The Program's mission is to assist State educational agencies (SEAs) in improving programs for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families, especially programs related to IDEA. The RRCs help SEAs improve special education and related services by training SEA staff and by providing technical assistance in the area of program development. State staff, local agency personnel, and families help clarify State needs and plan RRC services. Technical assistance strategies include individual consultation, training, information dissemination, model development and replication, product development, linkage between States and other resources, and apprising them of successful practices from other States.
The RRCs and the Federal Resource Center collaborate to address needs common to States and regions, using multistate technical assistance strategies to ensure efficient and effective use of limited resources. Working with other technical assistance projects in the field, each RRC maintains current information on the States it serves, and on various important topics in the field of special education. Through its RRC, each State has ready access to a wide range of information on research, policies, procedures, and practices concerning programs for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families.
The FRC operates under a set of Federal mandates described in 34 CFR, Part 305.11, as described below.
"The Federal Center shall:
(a) Provide a national perspective for establishing technical assistance activities within and across regions by identifying and synthesizing emerging issues and trends and establishing a panel to interpret this information;
(b) Assist in linking and coordinating the Regional Resource Centers with each other and with other technical assistance providers, including health-related entities as well as organizations representing persons with disabilities, professional organizations, and parent projects;
(c) Provide information to, and training for, agencies, institutions, and organizations regarding techniques and approaches for submitting applications for grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements;
(d) Give priority to providing technical assistance concerning the education of children with disabilities from minority backgrounds and exchanging information with and, if appropriate, cooperating with other centers addressing the needs of these children; and
(e) Provide technical assistance to State educational agencies, through Regional Resource Centers, for the training of hearing officers."