Special education is the practice of educating students with special needs in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs. Common special education needs include, but are not limited to, specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, emotional disabilities, language or speech impairments, traumatic brain injuries, etc.
The Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEIA) is the federal law governing special education services. The special education law for the State of Indiana is Article VII, which is supported by the Indiana State Board of Education.
Schools use different approaches to providing special education services to students. These approaches can be broadly grouped into four categories, according to how much contact the student with special needs has with non-disabled students.
• Inclusion: Students with special education needs spend all, or most of the school day, with students who do not have special needs.
• Mainstreaming: This refers to the practice of educating students with special needs in classes with non-disabled students during specific time periods based on their skills.
• Segregation: In this model, students with special needs do not attend classes with non-disabled students.
• Exclusion: A student who does not receive instruction in any school is excluded. Students who have been suspended or expelled are not considered excluded.
Students with special needs are instructed using differentiated instructing, and typically are provided with accommodations and/or modifications to further enhance academic success.
Locally, special education services are supported by the Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn (R.O.D.) Special Education Cooperative. Parents/guardians wishing more information pertaining to special education services may contact their child's home school. Contact may also be made to the R.O.D. Special Education Cooperative at 812-623-2212.
SECTION 504 PLAN
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon a disability. Section 504 is an anti-discriminatory, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Section 504 is not associated with special education services.
To be covered under Section 504, a student must be qualified. The student must be between the ages of 3 and 22 years of age, and have a disability, as aligned to state and federal law. Federal law states, "An individual with a disability means any person who: 1) has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more life activity; b) has a record (documentation) of such an impairment; and/or c) is regarded as having such an impairment.
An impairment may include any disability, long-term illness of various disorders that lessen the student's ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning, behavior, or health-related condition.
Parents/guardians requesting more information about Section 504 are encouraged to contact their child's home school.