The federal government, through legislation entitled Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states that a child with a disability means a school-age child who has been evaluated and determined to have one of the following disabilities that adversely affects the child’s educational performance and who therefore needs special education and related services.
The disabilities include: a cognitive disability (mental retardation), a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), an emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, a traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities.
The law also requires public schools to provide services to preschool age students (ages three to five) with disabilities if they are at least three years of age and not age six, have a disability demonstrated by a documented deficit in one or more areas of development, which has an adverse effect upon normal development and functioning.
The London City School District is committed to the location, identification, and provision of a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) for all children between the ages of 3 and 22 having disabilities. Location and referral of such children (Child Find) may be initiated by any individual with knowledge of the child and suspecting the child might have a disability. Please contact Cheryl Stauffer, Special Education administrator, at 740-845-3272, with any questions, concerns, or names for referral within the London City School District.
A multi-factored evaluation team (MFE) makes the final disability determination. If a student is identified as a student with a disability, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is written by the IEP team. The team consists of parents, teachers, administrators, and other service providers.
The IEP documents the student's needs and goals that address those needs. The IEP also documents where the goals will be taught and who will work on the specific goal(s). The IEP team is required to educate children in an environment that is as similar as possible to the environment where other children are educated; this is called the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and could involve a variety of placements.
London is committed to providing children with disabilities educational environments that are as similar as possible to those students who do not have disabilities. Some available placement options include:
- Regular Education Classes with Collaboration/Consultation or Inclusion Services - Students with disabilities continue to participate in regular education classes. Special educators and general educators work together to best meet the needs of exceptional children.
- Small Group/Self Contained - This program is taught by Special educators and services students who require a modified curriculum to ensure growth and learning.
- Separate Facility - A separate facility is a school that is designed specifically for students with disabilities. Sometimes these facilities do not include students who are typically developing.
- Home Instruction - Home instruction is available to some students with disabilities. Through this program, a certified instructor travels to the home of the student to provide specific instruction on the student’s IEP.