Resources for Families of Infants, Toddlers, Children and Youth with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) supports projects that provide information and technical assistance to families of children with disabilities. The projects also serve families of infants, toddlers, children and youth who are suspected of having a disability or developmental delay or who may be inappropriately identified as needing special education and related services. The projects address many topics, including disability-specific information (for example, autism, deafness, learning disabilities, and many others), dispute resolution, raising a child with a disability or other special health-care need, parental rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), positive behavior supports and transition, among others. Most information and assistance is available free of charge.
The Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) found in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are a rich source of information and training especially for parents, including parents whose primary language is not English or themselves have special training needs. In addition, thirty Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) throughout the country serve targeted, underserved communities. To find the PTI or CPRC that serves your community, go to Parent Technical Assistance Center Network
Another project is the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY). There are resources designed specifically for families and communities, as well as research-based information on effective educational practices, disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth, IDEA and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (as it relates to children with disabilities), products and services of OSEP’s TA&D projects, and national, regional, and state agencies, disability organizations, professional and parent groups focused on the needs of children with disabilities. These resources are available in both English and Spanish. Go to: NICHCY
Families can also find a wealth of information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at idea.ed.gov. The Web site contains the full text of IDEA and the regulations, as well as guidance documents and other resources.