to people with disabilities and do not prevent individuals from using sidewalks and accessible parking. To find out more about the ADA, visit ada.gov or call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY). Learn more about the Civil Rights Division’s disability response to Coronavirus.


Children & COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated July 7, 2020. This guidance from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is based on current recommendations in a time of rapidly changing information. Check with your pediatrician and the local/state health departments for the most up-to-date information.


Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19

To protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, the CDC now recommends ​cloth face coverings be used when outside. But what about children? Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions about cloth face coverings and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools (June 2021)
A Resource for Families – Harassment and other discrimination stemming from prejudice and unfounded fears about the coronavirus (COVID-19) is wrong and can have devastating effects on students and their families. When schools fail to take appropriate steps, the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division (CRT) at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education can help by enforcing federal laws that protect students from discrimination. Click here to view this resource.


Continuous Learning Individualized Plan (CLIP) for MNPS

To identify the mode of how MNPS will implement the services and supports outlined in students’ IEP or 504 plan during virtual learning. The CLIP does not replace the IEP, but rather documents how the services will be implemented during virtual learning. If services, as outlined in an IEP, cannot effectively be implemented in a virtual setting than convene an IEP meeting to discuss options on how we can best meet all services in a virtual setting. The CLIP will be used for the 2020-2021 school year whenever MNPS is required to complete learning virtually.


COVID-19: Health Considerations (May 2021)
We continue to learn new things every day about COVID-19 and the best strategies to reduce the spread of the disease. Explore these resources to find out the latest information about COVID-19, and find tools that staff can use to reduce the risk of infection for children, families, and staff in Head Start and Early Head Start programs.


COVID-19 is Making Kids Anxious: What Can Parents Do? (February 2021)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a stressful time for everyone. This is especially true for children, who are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events that disrupt their daily lives. Some children may be more irritable or clingy, and some may regress and demand extra attention. Developmental scientist Jessica Bartlett, Ph.D., suggests that parents support their children’s physical and emotional health by practicing the three R’s: routines, regulation, and reassurance.


COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide (February 2021)
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in an unprecedented crisis that affects not only our physical health and daily lives but also our mental health. To address these needs, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is committed to providing credible information and resources to help people navigate through this crisis. In this guide, you will find answers to questions ranging from how to manage anxiety during this difficult time, to how to access medication while in quarantine, to how to deal with the loss of a loved one to COVID-19.

NAMI COVID-19 Información y Recursos


COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families (January 2022)
As a reminder, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) created a webpage with links to COVID-19 resources for schools, students, and families. These resources include guidance and policies related to elementary and secondary education, special education, post-secondary education, and other aspects of lifelong learning. Specifically, the Department recently published two new resources:

Please continue to return to the COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families webpage for additional updates.


COVID-19 Resources for Children From Birth Through Age Five (Sept 2020)
The ED-funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center has developed a COVID-19 webpage with resources for states and local programs serving young children with disabilities and their families. The ECTA Center also hosted a series of discussions during spring and summer 2020 with teachers, providers, administrators, and families from across the country and gathered supporting research. With the findings from these discussions, ECTA developed a new resource, Reaffirming Key Early Childhood Practices During a Pandemic. This resource emphasizes practices that have proven effective in meeting the challenges of providing services to young children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families (January 2022)
As a reminder, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) created a webpage with links to COVID-19 resources for schools, students, and families. These resources include guidance and policies related to elementary and secondary education, special education, post-secondary education, and other aspects of lifelong learning. Specifically, the Department recently published two new resources:

Please continue to return to the COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families webpage for additional updates.


COVID-19 Testing in Schools to Keep Students Safe and Schools Open (January 2022)
A new fact sheet released by the Biden-Harris Administration to Increase COVID-19 Testing in Schools to Keep Students Safe and Schools Open.


COVID-19 & Vaccine Information & Resources (April 2021)
In these unprecedented times, DRT staff are continuing to work remotely while our offices are closed to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities and provide guidance to our community to ensure inclusion and accessibility for all. Below you will find information, resources, and guidance specific to COVID-19. We will be updating regularly.


Decision-Making Tool for Parents and Guardians (December 2020)
Choosing whether or not to send your child back to school can be difficult. When weighing decisions about your child returning to school, it is important to consider your family’s unique needs and situation and your comfort level with the steps your school is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Some considerations may include the specific risks to members of your household if a child were to become infected in school, as well as access to school meal programs, social services, extended day childcare services and extra-curricular activities, social-emotional support from peers and educators, and school transportation.


Eating Well During Stressful Times (March 2020)
You may find that it is hard to eat healthy during stressful events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. You are not alone. One out of every three Americans report they overeat or otherwise eat unhealthy during stress. That being said, the University of Tennessee Extension has a resource to help you eat healthier during this time.


The Effects of Bullying (July 2021)
Kids who are bullied often have low self-esteem, they have a hard time making friends, and struggle to maintain healthy friendships. They can suffer from depression or anxiety, sometimes kids can become socially withdrawn, isolated and lonely. Here is an overview of the effects of bullying and tips on how kids can heal.


Ensuring FAPE for Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 (May 2021)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, students with disabilities across the country have lost access to education and services despite their schools’ obligations to continue to provide a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). This guide, while designed to help teachers translate IEPs to a virtual environment, can also provide families valuable information about possible approaches to remote education and services.


The Family Network on Disabilities (FND) provides English and Spanish versions of a visual resource that describes the Department of Education’s guidance for serving children with disabilities during the pandemic.


Guidance and Support for Students Moving into Postsecondary (June 2020)
This brief is one in a series aimed at providing K-12 education decision-makers and advocates with an evidence base to ground discussions about how to best serve students during and following the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557 (July 2021)
On this 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we recognize the ongoing challenges to full equality, including COVID-19’s devastating and disproportionate impact on people with disabilities.  As many people find themselves with long-lasting effects from COVID, we are committed to making sure that people understand their rights under federal nondiscrimination laws. 

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are jointly publishing guidance that explains when “long COVID” may be a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  This new guidance document is available at here.


 

How a Supportive School Environment Can Help Counter the Effects of Trauma  (May 2020)
It is well documented that a child’s reaction to trauma can interfere with brain development, learning, and behavior — all of which have the potential to impact a child’s academic success as well as the overall school environment. By understanding trauma and how it can change the actual physiology of the brain, school personnel can help reduce the negative impact. Teachers can use specific strategies to help children as they learn, and all staff members can help create a more supportive school environment to counter the effects of trauma. Read more in this blog post from SHAPE America.


IDEA Best Practices Guide for Districts Released (June 2020)
The Council of Great City Schools has issued a best practices guide to help districts offer support, knowledge, and tools as they continue to provide instruction and services to students with disabilities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


In-Home COVID Vaccines Available | Program (September 2022)
Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is helping to provide free in-home COVID-19 vaccines to adults with disabilities! The vaccine is also available to other adults in the home at no charge. Simply call DRT at 1-800-342-1660 to request an appointment, then a nurse will call to schedule a time to come to the home and give the vaccine. (No proof of disability or citizenship is needed. Hablamos Español.)

Vaccine Access Video – English
Vaccine Access Video – Español


The Office of Postsecondary Education has issued updated Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus, including FAQ.


Parent & Child Emotional Survival Toolkit (December 2020)
During stressful times such as the current coronavirus pandemic, what children need most is Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Our goal is to provide emotional support and positive experiences to uplift you and your children while you’re confined to home. Accordingly, we’ve assembled a one-of-a-kind toolkit of meaningful and fun activities to benefit your family, now and long-term.

The EQuip Our Kids! Survival Kit allows you easy access to an array of mostly free interactive resources for parents and kids – online programs, videos, games, and apps from a variety of respected sources. Collectively, they cover every age from birth through high school. Your children and you can learn some of these effective ways of relating to yourselves and others on your own. Others enable you to work together learning how to manage painful reactions, better cope with adversity, and create a happier, healthier mood in your home.


Parent Tip Sheets: Distance Learning
After a year spent learning virtually, many students are feeling frustrated and resistant to distance learning. Created by the IRIS Center, these handy tip sheets for parents offer practical ideas and strategies to support their children and reduce some of these challenges and frustrations.

PBS Teaching Tennessee provides two hours of instructional content airing each weekday morning from 10-12 a.m. CDT on all Tennessee PBS stations. Lessons for grades 1-8 are also posted online on TDOE’s YouTube channel. Parents can help support their kids with this guide. In addition to the reading and math lessons, you can find short physical education and art lessons on the TDOE YouTube Channel.


Preventing and Managing Communication Disorders during COVID-19”, features guidance to parents and families which they may find helpful during this challenging time. Through this campaign, free informational resources for the public are available which feature guidance that can be used as families spend more time in the home environment. 

• Tips for Parents: Maximizing Success of Virtual Speech and Language Treatment Sessions infographic
https://bit.ly/2WBLXFC
• Early Intervention and COVID-19: Advice for Parents of Children 0-3 Whose Services Are Interrupted
https://bit.ly/2WY6W4l
• Helping Children with Language Disorders Maintain Social Connection During COVID-19
https://bit.ly/2Z4TsGB
• COVID-19 and School Closures: Tips for Parents of Bilingual Children and English Language Learners Receiving Speech-Language Therapy Services
https://bit.ly/2Ta2Jta
• At Home with Young Children? Build Preschoolers Speech and Language Skills with Everyday Interactions and Activities
https://bit.ly/2Z5WJW8

To learn more and access additional resources, visit The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA’s) website at http://www.asha.org/bhsm.


Promoting Emotional Well-Being among Children and Adolescents (October 8, 2021)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) convened experts to assist with the development and dissemination of web-based tools to support the cognitive, affective, and behavioral well-being of children, adolescents, and their parents. The tools use web-based interactive and engaging micro-learning approaches (i.e., short, animated videos) along with graphic novel-style documents. Using evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy strategies, these tools illustrate techniques that can reduce anxiety and increase coping and resilience in children and adolescents.


Protecting Immigrant Families provides a downloadable fact sheet called You Have Rights: Protect Your Health. The website offers updates from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In March 2020, USCIS announced that immigrants can seek testing, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 without immigration consequences despite a public charge rule that went into effect in February.


Resilience for Children & Families 8: Tough Feelings during Covid-19 (May 2020)
Explore and address the difficult feelings children and youth are having right now as they hear confusing information in this blog post.


Resources About Face Masks
The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities and Children’s Specialized Hospital has developed a series of resources to help children understand and feel comfortable wearing face masks. The series includes:


Resources within Reason Using Telepractice to Support Children and Families – With the suspension of direct contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, colleagues and families are working to figure out what assessments, interventions, and home visits should look like. Click here for some resources that may be useful to colleagues who are making the transition to technology as a medium to support children and families.


School Practices to Address Student Learning Loss

This brief is one in a series aimed at providing K-12 education decision-makers and advocates with an evidence
base to ground discussions about how to best serve students during and following the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Special Education and the Coronavirus: Legal FAQs About IEPs

By Andrew M.I. Lee, JD

Updated April 22, 2020

Nearly all schools are closed due to the coronavirus. Working with Lindsay Jones of our partner, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, we created this FAQ to answer common legal questions you may have about special education, evaluations, and IEPs.

As you read these FAQs, keep in mind that your state laws may differ. Your first place for information is your state department of education and your local school district, as well as the U.S. Department of Education’s up-to-date coronavirus information page. But these FAQs will give you a good starting point. Click here to read more.


 

STEP Infographics Addressing Provision of Special Education During Mandatory School Closures (March 2020)

STEPInc., Tennessee’s Parent Training and Information Center is grateful to Florida’s Family Network on Disabilities (FND) for sharing these excellent infographics. STEP has formatted them in a PDF for easy viewing and printing. Click here to access these infographics.  Click here for Spanish.

This link provides direct access to the online infographics created by the Family Network on Disabilities. bit.ly/FND-Infographs-Supplemental-Fact-Sheets

The infographics have been created based on the document, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON PROVIDING SERVICES TO CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES DURING A COVID-19 OUTBREAK, released on March 13, 2020, by Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos responding to the COVID-19 OUTBREAK. (Also available in Spanish).

Please visit, bit.ly/USDOE-QA-Covid19-20200312 to download the original publication.


 

STEP’s Return to School Planning Resources
Families have many questions as they make decisions about returning to school, and as they prepare for how their children with disabilities will receive the services and supports outlined in their IEPs.

STEP rolled out an easy-to-use Return to School Planning Guide with specific worksheets to help families prepare.


Summer Programming: Learning Camp Funding (March 2022)
Each district’s Summer Programming Application will be reviewed in a two-step review process by trained department staff from multiple divisions. Summer Programming applications will have varied due dates based on the timeframe the district is hosting the camp. The department will be prioritizing the application review in “waves”. This document has the timeline overview of the three waves for submission of Summer Programming funding.


Summer Programming Technical Guidance: Planning Toolkit-Summer 2022 (March 2022)
As districts planned for their summer programming, it was important for them to consider strategies to
achieve strong attendance from their priority students, as defined by the law. Intentional planning and
engaging design elements remain essential to ensuring that at-risk students will attend consistently
throughout the duration of the program.


Supporting Child, Caregiver, and Family Well-Being in Times of Crisis: Strategies to Promote Effective Virtual and Phone Engagement (September 2020)
Anyone who interacts with children, caregivers, and families has an opportunity to reach out and provide encouragement, support, and information that can strengthen a family’s ability to meet both the challenges of daily life and the added stressors that come in a time of crisis. Families develop and cultivate resilience through adversity, and often they just need some additional resources to thrive. There are many ways that professionals outside of child protective services can act to support children and their caregivers and connect them with appropriate resources that may mitigate any risks for harm. The guide provides questions and prompts for practitioners to engage parents and youth based on five different protective factors: rapport, parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and concrete supports in time of need.


Supporting Children with Autism through Uncertain Times
The ED-funded Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM) at the University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute recently published Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times. This toolkit provides seven strategies that are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty. In addition, examples and ready-made resources are included to help caregivers implement these strategies quickly and easily.


Tennessee Department of Education guidance on services to students with disabilities.


Tennessee Department of Education – Reminders for Serving Students with Disabilities during COVID-19 (1/14/21 Memo)
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 across the state, many local education agencies (LEAs) are implementing their continuous learning plans (CLPs) to ensure students continue to receive instruction during this time. As a reminder, none of the LEA requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have been waived. The department would like to provide the reminders in this memo regarding the provision of special education services during this time.


Tennessee Department of Education – Special Education and COVID-19 Webpage (1/29/21)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, LEAs and school staff are working diligently to plan for all scenarios that may impact school operations and student learning. To support educators who serve Tennessee students with disabilities and their families, we have compiled resources on a Special Education and COVID-19 webpage that will be continuously updated with special education-specific information and resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To visit the Special Education and COVID-19 webpage, please click here.


Top Tips for Parents of Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 (May 2021)
If you’re a parent whose world has been turned upside down by COVID-19, you’re certainly not alone. In the span of days as the virus spread, America’s parents took on a new role—co-teachers. And as students around the world have transitioned to remote learning, parents of students with disabilities are facing particular challenges. While everyone’s situation is different, we’ve compiled a few tips to consider as you move forward.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides guidance about Food and Nutrition services, including information about waivers available because of the pandemic.


The U.S. Department of Education guidance related to the provision of special education and related services during school closings or virtual settings.



U.S. Department of Education Releases “COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs” (April 9, 2021)
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs to provide additional strategies for safely reopening all of America’s schools and to promote educational equity by addressing opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.


The U.S. Department of Education (Department) released the COVID-19 Handbook Volume 3: Strategies for Safe Operation and Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education Students, Faculty, and Staff to provide additional strategies for higher education institutions (IHEs) and communities as they work to reopen for in-person instruction safely and equitably.


Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets

Circumstances may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediations, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each of these types of meetings is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. Below are resources, tips, and strategies for meaningfully participating in a virtual meeting.

These resources were produced in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and ResourcesFamily Network on DisabilitiesNational Center for Systemic ImprovementPROGRESS Center, and Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support.

On this page, you will also find video resources and webinars useful when preparing to conduct or participate in virtual meetings.


“Wearing a Mask” Social Story Download!

Looking for tools to help your kids understand all the COVID-related changes right now? Check out this free social story about wearing a mask. You do have to create an account in order to download, but it’s free and just takes a minute. For more resources like this, go to autismlittlelearners.com.


TNSTEP RESOURCES


Art and Music Resources

Art and music can help kids develop discipline, creativity, confidence, and critical thinking skills. The arts can also help build connections with others, improve memory, and open a window into diverse cultures. Explore some artistic tips and resources help with your adventure on learning at home.

Early Childhood/PreK Resources

Teaching preschoolers at home can be rewarding, and one of the greatest things you can do for your child. Preschoolers learn best through exploring, using all their senses to understand their world. Get your kids excited about discovering something new by disguising the learning activities as fun time. Find resources below to support your child’s early learning.

Interactive Learning Resources

Interactive learning is a more hands-on, real-world process of relaying information in classrooms. Students can continue learning at home with interactive websites, videos, and educational apps. Discover the learning resources below to keep your child engaged.

Literacy Resources

Having experiences that promote literacy at home can help develop your child’s reading ability, comprehension, and language skills. Engaging in joint reading, drawing, singing, storytelling, and game playing can be fun as well as educational. Explore these tips and resources to help with your adventure on learning at home.

Math Resources

Developing math skills will enhance your child’s daily activities, and become an important part of his or her lifetime learning. Connect below for math resources to add to your learning-at-home journey.

Parent Resources

Keeping your child engaged through a consistent daily learning schedule can be very helpful. Create a supportive at-home learning environment which will make the switch to learning at home a more seamless one.

The good news is that there are many engaging and fun ways to learn at home. We invite you to explore this collection of tips and resources to help with your adventure in this new normal.

Parent Tip Sheets: Distance Learning (July 2021)
After a year spent learning virtually, many students are feeling frustrated and resistant to distance learning. Created by the IRIS Center, these handy tip sheets for parents offer practical ideas and strategies to support their children and reduce some of these challenges and frustrations.

Quick Guide to Tennessee School at Home Terms

Tennessee’s Parent Training and Information Center, STEP, knows there are questions around schooling your child at home. It is vital that students and families understand the definitions of and differences between terms, like “Homeschooling,” “Homebound Instruction,” and “Virtual or Remote Learning,” as explained in this Quick Guide. Please contact STEP if you have further questions or need special education assistance or visit www.tnstep.info.

Science Resources

Science is all about exploring how things work. It’s often best learned through hands-on experiments and observation. This makes it a fun and easy subject area for you and your kids to dive into while at home, and to set your older kids to tackle projects on their own. The following resources should keep students learning even while out of school.

“Virtual Parenting Support: Live Discussions”

Live discussions are recorded online video sessions conducted by parenting educators with parents covering important topics such as parent self-care and establishing routines for children. View them here. 

Virutal Tour Resources

Many of the world’s most iconic historic sites/landmarks, renowned museums, major attractions, zoos, and national parks now offer virtual tours. Take your children on an adventure to “see the world” without having to leave your home. You can visit these Online Tours anytime and stay as long as you like.


Other Resources

100 Activities To Do At Home During School Closures

A helpful guide for all of you to survive the upcoming school closures. Many of these activities listed below will require some supplies. Most items you could find at the Dollar Store. Enjoy the list!


Activities for Students and Families Stuck at Home Due to Coronavirus

Balancing work and family is challenging enough in today’s active society, but doing so in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic can be overwhelming. Erin Higgins, a Department of Education staff member at the National Center for Education Research, shares her experiences working from home, addressing her child’s learning needs, and other responsibilities in a blog post. She includes a list of activities to keep children happy, healthy, and engaged — from monitoring screen time via apps to sorting, matching, and identifying colors when helping with the laundry.




Free Access to Webinars for Families With Young Children

The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) is offering parents and family members of young children with disabilities between the ages of 0 and 8 free access to DEC webinars during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please email [email protected] for more information.


An Institute of Education Sciences (IES) blog post, “The ED Games Expo ‘Goes Viral’ to Support Distance Learning,” details the 82 learning games and technologies developed with funding across the federal government that are available online at no cost until the end of the school year.


Helping Kids Learn at Home Video Series

Do you need to help your child with their schoolwork?

The educational experts at The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) have created videos to help your child with reading, math, writing, science, and social studies plus give parents and guardians useful effective practices to teach students at home due to COVID-19. Videos will be posted regularly, so be sure to return to this page often to get the latest information.

Follow this link to watch these videos https://www.meadowscenter.org/library/resource/helping-your-kid-with


Ken Burns in the Classroom

Ken Burns and his collaborators have been creating historical documentary films for more than 40 years. The full-length film series and short videos in Ken’s online classroom cover the spectrum of school subjects and grade levels, eras, and topics. We warn you—you’ll never want to leave.


Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide

What can this guide do for you?

Your involvement in your child’s education can lead to better learning results and outcomes. This “Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide” will inform you, as a parent or caregiver, as you monitor your child’s progress as your child accesses and uses technology for learning.

This guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools, those who are expert with these tools, and anywhere in between. Each section starts with foundational pieces and builds from there.


Parent as Master Planner

Parents or adult family members play an essential role as learning coaches, ensuring their children have the structure and support to succeed in online and distance learning environments. This learning coach/master planner role is particularly important for children with disabilities, learning and attention issues, and those who struggle with executive function skills, including organization and prioritizing.

As a learning coach, you can assist at home by supporting and guiding your child to navigate various aspects of virtual learning. Parents can play the role of the master planner as the expert who knows their child best. Taking what the teacher and school provide, create the most supportive learning environment at home for your child. This article from schoolvirtually.org offers several ways to get started in your role as a learning coach, including:

  • creating a Personal Learning space
  • supporting self-reflection
  • customizing your child’s schedule
  • using graphic organizers

Podcasts: Listening for Entertaining and Learning

Parents and families across the country are looking for ways to stay active and engaged during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Podcasts are one way to use technology for learning purposes. One survey revealed 80% of children listen to a single podcast episode more than once. According to Fatherly.com, podcasts can entertain or inform and are not as likely to cause overstimulation as screens. Podcasts can provide story time when adults are working, or families can listen together. Educational and informative podcasts for all age groups and interests are available from a number of sources.


Ready4K (December 2021)
Through a special partnership between the Tennessee Department of Education and the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF), starting in January, districts will offer our Pre-K through 4 families free access to Ready4K, a research-based text messaging program, that will help you continue your child’s learning at home.

Families are juggling a lot right now, and on top of that, you are working hard to help your children keep learning despite an unprecedented year. We are excited about Read4K because it provides a unique and simple opportunity for you to help support your child’s learning:

  • Delivers three texts weekly with fun facts and tips to provide you with simple, engaging tips to help your child continue to learn while at home.
  • The messages match each child’s age, even if you have more than one child.
  • Ready4K tips build on your daily routines, like getting dressed, bath time, or preparing a meal.

We want to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the home and help ensure your child is learning no matter where they are.

Below, you’ll find a 1-pager and FAQ with additional information.


 

ReadyRosie is an early education tool that helps families, schools, & communities across the nation deepen and scale their family engagement efforts. The Results: Ready Families. Ready Educators. Ready Children. A FREE resource for families with children from birth to 3rd grade.

ReadyRosie’s modeled moments are designed to bring valuable lessons into real-life situations in an engaging way for everyone. You will receive a weekly playlist of videos that connect fun activities with serious learning opportunities.

If you have a school-aged child, please select his/her school district. If you have more than one child, you only need to enroll one time and will have access to all content for your children. If your child/children are not in school yet, please select the “Birth-Five” option.  Click here to register your child.


The STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Learning Center (STEMI²E²) stresses the importance of creating structure and routines at home for early learners. To help children cope with the changes resulting from COVID-19, STEMI²E² provides resources to support families, help them have a conversation about what is happening, and teach children how to handle this situation.


STEM Resources for Young Children with Disabilities | Division for Early Childhood (DEC)

All young children are born ready and able to engage in early science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities. Young children are naturally interested in many STEM-related concepts such as exploration, cause – the effect, and problem – solving. Facilitating STEM learning early may improve long term outcomes for children and their families. These resources to help early educators, families, and specialists target early STEM learning opportunities for young children with and without disabilities.


The STE(A)M Resource Hub includes three weekly challenges around design activities, critical thinking, and career exploration that can all be done in the home. The department and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) released a STE(A)M Resource Hub for educators and families to use with students grades 3-12 during COVID-19 related school closures. Find the activities here.


Supporting Families with PBIS at Home

This 8-page brief speaks directly to parents about how to use positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) at home, an approach used in over 25,000 schools as a highly effective way to  build children’s social-emotional-behavioral skills and reduce challenging behaviors. The publication is a collaboration between the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR), and is a  direct response to current stay-in-place policies and school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recommendations in the brief start with setting routines. Examples are given as to how to adapt school use of PBIS to home use for both elementary and secondary school routines. Another recommendation is to set home expectations of behavior. Again, examples are given of how expectations at school can be adapted to expectations at home. A third recommendation focuses on emphasizing positive feedback over correcting behavior (rule of thumb: aim for a ratio of 5 positive to 1 corrective). This recommendation includes strategies such as reminding children about expectations before an activity and rewarding positive behaviors. Additional recommendations are given about communicating with the school, being creative, and modeling good behavior and well-being.


Tennessee Homebound Instruction Eligibility

The homebound instruction program is instruction provided at home or at a hospital or related location for students who are unable to attend the regular instructional program due to a medical condition. Click here to read more.


15 Behavior Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum (July 2016)

In this article, you will find 15 supportive behavior strategies for children on the autism spectrum (some strategies can be used with adults as well). Many of the strategies can also be used to help children without autism who have challenging behaviors.

When caring for or working with a child with autism, a parent, teacher, or other adults may become frustrated with the child’s behavior. Behaviors can come on suddenly, last for hours, be hard to control, or make the adult scared or embarrassed. https://ibcces.org/blog/2016/07/15/behavior-strategies/


101 Noteworthy Sites on Asperger’s and the Autism Spectrum (August 2013)

A compiled list of 101 best Autism and Asperger’s resources on the web, covering sites in Autism news, organizations, along with personal and professional blogs. http://phdinspecialeducation.com/autism-aspergers/


Autism Parent Guide: Information for Parents of School-Age Children (December 2020)

A brief parent guide on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Information for parents of school-age children. https://vkc.vumc.org/assets/files/resources/apgtoddler.pdf


Autism Parent Guide: Information for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers (December 2020)

A brief parent guide on Autism: Information for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. https://vkc.vumc.org/assets/files/resources/apgtoddler.pdf


Autism Reading: Books for Parents and Educators (May 2021)
Here are some books on autism for parents and educators with ideas that could be applicable at home or school. Educating and raising children with autism can be challenging. Books are great resources for parents and educators looking to better understand the behavior and perspectives of their students. As a teacher myself, I wrote this article to highlight some of the best books I’ve found about autism.


Autism – A Sesame Street Video (June 2021)
All children experience the world differently, and those differences are even greater for children with autism. As a parent or caregiver of a child with autism (or as someone who knows a person with autism), your understanding and support can help ease daily challenges…while celebrating the uniqueness of all children. Follow this link to view the video: https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/autism/


 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (August 2022)

Pacific Medical Training published this article on Autism Spectrum Disorder as a resource for families and caregivers.


Autism Spectrum Disorder: Tips and Resources for Families (December 2020)

What is autism spectrum disorder? Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are general terms for a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders. The new diagnostic classification system (DSM-5, May 2013) combines the previous subcategories of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) into the one category of ASD.


Autism Resources for Parents – The Ultimate New Guide (November 2020)

Are you looking for Autism Resources to help you and your child? With its vast amount of data and accessibility, the Internet has become a powerful tool in the search for up-to-date information. Chances are, however, you don’t have the extra time needed to filter the infinite amount of autism resources and information as you balance daily life.

As part of our ongoing endeavor to provide families affected by autism with the latest information and advice, we have compiled a list of autism resources for parents. Whether you are a parent, family member, caregiver, or teacher of someone with autism, or you are on the spectrum yourself, we hope the following autism websites and articles can help guide you in the right direction.

Download our FREE guide on the Autism Resources for Parents at the following link https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/autism-resources-parents/


Autism Society of East TN

Provide support, services, advocacy, education, and public awareness for all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families as well as educators and other professionals. asaetc.org/


Autism Society of the Mid-South

Provide resources and support to help improve the lives of people living with Autism and their families here in the Mid-South (Tennessee). http://autismsocietymidsouth.org/


Autism Tennessee (formerly Autism Society of Middle TN)

The mission is to enrich the lives and experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their surrounding community through Advocacy, Education, and Support. We are now Autism Tennessee (formerly the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee). The mission has not changed, we just have a brand new look! www.autismtn.org


Behavior Management Strategies for Children on the Spectrum (May 2021)
Behavior management strategies are essentially behavior intervention plans that can be used in a variety of environments to help parents, families, school teachers, and friends deal with behavioral challenges. Behavioral management strategies can help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) become more self-aware of their actions so they gain a better understanding of the wider world.

Best Essentional Oils for Autism and ADHD – The Ultimate Guide (August 2020)

When you hear the words “essential oils,” one image that might pop into your mind is going to the spa for some much-needed relaxation. Essentials oils are sometimes associated with spas because they are often used by a massage therapist or masseuse during a therapy session. But did you know essential oils can be beneficial for children on the autism spectrum and kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well? Before we discuss the best essential oils for autism and ADHD, first let’s explore what they are and what they can do for our bodies. One of the latest guides from Autism Parent Magazine. Click here to read.


Helping Asperger’s Teens to Survive and Thrive: 15 Key Steps (April 2016)

For children with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism (HFA), change is hard; all their lives they have struggled with the confusing and troubling nature of the highly changeable world around them — then suddenly, with the advent of the teen years, the changes become internal, too. Hormonal fluctuations, the quest for self-identity, and the pressure of trying to be socially acceptable, all come together to make the world a complex, disorienting, and often highly troubling place. And of course, then you must consider the additional burden of the Asperger’s teen: He or she likely has trouble with verbal expression, shutting down the voicing of these painful emotions. http://www.psy-ed.com/wpblog/helping-aspergers-teens/


National Autism Center

The National Autism Center is May Institute’s center for the promotion of evidence-based practice.
http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/index.php


National Autism Center’s newest manual -“A Parent’s Guide to Evidence-Based Practice and Autism” (December 2011)

Being armed with information about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) helps families feel more comfortable as they face new challenges. Some families need to know where to start when one member of the family has been recently diagnosed. Other families face unexpected difficulties as their loved ones with ASD learn to live effectively in home, school, or community settings. We are dedicated to supporting families by making information and resources more readily available.
http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/resources/for-families/


National Autism Network

The National Autism Network is the largest online resource for the autism community providing a social network, nationwide provider directory, events calendar, discussion forums, autism news, expert-written content, and thousands of resources. Our mission is to unite and empower parents, providers, family members, and individuals on the autism spectrum by providing a growing community rich in knowledge and expertise with a common goal of working together to make a difference in the lives of those affected by autism. We are all in this together as one community! https://www.facebook.com/NationalAutismNetwork/


The Strengths and Struggles of Being Autistic Parents (November 2023)
For parents on the autism spectrum, the parenting journey will look far different than the journey for neurotypical people. An autistic parent will see strengths many parents will never see, but they’ll also see struggles others won’t. Learn about the influence of ASD on autistic people’s parenting.


Talk About Curing Autism – TACA

TACA has local Chapters in several states around the United States which provide outreach to families affected by autism via monthly educational meetings and Coffee Talks. Monthly Chapter Meetings feature expert speakers on a variety of autism-related topics.
http://www.tacanow.org/about-taca/programs-services/


Travel Tips for Children With Autism (March 2014)

Kids with autism thrive on set schedules, and vacations in new places far from home can cause discomfort and disrupt routines. With proper planning and organizing, you can help your child adjust so everyone in the family can travel together.
https://www.parents.com/health/autism/resources/travel-tips-children-with-autism/


What Are the Signs of Autism in Girls – Is Asperger’s in Girls Overlooked? (March 2021)

Girls with autism have long been misdiagnosed as their symptoms look quite different from those of their male peers on the spectrum. New research indicates that autism in girls is more common than previously thought as more is learned about the signs of autism in girls.

One of the latest guide from Autism Parent Magazine

Click here to read


Bullying – A legacy resource from NICHCY – Now Residing on Parent Center Hub Respository (May 2020)
Bullying is a serious problem with horrible consequences if left unchecked. The good news is that you can do lot to stop it. We hope that the resources listed on our website will be useful to you in that effort.  https://www.parentcenterhub.org/bullying/


Bullying and Substance Abuse: Who It Affects and Why (March 2020)
Bullying transcends childish acts such as teasing, rough housing, or joking around. It can be a dangerous activity with devastating physical and psychological effects. It’s a prominent risk factor for substance abuse and addiction, but the person being bullied isn’t the only one at risk. This FREE online resource provides information about adolescent bullying, addiction, and mental health issues. https://www.drugrehab.com/guides/bullying/


Bullying Awareness & Prevention: Understanding the Bullying Trend and Discovering New Ways to Combat It
Bullying is not just a buzzword co-opted by the media to drive ratings from frightened school children and their worried parents. Bullying is a serious problem that has far-reaching implications for the person being bullied—and for the bully as well. In this guide, readers will find information on what bullying is, how it impacts people, and where victims can get help. In addition, there is information on the mental health industry’s response to bullying and why psychologists are uniquely equipped to handle this issue. http://www.learnpsychology.org/now/bullying/


Bullying Prevention Youth Leaders’ Toolkit (January 2022)
This Youth Leaders’ Toolkit is designed for the Leadership Team. It will help you develop a project or campaign working with younger children -the Project Team – to raise awareness about bullying and to involve them as leaders in their school or organization. The main purpose of the Toolkit is to guide the discussions that will help you lead the Project Team as they develop their own project to address bullying.


Bullying Resources for Educators and Parents (January 2022)
Bullying is formally defined as unwanted aggressive behavior by another youth or group of youths (not siblings or dating partners), involving a perceived or observed balance of power External link. These behaviors are continuous and can inflict harm on communities, individuals, families, and schools. Up to 90 percent of students report they have experienced bullying External link by the time they reach eighth grade. Our comprehensive list of resources should serve as a guide for educators and parents to help put a stop to bullying in our schools and communities.


Common Social Media Apps and Sites (July 2023)
Digital media and apps allow children to communicate and express their creativity, connect with peers, and share their feelings. However, parents may not be aware of the apps that their children use, or the risks involved in using them. There are many ways that cyberbullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs. Here are some current popular social media venues and apps.


Cyber Bullying: The Complete Resource Guide
Helping the Bullied, Stopping the Bullies.  A complete resource guide on Cyber Bullying. http://backgroundchecks.org/cyber-bullying-helping-the-bullied-stopping-the-bullies.html


My Child Is a Bully: What Should I Do? (July 2021)
How to find out what’s behind the bullying behavior, and foster healthy friendship skills.


National Bullying Prevention Center
Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages, and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant, and interactive resources. PACER’s bullying prevention resources are designed to benefit all students, with an emphasis on students with disabilities. https://www.pacer.org/bullying/


Students Bullied Over Mask Wearing: What Schools Need to Know (September 2022)
In schools across the country, mask-wearing is optional. Some students may bully others who choose to continue wearing masks at school. This article offers educators and administrators strategies they can use to prevent and intervene in bullying.


Talking to Kids about Bullying- Tips for Parents and Caregivers (August 2022)
Sometimes talking about bullying can be difficult. There are many ways to raise the subject of bullying and start the conversation before bullying happens or if you are concerned that it may be happening. This article may help to begin the conversation with your child. For more information on bullying prevention visit our #SafeAllies page.


What is Cyberbullying? (July 2020)
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html


What Is Cyberbullying? An Overview for Students, Parents, and Teachers (July 2020)
The Internet is a defining factor of modern education. In fact, education has become more accessible and widespread than ever before because of the Internet. From using digital textbooks to getting a degree online, more classroom functions and student experiences are moving into cyberspace — including, unfortunately, bullying.

Despite all the good that the Internet has brought to students, parents, and teachers alike, there are people who use it with malicious intent. And just as bullying has existed since the dawn of time, virtual bullying has existed since the beginning of the Internet. This guide on cyberbullying from Maryville University Online will help you learn everything you need to know about cyberbullying, from relevant facts and statistics to helpful resources, so you can keep your teen safe online. https://online.maryville.edu/blog/what-is-cyberbullying-an-overview-for-students-parents-and-teachers/


Your Complete Guide To Understanding Bullying In The Modern Age (October 2019)
Bullying can cause serious physical, emotional, and mental negative effects in the short term, but these effects can also last a lifetime. Bullying can be experienced by children and adults alike.  This guide will help families understand the risks, and effects, how to address bullying, prevention, plus much more.


8 Simple School Strategies for Students With ADHD (Aug. 2022)
Helpful Techniques for Teachers and Parents


ADHD in the Classroom: Helping Children Succeed in School (Oct. 2022) 
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience more obstacles on their path to success than the average student. The symptoms of ADHD, such as inability to pay attention, difficulty sitting still, and difficulty controlling impulses, can make it hard for children with this diagnosis to do well in school. Click here for more information.


ADHD Parent Support Group on Facebook (April 2021)
Welcome to ADHD parent support group, a private Facebook group hosted by Understood.org. Here you can connect with other families like yours who get it. Ask your tricky questions and concerns around ADHD or share your child’s success story.


After the ADHD Diagnosis: Experts Answer Your Top 10 Questions (August 2021)
An ADHD diagnosis often answers some big, life-long questions. Then, it quickly raises new ones: What exactly does this mean? What are our options? Where do we go from here?


American Printing House for the Blind
The world’s largest nonprofit organization creating an educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.


Audio & Braille Books through the Imagination Library 
Did you know that resources are available for young blind and visually impaired children through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL)?   The Imagination Library has partnered with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to make many of the books in this program, available in braille and audio format. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that young blind and visually impaired children can also benefit from these wonderful children’s books.


Cerebral Palsy (July 2023)
The Birth Injury Center assists anyone who has been affected by a birth injury. Our website is a compilation of information about the different types of injuries. We offer resources to assist these families, and we will continuously be adding more. Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability for children and it affects 1 in every 345 kids.


Cerebral Palsy Group 
The Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that provides free educational information and support to those who have been affected by cerebral palsy.


Cerebral Palsy Guide 
Cerebral Palsy Guide offers free support, educational and financial resources to families and children who are affected by cerebral palsy.


CerebralPalsySymptoms.com 
Our mission at CerebralPalsySymptoms.com is to provide the public with accurate and up-to-date information on the many aspects of cerebral palsy and other birth injury complications. Our team strives to maintain a comprehensive free resource so those interested or concerned about their children can take action to protect them. If you would like to get in touch with our team we can be reached at [email protected].


Want to share with children information about their disability via a video based on a comic book series? Jumo Health has quite a selection of such videos (typically 8+ minutes long) on different disabilities, including anxiety, asthma, AD/HD, autism, childhood cancer, growth disorders, heart defects, diabetes, food allergies, OCD, sickle cell anemia, and spinal cord injury.


Family Mental Health: Addressing Depression (June 2021)
Coping with depression can be challenging, but having a strong support system can help. It is important that families are socially and emotionally healthy for their children. Explore the resources to learn how Head Start and Early Head Start programs can support families coping with depression.


 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Neuro-Developmental Disorders  (May 2023)
This page features a variety of resources for families raising and working with children, youth, or young adults who have experienced prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs. Several resources, noted with a (T) below, are helpful for sharing background information with teachers and other adults working with children and youth with FASD.
Source:  Formed Families Forward


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) United (May 2023)
The FASD United Family Navigator program provides individuals living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), their family members, caregivers, and supporters with expert, confidential support and referrals. This includes pregnant people who intend to become pregnant and may have questions about alcohol or substance use. Our Navigators serve members of the FASD community and anyone in need of one-on-one peer support, referrals to resources and services, information about prenatal alcohol exposure, or a question about any facet of FASD. This service is free and does not require a referral. Professionals who serve the FASD community or who would like information on alcohol or substance use and pregnancy are welcome to connect.
Source:  Formed Families Forward


Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & the Mid-South 
Promotes the inclusion of all people with Down syndrome by providing families and our communities with up-to-date information and education.


Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee 
We celebrate and support individuals with something extra. The Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is a community of parents, grandparents, siblings, physicians, educators, professionals, friends and self-advocates from forty-one counties in Middle Tennessee who celebrate and support individuals with Down syndrome and their families.


Dyscalculia and Trouble with Math for Families Support Group on Facebook
Welcome to Dyscalculia and trouble with math for families, a private Facebook group hosted by Understood.org. Here you can connect with other families like yours who get it. Ask your tricky questions and concerns around dyscalculia and trouble with math or share your child’s success story.


Dyslexia Parent Support Group on Facebook (April 2021)
Welcome to Dyslexia parent support group, a private Facebook group hosted by Understood.org. Here you can connect with other families like yours who get it. Ask your tricky questions and concerns around dyslexia or share your child’s success story.


Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Pediatric Audiology Links to Services (EHDI-PALS)
A web-based link to information, resources, and services for children with hearing loss. At the heart of EHDI-PALS is a national web-based directory of facilities that offer pediatric audiology services to young children who are younger than five years of age. The facilities included in this directory have licensed pediatric audiologists who provide these services to children who are younger than five years of age.


Fast Facts About Mental Illness: Discover the Facts About the Most Common Mental Health Issues and Their Impacts 
Mental illness is a serious medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to function in their daily life. Suffering from mental illness means navigating the world differently than a person who doesn’t. There are millions of Americans who navigate life with a mental health diagnosis, yet many are still going untreated due to the stigma connected to mental illness. Discover the facts about the most common mental health issues and their impacts.


Free eBook: A Parent’s Guide to Speech & Communication Challenges in Young Children
Does your child have a speech impediment? Or have you noticed that your child just doesn’t talk as much as other kids his age? Are you wondering if your child’s speech and communication skills are developing normally? These are questions many parents ask.

We invite you to read our FREE eBook: A Parent’s Guide to Speech & Communication Challenges in Young Children. It is filled with great information on 10 of the most common speech and communication challenges that children may face. Read on and let us know if you have any questions about your child!


Guide to Hearing Health 
An in-depth Guide to Hearing Health covers loud sounds that should be avoided, tips on protecting your hearing health, and answers to the most pressing hearing-related questions.


Hands and Voices 
Supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology.


Healthline – Treating Bipolar Disorder 
Provides a very comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones.


Just in Time Tool (August 2021)
The Just in Time tool is designed to help families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) connect to family-to-family supports focusing on state-level resources. The tool contains the most essential resources identified by both families and professionals to address hearing-related needs. (Available in English and Spanish).


National Down Syndrome Society 
Advocate for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.


Parents Guide to Problem Behavior
Download this free guide, from Child Mind Institute, for a comprehensive look at problem behavior. Learn:

  • What may be triggering problem behavior
  • How to improve the parent-child relationship when it becomes strained
  • What to do if kids are struggling with behavior in school
  • and more…

Supporting Kids With Sensory Processing Issues (June 2021)
Sensory processing issues can cause a lot of confusing behavior. Your child might complain that their clothes are uncomfortable, or have a dramatic meltdown when they’re in a loud or crowded place. Or they might seek out sensory stimulation, touching everything and even crashing into people. These behaviors can be baffling, but they happen because the child is having trouble processing either too much or too little information from their senses.

Suicide and Depression Awareness for Students 
Depression and suicidal thoughts are two of the most frightening things a person can face in their lifetime. Unfortunately, acting on those suicidal thoughts is a far too common scenario for many across the world, including students. In fact, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24.

This guide is dedicated to helping those who are suffering or have suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts. It is also designed for concerned friends and family members who might be worried that someone they love will commit suicide. Finally, it is meant for students, so that they might spot the warning signs of suicide in others – or in themselves – and find the proper resources.


Teaching Strategies for Students with ADHD: Ideas to Help Every Child Shine (Oct. 2022)
Your child’s teacher is your partner in a fair and equitable education, but does she have the ADHD tools she needs? The following ADHD teaching strategies will help all students — but especially those with ADD — learn to the best of their ability in any classroom.


Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Instructional Strategies and Practices (Oct. 2022)
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Education Publications Center, U.S. Department of Education

Enjoy this resource of practical and thorough strategies for instructing children with ADHD and other children requiring learning modifications. Read about instructional strategies on specific subjects and for various age groups.


Tennessee Eligibility Standards and Informational Resources 
If you suspect that your child may have one of the following disabilities that are impacting his or her education, you may request in writing a comprehensive evaluation.  An initial evaluation for eligibility must be completed within 60 calendar days of the local education agency’s receipt of informed written consent.


Tips for Teaching Kids With ADHD (Oct. 2022)
Simple classroom adjustments make it easier for a teacher to work with the strengths and weaknesses of a child with ADHD.


Traumatic Brain Injury Program (TN Department of Health) 
The TBI Program is the central office for brain injury information in the state. Numerous materials including articles, books, videos, and pamphlets are available to survivors, family members, and professionals. A toll-free number (1-800-882-0611) is available to give immediate information regarding traumatic brain injury to individuals all across Tennessee.


Behavioral Treatments for Kids With ADHD (May 2023)
Helping kids get organized and control problem behaviors. What You’ll Learn –

  • How can behavioral treatment help kids with ADHD?
  • What kinds of behavioral treatments for ADHD are there?
  • How does parent training for kids with ADHD work?

Discipline Discussions | Informal Removals Matter (May 2023)
Valerie C. Williams, Director of OSEP, writes about the pattern of informally removing students with disabilities from school classrooms as a way to address disruptive behavior. The parents get a call from the school that their child has caused a disruption and must be picked up immediately to help their child “calm down.” This blog post from OSEP will connect you with the extensive 2022 federal guidance on discipline under IDEA, many parts of which are also available in Spanish. OSEP ends this blog post by asking CPIR (yes, us!) to answer 4 specific questions about disciplinary practices, including “What are possible next steps a parent can take if their child’s school repeatedly calls them to pick up their child from school due to their behavior?”


Strengthening Family Participation in Addressing Behavior in an IEP  (May 2023)
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) document is a legal plan for special education created by a team that includes educators and family members. The IEP contains goals that promote student success, and, if needed, might include goals on ways to improve behavior. As families might find it helpful to plan ahead for IEP meetings, this brief is designed to help families prepare for an IEP meeting with tips to help strengthen the IEP team planning for any needed behavioral goals and supports.


Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities Apps 
Provided by the University of Michigan, the following is an extensive and meticulously organized list of apps that may be helpful to individuals with dyslexia, parents of dyslexics, or the professionals who work with dyslexics (teachers, tutors, reading specialists, etc.). They carefully consider each app before they add it, ensuring that it claims to help dyslexics in ways that are in line with the evidence on how to help dyslexics. In other words, they add apps that aid with the cognitive processes used in speaking, reading, spelling, and writing, but they do not add apps that are visual aids for reading because evidence shows that dyslexia is not a visual disability.


Dyslexia Overview for Parents Guide
The Tennessee “Say Dyslexia” law requires school districts to screen all students for characteristics of dyslexia. The new Dyslexia Overview for Parents one-page guide includes information about the law, school obligations, the screening process, tips for parents, and resources. A collaborative project of the TN Department of Education and STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents).


Dyslexia Resource Guide – TN Dept. of Education (2018)
Produced by the Tennessee Department of Education (2018).  The Dyslexia Resource Guide is provided to assist districts in their implementation of the requirements established by the Public Chapter 1058 of the Acts of 2016). In particular, this guides (a) identifies and clarifies the bill requirements; and (b) defines dyslexia and provides applicable resources.


How to teach kids with dyslexia to read (May 2021)
What’s the best way to teach kids with dyslexia how to read? The most helpful approach is called structured literacy. Read this article for more information.


Ignite Dyslexia Awareness 
Ignite’s mission is to build awareness about dyslexia throughout the state of Tennessee and beyond. The goal is to get research-based information to parents and all educators so, we can have the right knowledge and tools that will give dyslexic students the chance to succeed and feel empowered in school.  Providing advocacy, coaching, screening, and tutoring for dyslexics.


International Dyslexia Association (IDA)  
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with dyslexia, their families and the communities that support them.


Resources to Support Students With Dyslexia (April 2022) 
Dyslexia is a condition that affects how a person processes words and numbers, which can also impact how they learn. Many people with dyslexia are not diagnosed until several years into their schooling or even into adulthood. In order for children with dyslexia to get the tools and assistance they need, it’s helpful for teachers and parents to understand dyslexia and how these children learn effectively.


“Say Dyslexia” Law Overview for School Districts Guide (June 2018)
The “Say Dyslexia” Law Overview for School Districts provides requirements of the “Say Dyslexia” law, universal screening process summary, continuum of programming, and resources. A collaborative project of the TN Department of Education and STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents).


Signs of Dyslexia (March 2022)
What does dyslexia look like in early childhood? The middle grades? High school? Learn how to recognize the telltale traits of this learning difference and best address reading challenges at every age. Get this free dyslexia symptom checklist, plus additional learning resources from ADDitude.
Source: ADDitude Magazine


TN Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia
The Center is dedicated to unraveling the puzzle of dyslexia. It is a model for the organization and delivery of professional services to students with dyslexia, to psychologists and teachers who identify and instruct them, and to schools that must orchestrate a broad range of factors that will enable these students to achieve their potential.


What is Dyslexia? (July 2023)
This toolkit helps parents and educators learn about dyslexia and how to support the literacy development of students with dyslexia. Dyslexia affects about one in every five individuals, making it the most commonly diagnosed learning disability. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes dyslexia as a brain-based learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Check out this Informational brief.
Source: National Center on Improving Literacy, ImprovingLiteracy.org, and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


10 Children’s Books That Feature Disabled Characters (June 2021)
If you are looking for children’s books that feature disabled characters, we asked members of the Mighty’s disability community to share their recommendations. These books may be great additions to your home library and can help disabled kids feel seen.


Behavior Expected in Preschool Children (February 2024)
Expected Behavior for 3 to 5-year-olds fact sheet. Reprinted with permission of Macmillan Publishing Company from The Years Before School by Vivian Edmiston Todd and Helen Heffernan.


The Breadth of the Three Child Outcomes (August 2021) 
The three child outcomes, measured by early intervention and early childhood special education systems, encompass functional skills and behaviors meaningful for a child’s participation in everyday routines. This infographic, developed by ECTA and DaSy, displays the breadth of these outcomes and provides a visual framework for describing and consistently measuring children’s functional skills and behaviors across settings and situations. The outcomes cut across developmental domains to represent the integrated nature of how children develop, learn, and thrive.


Bring Play Back in Your Life (September 2022)
Research shows that play can relieve stress, boost creativity, and improve brain function. Many people enjoy talking and relaxing with friends, others enjoy physical activity or solving riddles or crosswords. Check out this article on ideas for family fun.


Building Important Life Skills (September 2022)
Before a child starts school, they are busy learning about the world around them and how to engage with it. One of the most important ways they do this is through play. Read the three ways your child builds important life skills through play. Different types of play help build different developmental skills that help lay the groundwork for resilient children.


Child Find Self-Assessment 
OSEP, with the collaboration and support of ECTA (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy), and IDC (for Sections II and III), developed this voluntary self-assessment tool to assist states in meeting regulations and implementing best practices related to child find. It will assist states in understanding and documenting their work around child find regulations and in identifying best practices to improve the efficiency of their child find efforts.

The following tools are designed to support the collection, review, and improvement of child find systems including 618 data.
http://ectacenter.org/topics/earlyid/tools.asp


Curriculum Modification Planning Form (February 2024)
Some example questions to consider – What is everyone else doing? Can participate just like everyone else? If yes, go for it! If no, what can we do to include?, etc.


Determining a Child’s Eligibility for Early Intervention Services Remotely Infographics
This infographic summarizes guidance and considerations to support state staff and local practitioners in determining a child’s eligibility for early intervention services remotely, which requires effective state policies, procedures, and practices.


A Format to Guide Instructional Planning Sheet (February 2024)
Using the General Education Classroom as a Reference Point for Planning.


A Family Guide to Participating in the Child Outcomes Measurement Process (April 2021)
Parents of a young child in early intervention or early childhood special education programs want to be sure these services are helping their child develop and learn. But how can they tell if that is so? One way is to learn about the 3 “child outcomes” measured for every child who participates in such a program. This free handout from the PACER Center explains the 3 outcomes and how parents can participate in the child outcomes measurement process.


Helpful Entry-Level Skills Summary Page (February 2024)
Early childhood classroom summary for classroom rules skills, work skills, communication skills, social behavior skills, and self management skills.


How Does ADA Apply to Child Care? (July 2023)
Parents may have questions about the expectations of daycare or preschools to make accommodations for children with disabilities. This resource by PACER, ADA- Q&A- Child Care Providers, to learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how families can work with the childcare provider so children can learn and play with all children at school.
Source: PACER Center


IDEA Early Intervention Due Process Complaints and Hearing Requests – Part B Procedures 
A Guide for Families of Infants and Toddlers (Birth through Age 2).  This publication is part of a series of guides on dispute resolution options available under Part C of the IDEA. These options include mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings. Published by The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), the national technical assistance center on dispute resolution.
https://www.cadreworks.org/sites/default/files/resources/Part%20C%20Parent%20Guide%20-%20Due%20Process%20Part%20B%208.21.pdf


IDEA Early Intervention Due Process Complaints and Hearing Requests — Part C Procedures 
A Guide for Families of Infants and Toddlers (Birth through Age 2).  This publication is part of a series of guides on dispute resolution options available under Part C of the IDEA. These options include mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings. Published by The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), the national technical assistance center on dispute resolution.
https://www.cadreworks.org/sites/default/files/resources/Part%20C%20Parent%20Guide%20-%20Due%20Process%20Part%20C%208.27_0.pdf


IDEA Early Intervention Mediation 
A Guide for Families of Infants and Toddlers (Birth through Age 2).  This publication is part of a series of guides on dispute resolution options available under Part C of the IDEA. These options include mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings. Published by The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), the national technical assistance center on dispute resolution.
https://www.cadreworks.org/sites/default/files/resources/Part%20C%20Parent%20Guide%20-%20Mediation%208.21.pdf


IDEA Early Intervention Written State Complaints 
A Guide for Families of Infants and Toddlers (Birth through Age 2).  This publication is part of a series of guides on dispute resolution options available under Part C of the IDEA. These options include mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints and hearings. Published by The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), the national technical assistance center on dispute resolution.
https://www.cadreworks.org/sites/default/files/resources/Part%20C%20Parent%20Guide%20-%20WrittenStateComplaints%208.27_0.pdf


Overview of Early Intervention (July 2021)
If you’re concerned about the development of an infant or toddler, or you suspect that a little one has a disability, this page will summarize one terrific source of help—the early intervention system in your state. Early intervention services can help infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays to learn many key skills and catch up in their development. There’s a lot to know about early intervention. This resource will give you the “basics” to get you started. Esta información en español | This information in Spanish.


Preschool During the Pandemic: Early Childhood Education in Extraordinary Times Video Series
It’s been said that “necessity is the mother of invention”. When the pandemic struck last year, practitioners in early education and early childhood special education, and parents came together to support young children and their families through remote service delivery. This multi-part video series, developed by Larry Edelman, features preschool staff and families from five states and illustrates their working together to use technology to make the virtual learning experience exciting, effective, and engaging for young children.

Currently, there are 12 videos in the series, each ranging from five to 16 minutes in length. The videos cover the perspectives of professionals and parents on topics such as inclusion, equity, and family support, the challenges and joys of remote learning, hands-on and play-based experiences, a family’s approach to supporting a preschooler in a virtual environment, promoting social skills, relationships and positive social-emotional development and the use of green screens to engage preschoolers. NEW ECTA Resource. Access the video series here.


Preschool/Early Intervention Checklist (February 2024)
The checklist below is a guide; include any additional thoughts and reminders on a separate sheet of paper. Go over your responses with other advocates who are visiting the program and compare your responses before your second visit and before your final decision.


Promoting Resilience
Resilience is the ability to adapt to change and persevere in the face of adversity. Explore resources for promoting resilience in children and families from the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness.


Resource to Support the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (November 2023)
The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced the release of an updated joint-policy statement on supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs. The joint statement sets the expectation that inclusion continues as a child transitions into elementary school, emphasizes the need to increase public awareness and understanding of the science that supports the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs, and reinforces the legal foundations that support inclusion. 

The HHS-ED Policy Statement on the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs includes a renewed commitment and urgency, as children with disabilities continue to face barriers to accessing and fully participating in inclusive early childhood programs.


Resources Within Reason
This month’s Resources Within Reason (RWR), compiled by Hsiu-wen Yang, Chih-Ing Lim, and Jessica Amsbary, features STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education. Download the PDF resource here.

About RWR: Every other month a concise set of free resources on a key early childhood/early childhood special education topic is posted. Whether the topic is family engagement (May 2018) or the evidence for inclusion (January 2017), this one-page summary highlights great materials to use or share. Access RWR and other resources to support your practice here.


Social and emotional skills: What to expect at different ages (July 2021)
When do kids gain social and emotional skills? Children start developing them as babies, and new skills emerge as they get older.

Not all kids develop at the same pace. But there are some milestones you can expect kids to meet around roughly the same age. See this list of social and emotional milestones at different ages. Information provided by Understood.org.


Taking a Break: Using a Calm Down Area at Home (July 2023)
A calm-down area provides a child with a place to calm down and take a break. It is one strategy that might be used when children are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. It is important to note, the calm-down area is not to be used for punishment. Provide positive feedback and attention to your child for using the calm down area, this is helping your child to let go of strong emotions and begin to feel calm and ready to engage with others again.
Source: National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations | ChallengingBehavior.org


TEIS Extended Option (September 2022)
Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) currently serves eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays from birth to age 3. The governor and Tennessee General Assembly have approved a budget that provides for TEIS to extend services past a child’s 3rdbirthday. If it is approved by the U.S. Office of SpecialEducation Programs (OSEP), families of children who are eligible for IDEA Part B services will have the choice to continue with TEIS services until the start of the school year following the child’s 4thbirthday. This extension offers families an additional option to consider as they help their children develop and prepare for school. Read more here.

Spanish version


Tools to Support Preschool Learning
New resources focus on technology integration, and emergent bilingual learners.

Early childhood educators looking for ways to develop a supportive learning environment for children who are emergent bilingual (or dual-language) learners, while also seeking to meaningfully integrate technology tools into their programs, now have two new EDC resources. Both resources were funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Supporting Emergent Bilingual Children in Early Learning and Integrating Technology into Early Learning draw on current research into how children learn, giving educators promising practices for supporting the diverse needs of young learners. These resources also provide easy-to-use classroom checklists to aid educators in effectively implementing these practices. The resources, available in Spanish, Chinese, and English, are applicable to all early childhood professionals, working in all types of learning environments, with young children from all backgrounds.

Want to know more? Click here or Follow the hashtag #EarlyEdTools on Twitter for ideas and to connect with other early childhood educators or contact Heather Sherwood.
https://www.edc.org/early-ed-tools


Transition to Preschool Resources (July 2021)
Kids grow fast, don’t they? And early intervention is designed for children from birth up to age three. At that point, services under EI end. If the child will need continued support once he or she moves on to preschool, it’s very important to plan ahead so that the transition is smooth.  The resources listed help you do just that.


Transition to Kindergarten: Supporting Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Children and Their Families (February 2023)
During the transition to kindergarten, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs have some unique challenges. The nature of the programs and the children and families they serve are already transitional. Explore information specific to the needs of children of migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families. Learn about the kindergarten transition practices that program leaders who participated in the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Study 2017 already implement. Discover promising practices from three MSHS grantees that exemplify and build on the practices in the study. The practices are organized by child, family, program and center, school district levels, and children and families leaving the area.


Useful Websites for Families (July 2021)
Provided by the Division for Early Childhood Family Committee


101 Inclusive Get to Know You Questions for Students (May 2021)
To help you get to know your students, we’ve curated 101 asset-based, inclusive questions. Most are open-ended questions, but you can also adapt them into a multiple-choice format.

If you are a district or school administrator focused on improving relationships and belonging campus-wide, we invite you to share this article with your teachers and staff. This is a great resource to include on district or school resource sites, Tier 1 resource hubs, or in staff newsletters.

If you are a teacher, practitioner, or instructional coach, feel free to borrow these questions to get to know your students in the classroom—virtually or in person! These questions are great for small group brain breaks, icebreaker games, morning meetings or morning circles, and advisory periods. Or, use them as conversation starters in a 1:1 setting.


Autism Reading: Books for Parents and Educators (May 2021)
Here are some books on autism for parents and educators with ideas that could be applicable at home or school. Educating and raising children with autism can be challenging. Books are great resources for parents and educators looking to better understand the behavior and perspectives of their students. As a teacher myself, I wrote this article to highlight some of the best books I’ve found about autism.


Budgeting For Access (Feb 2024)
When planning events—meetings, conferences, roundtables, seminars, etc.—there are accommodations necessary to ensure that attendees with disabilities and Deaf attendees have complete access to the venue and the event’s presentations and materials. Although many modifications and accommodations have little-to-no cost, some accommodations do. This tip sheet is designed to provide you with information and cost estimates so you can incorporate those considerations into funding proposals and budgets for your event. Including accurate estimates for common meeting expenses and specific disability accommodation line items in your budget is essential to meeting your obligations and creating a welcoming environment for attendees with disabilities and Deaf attendees.


Building Social Skills in Schools (October 2023)
This toolkit provides strategies and resources for those within the public education setting who are supporting autistic students. It focuses on the areas of social awareness and relationship skills in order to improve student connections. Click here to access a free PDF of the toolkit.

This toolkit is focused on autism and autistic individuals, but the information can be applicable to all children. Additional strategies and resources can be found for free in the Building Social Connections in Schools self-paced online course. Make a free account at triad.vkclearning.org, then go to the “School-Age Services” folder. If you already have an account, log in here.

To learn more about this toolkit, check out this brief video (5:04) by lead author Hannah Hartnett, Psy.D.

For more information on these two toolkits, or to request printed booklets for your organization, contact [email protected].


Bullying Resources for Educators and Parents (January 2022)
Bullying is formally defined as unwanted aggressive behavior by another youth or group of youths (not siblings or dating partners), involving a perceived or observed balance of power External link. These behaviors are continuous and can inflict harm on communities, individuals, families, and schools. Up to 90 percent of students report they have experienced bullying External link by the time they reach eighth grade. Our comprehensive list of resources should serve as a guide for educators and parents to help put a stop to bullying in our schools and communities.


Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools (June 2021)
A Resource for Families – Harassment and other discrimination stemming from prejudice and unfounded fears about the coronavirus (COVID-19) is wrong and can have devastating effects on students and their families. Click here to view this resource.


Disabilities Dialogue Webinar Series (July 2021)
The Disabilities Dialogue Webinar Series offers tips and tools for working with children with disabilities. The series is designed for disabilities coordinators and staff and others in the early childhood community. Listen as guest experts share resources to support children with disabilities and their families. Explore the webinars and related resources below.


Family Engagement to Support Student Success (March 2023)
The US Department of Education, in partnership with the Carnegie Foundation of New York and the Overdeck Family Foundation, presented a Family Engagement Learning Series intended to help education leaders and practitioners implement family engagement strategies that support student success.

Below are the resources the partners and presenters highlighted during the first session. Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues and networks.


Gumdrops to Support Inclusion – Resources within Reason
Gumdrops are short, engaging videos that pack a content punch. Gumdrops can be used to introduce a topic by illustrating an important concept, adding a new perspective to a conversation, or connecting what you see to conversations that connect to inclusion
policies, positions, and practices.

As a result of COVID-19, opportunities for young children with or at risk for disabilities to interact with their peers in inclusive settings are fewer. Thus, keeping a focus on inclusion may be even more important. Here are some gumdrops to help you to do that, along
with ideas about how to use each gumdrop.


How to Teach Children About Disabilities and Inclusion
“We accept you.”

When expressed freely among peers, this phrase can have a lifesaving effect on youth who are vulnerable to bullying’s most dangerous outcomes: depression, isolation, anxiety, and fear.


Teaching youth to share and accept each other’s differences is part of building an inclusive culture that shields students with disabilities from bullying.


“It’s become a sort of the rallying echo for who we are as a group and how our group connects with one another,” said David McClung, youth engagement specialist for Texas System of Care, which helps connect youth who have mental health needs with community organizations that provide care.

“The experiences you are going through may not make sense right now,” he said, “but they can be used to fuel your passion and change the world.”

Teaching youth to share and accept each other’s differences is part of building an inclusive culture that shields students with disabilities from bullying. Numerous studies have documented that students with visible and invisible disabilities are at greater risk of experiencing bullying (PDF, 348 KB) than their peers.

Educating children about disability and inclusion can protect vulnerable students from bullying and encourage empathy and kindness among the student body.   Click here to read more.


Inclusion Classrooms and Building Friendships (September 2022) 
Making friends, playing, and getting along with others is good for all children, including children with disabilities. Inclusion classrooms help children practice social-emotional skills and build friendships, Ask your child’s teacher about building play skills that encourage friendships at school. Check out these Tips for parents to help your child learn about friendship building in English and Spanish. This short story can be a great tool for younger children in English and in Spanish.


McKinney-Vento Toolkit – A Guide for Homeless Liaisons, LEAs, and Schools
The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, authorized under Title VII, Part B of the McKinney-Vento Act, was reauthorized in December 2015 with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). All local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to provide needed services to homeless children, as well as set aside a portion of their Title I, Part A funding for students experiencing homelessness. In addition, the Tennessee Department of Education (department) receives funding through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Grant Program and distributes grants competitively to LEAs that have developed programs that document effective collaboration between LEAs and service providers to ensure that homeless students receive needed services. All LEAs, regardless of whether they receive a McKinney-Vento subgrant, must comply with required identification, reporting, and service responsibilities to homeless children and youth (such as enrollment, transportation, free lunch, equal access to education and extracurricular activities, services, etc.).


The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a DEC partner association, is an organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. The NAEYC website is a source of excellent free resources for families, educators, interventionists, and leaders. Read on to discover a few examples.


NCPMI Leadership Team’s Guide for Re-Opening Programs

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) has put together a guide to support programs and schools in re-opening this fall. The guide includes recommendations for creating a re-opening plan, reconnecting with families and children, creating safe classroom environments, and more. The guide is available to download here.


The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations created this document to support teachers in self-care and self-regulation during stressful moments in the classroom.


Neurodiversity in School Age Populations (October 2023)
This toolkit is intended for educators and school teams who want to promote neurodiversity. This could include teachers, school staff, administrators, paraeducators, school psychologists, and others working with autistic students and students with developmental disabilities. Click here to access a free PDF of the toolkit.

More strategies and resources can be found for free in the Neurodiversity in School Age Populations self-paced online course. Make a free account at triad.vkclearning.org, then go to the “School-Age Services” folder. If you already have an account, log in here.

To learn more about this toolkit, check out this brief video (3:24) by lead author Jillian Hamilton, Ph.D.


Question Bank: Student Check-ins: 80 Questions Across Well-Being, SEL Skills, Relationships, and Classroom Feedback (May 2021)
This resource is for school and district teams who recognize the power of student’s voices and want to ensure that every student has consistent, individualized supports around well-being and SEL skills this school year. Inside, you’ll find an introduction to student check-ins in Panorama and the complete set of check-in questions available in Panorama.


Relationship Building: A Strategy Guide for Educators
Here’s an easy-to-read 24-page guide full of strategies and considerations to help educators build strong, authentic, and trusting relationships with students and families, right from the start of the school year.


 

Resources to Support Observation, Documentation, and Assessment Practices
Do you or your colleagues use observation, documentation, and assessment resources on an ongoing basis? These may be part of the teaching of professional development you provide, or they may be part of the repertoire you use to support students, professionals, and families to adjust their lenses and focus. Here are some resources that may help you to do that work.


Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of Individualized Education Programs (Sept. 30, 2021)
This Q&A document highlights certain Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements related to the development and implementation of individualized education programs (IEPs) and other information that state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs), regular and special education teachers, related services providers, and parents should consider.


Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Program (September 2022)
The FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge in English and Spanish is a free program for children that teaches cyber safety. The content was created for students in third through eighth grades and covers age-appropriate topics like cyberbullying, passwords, malware, social media, and more. Watch the video here. Teachers can register their classes to participate on the SOS Teacher Sign Up page.


STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education – Resources within Reason
Have you heard of the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMIE) center? STEMIE is a federally-funded knowledge development and technical assistance center funded to support practitioners, families, and faculty with improving confidence and competence in including and engaging young children with disabilities (birth to five) in high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) experiences. STEMIE has developed and curated resources to engage diverse stakeholders. Here are some of their key products.


Strategies for Youth – Connecting Cops and Kids (May 2022)
Strategies For Youth’s training reduces contentious encounters between police and youth, unnecessary arrests of youth for minor offenses, and disproportionate policing of children of color.

Now, more than ever, we see the consequences of bad interactions between police and the communities they serve. When encounters between police and youth go wrong, the individuals, their communities, and all of us pay a steep and sometimes irrecoverable cost. Something is tragically broken. But at Strategies For Youth, we know there is a way to fix it.


Student Behavior Blog
Looking for help dealing with behavioral challenges? Click on the “Social-emotional and behavioral challenges” category to filter for resources on topics in that area. Want to learn about specific programs or interventions that you may be expected to implement next school year? Click on the “School-based supports and systems” category to see specific topics. Or simply peruse the full list of topics to see what might be helpful for your needs. Each topic includes a variety of resources including blog posts, infographics, and videos.


Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators
Do you know what is in store for students with disabilities who graduate from your school and head off to postsecondary education? Do you have the information you need to advise them on what to expect in postsecondary education?

For students with disabilities, a big factor in their successful transition from high school to postsecondary education is accurate knowledge about their civil rights. The purpose of this guide is to provide high school educators with answers to questions students with disabilities may have as they get ready to move to the postsecondary education environment.

This guide was developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR has enforcement responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), as amended, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, (Title II), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Every school district and nearly every college and university in the United States is subject to one or both of these laws, which have similar requirements.1 Private postsecondary institutions that do not receive federal financial assistance are not subject to Section 504 or Title II. They are, however, subject to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities that are not private clubs or religious entities.  Read more…

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transitionguide.html


Universal Design for Learning Resources – Resources within Reason
What is Universal Design for Learning or UDL? It’s an approach that offers flexibility in the ways young children access content, engage with it, and show what they know. When you use UDL to guide the design of learning experiences, you assume that barriers to learning are in the design, not in the learner.

So universal are UDL approaches that they may be used effectively to support children with disabilities and children who are gifted, as well as children of diverse cultures, languages, and life experiences.  Here are some free UDL resources to try out.


Updated RTI Guidance
It is the longstanding position of both the U.S. and Tennessee Departments of Education that response to intervention strategies may not delay or deny timely initial evaluations to children suspected of having a disability. Please see the linked memo, found here, outlining updates that have been made to ensure this guidance is clear. Contact:  Angela.Wegner@tn.gov


What is Universal Design
Universal design is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics. Universally designed products accommodate individual preferences and abilities; communicate necessary information effectively (regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities); and can be approached, reached, manipulated, and used regardless of the individual’s body size, posture, or mobility. The application of universal design principles minimizes the need for assistive technology, results in products compatible with assistive technology, and makes products more usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities.
https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-universal-design-0


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (P.L. 114-95)

On December 10, 2015, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), most recently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Watch the signing ceremony. Get the Every Student Succeeds Act online or in PDF (392 pages).

Under ESSA, waivers granted to states through ESEA flexibility became null and void on August 1, 2016.

http://www.advocacyinstitute.org/ESSA/index.shtml

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – Tennessee

Impact of the ESSA on Tennessee

In Tennessee, we have laid a firm foundation for our students’ future by raising standards to a more rigorous level that will prepare them for college and careers; establishing fully aligned assessments to ensure all of our students are developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills; and by using evaluation and accountability systems based on multiple factors.

ESSA builds on this work by reaffirming the importance of standards, assessment, and accountability and through empowering states to make decisions for our kids. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind and will go into effect in August 2016. Tennessee will remain on its previously approved waiver until then, and all states are required to fully transition to ESSA by the 2017-18 school year.

Much of the work we have outlined in our recent waiver – which was developed with extensive stakeholder engagement – and in our strategic plan is in sync with the new law and will allow for a seamless transition. The department gathered feedback from Tennessee’s educators, key advocates, parents, students, and the public on specific policies. The feedback will inform a Tennessee-specific ESSA plan that will guide the department’s work over the coming years and help the department capitalize on the new law’s empowerment of local leadership.

https://www.tn.gov/education/essa.html

About.com for Food Allergies 
Find recipes you can use as-is, adapt any recipe for your own allergy needs, and track down unusual ingredients with the resources on this site!


Allergy Kids
“We build community and provide information for people who want to protect the health of their loved ones, especially the 1 in 3 American children with allergies, ADHD, autism, and asthma.”


Cook IT Allergy Free
All of your favorite recipes are easily adapted to meet your food allergy needs.


Food Allergies 101  
The article is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject of food allergies, and contains three sections:

Section 1: The 8 Most Common Food Allergens

Section 2: How To Prevent An Allergic Reaction

Section 3: How To Manage A Severe Allergic Reaction


Food Allergy Kitchen 
Simple and effective methods of food allergy management are provided through tips and recipes!


Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) 
FARE was formed in 2012 when two reputable organizations merged: the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI).  Providing public awareness of food allergy through the media and through education, advocacy, and research efforts.


Gluten Free & More
The magazine is for people with allergies and food sensitivities.


Kids With Food Allergies 
Welcome to Our Wonderful Collection of Safe Eats® Allergy-Friendly Recipes! Parents of food-allergic children have shared thousands of their favorite recipes that are indicated as “free of” many different allergens. You can search to meet your special dietary needs, or you can browse by category. The “free of” boxes indicate that the recipe can be made without those allergens (it may require substitution to make the recipe safe for your particular needs).


Relationship Between ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder – Within Health (April 2023)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED) often occur together. While the relationship between ADHD and binge eating is complex, they both share similarities in the pathways in the brain for reward processing, impulsivity, and emotional regulation.


Adoption Assistance: Helping Tennessee’s Adoptive Parents & Children Succeed (January 2023)
Adoption Assistance is a program designed to remove barriers to adopting special needs children. By providing financial assistance and services to help parents meet the needs of a special needs child, Adoption Assistance can aid families of any economic level in giving a child a permanent home.
Source: TN Department of Children’s Services
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Foster Care, Special Education, and Learning and Thinking Differences: What You Need to Know (January 2023)
Working closely with the school is key to getting the best help for kids with learning and thinking differences. But if you’re a foster parent, that can be difficult. Foster parents don’t have the same legal rights as biological or adoptive parents. So, you may be limited in how involved you can be with the school, and in how much you can advocate for your foster child. But even with these limitations, you can still play a vital role in helping your foster child work on challenges. Read on to learn more about foster care and learning and thinking differences.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Frequently Asked Questions: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, and Social Security Disability Insurance (June 2024)
Can I work if I receive social security benefits? This FAQ provides people with disabilities and their families an overview on social security benefits and answers common questions about these benefits and employment.


Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network (August 2023)
The Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network is the first-ever national technical assistance center for those who serve grandfamilies and kinship families. The network exists, free of charge, to offer a new way for government agencies and nonprofit organizations in states, tribes, and territories to collaborate and work across jurisdictional and systemic boundaries—all to improve supports and services for grand families and kinship families.

Be sure to check out the network’s resource library, a centralized hub of resources for professionals who are serving and supporting grand families and kinship families. It features resources such as fact sheets, tip sheets, webinars, practical toolkits, reports, videos, and research/data.


How Do I Foster Kids Who Have Disabilities? Here are some good things to know before you start the journey.  (January 2023)
Fostering a child with a disability can be a wonderful undertaking. Nothing is more selfless or more heartbreaking or more rewarding than helping a child who is not your own to complete physical and cognitive tasks each day. You are relieving her suffering and helping her become the person she was meant to be. Many parents agree to foster children with disabilities because they see an unmet need and want to help. It is important, however, to know how your life will change if you agree to foster a child with disabilities. The good news is that your foster arrangement will likely pay for many of the services that your child requires. Before making an official decision to foster, it is important to know exactly how you will be required to assist your child throughout his or her life. You may need to change your schedule, your job, or your living space to accommodate your new guest. Once you begin your journey, however, you may discover that your life is more meaningful, purposeful, and love-filled than you ever dreamed it could be.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How Respite Foster Care Works (January 2023)
Being a foster family can be a challenging experience, especially if you foster children that have special concerns or difficult behavior patterns. For this reason, you may sometimes need a short period of rest or a respite. Here is what you need to know about respite foster care and how it works.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kinship Care and the Child Welfare System (January 2023)
Sometimes grandparents, other relatives, or family friends care for children when their parents are unable to care for them. This arrangement, known as kinship care, can occur with or without the involvement of a child welfare agency, depending on the situation. This factsheet is designed to help kin caregivers—including grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and other relatives as well as family friends caring for children—work effectively with the child welfare system. It also includes resources, such as links to more detailed information or places to find support, to help you learn about and navigate the child welfare system.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Navigating the Relationship with Your Adult Child (November 2023)
If you’re a grandparent raising a grandchild, you already have a relationship with a parent of the child – one that can be tough to navigate. Here is what to expect and what you can do to make things easier.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Resources Especially for Foster or Adoptive Families (January 2023)
Giving a child a home is a remarkable gift. This page is written for families who’ve adopted children with disabilities (and without!) and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. It’s also written for those who work in state agencies or in private organizations who find foster homes and adoptive families for so many children. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Social Media: Tips for Foster Parents and Caregivers (January 2023)
While social media has changed the way the world communicates, it has also created privacy and safety concerns. This factsheet briefly discusses the benefits of social media for children and youth in foster care and provides tips for parents and caregivers who want to help them use social media safely. It also provides advice for foster parents on how to responsibly use your own social media accounts.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Special Education Decision-Making Role of the Foster Parent (January 2023)
Can a child with a disability get special help to learn? Federal and state laws require that children with disabilities, from birth to when they graduate or (in most states) turn 21, get the help they need to learn. This help is called special education. Whenever possible, students with disabilities should be taught what all students are learning in regular classrooms—with the extra help they need. Children with disabilities can also get speech, physical, and occupational therapy; psychological supports; school health services; and other supports to help them make meaningful progress in academic and behavioral areas. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Supporting Educational Access for Kinship/GrandfamiliesSpecial Education Decision-Making Role of the Foster Parent (February 2023)
Education is high on the to-do lists of kin and grand family caregivers. Accessing educational services for children in their care can be difficult. Frequently, kin/grand family caregivers lack legal custody of the children and/or are unfamiliar with the local education system. This resource is designed to help direct-service professionals assist caregivers in ensuring the children they raise have the educational experiences needed to thrive. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Homelessness Resources (June 2024)
Brain Links is sharing a brief set of Homelessness resources with you as part of our Tennessee Brighter Futures (TBF) Collaboration. In TBF, our mission is Building brighter futures for Tennesseans by improving how systems of support collaborate to identify, educate and serve people with co-occurring needs.


How to Get Help If You Are Experiencing Homelessness (June 2024)
The National Alliance to End Homelessness does not provide direct services such as housing or case management. If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please contact your local 2-1-1 hotline or continue reading for more information on how to get help in your community.


Resources for and Rights of Children and Families Who Experience Homelessness (Dec. 2023)
Are you or someone you know experiencing homelessness? The federal definition of homelessness is an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. But not all homelessness looks the same.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

Children and youth ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.


OSEP COVID-19 Q&As: IDEA Parts B Dispute Resolution Procedures

June 22, 2020 – The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), within the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, issues this Question and Answer (Q & A) document in response to inquiries concerning the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B dispute resolution procedures in the current COVID-19 environment.

This Q & A document does not impose any additional requirements beyond those included in applicable law and regulations. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person. The responses presented in this document generally constitute informal guidance representing the interpretation of the Department of the applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in the context of the specific facts presented here and are not legally binding and does not establish a policy or rule that would apply in all circumstances.

To review other Q & A documents that OSEP has provided related to COVID-19, please visit https://sites.ed.gov/idea/topic-areas/#COVID-19. Additional information specific to the COVID-19 pandemic may be found online at https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.


Part C Dispute Resolution Calls Infographic

CADRE is excited to announce a new resource, Part C Dispute Resolution Calls Infographic! This product supports Part C and Parent Center staff who receive calls about early intervention disputes. It provides a basic framework, as well as sample questions and responses, that can be used as a general guide to the process.  New hires or staff new to taking dispute resolution calls may find the information especially helpful.  It is important to note that the order of the steps and the sample questions provided in this infographic may not be appropriate or effective in all situations. 


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

Children and youth ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.


US DOE Clarification – Part C Dispute Resolution during COVID

June 22, 2020 – The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), within the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, issues this Question and Answer (Q & A) document in response to inquiries concerning the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C dispute resolution procedures in the current COVID-19 environment.

This Q & A document does not impose any additional requirements beyond those included in applicable law and regulations. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person. The responses presented in this document generally constitute informal guidance representing the interpretation of the Department of the applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in the context of the specific facts presented here and are not legally binding and does not establish a policy or rule that would apply in all circumstances.  Click here to read more.

To review other Q & A documents that OSEP has provided related to COVID-19, please visit https://sites.ed.gov/idea/topic-areas/#COVID-19. Additional information specific to the COVID-19 pandemic may be found online at https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.


20 Tips for an Effective Video IEP Meeting (June 2022)
An IEP meeting is an integral part of planning for a student’s needs.  It is also an opportunity to build relationships that make a positive difference in the lives of students.  But how can we conduct a meaningful, personalized meeting online?  It is possible!

The legal and procedural requirements, as well as content, remain the same. Online meetings will require small adjustments to the preparation and method of delivery.  We have provided you with 20 tips for an effective online meeting as well as a tutorial on Zoom conferencing to help assist you in making these changes.  These tips also included ways to continue to ensure that the meetings continue to be collaborative, and effective and bring value to each student’s individual education plan.

Information provided by Stetson & Associates, Inc.


A Family Guide to Participating in the Child Outcomes Measurement Process
This guide helps families determine if their child’s early intervention or special education program is meeting his or her needs through three “child outcomes.”  Published by: National Parent Technical Assistance Center at PACER Center & ECTA Center.


All About ME Book
The “All About ME” booklet is important to inform teachers about your child or youth.  What are their unique needs, social skills, behavior, sensory issues, communication needs, and medical information?


Bridges4Kids
A non-profit parent organization providing a comprehensive system of information and referral for parents and professionals working with children from birth through transition to adult life.


Compensatory Education 2021 (August 2021)
The impact of COVID on education has been monumental.  Students with disabilities were especially affected by the loss of regular school and the implementation of remote learning due to COVID restrictions. Fortunately, the federal government and the Illinois State Board of Education anticipated this and, starting back in March 2020, declared that some students with disabilities may be entitled to compensatory education to help counter the impact of remote learning on their education.

We believe that you may have a right to receive compensatory education if your child suffered a loss of progress or ability due to the lack of adequate instruction due to COVID restrictions and remote learning. If your child received inadequate programming during remote learning and their progress was delayed or lost as a result, we recommend that you contact your school district’s special education administration to clarify whether and how the District will provide compensatory education to your child. If the District is refusing to offer compensatory education generally, or to your child, in particular, you have the right to challenge this via mediation or a due process hearing.

If you are uncertain of your child’s possible right to compensatory education and/or the District has already indicated opposition to providing compensatory education and you want to evaluate the possibility of challenging your district’s position/decision, we can assist you in evaluating your situation.

Contact Tami Kuipers at 866-787-9270 if you have any questions or concerns.


Continuous Learning Individualized Plan (CLIP) for MNPS
To identify the mode of how MNPS will implement the services and supports outlined in students’ IEP or 504 plan during virtual learning. The CLIP does not replace the IEP, but rather documents how the services will be implemented during virtual learning. If services, as outlined in an IEP, cannot effectively be implemented in a virtual setting then convene an IEP meeting to discuss options on how we can best meet all services in a virtual setting. The CLIP will be used for the 2020-2021 school year whenever MNPS is required to complete learning virtually.


Determining Appropriate Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
IEP and 504 Plan team members, including parents, must engage in a thoughtful process that determines the necessary accommodations to facilitate the student’s access to grade-level instruction and full participation in state and district assessments. The purpose of this document is to guide team members in selecting appropriate accommodations.


Download(s)


IEP at a Glance Sheet (June 2022)
Summary of IEP Decisions Regarding Accommodations and Modifications to Instruction and Assessment. The document provided by Stetson & Associates, Inc.


IEP Process and Assistive Technology: The Key to Finding What Works
IEP teams must consider assistive technology (AT) as part of developing a plan to meet your child’s unique needs. But, as one mom learned, there may be members of the IEP team who really don’t understand how AT works. Read more about how she discovered that some people see it as an unfair advantage. Then find out what the law says about who pays for AT—and learn where you can try out AT to see what works for your child.

Information provided by www.understood.com
https://goo.gl/Bj2YX5


Help Your Child Learn (September 2022)
If your child has behavioral needs at school, your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be used to address the behavior. A Positive Behavior Intervention Plan can be developed and is considered part of your child’s IEP. This handout gives examples of Positive Behavioral Strategies that can be included in the plan. For some children, simple interventions, such as moving a desk in a classroom may make a difference. For others, a more formal plan may be needed to address the behavior.


Helping Your Family Prepare for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting (May 2023)
The IEP document is a legal plan for special education which is created by a team that includes educators and you, the child’s family. The IEP contains goals to promote your child’s success in school and should, if needed, include goals on improving their behavior.
The IEP provides information about the specifically designed instruction, related services, and other supports for your child (often referred to as accommodations and modifications), the educators who will provide supports, and how progress on the IEP will be collected and reviewed.

The IEP team meets to create an IEP, for a yearly update, or for a new concern. Families might find it helpful to plan ahead for IEP meetings. For example, be prepared to talk about other areas of your child’s life, such as health, eating habits, social behaviors, emotions, or academic level.

This tip sheet shares some ideas on preparing for the IEP meeting to promote full participation in your child’s education program.


How to Talk So Teachers Will Listen: Communication Strategies That Work (February 2023)
Disagree with the approach your child’s teacher is taking? These positive communication strategies will help you find common ground and collaborate to solve problems.


Parent Guide to TNReady Supports for Students with Disabilities 2016-17
As a parent of a child with a disability, you are involved in making decisions about services for your child. This guide is intended to increase your understanding of the use of accommodations in both instruction and assessment. Accommodation use is an important part of planning the educational program for your child, and many students with a disability only need slight changes to the way they are taught and tested to participate successfully in their general education classes.


Quick Guide to Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education
This Quick Guide to Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education is an overview of some special education provisions. It is designed to assist families in understanding their rights and responsibilities in the special education process. Parents of children who receive or may be eligible for special education services have rights under both the TN Rule 0520-01-09 and The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2014). An important part of these laws provides parents with the right to participate in their children’s education.

A collaborative project of the TN Department of Education and TNSTEP.


Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2)
RTI² is a system that supports academic success.  Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) is a general education program allowing ALL students to receive high-quality curriculum and instruction and some students will be given additional, specialized instruction in areas needing improvement.

Click here for A Parent’s Guide to RTI² (English)

Click here for RTI² – Una Guía para Padres (Espanol)


Response to Instruction and Intervention Framework – TN Dept. of Education  (May 2024)
We are pleased to share this updated manual for Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²), Tennessee’s framework for teaching and learning that begins with high-quality, differentiated instruction throughout the day and emphasizes intervening with students when they first struggle to avoid prolonged academic difficulties. The goal of this manual is to support educators and empower districts in their continued implementation of RTI² and to ensure that you have the structure and resources necessary to provide all students with access to and support for reaching high standards and expectations.


Reviewing the IEP (August 2022)
The new school year has started, and your child’s teachers have had a chance to get to know your child. Now is a good time to consider an IEP meeting to meet with the new members of the team. It’s important to remember your voice and input are critical – you know your child best. The IEP is an individualized educational program designed to meet the needs of your child. Consider these ideas as you prepare for the IEP meeting in English and Spanish. Many families find it helpful to keep an IEP binder as a way to keep information organized and at the ready when you need it. This tool can also help you communicate and collaborate with the school. Here’s a checklist and a short video to help you get started.


Special Education Flow Chart

English

Spanish


Special Education Terms and Definitions
The following list contains special education terms, definitions, and acronyms that are commonly used by schools during the IEP process.  Click here to read.


Strengthening Family Participation in Addressing Behavior in an IEP (May 2023)
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) document is a legal plan for special education created by a team that includes educators and family members. The IEP contains goals that promote student success, and, if needed, might include goals on ways to improve behavior. As families might find it helpful to plan ahead for IEP meetings, this brief is designed to help families prepare for an IEP meeting with tips to help strengthen the IEP team planning for any needed behavioral goals and supports.


Tennessee Curriculum Standards 
What should your child be learning in school this year? Check out the curriculum standards for your child’s grade.


TN Early Learning Developmental Standards (TN-ELDS) 
The Tennessee Early Childhood Education Early Learning Developmental Standards, or TN-ELDS, were first developed in 2004 to provide documentation of the continuum of developmental milestones from birth through age five based on research about the processes, sequences, and long-term consequences of early learning and development.

The standards for 4-year-olds were revised and adopted by the State Board of Education in August 2012.  These revised standards provide a direct alignment with the content areas found in Tennessee’s state English language arts and mathematics standards as well as the Tennessee state standards for kindergarten.

The birth-48 months standards were revised in 2013 and adopted by the State Board of Education in January 2014. These revised standards continue to be a resource for educators, childcare providers, and families who work with children in this age range.


Tips for Getting an Interpreter – New Resource | ASL (May 2021)
This video shares the same great tips on ASL. VIDEO.


Tips for Partnering With Teachers in the New School Year
How to set up effective lines of communication – Schools will be reopening in the fall in a confusing range of formats — in-person, virtual, and some of both. Whatever your school’s plans are, partnering with your kids’ teachers will be more crucial than ever to make a new and less-than-perfect situation as successful as possible. The first challenge is to establish effective communication with the teacher. Here are some pointers for getting started.


Transition Goals in the IEP
Transition planning is a gigantic and very important topic for youth with disabilities, their families, and IEP teams. CPIR’s Hub of Resources offers a virtual mountain of information about the subject, including articles written expressly for students themselves, school personnel, and parents.


Transition IEP Factsheet for Parents (June 2022)
The Transition plan is part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is not a separate document, and it is often called the Transition IEP.


Updated RTI Guidance
It is the longstanding position of both the U.S. and Tennessee Departments of Education that response to intervention strategies may not delay or deny timely initial evaluations of children suspected of having a disability. Please see the linked memo, found here, outlining updates that have been made to ensure this guidance is clear. Contact:  Angela.Wegner@tn.gov


Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets  
Circumstances may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediation, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each type of meeting is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. Below are resources, tips, and strategies for meaningfully participating in a virtual meeting.

These resources were produced in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and ResourcesFamily Network on DisabilitiesNational Center for Systemic ImprovementPROGRESS Center, and Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support.

On this page, you will also find video resources and webinars useful when preparing to conduct or participate in virtual meetings.


WAZE of Adulthood Resource Factsheets – Roles Around the IEP Table

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wrightslaw Special Education Rights and Advocacy 
Parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys come to IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw for reliable, accurate information about IDEA issues: child find, eligibility, evaluations, reevaluations, high stakes testing, IEPs, accommodations, alternate assessments, educational placements, transition, parental rights, and more.
www.wrightslaw.com

Recursos de Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Infografías que abordan la provisión de educación especial durante los cierres obligatorios de escuelas – Marzo 2020
(Infographics addressing the provision of special education during compulsory school closings – March 2020)

STEPInc. El centro de capacitación e información de Tennessee agradece a la Red de Familias de Discapacidad de Florida (FND) por compartir estas excelentes infográficas. Step a formateado en PDF estas infográficas para que fácilmente puedan leer e imprimir.

Haga clic aquí para obtener estas infografías.

Este enlace le dá acceso directo a las infográficas de la Red de Familias de discapacidad. Las infografías han sido creadas en base al documento PREGUNTAS Y RESPUESTAS PARA PROPORCIONAR SERVICIOS A NIÑOS CON DISCAPACIDADES POR EL BROTE DEL COVID-19 publicado el 13 de marzo del 2020 por la Secretaría de Educación, Betsy DeVos, respondiendo al brote del COVID-19.

Por favor visite: https://fndusa.org/esedownload/providing-services-children-disabilities-covid19/

bit.ly/USDOE-QA-Covid19-20200312 para bajar la publicación completa.

Las familias de Tennessee pueden comunicarse con STEP para obtener ayuda con la navegación de educación especial.

Dorca Rose Guayurpa
(423) 290-3391
[email protected]

Patricia Valladares
(615) 463-2310
[email protected]


 

Ayuda para los Bebés Hasta Su Tercer Cumpleaños (Agosto 2021)
Si le preocupa el desarrollo de un bebé o un niño pequeño, o sospecha que un pequeño tiene una discapacidad, esta página resumirá una excelente fuente de ayuda: el sistema de intervención temprana en su estado. Los servicios de intervención temprana pueden ayudar a los bebés y niños pequeños con discapacidades o retrasos a aprender muchas habilidades clave y ponerse al día en su desarrollo. Hay mucho que saber sobre la intervención temprana. Presentamos los “conceptos básicos” aquí para que pueda comenzar.


Ayuda para Niños con Discapacidades (3-21)
Si Ud. tiene o conoce un niño entre las edades de 3 a 21, y tiene preocupaciones acerca de su desarrollo, bienestar emocional, conducta, aprendizaje o discapacidad, esta página le ayudará a familiarizarse con los sistemas de apoyo para niños con discapacidades en los Estados Unidos.

Help for Children with Disabilities (3-21)
If you have or know a child between the ages of 3 to 21, and have concerns about his or her development, emotional well-being, behavior, learning, or disability, this page will help you become familiar with the support systems for children with disabilities in the U.S.


 


Carrera Universitaria
(College Career)
La formación universitaria es una inversión a largo plazo. Con la planificación cuidadosa puede encontrar la institución y las alternativas para costear los estudios que mejor se adapten a su situación y que lo pondrán en el camino al éxito.


Centro para el Estudio del Estrés Traumático (CSTS)
Además de sus hojas informativas en inglés, el Centro ofrece muchas en español, chino mandarín y japonés.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS)
In addition to its English-language fact sheets, the Center offers many in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese.


Conjunto de materiales para iniciar la solicitud de SSI por incapacidad de un niño (para niños menores de 18 años)  
El material se establece para iniciar la solicitud de discapacidad.

Set of materials to initiate the SSI application for a child’s disability (for children under 18)
The material sets to initiate the disability request.

https://www.ssa.gov/disability/SP_dib_starter_kits_child.htm


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Informacion Y Recursos (febrero 2021)
(COVID-19 Information and Resources Guide)
Continuamos aprendiendo sobre los efectos del virus COVID-19 y cómo afecta a las personas. Cualquier persona puede enfermarse con este virus, incluyendo a los menores y las personas sanas. Al parecer, las personas mayores y los que ya tienen alguna condición médica se enferman con mayor frecuencia y gravedad que otros grupos. También tienen un mayor riesgo de infección las personas que viven en residencias para ancianos y otras instituciones de atención médica a largo plazo.


Crianza Positiva: Cuando Necesitas un Descanso
Pruebe estos pasos conscientes cuando se sienta frustrado y necesite un descanso. Gracias a Zero to Three por proporcionar este recurso.

Positive Parenting: When You Need a Break
Try these mindful steps when you are feeling frustrated and need a break. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


Derechos Civiles
(Civil Rights)
La Oficina de Derechos Civiles, conocida por sus siglas en inglés OCR (Office for Civil Rights), da cumplimiento a las cinco leyes federales relativas a los derechos civiles que prohíben la discriminación por causa de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, discapacidad y edad en programas o actividades que reciben ayuda económica federal del Departamento de Educación. Denuncie la discriminación por causa de raza, sexo, discapacidad, origen nacional, o edad, en las instituciones educativas


DEPARTAMENTO DE EDUCACIÓN DE TENNESSEE
(Tennessee Department of Education)

Recursos para las familias durante el cierre escolar
(Resources for Families During School Closing)

School Closure Toolkit for Families is now available in Spanish


DEPARTAMENTO DE EDUCACIÓN DE EE.UU.
Oficina para Derechos Civiles
Oficina de Educación Especial y Servicios de Rehabilitación

(US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION – Office for Civil Rights, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services)

Hoja informativa sobre el riesgo de COVID-19 en escuelas preescolares, primarias y secundarias que atienden a niños con discapacidades 

Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities 

Hoja informativa: Cómo abordar el riesgo de COVID-19 en las escuelas mientras se protegen los derechos civiles de los estudiantes 

Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Educacion Especial
(Special Education)
Bajo la Parte B de la ley IDEA (Acta para la Educación de los Individuos con Discapacidades), cada estado y sus agencias públicas deben asegurar que una educación pública, apropiada y gratuita (FAPE por sus siglas en inglés) se haga disponible a todo estudiante con discapacidades específicas dentro de los rangos de edad establecidos y que los derechos y las protecciones de la Parte B sean extendidos a estudiantes elegibles y a sus padres.


Educación Para Adultos
(Adult Education)
Si quiere aprender o mejorar su inglés, puede comunicarse con la Oficina de Educación para Adultos en su estado para localizar un programa. También puede localizar un programa en su ciudad.

  • GED: Localice información en español del examen.
  • Oficina de Educación Para Adultos en su estado: Oriéntese acerca de los recursos disponibles en su estado para la educación de adultos.
  • Clases para adultos: Encuentre clases para aprender inglés y localice programas de escuelas secundarias en su área local usando su código postal.
  • Administrador Estatal del GED: ¿Necesita sus expedientes del GED? Comuníquese con el administrador del GED en su estado.
  • www.usalearns.org: El Departamento ha desarrollado un programa gratuito para ayudarle a aprender inglés. Inscríbase y mantenga un archivo de su progreso aprendiendo el idioma.

El lenguaje positivo mejora el comportamiento (julio de 2023)
Cuando se enfoca en usar un lenguaje positivo con su hijo, encontrará que proporciona un poderoso cambio positivo en el tono de la conversación. Al usar un lenguaje positivo, es más probable que vea menos berrinches, menos lloriqueos y, en general, menos comportamientos desafiantes. Consulte esta hoja de consejos en inglés y español.
Fuente: Centro de Asistencia Técnica sobre Intervención Socioemocional (TACSEI) para Niños Pequeños y Centro Nacional de Innovaciones del Modelo Pirámide


En Breve| El Impacto de la Adversidad Durante la Infancia Sobre el Desarrollo de los Niños
(The Impact of Early Adversity on Children’s Development)
This 2-page article summarizes research on the impact of adversity on children and the enormous importance of early intervention and stable supporting relationships.


Entendimiento del Estrés Traumático Infantil: Una Guia para Padres
(Understanding Child Traumatic Stress: A Guide for Parents)
This tip sheet offers parents information about child traumatic stress (CTS), the best way to treat CTS, what parents can do at home for their children, and how parents can make sure their children receive support at school.


Glosario – Traducciones inglés-español de términos comunes relacionados con IDEA
Recién salido de la prensa, la segunda edición del Glosario OSEP incluye más de 400 términos relacionados con IDEA Partes B y C. Estos términos fueron seleccionados por traductores experimentados de Centros de padres que trabajan con familias con niños con discapacidades que representan la mayoría de las culturas de habla hispana. en América Latina y España. Cortesía de Statewide Parent Advocacy Network y Region 1 PTAC, ¡descargue su copia hoy!

2nd Edition of the Office of Special Education (OSEP) English-to-Spanish Translation Glossary!
The Glossary of Spanish Translations of Common IDEA Terms – Hot off the press, the 2nd edition of the OSEP Glossary includes over 400 terms related to IDEA Parts B and C. These terms were selected by experienced translators from Parent Centers who work with families with children with disabilities representing the majority of Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America and Spain. Courtesy of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network and Region 1 PTAC, download your copy today!


Got Transition (marzo 2023)
Got Transition, su Grupo Asesor Nacional Familiar y la colaboración de padres líderes de habla hispana de Family Voices, han desarrollado un conjunto de herramientas para ayudar y guiar a las familias en la transición de sus jóvenes en los servicios de salud pediátricos a los de adulto. Esta guía es para familias e incluye recursos en español fáciles de usar para ayudar a jóvenes y familias a ser más independientes en su cuidado de su salud y el uso de los servicios de salud. Los recursos incluyen un programa de transición, preguntas para hacerle a su proveedor, lo que significa cumplir 18 años para su salud y más.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Guia de Planeación para el Regreso a la Escuela
STEP lanzó una Guía de planificación para el regreso a la escuela fácil de usar. Esta guía incluye hojas de trabajo específicas para ayudar a las familias a prepararse para la forma en que sus hijos con discapacidades recibirán los servicios y apoyos descritos en sus IEP.

Easy-to-Use Return to School Planning Guide
STEP rolled out an easy-to-use Return to School Planning Guide. This guide features specific worksheets to help families as they prepare for how their children with disabilities will receive the services and supports outlined in their IEPs.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GUÍA RÁPIDA A LA ESCUELA DE TENNESSEE EN CASA
(Quick Guide to Tennessee School at Home Terms)
El Centro de Capacitación e Información para Padres de Tennessee, STEP, sabe que hay preguntas acerca de la educación de su hijo en casa. Es vital que los estudiantes y las familias comprendan las definiciones y diferencias entre los términos, como “Educación en el hogar”, “Instrucción en casa” y “Aprendizaje virtual o remoto”, como se explica en esta Guía rápida. Póngase en contacto con STEP si tiene más preguntas o necesita asistencia especial de educación o visite www.tnstep.info.

Tennessee’s Parent Training and Information Center, STEP, knows there are questions around schooling your child at home. It is vital that students and families understand the definitions of and differences between terms, like “Homeschooling,” “Homebound Instruction,” and “Virtual or Remote Learning,” as explained in this Quick Guide. Please contact STEP if you have further questions or need special education assistance or visit www.tnstep.info.


Gratis COVID-19 Vacuna (September 2022)
Vaccine Access Video – Español

In-Home COVID Vaccines Available | Program 
Vaccine Access Video – English


Hojas de consejos de la reunión virtual del IEP
Las circunstancias pueden prohibir a los participantes asistir a reuniones de educación especial en persona. En estas situaciones, la tecnología permite que una o todas las personas participen a través de Internet o por teléfono. Muchos tipos de reuniones pueden ocurrir virtualmente, incluyendo reuniones de IEP, mediaciones, sesiones de resolución y audiencias de debido proceso. Si bien cada uno de estos tipos de reuniones es único, las reuniones virtuales comparten rasgos y consideraciones comunes. A continuación se encuentran recursos, consejos y estrategias para participar significativamente en una reunión virtual.

Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets
Circumstances may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediation, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each of these types of meetings is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. Below are resources, tips, and strategies for meaningfully participating in a virtual meeting.

These resources were produced in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and ResourcesFamily Network on DisabilitiesNational Center for Systemic ImprovementPROGRESS Center, and Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support.

On this page, you will also find video resources and webinars useful when preparing to conduct or participate in virtual meetings.


Hoja Informativa para Padres de Virginia: Las Funciones alrededor de la mesa del IEP (Agosto 2022)
El equipo del IEP – El Programa de Educación Individualizado (IEP) es una hoja de ruta para que un estudiante con una discapacidad pase de un punto de partida a una meta final. Cambia cuando cambian las necesidades del estudiante y es la base para la educación de su hijo. Los padres también son miembros del equipo del IEP. Por lo general, así es como se ve un equipo de IEP.

Fact Sheet for Parents’ Roles Around the IEP Table
The IEP Team – The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a roadmap for a student with
a disability to get from a starting point to an end goal. It changes when the
student’s needs change and is the basis for your child’s education. The
parent is an equal member of the IEP team. This is generally what an IEP
team looks like.


Aulas de Inclusión y Construcción de Amistades
Hacer amigos, jugar y llevarse bien con los demás es bueno para todos los niños, incluidos los niños con discapacidades. Las aulas de inclusión ayudan a los niños a practicar habilidades socioemocionales y a desarrollar amistades. Pregúntele al maestro de su hijo sobre cómo desarrollar habilidades de juego que fomenten las amistades en la escuela. Consulte estos consejos para que los padres ayuden a su hijo a aprender sobre la construcción de amistades en inglés y español. Este cuento puede ser una gran herramienta para los niños más pequeños en inglés y en español.

Inclusion Classrooms and Building Friendships (September 2022) 
Making friends, playing, and getting along with others is good for all children, including children with disabilities. Inclusion classrooms help children practice social-emotional skills and build friendships, Ask your child’s teacher about building play skills that encourage friendships at school. Check out these Tips for parents to help your child learn about friendship building in English and Spanish. This short story can be a great tool for younger children in English and in Spanish


“Justo a tiempo” recursos para apoyar a las familias de niños sordos o con problemas de audición (Agosto 2021)
Creado para usted por el Centro Nacional para la Evaluación y Manejo de la Audición (NCHAM por sus siglas en inglés) y el comité consultivo de familias NCHAM Esta guía es una herramienta para ayudar a familias, de niños que son sordos o con problemas de audición, a conectarse con grupos de apoyo de familia a familia con enfoque en recursos a nivel estatal. NCHAM invita a los programas de EHDI y Parte C, organizaciones de apoyo a la familia, y a proveedores de la salud a copiar y publicar esta herramienta. Invitamos a los estados a adaptarla para su uso, agregando recursos únicos a su estado. Recursos adicionales disponibles en www.infanthearing.org/familysupport/.

“Just in Time” Resources to Support Families of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (August 2021) 
Brought to you by the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management and NCHAM’s Family Advisory Committee This guide is a tool to help families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) connect to family-to-family supports with a focus on state-level resources. NCHAM encourages copying and posting this tool by EHDI and Part C programs, family support organizations, and health care providers. States are welcome to adapt it for their own use, adding resources unique to their state. Additional resources are available at www.infanthearing.org/familysupport/.


Ley de éxito de todos los estudiantes (Every Student Succeeds Act, “ESSA”)
La Ley Cada Niño Triunfa (Every Student Succeeds Act, “ESSA”) fue firmada por el presidente Obama el 10 de diciembre de 2015, y es una buena noticia para las escuelas de nuestro país. Esta medida bipartidista reautoriza la Ley de Educación Primaria y Secundaria (ESEA), la legislación de educación nacional que se compromete a la igualdad de oportunidades para todos los estudiantes de la nación, y vigente desde hace 50 años.


Lista de verificación de regreso a clases para familias de niños con necesidades de salud
La Red Familiar de Discapacidades (FND) en Florida y el Departamento de Salud de Florida desarrollaron una herramienta para que las familias de niños con necesidades de salud puedan usar cuando hablen con proveedores médicos sobre el regreso de sus hijos a la escuela.

Back-to-School Checklist for Families of Children with Health Needs
Family Network on Disabilities (FND) in Florida and the Department of Health in Florida developed a tool for families of children with health needs to use when talking to medical providers about their children returning to school.


LOS NIÑOS Y EL COVID-19 Preguntas frecuentes
(Children & COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions)
Última actualización el 7 de julio de 2020. Esta guía del Hospital de Niños Monroe Carell Jr. en Vanderbilt se basa en las recomendaciones actuales en un momento de información que cambia rápidamente. Consulte con su pediatra y los departamentos de salud locales / estatales para obtener la información más actualizada.

Last updated July 7, 2020. This guidance from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is based on current recommendations in a time of rapidly changing information. Check with your pediatrician and the local/state health departments for the most up-to-date information.


Planificando Tu Futuro (Agosto 2022)
¿Quién está en mi equipo del IEP? – El Programa de Educación Individualizado (IEP) es una hoja de ruta o guía para que un estudiante con una discapacidad pase de un punto de partida a una meta final. Cambia cuando cambian tus necesidades y es la base de tu educación. Hay diferentes personas que pueden asistir a tu reunión del IEP y ayudar a hacer tus metas y ayudar a planificar tu futuro.

https://tnstep.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Who-is-on-my-IEP-Team-Student-SPA.pdf

Planning for YOUR Future
Who Is On My IEP Team – The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a roadmap for a student with a disability to get from a starting point to an end goal. It changes when your needs change and is the basis for your education. There are different people who can attend your IEP meeting and help make your goals and help plan your future.

https://tnstep.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Who-is-on-my-IEP-Team-Student-Visual-SPA.pdf


Opción extendida de TEIS (septiembre de 2022)
TEIS Extended Option

El Sistema de Intervención Temprana de Tennessee (TEIS) actualmente atiende a bebés y niños pequeños elegibles con discapacidades o retrasos en el desarrollo desde el nacimiento hasta los 3 años. El gobernador y la Asamblea General de Tennessee aprobaron un presupuesto que prevé que TEIS amplíe los servicios más allá del tercer cumpleaños del niño. Si es aprobado por la Oficina de Programas de Educación Especial (OSEP) de los EE. UU., las familias de los niños que son elegibles para los servicios de la Parte B de IDEA tendrán la opción de continuar con los servicios de TEIS hasta el comienzo del año escolar posterior al cumpleaños número 4 del niño. Esta extensión ofrece a las familias una opción adicional a considerar mientras ayudan a sus hijos a desarrollarse y prepararse para la escuela. Leer más aquí.


Programa de servicio de alimentos de verano que ofrece comidas gratuitas a los niños de Tennessee
(Summer food service program offering free meals to Tennessee children)
Las comidas son gratuitas para menores de 18 años y no es necesario registrarse. El Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Tennessee está recordando a las personas que las comidas gratuitas para niños ahora se sirven en todo el estado durante el verano.

El Programa de Servicio de Alimentos de Verano está abierto a cualquier niño de 18 años o menos, así como a personas con discapacidades mayores de 18 años inscritas en programas escolares durante todo el verano mientras la escuela está fuera de sesión. No es necesario registrarse y las comidas son gratuitas.

Puede visitar el sitio del USDA en https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids, envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra “Summer Meals” al 97779 o llame al 1-866-348-6479 para encontrar un sitio cerca de usted.

Si necesita ayuda alimentaria, también puede llamar a la Línea directa nacional contra el hambre. El USDA dijo que el personal de la línea directa puede ayudarlo a encontrar comida cerca de donde vive:

1-866-3-HAMBRIENTO (1-866-348-6479)

1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (en español)


ReadyRosie
Los momentos modelados de ReadyRosie están diseñados para aportar valiosas lecciones en situaciones de la vida real de una manera atractiva para todos.

Recibirás una lista de videos semanalmente que conectan actividades divertidas con importantes oportunidades de aprendizaje.

Si tiene un hijo o hija en la escuela, favor se seleccionar su distrito escolar. Si tiene más de uno, solo se tiene que registrar una vez y tendrá acceso a todo el contenido para sus hijos. Si sus hijos todavía no están en la escuela, por favor seleccione la opción “Birth to Five.”


Recursos de Coronavirus (COVID-19 
(Coronavirus Resources (COVID-19)
En respuesta al brote del Coronavirus y a los recientes tornados en Tennessee, Camino Seguro conecta a las personas con la información y los recursos disponibles para satisfacer sus necesidades. Si tiene alguna duda al conectarse con las ayudas o llenar las aplicaciones llámenos al 615-875- 9850.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


 

Recursos en español
(Education Resources for Spanish Speakers)
Gracias por su interés en la educación. En el Departamento de Educación creemos firmemente que todos los niños pueden aprender y que la educación es el camino más seguro hacia la realización de su sueño.

El Departamento de Educación tiene como misión promover el alto rendimiento académico y la preparación de los estudiantes para la competitividad global al fomentar la excelencia en la educación y garantizar la igualdad de acceso.


Recursos de planificación futura en español
Ahora hay seis recursos gratuitos disponibles para descargar en español para ayudar a las personas con discapacidades intelectuales y del desarrollo (IDD) y a sus familias a planificar el futuro.

Estos recursos cubren una variedad de temas relacionados con la toma de decisiones y la planificación financiera, que incluyen:

  • Apoyos disponibles para ayudar a las personas con IDD a tomar decisiones
  • Prepararse para cambios inesperados en la capacidad de una persona para tomar decisiones
  • Mitos comunes sobre la tutela y las personas con IDD
  • Consejos sobre cómo ahorrar dinero para el futuro
  • Recursos a considerar al crear un plan financiero
  • Cuándo utilizar una cuenta Fideicomiso para necesidades especiales o ABLE

Recursos de seguridad y crisis traducidos
Visite la página web de la Asociación Nacional de Psicólogos Escolares para obtener recursos de crisis en muchos idiomas diferentes, incluidos amárico, árabe, chino, francés, coreano, kurdo, somalí, español y vietnamita.

Translated Safety and Crisis Resources
Visit the National Association of School Psychologists webpage for crisis resources in many different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Kurdish, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.


Recursos para familias y educadores para este regreso a clases
Tanto para las familias como para los educadores, este año escolar presenta nuevos desafíos. El “regreso a clases” podría significar ir a la escuela de manera presencial con mucho distanciamiento, empezar otra ronda de aprendizaje remoto o una combinación de ambos.

Sin importar cuál sea su situación, estamos aquí para ayudarlo con herramientas prácticas y consejos de expertos para aprovechar al máximo el regreso a clases en esta crisis del coronavirus.

Back-to-School Resources for Families and Educators
For families and educators alike, the transition into this school year comes with new challenges. Going “back to school” might mean attending in person with lots of distancing, soldiering through another round of remote learning, or some of both.

No matter your situation, the Child Mind Institute offers practical tools and expert advice to help you make the best of going back to school during the coronavirus crisis. If your child needs specialized help, learn about clinical care at the Child Mind Institute here.


Red Nacional de Estrés Traumático Infantil 
¡Docenas de hojas informativas y otros recursos en español aquí! Explore la larga lista y seleccione aquellos artículos que aborden el aspecto del estrés traumático infantil relevante para su situación: desastres, separaciones traumáticas, dejar el hospital, materiales para jóvenes, lidiar con tiroteos escolares y mucho más. Si hace clic en el menú desplegable etiquetado como español, también encontrará una pequeña selección de recursos en otros idiomas (por ejemplo, ruso, chino, coreano, armenio, por nombrar algunos).

National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Dozens of fact sheets and other resources in Spanish here! Scan through the long list and select those articles that address the aspect of childhood traumatic stress relevant to your situation: disasters, traumatic separations, leaving the hospital, materials for youth, coping with school shootings, and much more. If you click on the drop-down menu labeled Spanish, you’ll also find a small selection of resources in other languages (e.g., Russian, Chinese, Korean, Armenian, to name a few).


Señales de Trauma en los Niños
(Signs of Trauma in Children)
After a disturbing event or tragic loss in the lives of children, parents and teachers do their best to help kids cope with their grief and anxiety in a healthy way. This article from the Child Mind Institutes provides tips on how best to engage kids in a calm and supportive dialog about their feelings. It’s also important to recognize the signs of unhealthy coping that would suggest a visit with a professional might be needed.


Separación Traumática, Niños Migrantes y Refugiados: Consejos para Padres, Cuidadores Primarios y Proveedores
(Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Children: Tips for Current Caregivers)
This 3-page tip sheet provides tips for current caregivers and others to help address the needs of immigrant and refugee children who have experienced traumatic separation. It also outlines what children of different ages might be experiencing and how caregivers and others can help.


Sitios Web Útiles para Familias (July 2021)
Useful Websites for Families
Provided by the Division for Early Childhood Family Committee

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

STEP LANZA LA CAPACITACIÓN VIRTUAL SOBRE EDUCACIÓN ESPECIAL EN ESPAÑOL 
Familias en Tennessee ya tenemos el taller de Derechos Básicos en Español disponible en DVD, si no puede asistir a un taller, contáctenos al 1-800-975-2919 y se lo enviaremos por correo!

STEP Virtual Training on Special Education in Spanish
Families in Tennessee already have the Spanish Basic Rights workshop available on DVD, if you cannot attend a workshop, contact us at 1-800-975-2919 and we will send it to you by mail.

Click here to view


Todos los niños tienen derecho de ir a la escuela
Hoja informativa sobre protecciones para niños indocumentados. Todos los niños tienen derecho a asistir a la escuela. Documento en inglés y español.

All Children Have the Right to Attend School
Protections for Undocumented Children Fact Sheet.  All children have the right to attend school.  Document in English and Spanish.

http://www.tnstep.info/uploads/files/All%20Children%20Have%20A%20Right%20to%20Attend%20School%20-%20Eng-Spanish.pdf


Transición a la vida adulta
La vida está llena de transiciones, y una de las más notables ocurre cuando los estudiantes se preparan para salir de la escuela secundaria y entrar al mundo como adultos jóvenes. Cuando el estudiante tiene una discapacidad, la planificación para el futuro es especialmente importante. De hecho, la ley IDEA lo requiere.

Transition to Adult Life 
This resource page connects Spanish-speaking youth (and their families and service providers) with information in Spanish about the transition process, their rights under federal law, the systems of help that are available, post-secondary education, and the world of work.

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/transicion-adulta/


Traumas: Información y Consejos para Niños y Adultos
(Trauma: Brief Facts and Tips for Children and Adults)
This 1-page resource in Spanish shares the warning signs of trauma, signs of strong emotional reactions, and resources for additional support. From the National Association of School Psychologists.


Una guía para padres – Ayudando a su hijo/a a usar una mascarilla facial
(A Parent’s Guide – Helping Your Child Wear a Face Mask)
Su hijo/a puede tener problemas o molestias cuando usa una mascarilla facial. Después de hablar sobre la importancia de las mascarillas faciales, pregúntele a su hijo/a acerca de lo que puede parecerle molesto y sobre cualquier preferencia de tipo, color o estilo. Una vez que los comprenda, usted puede colaborar a trabajar con su hijo/a para ayudar a que la mascarilla facial sea más cómoda de usar.

Una guía para padres – Ayudando a su hijo/a a usar una mascarilla facial
A Parent’s Guide: Helping Your Child Wear a Face Mask – (English)

Ayude a su hijo/a a sentirse bien al usar y ver a otros usar mascarillas faciales
Help Your Child Feel Good about Using and Seeing Others Wearing Face Masks – (English)

Puedo mantenerme saludable usando una mascarilla facial
I Can Stay Healthy by Wearing a Face Mask – (English)


Videos de Derechos de Vacunas (January 2022)
Disability Rights Tennessee tiene dos videos nuevos que explican los derechos de las personas con discapacidades a una vacuna contra el COVID-19. Este video está disponible en español, inglés y ASL. VER EN INGLÉS Y ASL o VER EN ESPAÑOL.

Vaccine Rights Videos
Disability Rights Tennessee has two new videos explaining the rights of people with disabilities to a COVID-19 vaccine. This video is available in Spanish, English, and ASL. WATCH IN ENGLISH & ASL or  WATCH IN SPANISH.


Centro Hispano de East Tennessee
Centro Hispano es un lugar acogedor para la comunidad multicultural de East Tennessee. Aspiramos en ser la organización que en la educación y proporcionar servicios sociales para mejorar la calidad de vida y la integración exitosa de estas familias a la comunidad. Nuestra misión es promover el empoderamiento y la participación cívica de la comunidad multicultural a través de educación y servicios sociales.

Centro Hispano is a welcoming place for the multicultural community of East Tennessee. We aspire to be the organization that in education and provides social services to improve the quality of life and the successful integration of these families into the community. Our mission is to promote the empowerment and civic participation of the multicultural community through education and social services.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Camino Seguro
Camino Seguro es una base de datos que abarca temas como discapacidades, salud mental, y servicios sociales. Camino Seguro is a statewide online database which covers disability issues, mental health, and social services in TN.

Camino Seguro is a database that covers topics such as disabilities, mental health, and social services. Camino Seguro is a statewide online database that covers disability issues, mental health, and social services in TN.

www.caminoseguro.org
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conexión Américas 
Ayuda a Familias Latinas

Conexión Américas es una organización sin fines de lucro cuya misión es ayudar a las familias Latinas inmigrantes a alcanzar sus aspiraciones para progresar socialmente y económicamente.

En Conexión Américas trabajamos para ayudarte a ti y a tu familia a alcanzar tus aspiraciones para una mejor calidad de vida.

Estamos aquí para apoyarte en el proceso de adaptación a la vida en este país y en Tennessee…a enfrentar los retos y las oportunidades.

Gracias a las contribuciones que recibimos de fundaciones, corporaciones e individuos, y a nuestra estrecha colaboración con otras organizaciones, nuestros servicios son gratis o de muy bajo costo.

Regresar a la página principal

At Conexión Américas, our mission is to build a welcoming community and create opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute, and succeed.

Every year, we assist more than 9,000 individuals and their families in their desire to start businesses, improve their English, help their children succeed in school and go to college, and become an integral part of Nashville’s social, cultural, and economic vitality. 

Conexión Américas is the lead partner of Casa Azafrán, a nonprofit collaborative at the gateway to Nashville’s International District that is home to Conexión Américas and nine partners.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

El Programa en Español Sobre Autismo en Chattanooga
Proporciona información y apoyo para la comunidad latina con autismo a través de materiales educativos, grupos de apoyo, reuniones, talleres y actividades sociales. Este programa es para padres y familiares que deseen aprender sobre el autismo y las diferentes maneras de cómo mejorar la calidad de vida para los individuos dentro del espectro. El autismo afecta a todas las etnias y el aumento de la concienciación sobre el autismo debe importar a todos. Para obtener más información, puedes contactar a Dorca Rose Guayurpa por correo electrónico: o 423-531-6961 option 9.

Facebook Programa en Español sobre el Autismo en Chattanooga

Todos los cuartos Martes de cada mes, tendremos un grupos de apoyos  que se reúne con el fin de  aprender a través de talleres y de actividades sociales . Si quieres ser partícipe, eres más que bienvenido a venir al Centro de Autismo en Chattanooga a las 6:30 p.m.

https://www.chattanoogaautismcenter.org/espanol

Únete a nuestro grupo en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autismocac/
The Spanish Autism Program in Chattanooga Provides information and support for the Latino community with autism through educational materials, support groups, meetings, workshops, and social activities. This program is for parents and families who want to learn about autism and the different ways how to improve the quality of life for individuals on the spectrum. Autism affects all ethnicities, and increased awareness of autism should matter to everyone. For more information, you can contact Dorca Rose Guayurpa by email: or 423-531-6961 option 9.
Every fourth Tuesday of each month, we will have a support group that meets in order to learn through workshops and social activities. If you want to be a participant, you are more than welcome to come to the Autism Center in Chattanooga at 6:30 p.m.
Join our group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autismocac/
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hispanic Family Foundation 
Hispanic immigrants are dramatically changing the demographic and economic landscape of Tennessee. Today, Nashville/Davidson County’s Hispanic population exceeds 62,000 with strong population growth in the Middle Tennessee suburban areas. Each county surrounding Davidson County saw the Hispanic population double between 2000 and 2010.

The Hispanic Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Hispanic families in Middle Tennessee. We work through our platforms — Economic, Education, Social Services, Advocacy, and Culture—to provide programs that strengthen the Nashville Hispanic community.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HoLa Hora Latina
HoLa se inició en Knoxville, TN en 1992 y es una organización Latina sin fines de lucro y la más antigua en el este de Tennessee. Constituida en 2003, es ahora una (c) (3) caridad 501. Su misión es promover la unidad en la comunidad mediante la creación de puentes de arte, cultura y la comunicación entre los latinos y la comunidad en general, y mediante el fomento de la educación, la participación y el liderazgo.

HoLa ha contribuido a la vida cultural de la zona de Knoxville a través de sus programas educativos y culturales variados. Somos posiblemente más conocidos por la celebración anual del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que se celebra del 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre y por el Festival HoLa, el más destacado este mes con largas celebraciones.

HoLa Hora Latina started in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1992 and is the oldest grassroots Latino non-profit organization in East Tennessee. Chartered in 2003, it is now a 501(c)(3) charity. The mission of HoLa Hora Latina is to promote unity in the community by creating art, cultural and communication bridges between Latinos and the larger community, and by encouraging education, participation, and leadership.

HoLa Hora Latina has contributed to the cultural life in the Knoxville area through its various cultural and educational programs. We are mainly known for the annual Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and for the annual HoLa Festival. The last one is the most celebrated among the many celebrations during this month. The HoLa Festival is known to be attended by more than 25,000 festival goers kicking off with a Saturday night Salsa Fiesta and leading to a Sunday filled with food, music, dance, cultural events, a Parade of Nations, and endless activities promoting the culture of all Hispanic countries and their influences in the United States.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LaPaz Chattanooga
El Centro De Recursos Familiares Para La Comunidad Latina – En el 2013 la Ciudad de Chattanooga le dió a La Paz la posición de Centro de Recursos para Familias Latinas. Tomamos este papel muy en serio – actuamos como guía y conexión para familias latinas. Ya sea que buscan ayuda con diligencias cotidianas o consejos sobre como manejar las cosas dificiles, nuestro personal trabaja sin cesar apoyando la comunidad para que puedan prosperar.

Chattanooga’s Official Latino Family Resource Center – In 2013 the City of Chattanooga gave La Paz the title of Latino Family Resource Center. We take this title very seriously, acting as a guide and connector for Latino families. Whether they’re seeking help with day-to-day tasks or advice on how to navigate the heavy stuff, our Social Impact staff works tirelessly to advocate for them and empower them so they can thrive in their community.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Latino Memphis
Qué Hacemos
Para muchos latinos que viven en Memphis, los latinos de Memphis son el primer paso en su búsqueda de una vida mejor para ellos y sus familias. Para otros, somos el único lugar al que pueden acudir para obtener asistencia con la salud, la educación y otros servicios básicos.Cada vez más latinos hacen de Memphis su hogar cada año. Más de 80,000 latinos mempianos viven, adoran, trabajan, estudian y se divierten aquí. Como el principal proveedor de servicios para esta comunidad, nos hemos dedicado a la idea de que cada memphian latino debería tener la oportunidad y los recursos para convertirse en un participante comprometido y activo para hacer que nuestra ciudad sea una gran ciudad. Esto significa brindar oportunidades educativas y de avance profesional, conectar a los clientes con los servicios necesarios, garantizar que las familias estén seguras y fomentar el compromiso entre personas de todos los orígenes y etnias. Latino Memphis ofrece servicios a través de cuatro programas clave: 

  • El centro que ofrece acceso a servicios de información y referencia
  • Abriendo Puertas que ofrece un camino para Estudiante latino éxito
  • Derechos Cuál es el Centro de defensa de los derechos de los inmigrantes que ofrece servicios legales de inmigración.
  • Tu Voz que ofrece una voz a través de política y compromiso con la comunidad

For many Latinos living in Memphis, Latino Memphis is the first step in their pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. For others, we are the only place they can turn to for assistance with health, education, and other basic services.

More and more Latinos are making Memphis their home every year. Over 80,000 Latino Memphians currently live, worship, work, study, and have fun here. As the primary provider of services to this community, we have dedicated ourselves to the idea that every Latino Memphian should have the opportunity and resources to become an engaged and active participant in making our city great. This means providing educational and career advancement opportunities, connecting clients to needed services, ensuring families are safe, and encouraging engagement between and among people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

Latino Memphis offers services through key four programs: 

  • El Centro which offers access to information & referral services
  • Abriendo Puertas offers a path to Latino Student Sucess
  • Derechos which is the Immigrant Rights Defense Center offering legal immigration services
  • Tu Voz offers a voice through policy and community engagement

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LUCES Memphis
Latinos United for Children, Education and Services “LUCES” es un grupo de apoyo para familias de habla hispana que tienen hijos con necesidades especiales.

Latinos United for Children, Education, and Services “LUCES” is a support group for Spanish-speaking families who have children with special needs.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Office of Immigrant Services, Catholic Charities of East TN [Servicios para Inmigrantes de Caridades Católicas]
Offers assistance to immigrants of diverse countries (not only Hispanic)to fill out paperwork and formularies of immigration like petitions for family members, renewals of work permits, citizenship & naturalization, replacement of immigration documents, and information about basic social services.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Telamon Tennessee Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
NIÑEZ TEMPRANA Y APOYO A LA FAMILIA
Promovemos la educación en la niñez temprana a través de nuestros programas Head Start (y fomentamos la participación de los padres) con diversos servicios, desde educación para el desarrollo infantil hasta servicios de apoyo a la familia.

Telamon-TRC brinda servicios principalmente a través de centros Head Start en seis estados: Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Carolina del Norte y Tennessee.

Telamon Corporation is the sole provider of Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services in Tennessee. The program has four schools in East Tennessee. The East Tennessee locations are: Bledsoe county (serving Bledsoe, Rhea, and Hamilton counties) Cocke county (serving Cocke, Jefferson, and Hamblen counties) Greene county (serving Greene and Grainger counties), and Unicoi county (serving Unicoi, Carter, Washington, and Greene counties) Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs are available to families with children six weeks to five years of age (0-5) that meet agricultural income guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services. Provides full-day childhood education, nutritious meals and snacks; transportation in the majority of cases; comprehensive health, mental health, and disability services; and family support, social services, and parent education. Children with special needs make up at least 10% of our enrollment based on agricultural income and certified disability.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Student’s Guide to Police Practices

You and the Police – We hope that the information in the Student’s Guide to Police Practices (Guide) will help you make smart decisions if you are stopped by the police The Guide describes some of your basic legal rights, common crimes, and how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime The Guide cannot replace legal advice from a lawyer We hope you will find it helpful.


Addressing Bias in Delinquency and Child Welfare Systems

Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile and Family Courts is Critical to Creating a Fair and Equitable System of Justice for All Youth. This card was developed under grant number SJI-17-T-023 from the State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.


Improving Outcomes for Justice-Involved Youth with Disabilities
Juvenile Justice Regional TA Webinar PowerPoint (Feb. 18, 2019)
Universal Strategies and Tips that Build Organizational Capacity within Parent Centers


Juvenile Justice Factsheet

Youth Transitioning from the Juvenile Justice System and increasing the opportunity for successful reentry, higher education, and sustainable employment.


LOCKED OUT: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Policymakers across the political spectrum agree: all young people should have access to a high-quality public education. Within the past two decades, particular emphasis has been placed on ensuring that students receive instruction that prepares them for college and careers, and that schools are held accountable for realizing these goals.

There is perhaps no subset of young people whose need for quality education is more acute—and whose situation makes them especially challenging to serve—than incarcerated youth. Of the more than 60,000 youth who are incarcerated on any given day in the United States, nearly 36,000 are committed to state custody, two-thirds of whom are the youth of color. The majority of these youth are over-age and under-credited, several grade levels behind their peers, more likely to have a disability than their peers, and have been suspended multiple times and/or expelled from their local schools.


Reducing Structural Barriers to School and Work for People with Juvenile Records

To aid states, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center conducted a first-of-its-kind examination of state statutory and administrative barriers that affect people who have been adjudicated of an offense in juvenile court. With a specific focus on education and employment-related collateral consequences, the study examined those consequences that follow young people after the conclusion of their juvenile justice system involvement. (6) This brief summarizes key findings from the analysis and provides recommendations for state statutory reform. Policymakers and other state leaders can use these recommendations to ensure that state
policies don’t unduly hamper people from continuing their education or obtaining employment due to the mistakes of their youth. An accompanying toolkit includes sample legislative language and state best practice examples to help advance these efforts.


Strategies for Youth Connecting Cops and Kids (May 2022)
Strategies For Youth’s training reduces contentious encounters between police and youth, unnecessary arrests of youth for minor offenses, and disproportionate policing of children of color.

Now, more than ever, we see the consequences of bad interactions between police and the communities they serve. When encounters between police and youth go wrong, the individuals, their communities, and all of us pay a steep and sometimes irrecoverable cost. Something is tragically broken. But at Strategies For Youth, we know there is a way to fix it.


Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities

This Guide was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), an organization charged with assisting education and workforce development organizations to improve the successful transition of youth with disabilities into the workplace.

This Guide includes numerous quick reference charts, tables, and tools for counselors, career advisors, and other professionals who work directly with youth.  Quick reference tools are of limited use without an understanding of learning disabilities, so in-depth information is provided on a variety of topics including the types and impact of learning disabilities, needed supports, and research-based interventions.

This Guide is intended to increase awareness of the fact that the workforce development system serves many youth who have learning disabilities that may never have been identified and many others who may know they have a learning disability but choose not to disclose.  Although focusing primarily on youth with learning disabilities, many of the strategies and approaches advocated in this Guide, which are premised on universal design, may be of practical use for other youth.


Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities Apps

Provided by the University of Michigan, the following is an extensive and meticulously organized list of apps that may be helpful to individuals with dyslexia, parents of dyslexics, or the professionals who work with dyslexics (teachers, tutors, reading specialists, etc.). They carefully consider each app before they add it, ensuring that it claims to help dyslexics in ways that are in line with the evidence on how to help dyslexics. In other words, they add apps that aid with the cognitive processes used in speaking, reading, spelling, and writing, but they do not add apps that are visual aids for reading, because evidence shows that dyslexia is not a visual disability.


Getting Started: Help Your Child With a Learning Disability Be More Independent With Assistive Technology (AT)

This guide can help your child with a learning disability take important steps towards independence for high school, postsecondary education, and employment. Topics covered include: setting priorities and goals, working with your child’s IEP team, and exploring assistive technology.

CLICK HERE to download the PDF guide.


How Technology Can Help Your Child With a Learning Disability Be More Independent

This guide provides parents a brief overview of the ways assistive technology can help grow their child’s independence. Topics covered include: examples of assistive technology for managing schoolwork, reading and writing, and focus and time management, as well as helpful strategies for encouraging their child’s independence.


LD Online

The educators’ guide to learning disabilities and ADHD.


Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are thankfully becoming increasingly understood, removing the stigma and scorn associated with such conditions. This is timely, as according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, one in five American children is now living with some kind of learning disorder.This guide will help parents and guardians identify a potential learning disability in children and take the appropriate action. Upon diagnosis, it will become increasingly clear what learning disorder is impacting a child – and what action can be taken to provide the young person with a superior quality of life.


 

Learning Disabilities – Transitioning to Life After High School

Developed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.  Several articles on post high school options for students with learning disabilities.


National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

The National Center for Learning Disabilities improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.


Parents Guide to ADHD

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it unusually difficult to concentrate on tasks, to pay attention, to sit still, and to control impulsive behavior. This guide offers parents the information you need to understand the behaviors associated with the disorder and make effective decisions for your child about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

En Español


Parents Guide to OCD

Children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have intrusive thoughts and worries that make them extremely anxious, and they develop rituals they feel compelled to perform to keep those anxieties at bay. This guide explains the often confusing behaviors that can be associated with OCD in children, and the effective treatments for helping kids who develop it.

En Español


Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2)

RTI² is a system that supports academic success.  Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) is a general education program allowing ALL students to receive high quality curriculum and instruction and some students will be given additional, specialized instruction in areas needing improvement.

Click here for A Parent’s Guide to RTI² (English)

Click here for RTI² – Una Guía para Padres (Espanol)


Resources Helping Kids With Sensory Issues (June 2022) 
For kids with sensory processing issues, exciting new experiences can quickly become overwhelming. Take a typical birthday party: If you’re sensitive to loud noises and too much stimulation, then balloons popping and excited kids crowding around the cake and singing “Happy Birthday” aren’t going to feel like much fun. But with a little planning and communication with other parents, it’s easy to host gatherings that are enjoyable for kids with sensory issues — and everyone else, too.

Childmind.org brings you expert guidance on throwing inclusive parties that let all kids have fun in the ways that work best for them. We also have ideas to make summer with sensory-challenged kids easier, including tips for taking the stress out of activities and vacations. Plus, how sensory issues change as kids get older.


Social-Emotional Learning Parent Toolkit (July 2021)
This Parent Toolkit can help you understand more about the importance of social, emotional, and academic development for youth with disabilities. The goal of this toolkit is to help you work together with your child’s school to ensure students with disabilities can successfully learn and develop.


Students with Learning Disabilities Find Help in Community Colleges

Community colleges are an excellent stepping stone between high school and a four-year institution, especially for students with learning disabilities. Learn about the support programs available at community colleges that can help students thrive academically, regardless of their disabilities.


Tech Tools and Tips for Teaching Coding to Students with Learning Disabilities  (January 2022) 
This resource discusses strategies and tools that can make learning coding more accessible to all children.

Other Resources to Teach Children How to Code

Here is an alphabetical list of some free and fee-based tools, classes, and resources for parents and educators interested in teaching coding to children.

Alice: This 3D, block-based programming environment is focused on fundamental programming concepts, creating animations, and storytelling.

Bootstrap Hour of Code: Introduction to Programming: In this self-paced lesson, students explore simple function composition and order of operations and build on that knowledge to create simple computer graphics.

Code Studio: A free coding tool and courses for students age 4 and older, from the nonprofit Code.org.

CoderDojo: A global volunteer-led community of free programming workshops for kids 7 to 17.

Coding workbooks: Free workbooks for students in grades 1-6 from EdHelper.com.

CSforALL Curriculum Directory: Searchable by concept (e.g. algorithms and programming) and grade level, this directory offers a wide range of robust curricula, some free and some requiring a fee. Topics include Vidcode Creative Coding, Intro to Javascript, and Mobile Apps.

CS Unplugged: Free material that teaches computer science concepts without a computer, through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons, and more.

Digital Promise: An organization that works with education leaders, researchers, and technology developers including Adobe, Amazon Business, and Google to improve learning opportunities for all and close the digital learning gap. Resources include a blog, free webinars for teachers, and a K-12 STEM Activity Center.

MIT app inventor: A more advanced tool for coding, for seventh graders and above (can only be used on Android devices).

Puzzlets: A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) tool that combines hands-on play with interactive games that teach students basic programming, math, and art skills.

Quorum: The first “evidence-based” programming language initially developed for blind or visually impaired students. Instead of requiring users to listen to a screen reader or use a braille display, Quorum was designed to be accessible for readability and “hearability.”

Scratch: A free drag-and-drop programming language for readers 8 and older.

Sphero Edu: A platform that uses app-enabled robots to lay the foundation for computer science. Special education teachers like the Sphero robots’ many access points: students can interact with them through coding, voice, and gestures, for example.

TekkieUni: This company teaches coding, computational thinking, and digital expression to kids 8 to18 in small, online, live classes led by trained teachers. Courses include Scratch Programming for Kids, App Development for Kids, and YouTube Creator.


Understood for Learning & Attention Issues

Parents want the best for their children. We do, too. For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.

With the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support.


4 reasons kids get anxious about reading — and how to help (May 2021)
Reading helps lots of people unwind. But for some kids, reading is anything but relaxing. It stresses them out. Even just thinking about reading can put them on edge. Here are some common reasons kids get reading anxiety.


8 Multisensory Techniques for Teaching Reading (May 2021)

Multisensory instruction is a way of teaching that engages more than one sense at a time. Using sight, hearing, movement, and touch gives kids more than one way to connect with what they are learning.

Here are a few examples of multisensory techniques you can use to help all kids, especially those who struggle with reading.


 

“All Children Can Read” -NCDB’s -National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (October 2016)
Strategies, examples, and resources for children with sensory losses, including children who do not use a formal language system and children who have multiple disabilities and complex learning challenges. Builds on communication as the foundation for early literacy and moves children along a continuum toward ever-increasing skill levels. The website allows users to interact with each other as well as request technical assistance for their child or classroom.
literacy.nationaldb.org/


Audio & Braille Books through the Imagination Library (April 2014)
Did you know that resources are available for young blind and visually impaired children through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL)?  The Imagination Library has partnered with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to make many of the books in this program, available in braille and audio format. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that young blind and visually impaired children can also benefit from these wonderful children’s books. www.aph.org/dolly-partons-imagination-library/


Calm in the Chaos of COVID-19: Helping the Helpers (April 2020)
This webinar discusses the importance of self-care, especially during stressful times. Simple self-care strategies to manage our own stress levels are shared, along with a tool for honest self-reflection, so that we can be present for those who rely on us at home and at work. The discussion also includes practical strategies for staying connected during social distancing, as well as useful tips for working with families who may be struggling with the unpredictability of the present time and the changes in how a young child’s school instruction, ancillary support services, and early intervention services are delivered. Download the webinar recording and handout here.


How Important is Literacy? (November 2023)
We all know that it’s good to read to our babies, but what exactly are they learning? Here are 13 things babies learn when we read to them. You can also check out this resource that has 8 creative ideas to help your child learn new words!


Get Ready to Read
Providing Free Early Learning Resources, Get Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten. Intended for use with all children, the resources and information provided on this site promote skill-building, communication between adults, and ways to address concerns. http://getreadytoread.org/


How to Introduce Toddlers and Babies to Books (May 2020)
This resource provides research-based tips on how to share books with babies and toddlers to maximize the joy and learning of book-reading and to nurture a lifelong love of books. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) (April 2021)
Named one of the 25 best websites for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians, the ICDL provides free online access to books for children in multiple languages.


Language Access Required for Parents to Participate in Children’s Education (January 2022) 
Under civil rights law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they understand. When a child enrolls in school, the school will ask the parents about the language they would like to use when communicating with the school. This helps the school identify language needs so they can provide an interpreter or translated documents, free of charge.

Language access includes translated documents and an interpreter for meetings and conversations. Parents have the right to these services even if they speak some English. These rights are unchanged if the student can speak or read English.

Review a fact sheet (link) about the rights of parents and guardians who do not speak, listen, read, or write English proficiently because it is not their primary language.


Make Learning Fun (June 2023)
Explore and play all summer long with a variety of free resources from PBS Kids. Spark curiosity and creativity with hands-on activities and games supporting literacy, math, science, and fun. Get started here with summer fun for the whole family!


My Child’s Reading Skills (July 2021)
Reading is an important part of your child’s development. Strong reading skills are a good foundation to set your child up for success in life. Reading helps your child improve their ability to concentrate and develop a longer attention span for other academics. This tip sheet can help parents to ask questions about their child’s literacy skills.


A Parents Guide to Introducing Children to Libraries (September 2023)
Going to the library can be an exciting experience that is valuable and worthwhile for a parent’s time and energy. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers, and the library can be an additional learning space for them. Having a space that allows families and young readers to gather and experience materials and resources for free is a unique experience that no other place provides other than a library.


Reading Rockets – Science 
Many of the skills that are critical for growing strong readers and writers are also core skills in the study of science and math.
www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series/


Remote Literacy Learning (March 2021)
This toolkit helps schools and families join efforts to support children’s literacy growth in remote or blended learning environments.
https://improvingliteracy.org/kit/remote-literacy-learning


Resources for Afghan Families (June 2023)
This webpage at the U.S. Department of Education is loaded with helpful connections for Afghan families– organizations to consult, workbooks and illustrated stories in Pashto and Dari for children, and lessons to help Afghan families learn English. Posted by Melinda McKendrick in Serving Refugee Families space.
Source: CPIR


Soar Into Summer (July 2023)
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) invites children to soar into summer through a series of literary field trips with activities designed to support reading engagement and comprehension. Click here to check out their free booklists, read-aloud videos, printable activities, and more!


Teaching a child with dyslexia how to read (May 2021)
Structured literacy helps kids with dyslexia build a solid reading foundation.


Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)
STEP is a partner on the Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) which supports children with special needs and their families in the development of language, communication, pre-literacy, and literacy skills to ensure an academic achievement. Visit this site to learn more about the TN State Improvement Grant and for information. www.tnspdg.com


Understanding your child’s reading struggles (May 2021)
Try these 5 strategies to give your child extra support during reading time.


When do kids learn to read? (July 2021) 
Learning to read is a process that involves different language skills. It happens over time, so it’s hard to say exactly when kids learn to read. To some people, reading means being able to sound out words and recognize words that can’t be sounded out. To others, reading means being able to read and understand sentences and text.

Learning to read is different for every child. Some kids start to learn to read in daycare or preschool. Others start gaining the skills in kindergarten or first grade. Read on to learn more.


Where to Find Free Audiobooks and Digital Text-to-Speech Books for Your Child (June 2021)
If your child has trouble with reading, check out these resources for a free audiobook and digital text-to-speech books.


8 Helpful Articles on Mental Health Issues for Children with Special Needs

May is Mental Health Month. Since children with special needs often face mental health issues, we’ve gathered eight posts from our archives to inform and enlighten parents and provide strategies for help and prevention.


44 Children’s Books About Mental Health

Best books for helping kids understand emotional and learning challenges

From a hedgehog too anxious to go ice skating to a puppy who can’t make his letters come out right, children’s books address many emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges kids face. These books help kids name and understand feelings and experiences they may be struggling with. At the Child Mind Institute, we’ve contacted publishers all over to call in books that address mental health and learning disorders and other common challenges, like dealing with painful experiences and coping with strong emotions. We included books for kids up to 12, from picture books to be read with preschoolers to chapter books for independent reading by older children. Our clinicians read them all and picked the best in each category, based on how helpful they found them. Here you will see descriptions of 44 books we like, and we hope you will find them useful.  Click here to read more.



The Child Mind Institute x P!nk (March 2020)
The Grammy Award-winning musician joins Child Mind Institute president Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz to discuss parenting, building self-confidence, and her new Sleep Story with Calm.

P!nk talks about the youth mental health crisis facing girls today, how her mom brought her to a therapist for the first time at 14, and what she teaches her own daughter. The message she wants her daughter to know: “The world is a big, beautiful place with a lot of really great people in it. They may not be at her school. They may not be her neighbor. But they’re just waiting to love her, just how she is.”

Click here to view the video.


Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage?

Mental Health in Childhood

Raising a child can be challenging. Even under the best circumstances, their behaviors and emotions can change frequently and rapidly. All children are sad, anxious, irritable, or aggressive at times, or they occasionally find it challenging to sit still, pay attention, or interact with others. In most cases, these are just typical developmental phases. However, such behaviors may indicate a more serious problem in some children.

Mental disorders can begin in childhood. Examples include anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, depression and other mood disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Without treatment, these mental health conditions can prevent children from reaching their full potential. Many adults who seek mental health treatment reflect on the impact of mental disorders on their childhood and wish they had received help sooner.

En español


Family Mental Health: Addressing Depression (June 2021)
Coping with depression can be challenging, but having a strong support system can help. It is important that families are socially and emotionally healthy for their children. Explore the resources to learn how Head Start and Early Head Start programs can support families coping with depression.


How Telehealth Can Enhance Mental Health Care

​If you’ve noticed your child or teen is struggling in school, having difficulties with family or friends, has changed in how they eat or sleep, or seems depressed, hopeless, anxious, or angry, they may be giving you signs they can use some extra support.  Click here to read more.

Español


 

Managing a Mental Health Condition in College

College means new freedoms and new opportunities. Making the transition to college isn’t easy for anyone. Classes will be more difficult than high school and you have to plan ahead and motivate yourself to study. Plus you may have the new and stressful experience of living with a randomly assigned roommate. All these things can impact your mental health. To make sure you succeed in college, know where to find support and how to put your best foot forward. Click here to read more.


Managing Social Media Stress With Mindfulness (July 2021)
It’s hard to imagine life without social media. It has become essential to connecting with our friends, getting updates about what’s going on in the world, and being entertained. We can barely remember (if we’re old enough to remember!) how we stayed in touch without it. But teens and young adults are increasingly reporting that social media can also be a source of stress.


Mental Health Resources

In keeping with concern for people’s mental health in these turbulent times, CPIR has updated and added to its Highly Rated page Mental Health Resources. It emphasizes easy-to-read summaries of the wide range of mental conditions, where to find treatment, and where to turn in a crisis situation. Resources in Spanish are also emphasized.


Navigating the Education System – Children’s Mental Health

Supporting Children’s Mental Health: Tips for Parents and Educators

Create a sense of belonging. Feeling connected and welcomed is essential to children’s positive adjustment, self-identification, and sense of trust in others and themselves. Building strong, positive relationships among students, school staff, and parents is important to promoting mental wellness. Click here to read more.


The Branch, a program of PAVE, provides sample documents and medical guidance for family caregivers who are responsible for children because of a parent’s military service.


The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs provides military families who have children with special needs the resources they need to make informed assignment decisions and experience easier transitions. Resource provided by Military OneSource.


MCEC Special Education and Military Families Issue Paper (Dec. 17, 2020)

America’s military-connected children experience academic and social-emotional challenges when they relocate to new schools due to a parent’s change in duty station. As a result, many students struggle to stay on track to be college-, workforce- and life-ready. Military families with a child with special needs experience even greater challenges during these many relocations.

Military families with an eligible child with special needs are entitled to support under applicable Department of Defense (DoD) programs. Additionally, all eligible children with special needs who are enrolled in public and charter schools are entitled to educational services under federal law. Click here to continue reading.


Resources for Military-Connected Children with Disabilities (November 2023)
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Director, Valerie C. Williams sent a letter to all State Directors of Special Education and State Part C Coordinators to remind them that “…we all have an obligation to care for our military community, including ensuring high-expectations supported through a high-quality education for military-connected children with disabilities.”

She reminded them that, while all children with disabilities and their families face many challenges, “the families of military-connected children with disabilities may also have the added challenges of frequent separation from family and support networks and disruptions in the continuity of early intervention services and special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) because of frequent transitions.”

The letter includes a single list of key resources, pulled together from several different government websites, that can be provided to parents and families of military-connected children with disabilities.

To read the letter from Director Williams, click here.

To see the list of key resources referenced in the letter, click here.


Sesame Street for Military Families
Military children are navigating the challenges of a pandemic while also often adapting to changes in location and daily routines. These resources on military deployments, homecomings, grief, and self-expression can aid with difficult adjustments. https://sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org/


Special Needs
Military OneSource special needs specialty consultants can help you navigate and understand the benefits and resources available to families with special needs. This service is part of the Exceptional Family Member Program Resources, Options, and Consultations, or EFMP ROC.  Consultants have licensed professionals with master’s degrees and extensive experience with TRICARE and the educational needs of military families.


Administration on Developmental Disabilities – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (ADD)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities.
https://www.acl.gov/

Advocacy Institute

Organization dedicated to the development of products, projects and services that work to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
www.advocacyinstitute.org

ARC

The largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2530

Birth Injury Justice Center

The Birth Injury Justice Center is an online resource for anyone who has been affected by birth injuries, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or other disabilities. Our organization was created to provide answers and guidance to help families and children get all the assistance they need to help improve their overall quality of life.
https://www.childbirthinjuries.com

Cerebral Palsy Group

The Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that provides free educational information and support to those who have been affected by cerebral palsy.
https://cerebralpalsygroup.com

Cerebral Palsy Guide

Cerebral Palsy Guide offers free support, educational and financial resources to families and children whom are affected by cerebral palsy.
http://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com

ChildHealthOnline.org

ChildHealthOnline.org is fully owned and maintained by Healthy Childcare Consultants, Inc.  ChildHealthOnline.org is a website resource for child care health consultants; early childhood care providers and trainers; members of professional organizations, educational and medical facilities; and families.  It is our goal to provide accurate information and effective resource materials to promote the health and safety of young children, birth through age 8, and to offer resources for family education.
http://www.childhealthonline.org

EdPro Development

Provides a variety of professional development activities that empower educators with research-validated, content-based differentiated and personalized instructional practices.
www.edprodevelopment.com

Entertainment Guide for Families of Children with Special Needs

Family vacations and daytrips enrich everyone’s lives. They can provide children and parents with new perspectives, not to mention relaxation mixed with excitement. Unfortunately, vacations are also a source of stress for many families – and particularly those that include a child with special needs. But with a little planning, preparation and information, a trip can be a source of joy rather than distress.
http://eguide.thecplawyer.com/

IDEA Partnership

The IDEA Partnership is dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities by joining state agencies and stakeholders through shared work and learning.
www.ideapartnership.org

Inclusive Technology

Inclusive Technology provides special educational needs software, switches and computer access devices, simple communication aids and assistive technology for learners with a physical disability, sensory impairment or learning difficulty.
http://www.inclusive.co.uk/

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.  Click here to read more.

https://sites.ed.gov/idea/

Infant Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association is organized as a not-for-profit corporation to promote mutual assistance, cooperation, and exchange of information and ideas in the administration of Part C and to provide support to state and territory Part C coordinators.
http://www.ideainfanttoddler.org/

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness

The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
www.nami.org/

National Bullying Prevention Center

Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources. PACER’s bullying prevention resources are designed to benefit all students, with an emphasis on students with disabilities.

https://www.pacer.org/bullying/

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

The primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.
http://nces.ed.gov/

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

The National Center for Learning Disabilities improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.
http://www.ncld.org/

National Center on Dispute Resolution (CADRE)

Funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. CADRE uses advanced technology as well as traditional means to provide technical assistance to state departments of education on implementation of the mediation requirements under IDEA ’97. CADRE also supports parents, educators and administrators to benefit from the full continuum of dispute resolution options that can prevent and resolve conflict and ultimately lead to informed partnerships that focus on results for children and youth.

https://www.cadreworks.org/

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

In any given year, approximately one million children come to the attention of the US child welfare system. Many are victims of abuse or neglect, live with caregivers who are impaired, and/or deal with school and community violence as a fact of life. Identifying these traumas and providing early intervention are crucial to assisting children traumatized by maltreatment and other stressors.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has developed tools and materials for building skills and increasing knowledge about childhood trauma to help child welfare administrators, caseworkers, frontline staff, other mental health personnel, and caregivers understand and respond to the needs of traumatized children. Check out their website – full of great resources.

www.nctsn.org

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has released a series of documents that review the statutory changes in IDEA 2004. We also offer links to summaries of changes in the law prepared by various groups.
www.nectac.org

Agencies & Departments: 
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau

These tip sheets from the Child Welfare Information Gateway are designed for service providers to share with parents and caregivers in the context of particular concern or question. They are not intended to tell the whole story; they merely provide a starting point for a discussion between parent and provider that is grounded in the protective factors. The information is easy to read and focuses on concrete steps that parents can take to strengthen their families. Tip sheets can be downloaded individually or as a packet in English and Spanish. Learn more.


 

Resources for Accredited Online Colleges

Accredited Online Colleges lets you search through countless accredited schools, based on a variety of criteria, to find the accredited college that best meets your needs. Read Article “Accredited Online Colleges and Disability Education”here: http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.org/resources/accredited-online-colleges-and-disability-education/
http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.org/

Social Security Disability Benefits Guide by TheSimpleDollar.com

This recently researched and published a guide, “Social Security Disability Benefits Guide,” and tool will help people understand social security disability benefits and will not only answer common questions, such as how to qualify for but also features a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/disability-benefits-guide/#social-security-disability-benefit-calculator

Social Security Disability Benefits: The Ultimate Guide

A comprehensive guide to eligibility as well as the process of applying and receiving benefits, so anyone looking for information on benefits available to them will likely find this resource valuable.
https://www.moneysavingpro.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-social-security-disability-benefits/

SSI Child Disability Starter Kit (for children under age 18)

A child with a disability who is younger than 18 years of age may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Have a look at SSA’s Child Disability Starter Kit, which includes a fact sheet on the application process, a child disability interview preparation checklist and a Medical and School Worksheet. Available in English and in Spanish.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance On Civil Rights of Students with ADHD

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-guidance-civil-rights-students-adhd

Wrightslaw Special Education Rights and Advocacy

Parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys come to IDEA 2004 at Wrightslaw for reliable, accurate information about IDEA issues: child find, eligibility, evaluations, reevaluations, high stakes testing, IEPs, accommodations, alternate assessments, educational placements, transition, parental rights, and more.
www.wrightslaw.com

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Find educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, health care providers, academic therapists, tutors, speech language therapists, occupational therapists, coaches, advocates, and attorneys for children with disabilities on the Yellow Pages for Kids for your state.
www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/states.htm

8 Tips for Staying Safe on the Internet
We all have seen it. People with disabilities who post private information on Facebook, make themselves vulnerable on the Internet, or text “sexual selfies” to let someone know that they like them. Here are eight tips to use with people with disabilities to help them stay safe.


Active Learning Practice Guide (June 2023) 
For a child who is deaf-blind, Active Learning strategies create motivating environments that promote curiosity, learning, and engagement. Check out the National Center Deaf-Blindness Active Learning practice guide, which details the key components of this instructional practice.
Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness


Challenging Behavior: Prevention Strategies for Children with Disabilities (August 2019)
Children often engage in challenging behaviors because there is a message they are trying to communicate. In this webinar, listen as presenters discuss prevention strategies for challenging behaviors. Explore ways to customize these strategies using a child’s Individual Education Program (IEP). Lastly, learn the types of support teachers can provide for an array of children’s needs.

August 9, 2019


Family Engagement Practices Checklist (May 2023)
Use this checklist to observe and reflect on ways to help families identify and access resources. It can also help staff support or actively engage parents and other family members in the use of other types of intervention practices. The checklist is available in Spanish.


How Does the ADA Benefit Students? (July 2023)
The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be provided to students with disabilities who meet the requirements, even if those students are not eligible for services under IDEA. A school is required to provide a student with those accommodations that help him or her learn most effectively. On July 26, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) turn 33. Here is more information about the ADA and Back to School.
Source: PACER Center


Is My Child’s School Family Friendly and Engaged?  (May 2023)
Use the questions in this handout to see how well a program engages families. Explore ideas for making suggestions for improvement.


Nine Elements That Power Positive Parenting
Parenting comes with mistakes and missteps. What makes a parent great is recognizing when things haven’t gone right and responding with love to repair the relationship. That’s positive parenting in action. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


 

Positive Language Improves Behavior (July 2023) 
When you focus on using positive language with your child, you will find it provides a powerful positive change to the tone of the conversation. Using positive language, you are more likely to see fewer tantrums, whines less, and overall fewer challenging behaviors. See this tip sheet in English and Spanish.
Source: Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI) for Young Children and National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations


 

Positive Parenting and the Seven Essential Life Skills for Children!
How do parenting and child development intersect? The way we parent can nurture the very skills that children need—not just for success in the short-term—but across their entire lives. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


 

Positive Parenting Infographic
Positive parenting describes a set of parental behaviors that support your child’s capacity to love, trust, explore and learn. Learn the key elements of positive parenting and how you can incorporate them into everyday moments. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


 

Positive Parenting: When You Need a Break
Try these mindful steps when you are feeling frustrated and need a break. Thanks to Zero to Three for providing this resource.


 

Professional Roles in Early Childhood Intervention (May 2023)
Families should expect to be actively involved in decision-making and actions to achieve family-identified outcomes and goals. Learn helpful information about family-centered practices. This practice guide is available in Spanish.


 

Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Program (September 2022)
The FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge in English and Spanish is a free program for children that teaches cyber safety. The content was created for students in third through eighth grades and covers age-appropriate topics like cyberbullying, passwords, malware, social media, and more. Watch the video here. Teachers can register their classes to participate on the SOS Teacher Sign Up page.

 

2022 SUMMER FUN DIGITAL MAGAZINE (March 2022)
Summer is on its way, and we have just what you need to make it a success in the pages of our Summer Fun Digital Magazine.

Check out the 5 Tips to Prevent Summer Slide” and all the fun and entertaining activities for you and your children to do at home both indoors and outdoors. In addition, you’ll find a statewide list of special needs and inclusive summer camps, special needs swimming lessons, and adaptive sports for kids and adults.

There is something for everyone in this edition of Summer Fun.

Provided by Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans and Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center.


Tips for Talking About Sexuality
Many parents of children with developmental disabilities need help talking about sexuality. Here are some general tips for talking about this sensitive topic.


Young Children with Challenging Behavior (March 2022)
Children engage in challenging behavior for many different reasons, but all children use challenging behavior to communicate messages. Once parents understand the purpose or meaning of the behavior, they can begin to select strategies to change the behavior. This Family Routine Guide, includes strategies for common routines and activities. This guide can help parents in developing a plan to support young children with challenging behaviors.


 

Educating and Speaking with Children about Racism

While speaking with children about racial injustice may not be easy or comfortable, we believe that we must have these difficult conversations to start educating early, encourage active engagement, and promote change starting with our youngest generations. Resources to help start and navigate these discussions, as well as take care of yourself along the way.


Education Resources on Disability IssuesEnsuring children with disabilities receive the education and training they need to succeed is vitally important. Teachers are important partners in the efforts to overcome bias, barriers, and stigmas by promoting and implementing best practices in the classroom. Below you will find resources to teach students about disability and assist students with disabilities to succeed. You also will find recommended reading for both children and adults.


Life After High School – A Guide for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Families of Youth with DisabilitiesTheir Youth Transition Program published an Information Resource Guide in English and 8 other languages (Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Somali, and Korean) with helpful information and experiences from youth and young adults, and their families.


Sesame Street Toolkit – With Julia’s introduction to the cast, Sesame Street can be a great way to talk about disability issues. Julia is a child with autism and openly talks about her experiences in a way that children can understand. Their website showcases many different lessons for young children.


U.S. Department of Education Guidance (2015). Ensuring English Learner Students Can Participate Meaningfully and Equally in Educational Programshttps://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-factsheet-el-students-201501.pdf 


All About ME Book
The “All About ME” booklet is an important document to let teachers know about your child or youth.  What are their unique needs, social skills, behavior, sensory issues, communication needs, and medical information?


Continuous Learning Individualized Plan (CLIP) for MNPS

To identify the mode of how MNPS will implement the services and supports outlined in students’ IEP or 504 plan during virtual learning. The CLIP does not replace the IEP, but rather documents how the services will be implemented during virtual learning. If services, as outlined in an IEP, cannot effectively be implemented in a virtual setting than convene an IEP meeting to discuss options on how we can best meet all services in a virtual setting. The CLIP will be used for the 2020-2021 school year whenever MNPS is required to complete learning virtually.


Section 504 Guide & Model Policies and Procedures

A comprehensive guide and model policies and procedures for Tennessee’s Local Education Agencies on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/legal/legal_section_504_guide.pdf


Advocating for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities (June 2023)
LGBTQ students with disabilities face unique challenges. Educators, counselors, parents, and other adult allies play an important role in ensuring the safety, inclusion, and well-being of all students. This resource provides an overview of the rights of LGBTQ students with disabilities along with actionable recommendations on how to best support them.
Source: Human Rights Campaign Foundation


Finding Your True Voice: A Guide to Gender-Affirming Verbal Communication (March 2024)
Research has shown that when a person’s voice doesn’t align with their gender identity, it can have a detrimental effect on their overall quality of life. This incongruence not only draws unwanted attention but can also jeopardize their safety.

Sometimes, the way we speak doesn’t quite match who we truly are. It’s like our voice is on a different page from our identity. That’s where voice and communication training steps in. Think of it as your personal voice coach, helping you align the way you sound with the real you. It’s all about bringing your voice and identity into harmony.

And get this, it’s not just for those who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming; it’s for anyone looking to bring their authentic voice to the forefront. So, if you’re looking to make your voice truly yours, you’re in the right place.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gender Neutral Pronouns (October 2022)
This chart is a quick reference guide to traditional and gender-neutral pronouns. Four versions of gender-neutral pronouns are included. Many others exist, but this chart should help you conjugate any type of pronoun.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How To Support LGBTQ+ Children (June 2022)
When a child is coming out as LGBTQ, the most important thing for them to know is that their family supports and loves them. As a parent, you might worry about whether they will be accepted. It’s important to stay positive around your child and make sure they know they can count on you. Read how to be supportive, keep kids safe, and tell other family members in English or Spanish.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LGBTQ Glossary of Terms (June 2022)
Sexuality is a topic that’s a challenge for many people to talk about. This challenge is compounded when individuals have disabilities. Here is a guide to the LGBTQ Glossary of Terms to understand and use
appropriate, affirming language to create inclusive environments for LGBTQ children and families.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools: A Self-Assessment Tool (November 2022)
Schools play a critical role in supporting the health and academic development of all youth, including the success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Creating and sustaining inclusive school environments, policies, programs, and practices that include LGBTQ youth is one strategy for improving the health and academic success of all youth. Inclusive in this context refers to the presence of clear policies or practices that address the needs of LGBTQ students who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized due to factors such as sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Please note that this document includes many resources from non-governmental organizations focused on improving school inclusivity, and the ideas and opinions expressed within them do not represent the official opinion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Love, Dating, Relationships and Disability (January 2023)
We’re exploring love in many forms with first-hand accounts from the frontlines of datingmarriageintimacy and friendship, all with people living—and loving—with disabilities.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools (November 2022)
The guide covers topics ranging from basic concepts of gender and the importance of affirming gender identity, to best practices for restroom access and working with non-affirming parents. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sexuality & Disability (June 2022)
In a society in which sex and sexuality can be stigmatized for disabled people, it is important to address the intersections of disability and sexuality because it is a justice issue. In this section, we provide disabled people with a variety of resources to aid in navigating questions of sex and sexuality, including those which address pleasure, sexual access, consent, beauty and embodiment, and more. Many are written for disabled people, by disabled people. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities (June 2022)
In the natural course of life, we humans can be expected to grow and change. We develop and mature over time–our brains, our bodies, the sense of who we are and who we want to be. Development is a beautiful thing, really, exciting and creative, and it makes parents, friends, and teachers look on in awe.
This resource page addresses one aspect of development that’s important not to ignore with children with or without disabilities—the development of sexuality.  There’s so much to know and consider on this subject–what sexuality is, its meaning in adolescent and adult life, and the responsibilities that go along with exploring and experiencing one’s own sexuality. Use the jump links below to learn more about this fascinating,  challenging subject. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sexual Health and IDD Resources (June 2022)
This guide, written by disability self-advocates, offers perspectives about navigating through important experiences, such as dating, sex, marriage, and much more. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee (DSAG)

The Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee (DSAG), a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) organization, is a parent-initiated organization developed to provide information and support to families of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) and to raise awareness within the community about the abilities of individuals with DS and the benefits of their inclusion into society.


Gentle Caregiver

Offers support to the self-sacrificing people who devote their lives to give gentle care to people with developmental disabilities.
http://www.gentlecaregiver.com/


HIE Help Center

The HIE Help Center provides information and educational materials to families of children with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) to help them navigate the diagnosis.
https://hiehelpcenter.org/


Juvenile Diabetes – Living with T1D

Back to School season can be an overwhelming time for students living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and their parents and caregivers. It requires paperwork, special planning, and many conversations with teachers, school nurses, and other students about T1D and how it’s managed at school. The good news is that with JDRF’s help, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed.

Looking for resources and lively community discussions to help you start the school year confident that T1D won’t stand in the way? JDRF has it all. Get information and join conversations about going Back to School with T1D.


NAMI Tennessee

The mission of NAMI Tennessee is to improve the quality of life for individuals with mental illness, their families, and communities.
www.namitn.org/


Open Doors TN

Offers support group listings for East TN.
http://www.opendoorstn.org/


Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA)

PWSA (USA) was organized in 1975 to provide support for individuals, families, professionals, and organizations and to be a resource for education and information about Prader-Willi syndrome. The organization was first headquartered in Minneapolis, then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and then found its permanent home in Sarasota, Florida in October of 1997. The association is governed by a national board of directors. The board works in conjunction with the paid and volunteer staff of the national headquarters, and a network of chapters throughout the country to direct the organization’s operations and serve its members.
https://www.pwsausa.org


Suicide and Depression Awareness for Students

Depression and suicidal thoughts are two of the most frightening things a person can face in their lifetime. Unfortunately, acting on those suicidal thoughts is a far too common scenario for many across the world, including students. In fact, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24.

This guide is dedicated to helping those who are suffering or have suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts. It is also designed for concerned friends and family members who might be worried that someone they love will commit suicide. Finally, it is meant for students, so that they might spot the warning signs of suicide in others – or in themselves – and find the proper resources.
http://www.learnpsychology.org/suicide-depression-student-guidebook/


Tourette Association of America (TAA)

A diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome or a Tic Disorder can feel overwhelming. The TAA is here to help you throughout every step of your journey. The TAA is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive resources and support for all of those in the Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder community.


Able Tennessee 
ABLE TN is a savings program designed to help individuals with disabilities put aside money to pay for qualified expenses. These accounts provide the opportunity to save and invest with tax-free earnings to help participants maintain independence and quality of life.
http://www.abletn.gov/index.html


Arc Tennessee 
The Arc Tennessee empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to actively participate in the community throughout their lifetime.
www.thearctn.org


Autism Society of East TN 
Provide support, services, advocacy, education, and public awareness for all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families as well as educators and other professional.


Autism Society of the Mid-South
Provide resources and support to help improve the lives of people living with Autism and their families here in the Mid-South (Tennessee).
http://autismsocietymidsouth.org/


Autism Tennessee 
Mission is to enrich the lives and experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their surrounding community through Advocacy, Education, and Support.
www.autismtn.org


Camino Seguro es una base de datos que abarca temas como discapacidades, salud mental, y servicios sociales. Camino Seguro is a statewide online database which covers disability issues, mental health, and social services in TN.
https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/vkc/caminoseguro/oldhome/


Disability Rights TN (formerly Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee) 
Advocates for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of our society.
http://www.disabilityrightstn.org/


Individualized Education Account Program (IEA)
General Assembly in 2015. The first IEAs were awarded in January 2017. The IEA program gives parents and students access to public education funds to use on certain types of approved educational expenses that best meet their own unique needs.

For more detailed information about the program, please review thIEA Parent Handbook and IEA Private School  Handbook.

For information about educational services and programs for students with special education needs, please visit the department’s Special Education webpage.

If you have questions related to the IEA Program, need accommodations to access IEA materials, or si habla español Y necesito una intérprete, please contact the IEA team at [email protected].


Quick Guide to Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education
This Quick Guide to Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education is an overview of some of the provisions of special education. It is designed to assist families in understanding their rights and responsibilities in the special education process. Parents of children who receive or may be eligible for special education services have rights under both the TN Rule 0520-01-09 and The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2014). An important part of these laws provides parents with the right to participate in their children’s education.

A collaborative project of the TN Department of Education and TNSTEP.

Response to Instruction and Intervention Framework – TN Dept. of Education 
We are pleased to share this updated manual for Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²), which is Tennessee’s framework for teaching and learning that begins with high-quality, differentiated instruction throughout the day and emphasizes intervening with students when they first start to struggle to avoid prolonged academic difficulties. The goal of this manual is to support educators and empower districts in their continued implementation of RTI² and to ensure that you have the structure and resources necessary to provide all students with access to and support for reaching high standards and expectations.


SCORE – State Collaborative on Reforming Education
The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).


Sisken Children’s Institute
A non-profit organization based in Chattanooga, Tennessee that helps children with special needs, families, and professionals through four areas of focus: education, outreach, health care, and research.


SPARK (Formerly ETTAC)
Helping people with disabilities gain access to adaptive technology & services.  https://www.sparktn.org/


Summer Food Service program providing free meals to Tennessee kids
The meals are free of charge to children 18 and under and you do not need to register for it.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services is reminding people that free meals for children are now being served throughout the state during the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program is open to any child 18 and younger as well as people with disabilities over 18 enrolled in-school programs throughout the summer while school is out of session. You do not need to register for it and meals are free of charge.

You can visit the USDA’s site at https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 1-866-348-6479 to find a site near you.

If you need food help, you can also call the National Hunger Hotline. The USDA said hotline staff can help you find food near where you live:

1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (en español).


TENNderCARE – TN’s EPSDT Program 
TENNderCARE is a full program of check-ups and health care services for children who have TennCare.


TN Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia
The Center is dedicated to unraveling the puzzle of dyslexia. It is a model for the organization and delivery of professional services to students with dyslexia, to psychologists and teachers who identify and instruct them, and to schools that must orchestrate a broad range of factors that will enable these students to achieve their potential.


Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities
Provides leadership to ensure independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the community through the promotion of systems change.


Tennessee Curriculum Standards 
What should your child be learning in school this year? Check out the curriculum standards for your child’s grade.


TN Department of Education, Division of Special Education 
The Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education’s purpose is to “promote educational services and programs for all Tennessee’s children with special education needs that will enable them to lead productive and independent lives.”


Tennessee Department of Education Newsletters – Links to Sign-up 
The Tennessee Department of Education publishes nearly forty newsletters geared toward the interests and work responsibilities of various district and school stakeholder groups. Please click here for a comprehensive list of newsletter sign-up links.


Tennessee Disability Coalition 
An alliance of organizations and individuals who have joined to promote the full and equal participation of men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.


TN Disability Pathfinder 
Helps families and agencies find useful disability services and resources in Tennessee.


Tennessee Early Intervention Systems (TEIS) 
A voluntary educational program for families with children ages birth through two years of age with disabilities or developmental delays. TEIS Eligibility click here.


Tennessee Eligibility Standards and Informational Resources 
If you suspect that your child may have one of the following disabilities that is impacting his or her education, you may request in writing a comprehensive evaluation.  An initial evaluation for eligibility must be completed within 60 calendar days of the local education agency’s receipt of informed written consent.


Tennessee Housing Development Agency 
The new web portal brings landlords, property owners, and families together in one convenient location.


Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association (TMHCA) 
The Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association (TMHCA) is Tennessee’s only statewide consumer-owned and operated organization (and one of the only national 501(C)3 organizations) with a board of directors and staff who are 100% mental health consumers who work for and on behalf of adults with mental illness.


Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) 
TNSTEP is a partner on the Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) which supports children with special needs and their families in the development of language, communication, pre-literacy, and literacy skills to ensure an academic achievement. Visit this site to learn more about the TN State Improvement Grant and for information.


Tennessee Voices for Children (TVC) 
A statewide coalition of individuals, agencies and organizations working together as a Steering Council to promote children’s health and education services.


TennesseeWorks 
Transforming the employment landscape for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the state. Meaningful work. Real pay. Opportunities for every Tennessean with a disability. This new website is an online resource for those in our state committed to these goals. Select your role below to find comprehensive information, training, videos, success stories, and many other resources to equip, inform, and inspire your work.


Traumatic Brain Injury Program (TN Department of Health) 
The TBI Program is the central office for brain injury information in the state. Numerous materials including articles, books, videos, and pamphlets are available to survivors, family members, and professionals. A toll-free number (1-800-882-0611) is available to give immediate information regarding traumatic brain injury to individuals all across Tennessee.


The Arc Tennessee
The Arc Tennessee empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to actively participate in the community throughout their lifetime.


Have a Child With a Disability? You Need Support, Too
There are many general disability organizations throughout the state, like The Arc of Tennessee, as well as regional or statewide disability-specific organizations devoted to autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, etc. These groups help link parents to support options within their community and to other families in similar situations. Reaching out to others when you need help and taking care of yourself are crucial ways to ensure you are the best parent or caregiver you can be for your child with a disability.


Lifeline Ministries
CPRC – Community Parent Resource Center – Provide support, information, and respite care to families who have a member living with a chronic or temporary medical or educational, physical or mental disability.


Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education
The Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education’s purpose is to “promote educational services and programs for all Tennessee’s children with special education needs that will enable them to lead productive and independent lives.”


Tennessee Disability Pathfinder
Helps families and agencies find useful disability services and resources in Tennessee.


Tennessee Housing Development Agency
The new web portal brings landlords, property owners, and families together in one convenient location.


Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association (TMHCA)
The Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association (TMHCA) is Tennessee’s only statewide consumer-owned and operated organization (and one of the only national 501(C)3 organizations) with a board of directors and staff who are 100% mental health consumers who work for and on behalf of adults with mental illness.


Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)
STEP is a partner on the Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) which supports children with special needs and their families in the development of language, communication, pre-literacy, and literacy skills to ensure an academic achievement. Visit this site to learn more about the TN State Improvement Grant and for information.


Tennessee Voices for Children (TVC)
A statewide coalition of individuals, agencies, and organizations working together as a Steering Council to promote children’s health and education services.


Traumatic Brain Injury Program (TN Department of Health)
The TBI Program is the central office for brain injury information in the state. Numerous materials including articles, books, videos, and pamphlets are available to survivors, family members, and professionals. A toll-free number (1-800-882-0611) is available to give immediate information regarding traumatic brain injury to individuals all across Tennessee.


5 Ways Trauma-Informed Care Supports Children’s Development
This website highlights five ways in which trauma-informed care can support children’s healthy development.


Grief and Loss Resources (January 2023)
Grief is a natural reaction to loss or change. Grief is most commonly discussed in relation to the death of a loved one, however, grief can be experienced following any major change. ACA offers the following resources for counselors and the public to aid in the processing of grief and loss. To provide trauma-informed care to children, youth, and families involved with child welfare, professionals must understand the impact of trauma on child development and learn how to effectively minimize their effects without causing additional trauma. This website provides information on building trauma-informed systems, assessing and treating trauma, addressing secondary trauma in caseworkers, and trauma training. It also offers trauma resources for professionals, caregivers, and families.


Helping Children and Youth Thrive During and After Natural Disasters: Toolkits for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Agencies (September 2021)
Approximately 14 percent of all children and youth in the United States have experienced a natural disaster. Two new toolkits from Child Trends can help child welfare and juvenile justice agencies support children and youth during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and pandemics.

The researchers recommend establishing trauma-informed, resilience-focused agencies and systems as a foundation for natural disaster response. To support children and youth during and after a disaster, agency staff should maintain close and regular contact with children, youth, and families to assess and respond to their changing needs. Additionally, supervisors should monitor staff well-being for signs of secondary traumatic stress and implement policies and practices that support work-life balance.


How to Implement Trauma-Informed Care to Build Resilience to Childhood Trauma
This research brief from Child Trends summarizes current practices for implementing trauma-informed care to support children who have been exposed to trauma. The authors outline the ways in which a broad range of programs (including afterschool programs, schools, early care, and education providers, medical providers, and social services) can incorporate trauma-informed care into their services and help children build resilience against past and future traumatic experiences.


Multilingual Resources on Trauma (July 2023) 
The Child Mind Institute has prepared free trauma resources in multiple languages to aid parents, educators, and other adults in talking to children about potentially traumatic events and identifying those who might benefit from more focused professional attention. Languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Turkish, and Ukrainian.


A Model for Creating a Supportive Trauma-Informed Culture for Children in Preschool Settings
This paper describes Head Start Trauma Smart (HSTS), an early education/mental health cross-systems partner-ship designed to work within the child’s natural setting—in this case, Head Start classrooms. The goal of HSTS is to decrease the stress of chronic trauma, foster age-appropriate social and cognitive development, and to create an integrated, trauma-informed culture for young children, parents, and staff. The HSTS program emphasizes tools and skills that can be applied in everyday settings, thereby providing resources to address current and future trauma.


A Resource Collection on Trauma-Informed Care
The Center for Parent Information and Resources has compiled this collection of resources for caregivers to gain knowledge and effectively assist children impacted by trauma. The collections cover several areas, including basic information about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), caring for specific populations affected by trauma (e.g., children with disabilities), building trauma-informed schools, and responding to disasters. One section is devoted to materials in Spanish and other languages.


Strategies for Youth Connecting Cops and Kids (May 2022)
Strategies For Youth’s training reduces contentious encounters between police and youth, unnecessary arrests of youth for minor offenses, and disproportionate policing of children of color.

Now, more than ever, we see the consequences of bad interactions between police and the communities they serve. When encounters between police and youth go wrong, the individuals, their communities, and all of us pay a steep and sometimes irrecoverable cost. Something is tragically broken. But at Strategies For Youth, we know there is a way to fix it.


Tennessee Statewide Crisis Resources (January 2023)
The Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line, available 24 hours a day/365 days a year, is a resource for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. All calls are routed to a trained crisis counselor in your area, who will provide you with support and guidance, and work to connect you with appropriate community supports. This service is free! Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471).


Trauma-Informed Practice
To provide trauma-informed care to children, youth, and families involved with child welfare, professionals must understand the impact of trauma on child development and learn how to effectively minimize their effects without causing additional trauma. This website provides information on building trauma-informed systems, assessing and treating trauma, addressing secondary trauma in caseworkers, and trauma training. It also offers trauma resources for professionals, caregivers, and families.


A Trauma-Sensitive Approach to Education and Learning for Children Aged 0-8 Years
This Australian review focuses on the impact of trauma and concepts from neurobiology. It is written for early childhood educators who encounter infants and children, from newborns to 8-year-olds, who have suffered the effects of significant trauma in their young lives. It aims to enhance existing knowledge of child development by focusing on attachment, neurobiology, and the impact of trauma on learning.


What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? (PTSD) (July 2023) 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop in individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. This brochure provides information about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including common signs and symptoms, causes, treatment options, and resources to find help.


7 Things To Know About College Disability Services  (July 2023)
If your child has had an or an in high school, you’ve been able to play a role in the process. You’ve had access to the people who are providing supports and services. And you’ve been able to monitor how well those supports are being implemented.

College is a different story — starting with the fact that there are no IEPs or special education in college. For some parents, that can be hard to adjust to at first. Still, almost all colleges have a disability services office for students with learning and thinking differences.

Click on the link above and learn seven things to know about college disability services, and how they differ from high school.


15 Tips for Self Advocates (July 2023) 
Advocating for yourself is very important, it is the best way to express your needs and to have your voice heard. Self-advocacy can begin at any age. This fact sheet includes tips to help you prepare for meetings, develop a service plan, and resolve conflicts that may arise.
Source: Disability Rights California (DRC)


Students with disabilities are learning to advocate for themselves. But advocating for one’s self takes practice. The youth you work with may find it instructive to hear tips from other students with disabilities who have learned to advocate for themselves in high school, at work, and at college. Connect them with PACER’s collection of short videos so they can hear what their peers have to say.


AIR Self-Determination Assessment (October 2019)
The AIR Assessments measure two broad self-determination components. Capacity refers to the student’s knowledge, abilities, and perceptions that enable them to be self-determined. Opportunity refers to the student’s chances to use their knowledge and abilities.


Apprenticeship Works for Inclusion: A Guide to Helping People with Disabilities Explore Inclusive Career Paths (August 2023)
This guide introduces educators/service providers to the benefits and opportunities of inclusive apprenticeships.


Applying for a Job: The Young Adults Guide (August 2023)
This is a 5-page tip sheet for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions about finding, applying for, and interviewing for jobs.


ARC Self-Determination Assessment (October 2019)
Dr. Michael Wehmeyer and his colleagues developed and normed the ARC Self-Determination Scale to (a) assess the self-determination strengths and weaknesses of adolescents with disabilities, (b) facilitate student involvement in educational planning and instruction to promote self-determination as an educational outcome, (c) develop self-determination goals and objectives, and (d) assess student self-determination skills for research purposes.


BestColleges.com
A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics states that over 2.5 million college students, around 11%, live with a disability. As part of our effort to support students in their pursuit of a rewarding and successful college experience, we at BestColleges.com have compiled a collection of resources for students with disabilities. The collection includes information for:

Each guide includes an outline of student rights, strategies for success, a listing of assistive technologies, and a curated list of scholarships.


The Biz Kid$ Adulting Page (June 2021)
Learn the real costs of moving out, the budgeting benefits of splitting expenses with roommates, and what life is really like after you’ve flown the nest. It’s all waiting for you on our dedicated Adulting page!


Career One Stop Video Collection (June 2022)
This video collection provides information on careers, industries, skills, abilities, work options, and education levels.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Career Guide for College Students With Disabilities
Finding a career after graduating college can be a daunting prospect for many students, but it can be especially challenging for students with disabilities. These students face challenges associated with a lack of career counseling, discriminatory hiring practices, fear of disclosing disabilities during the application or interviewing process for a job, and inadequate education regarding disability rights. As a result, recent graduates are approximately 40 percent less likely to find employment after graduation than those without disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

However, there are a variety of resources available to students with disabilities, and with guidance, finding the route to a successful career can become much more attainable. Career counselors, work-based learning opportunities, internships, job search workshops, and resources for understanding their individual rights can empower students with disabilities to set off on a start to fulfilling, successful careers. Let’s take a look at each of these resources, explore how they can benefit your journey, and discuss how you can make full use of them:  Click here to read more.


Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities (2010)
This Guide was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), an organization charged with assisting education and workforce development organizations to improve the successful transition of youth with disabilities into the workplace.

This Guide includes numerous quick-reference charts, tables, and tools for counselors, career advisors, and other professionals who work directly with youth.  Quick reference tools are of limited use without an understanding of learning disabilities, so in-depth information is provided on a variety of topics including the types and impact of learning disabilities, needed supports, and research-based interventions.

This Guide is intended to increase awareness of the fact that the workforce development system serves many youths who have learning disabilities that may never have been identified and many others who may know they have a learning disability but choose not to disclose.  Although focusing primarily on youth with learning disabilities, many of the strategies and approaches advocated in this Guide, which are premised on universal design, may be of practical use for other youth.


ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment (2016)
The ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment is a curriculum-referenced tool that measures students’ self-determination skills and progress in the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Curriculum. Educators use the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment to assess middle and high school students with mild to moderate disabilities self-determination skills and opportunities at school to exercise these skills across three areas: (a) choosing educational, vocational, and personal goals, (b) students’ involvement in their IEP meetings, and (c) students’ attainment of IEP goals, including developing a plan, implementing the plan, self-evaluation of plan progress, and adjusting any of the plan parts.


Choosing Employment Goals (February 2016)
Choosing Employment Goals teaches students to set employment goals by considering their interests, skills, and limits. It is particularly useful for students who are trying to determine their career interests. This curriculum contains a video, an instructional guide with lesson plans, replicable worksheets, and student assessments. Teachers and/or paraprofessionals can use the worksheets and assessments as a means of situational assessment for students who are engaged in non-paid community-based vocational training.


College Affordability: A Guide for Students with Disabilities (March 2021)
Affordable Colleges Online, an organization dedicated to providing FREE higher education tools and information for current and future college students and their families, has recently published a new resource for students with disabilities, titled “Making College Affordable: A Guide for Students with Disabilities.”  Multiple experts in the field with experience in academia, financial aid, and law contributed to the content in this resource guide, including:

  • Advice and resources for loans and scholarships available specifically for students with disabilities
  • A comprehensive list of the best schools for disabled students, evaluated by each institution’s disability services
  • Distance learning tips for students with disabilities
  • Job resources for students with disabilities
  • Additional helpful resources

Cyber Disclosure for Youth with Disabilities (July 2010)
This document is a supplement to The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities which helps youth learn about disability disclosure and what it means for them. Since the toolkit was written in 2005, there have been many advances in technology that have changed what youth need to know about disability disclosure.

Search sites like Google, social networking sites like Facebook, and micro-blogging sites like Twitter have added a new element to disclosure. Now it is possible to disclose your disability on the internet without even being aware of it. This can be as simple as a picture of you using a wheelchair, comment on your friend’s blog about disability, or your profile posted on a disability organization’s website. The goal of this document is to provide you with suggestions about how to make an informed decision about your own disability disclosure and to manage your disclosure online.


Decision Making 101 (May 2021)
It’s never too early or too late to start helping people, at any age, to make their own decisions. And, if you believe–as STEP hopes you do!– that people with disabilities should have the same opportunities to make important life decisions, then this guide will help make that a reality. Very few of us make decisions by ourselves. We turn to those people in our lives–our parents, siblings, friends, people we know that have faced similar decisions–who we trust, to help us consider the pros, cons, and consequences of each decision.


Discover Business Degrees: In-depth Education Resource
The focus at Discover Business is on empowering people through information. We strive to help future business students make better, more informed education decisions. We do this through our in-depth resources, subject guides, and rankings.

The guides and resources cover the following subjects:

  • List of Best Value Business Degrees
  • SAT Preparation Resource
  • ACT Preparation Resource
  • List of Business Degree Scholarships
  • Best Value Accounting Degrees

DO-IT: Helping Students With Disabilities Transition to College and Careers (September 2003)
NCSET – Research to Practice Brief – Improving Secondary Education and Transition Services through Research.


DO-IT: Promoting inclusion and success for people with disabilities
Developed by the University of Washington (UW). The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive. DO-IT is based at the University of Washington, Seattle, but efforts are global. Together, we can DO-IT!


Dude, Where’s My Transition Plan? (2019)
What is “Transition?”  Transition means changing from one thing to another.

Transitions can be exciting because the next step you take will be a whole new adventure.  Transitions can also be a little scary because you might have to learn how to do things you haven’t done before.

What happens when the school bus stops coming?

This is an important question for a student or individual with disabilities and their family. Don’t wait until the bus stops coming to plan for how a student will spend their day and the rest of their life. In Tennessee, transition planning should start when a student is 14 years of age. The transition should continue until plans and outcomes result in the individual developing skills that will enable them to live, learn, play, and contribute to their community in a way that they are happy and supported or protected when needed. Dude, Where’s My Transition Plan? is a great resource for young adults to prepare for their transition into adulthood.


Employability/Life Skills Assessments (October 2016)
College and Career Readiness Standards and Research-Identified Transition Skills.


A Family Toolkit: Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition | Webinar (October 2020)
Here’s another 1-hour webinar, this one discussing Got Transition’s Family Toolkit, which was developed for families to use during their young person’s transition from pediatric to adult health care.


Field and Hoffman Self-Determination Assessments Battery
The Self-Determination Assessment internet (SDAi) includes three instruments that measure cognitive, behavioral, and affective traits associated with self-determination. These characteristics are assessed from the perspectives of students, parents, and advisors. The instruments can be administered together or individually. The self-determination assessment approach focuses on and delineates those variables related to self-determination that are within the individual’s control and are potential targets for instructional intervention.


Frequently Asked Questions: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, and Social Security Disability Insurance (June 2024)
Can I work if I receive social security benefits? This FAQ provides people with disabilities and their families an overview on social security benefits and answers common questions about these benefits and employment.


FYI Transition – Self-Determination Resources
Developed by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and the University of South Florida.


Getting a Head Start with Vocational Rehabilitation (2019)
Choosing a career is a big decision. Finding the right job can be challenging. Keeping a job and moving up is hard work for anyone. People with disabilities can face added challenges on their employment path.

The foundation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is that all people who want to work should have the opportunity, including people with disabilities.

In Tennessee, The Division of Rehabilitation Services, a part of the Department of Human Services, supports people with disabilities in getting jobs. Most people in the disability community refer to it as Vocational Rehabilitation or VR.

To help you prepare for meeting with VR, The Arc Tennessee, Disability Rights Tennessee, and Vocational Rehabilitation created this booklet.


Goals Calendar for Kids Who Struggle With Planning (2018)
Some kids have trouble with planning and follow-through. That can make it really hard to achieve personal goals. They might get the idea of the goal, but not understand the steps to get to the finish line.

This calendar can help kids stay on track with goals like getting to school on time or cleaning up their room. It has goals kids can print, cut out, and stick to the calendar. Each one comes with a list of steps to get the job done. (You and your child can also create your own goals and steps.) Click here to read more.


Got Transition Family Toolkit on Health Care Transition (June 2022) 
Got Transition has developed a must-have toolkit of tools and resources for families to use during the transition from pediatric to adult health care.


Guide on How to Get Scholarships and Grants for Students with Disabilities (May 2020)
 The financial burdens of medical care can make it difficult for many students with disabilities to pursue higher education – a harsh reality that can lead to lifelong disadvantages.

Many schools and organizations offer assistance to help students with disabilities reach their goals. From tutoring to financial aid and tax breaks, students with disabilities, and their parents, can access a wide range of resources. But finding these resources and applying for them can be a bit overwhelming. Below you will find a wide range of scholarships, grants, and tips on how to apply for them.


Guide to Assessing College Readiness (Free)
The Transition Assessment Matrix was developed for secondary education transition teachers by the Indiana Northeast Cadre of Transition Leaders and the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC).  Assessments included in the Matrix have either been created by INSTRC, are available online, or are those for which INSTRC has received permission from the original publisher.


Guidepost for Success (December 2016)
The transition from youth to adulthood is challenging for almost every young person. This is particularly true for young people with disabilities. Yet, it is in those crucial transition-age years that a young person’s future can be determined. The Guideposts can help steer families, institutions, and youth themselves through the transition processes.


Healthy Bodies for Boys – A Parent’s Guide on Puberty for Boys with Disabilities (June 2013)
Puberty can be a stressful and confusing time, especially for you and your son with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD). In spite of delays in other areas, children with I/DD usually enter puberty around the same time as other children their age. Some boys with I/DD, including those with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, may start puberty early (called precocious puberty). This toolkit gives you resources and tips on how to talk to your son about these sensitive topics.


Healthy Bodies for Girls – A Parent’s Guide on Puberty for Girls with Disabilities (June 2013)
Puberty can be a stressful and confusing time, especially for you and your daughter with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD). In spite of delays in other areas, children with I/DD usually enter puberty around the same time as other children their age. Some children with I/DD, including children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, may start puberty early (called precocious puberty). This toolkit gives you resources and tips on how to talk to your daughter about these sensitive topics.


Higher Education for Students with Disabilities – Rights, Resources and Accredited Online Schools (April 2021)
The transition from high school to college is a big one no matter who you are. If you’re a student with a disability, however, the additional stresses can be overwhelming. One of the largest changes that you will have to deal with is the substantial difference in scope between the special education services provided at the high school level and those at college.


Job Themed Illustration to Download (2003)
Welcome, readers of Self-Directed Employment! Here you can download pictures of jobs, tasks, activities, objects, people, places, and other items to use with the blank forms that appear in the book, Self-Directed Employment: A Handbook for Transition Teachers and Employment Specialists.


Job Video Collection
Browse CareerOneStop’s video collection to learn about careers, industries, skills, and abilities, or work options and education levels.


Life Skills Inventory/ Independent Living Skills Assessment Tool (December 2000)
Developed by the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services.


Life With LD: Navigating The Transition To College (February 2017)
The transition from high school to college can be a confusing time for any student. Deciding which school to attend is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. But for students with learning and attention issues, there are some additional hurdles to navigate.

NCLD recently released The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5the fourth edition of NCLD’s powerful, data-filled publicationThe report explores many facets of being a student with learning and attention issues, including the transition from high school to college and the workforce.

One of the most important decisions a student makes in their academic career is whether or not to go to college. Yet, while students with learning disabilities are just as smart as their peers, they attend four-year colleges at half the rate. And those who do attend college are less likely to complete it.

So what is getting in their way? Why are students with learning and attention issues struggling in college? And what can they and their support systems do to help?

NCLD has identified three components that are important to the success of students with learning and attention issues as they enter college: Click here to read more.


Making the Transition from High School to College (2008)
Developed for NCLD by Colleen Lewis, Director Office of Disability Services, Columbia University.  KNOW THE DIFFERENCES.


ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy (2010)
Lessons for teaching self-awareness and self-advocacy.


MoneyGeek.com
MoneyGeek.com offers comprehensive financial planning resources for people with disabilities for all stages of life. Our guides are helpful for families and students with disabilities searching for financial aid and scholarship options, parents and persons with disabilities planning financially for home modifications, and more.


My IEP Owner’s Manual for Transition-Age Students (March 2021)
Youth can use the manual to learn about the different parts of their IEP that will help them succeed in their plans for life after high school. Provided by the PACER Center.

Navigating the Ins and Outs of Government Programs and Community Resources (August 2023)
Disability Hub MN for families/youth to problem-solve, navigate the system, and plan for the future.
Source: PACER Center


Occupational Outlook Handbook – Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 2021)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education, and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.


Online Transition Scale Report Generator
Online Report Generation allows you to quickly enter the ESTR scale information, add a paragraph containing your personal comments, and generate a finished report you can download in Adobe PDF format. This could take hours out of writing a report and turn it into minutes!

When you purchase an online assessment, you will have access to the online assessment function in My ESTR. The ESTR-J, ESTR-III, and ESTR-S are currently available for online report generation.


Personal Preference Indicators (May 2006)
The Center for Learning and Leadership, Oklahoma’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), developed the Personal Preference Indicators (PPI) tool. The Personal Preference Indicators tool enables the planning team to identify and focus on interests and preferences connected to choice-making activities, person-centered planning, and self-determination instructional efforts.


Refinance & Mortgage Guide for People with Disabilities
Many people with disabilities agree that one way of taking charge and exercising some degree of control in their lives is by becoming a homeowner. If you are currently a homeowner who has recently been disabled, you may have new physical, mental, and financial restrictions and needs which affect or even threaten your ongoing ability to maintain your home.


Should My Child Have Both an ABLE Account And a Special Needs Trust? (May 2020)
Raising an individual on the autism spectrum comes with its challenges and blessings. Parents have to process the diagnosis and determine what approach to take regarding their child’s health. Learn more about these government benefits that are essential for most individuals with autism, especially as they enter adulthood and leave the educational system.


“A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College” YouTube Series Launches (September 2019)
We’re excited to announce the launch of our YouTube learning playlist, “A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College” made in partnership with YouTube Originals and NowThis.

This 10-episode series covers topics ranging from applying for financial aid to picking classes to find mentors and navigating life on your own for the first time.

These free YouTube videos feature advice from Michelle Obama, interviews with college access experts, and tips from upperclassmen in college. You’ll also hear from Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood who attended our Beating The Odds Summit this summer.

You can watch all 10 episodes now on NowThis’s YouTube channel. Once you’re done watching, let us know what you think! Tweet or post about the playlist on social media using #BetterMakeRoom and tag us @BetterMakeRoom or @ReachHigher.


Student-Directed Transition Planning
The eight Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP) lessons facilitate high school-to-adult life planning partnerships between students, their families, and educators. SDTP uses the Student-Directed Summary of Performance as a means for students to learn, organize, and present transition information (Martin, VanDycke, D’Ottavio, and Nickerson, 2007). Educators use the eight SDTP lessons to teach their students the knowledge needed to actively participate in their transition-focused IEP meetings.


Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education (September 2011)
Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities from Ed.gov – Office of Civil Rights.


Students with Learning Disabilities Find Help in Community Colleges (October 2020)
Community colleges are an excellent stepping stone between high school and a four-year institution, especially for students with learning disabilities. Learn about the support programs available at community colleges that can help students thrive academically, regardless of their disabilities.


Supporting Families of People with Disabilities: Community of Practice
The TN Council and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) were selected in 2013 to participate along with 6 other states in a national ‘Community of Practice’ to think, learn and strategize about the next generation of services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

The goal of this 5-year grant and initiative is to build capacity within states to create policies, practices, and systems to better assist and support families that include a member with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan.


TNSTEP’s Dream Building Activity Cards 
A fun way to approach transition planning.

  • An effective tool for students who have fine motor and communication needs.
  • It gives students a visual that represents a variety of post-school outcomes and allows them to express what is important to them.
  • Aids in the development of long-term goals.

Invite TNSTEP to come to your school or facility for an on-site Dream Building session.  Email your request for an on-site session to [email protected].

TNSTEP’s Dream Building Activity Cards are available for purchase.  $30 per set.  Email your purchase request to [email protected].


TNSTEP Transition to Adulthood Links & Resources (2021)
List of transition resources and links.


TNSTEP Transition to Adulthood Guides Complete Set (May 2018)
Youth with disabilities and their families often have questions about life after high school. It’s never too early to think about transition. For youth with disabilities, additional planning is needed as they prepare to leave high school, move into adulthood, and meet their employment, educational, and/or independent living goals. This process is referred to as “transition.”

Using these guides youth, family members, and teachers can work together to ensure students with disabilities have a smooth and effective “transition” after high school.

Click on each link below for additional information.

Español


TNSTEP Transition to Adulthood – 5 Things You Can COUNT On (September 2021)
Youth with disabilities and their families often have questions about life after high school. The transition from youth to adulthood can be challenging and stressful. TNSTEP has put together a comprehensive list of resources within our state to help with transition planning. Click here for additional resources on Post-Secondary Options, Videos and Webinars, Transition Resources, and Hands-On Activities. Explore how these resources can benefit youth with disabilities on their journey from high school to adulthood.


Teen Body Image and Self-Esteem – A Practical Guide for Parents (2020)
Having teenagers isn’t easy. They’re going through a lot of changes very quickly, dealing with new pressures, and growing up in a world you might not be able to relate to.

Body image is just one of the issues they’re likely to deal with. This guide will focus on practical advice for improving their self-esteem and supporting them as they grow up.


Tip Sheet: Telehealth for Transition Age Youth and Young Adults: Privacy, Emotional Safety and Welfare During Covid-19 and Beyond (June 2020)
Pathways RTC has released a new tip sheet that provides initial guidance for protecting the emotional safety, privacy, and welfare of transition-age youth and young adults while they are participating in virtual mental health care. This list, compiled via consultation with youth peer support specialists, clinicians, and supervisors who work with young people, is intended as a starting point as services evolve to meet the challenges of this new era.


Tennessee Center for Decision-Making Support (June 2021)
The Tennessee Center for DecisionMaking Support is a NEW virtual resource center that provides decisionmaking information, resources, and tools to assist individuals with disabilities, their families, and support providers when planning for their future.


Tennessee Diploma & Post-Secondary Information Fact Sheet (March 2021)
This resource from STEP gives Tennessee families information on diploma options, requirements, and post-secondary options offered in the state. A collaborative project of the TN Department of Education and STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents).


Tennessee Graduation Requirements
The Tennessee Department of Education has raised standards and aligned graduation requirements to best prepare students for college and the workforce.

Following the implementation of the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2009, high school students must complete 22 credits to graduate. They also will be tested in core subject areas with End of Course exams, part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP. Their performance on these exams will factor into their semester grade for the course.

To receive a regular high school diploma, all students enrolled in a Tennessee public school during their eleventh (11th) grade year must take either the ACT or SAT. View the FAQ on the policy here.


Tennessee Secondary Transition
The TN Department of Education encourages districts to prepare all students for Career and College Readiness. The programs, resources, and services included in these guidelines demonstrate best practices in serving Students with Disabilities as they transition from secondary to post-secondary activities such as postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.


Tennessee Transition Planning Resource
Transition Tennessee is our state’s free online home for  training and resources on preparing students with disabilities for life after high school. Our goal is to improve transition outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by sharing research-based practices and policies. Our site is organized into different sections for educators, providers, and students. Each includes free video-based lessons, ideas, resources, and much more.

Transition Tennessee is great for special and general educators, CTE teachers, school leaders, and other transition staff. Through our educator site, learn how your school can design high-quality transition instruction, experiences, and partnerships throughout middle and high school. In addition to lessons, you can access virtual training and webcasts on a variety of transition topics. Below, we’ve highlighted examples of resources you’ll find on the website.

  • Postsecondary Education Financial Aid Chart  (August 2020)
    This chart highlights key information about different funding sources available to TN students.
  • College Readiness checklist for inclusive higher education (April 2020)
    This checklist shares skills that are useful for students with intellectual disabilities to master if they are considering attending an inclusive higher education program. Checklists for community colleges and universities are also available.
  • Transition assessment database
    This database of over 100 assessments will help you locate relevant tools to inform transition planning. Filter by area, disability, language, cost, and the person who completes them.
  • Virtual transition fairs page
    Transition TN hosts virtual transition fairs for Tennessee students with disabilities, their families, and professionals that work with them. Watch our archived fairs and register for upcoming events on this page.
  • Successful Transitions: Hudson (May 2020)
    In this video, a student shares his work experience and self-advocacy.

For more information on how to navigate our site, watch this video. Register today at transitiontn.org


 

TennesseeWorks
Transforming the employment landscape for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the state. Meaningful work. Real pay. Opportunities for every Tennessean with a disability. This new website is an online resource for those in our state committed to these goals. Select your role below to find comprehensive information, training, videos, success stories, and many other resources to equip, inform, and inspire your work.


Transition2College (May 2010)
Read what we have to share about the transition to college for students with disabilities.


Transition Services – A Side-by-Side View (December 2021)
This resource compares side-by-side how Pre-Employment Transition Services, IDEA/school transition services, and “regular” Voc Rehab transition services differ. Source provided by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT).


Transition Bill of Rights (October 2019)
The Transition Bill of Rights was developed by Transition Tennessee and is intended to give parents information about basic rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Specifically, the information is focused on the rights of young people with disabilities after they turn 14 years old in the state of Tennessee. This document also shares different organizations that can be helpful during the transition process, along with their contact information. We encourage you to widely share this Bill of Rights with all parents of students with disabilities in your district. For more information, contact Transition Tennessee at [email protected].


Transition IEP Factsheet for Parents (June 2022)
The Transition plan is part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is not a separate document, and it is often called the Transition IEP.


Transition to College (November 2023)
Students who experience mental health needs can receive assistance from family, friends, or others to support them in moving from high school to post-secondary education. Often, this support is helpful in making important decisions about college.  Here is a great resource from NAMI with helpful tips for easing this transition.


Transition to College: Strategic Planning to Ensure Success for Students with Disabilities (August 2015)
Developed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities.


Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators (March 2011)
Do you know what is in store for students with disabilities who graduate from your school and head off to postsecondary education? Do you have the information you need to advise them on what to expect in postsecondary education?

For students with disabilities, a big factor in their successful transition from high school to postsecondary education is accurate knowledge about their civil rights. The purpose of this guide is to provide high school educators with answers to questions students with disabilities may have as they get ready to move to the postsecondary education environment.

This guide was developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR has enforcement responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), as amended, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, (Title II), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Every school district and nearly every college and university in the United States is subject to one or both of these laws, which have similar requirements.1 Private postsecondary institutions that do not receive federal financial assistance are not subject to Section 504 or Title II. They are, however, subject to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities that are not private clubs or religious entities.  Read more


Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities from the Child Welfare System to Adulthood: A Guide for Professionals (Feb 2024)
This Guide is intended to give professionals working with youth with disabilities in the child welfare system tools to guide their transition planning and information about the resources, benefits, and systems with which these youth need to connect to successfully transition.
Source: Juvenile Law Center and Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.


Transition Toolkit: Enhancing Self Determination for Young Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind (May 2013)
The Transition Toolkit contains all of the resources needed for planning and hosting a Transition Institute that will create a memorable, high-quality learning experience for deaf-blind teens.  The Toolkit is a repository of information, tools, and resources that serve as a model for hosting a workshop for deaf-blind teens ages 14-22 and their families.


Transition and Work-Base Learning – Transition Tools
IDEA requires that appropriate measurable postsecondary goals be based on age-appropriate transition assessments. This Transition Assessment Toolkit contains over 30 tools to use to gather information to guide transition planning. Please download and use any that will be useful in capturing a full range of information for use in transition planning.


WAZE to Adulthood Resources and Factsheet
Provides transition information to students, families, and professionals working with students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school to adulthood. The information links below will help make transition planning easier.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is a Transition Plan? (August 2022)
transition plan is a section of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines transition goals and services based on the student’s strengths and needs. Students are encouraged to attend the IEP to help develop their transition plan. This handout, Parent Tips For Transition Planning, has a Question-and-Answer section for parents. This Parent Brief outlines, The IEP Transition Team, Student and Family Roles, and Educators & Adult Service Agency.


Which Community College is Best for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder? (October 2019)
For students with an autism spectrum disorder, community colleges across the country can provide excellent higher education support. Learn about how to choose the right community college that specifically meets the needs of ASD students.


X