Getting Started: You Are Your Child’s Best Advocate

Getting started with the special education process can be daunting, but the right resources and support can help make it a little easier. Families are children’s best advocates!  Click here to get the Special Education Toolkit

Colorado Department of Education’s PEP Conferences

Forty years of research shows that the participation of families in their child’s education, through specific coordinating between home and school, results in improved outcomes (Jeynes, 2012).   PEP Conferences are designed to promote family and school partnerships that are essential in supporting students with disabilities and their families in schools and the community.  PEP brings parents and professionals together by sharing ideas, discussing concerns, celebrating successes and obtaining information related to parenting, educating and partnering to support student learning.   PEP Conferences are offered at no cost to attendees.

Learn More & Register

IDEA Full Funding Act

A bill calling for full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was recently introduced in the House. “At the time of the passage of IDEA, the federal government committed to providing schools 40% of the excess cost of educating children with special needs. This commitment, however, has never been met and current funding for special education is at 16.1%,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “Full funding of IDEA is a key public policy priority of National PTA. Bipartisan leadership has introduced the IDEA Full Funding Act to ensure children with special needs have access to education and services that will enable them to reach their full potential.

Learn More!

Proposed ECEA Rule Amendments (Exceptional Children’s Educational Act )

The Colorado Department of Education is recommending changes to the Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA). The proposed changes to the Rules include amendments required by Colorado House Bill 14-1208 which amends the definition of administrative unit to include “multi-district administrative unit”; amendments which replace expired rules related to temporary educator eligibility authorization; and, amendments required by House Bill 14-1102 related to gifted education.

To Read the Changes and Have your Voice Heard, Click Here!

 Understanding Federal Disability and Special Needs Policy

An overview of federal disability and special needs policies, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Locating Special Education Services in Your State

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NDCCD): Provides a way for parents to search for special education resources by state.

Parent Training and Information Center(PTIC): PTICs help parents of children with disabilities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be advocates for their children. The link will help you locate one in your state.

The Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers (the Alliance): A partnership of one national and six regional parent technical assistance centers, each funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This system exists for the purpose of developing, assisting and coordinating parent training under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Click Here for a full listing of National Organizations providing supports and resources!

Click Here for a an overview of acronyms used in special education and disability policies and programs.

Click Here for more information on Preschool Special Education Services.

To watch all of the IEP Facilitation Training Video Resources please visit the CADRE Website!
To view more information please visit the CADRE Website!
For more information please visit the CADRE Website!
What is Giftedness?
Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Even within schools you will find a range of beliefs about the word “gifted,” which has become a term with multiple meanings and much nuance. Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and social-emotional functions can develop unevenly.  Some gifted children with exceptional aptitude may not demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement due to environmental circumstances such as limited opportunities to learn as a result of poverty, discrimination, or cultural barriers; due to physical or learning disabilities; or due to motivational or emotional problems.  This dichotomy between potential for and demonstrated achievement has implications for schools as they design programs and services for gifted students. Learn More by clicking here.
Common Core State Standards, National Science Standards and Gifted Education
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K-12 content standards, developed in Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science, to illustrate the curriculum emphases needed for students to develop the skills and concepts required for the 21st century. The new standards are evidence-based, aligned with expectations for success in college and the work place, and informed by the successes and failures of the current standards and international competition demands. The standards stress rigor, depth, clarity, and coherence, drawing from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Frameworks in Reading and Writing, the Trends in International and Science Study (TIMMS) report in Mathematics, and the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education in Science. The adoption of the CCSS and NGSS has significant implications for teachers. To learn more Click Here!

State Complaints Officers

Candace Hawkins, Esq. State Complaints Officer hawkins_c@cde.state.co.us 303-866-6311

Lisa Weiss, Esq. State Complaints Officer weiss_l@cde.state.co.us 303-866-6685

State Dispute Resolution Coordinator

Colorado Department of Education Wendy Armstrong, Supervisor for Dispute Resolution and Policy Exceptional Student Leadership Unit 1560 Broadway, Suite 1175 Denver, CO 80202 303-866-6685 Fax: 303-866-6767 armstrong_w@cde.state.co.us www.cde.state.co.us/spedlaw

State Mediation Coordinator

Colorado Department of Education Jennifer Rodriguez, Mediation Coordinator Exceptional Student Leadership Unit 1560 Broadway, Suite 1175 Denver, CO 80202 303-866-6889 Fax: 303-866-6767 rodriguez_j@cde.state.co.us www.cde.state.co.us/spedlaw

 Tools for Families


Autism Key: The Autism Friend Finder Program is a unique system that will allow visitors to submit basic contact information through a web-based portal. The data is then shared with anyone residing within a 35-mile radius of their postal zip code. The information will allow individuals facing similar challenges to connect with others in their community.

Coping with Crisis-Helping Children with Special Needs: A guide that provides parents and school personnel with tips on how to assist a student with special needs during a crisis.

The Dyslexia Solution Presents: Reading from Scratch: A complete, two-year phonics reading program for dyslectics. Also contains free information and tips.

Early Learning and Literacy Newsletter: The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Early Learning and Literacy newsletter highlights activities and tools from Get Ready to Read!, as well as features on transitioning to kindergarten, early math initiatives, education policy and research and the Recognition and Response model.

Educational Resources Information Center Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC): A national clearinghouse featuring digests, bibliographies and a searchable database.

E-Ready Special Education Information for Parents and Teachers: Provides teachers and other education professionals with information and resources about teaching students with disabilities.

Family & Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE): Provides families, advocates and self-advocates with information about IDEA.

IDEA Early Childhood Policy and Practices Guide: This booklet assists early childhood general educators, early childhood special educators, related service providers, parents, administrators and others in understanding what IDEA now requires for young children with disabilities ages birth through five years old and their families.

Identifying and Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—A Resource for School and Home: This free online resource includes information on evaluations and school issues.

National Library Service Talking Books: A free library service available to U.S. residents and citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness or physical handicap makes it difficult to read a standard printed page.

No Child Left Behind: A Parent’s Guide: Provides information about No Child Left Behind, including the main provisions of the law, answers to common questions and information on where to find additional resources. Spanish version also available.

Response to Intervention (RTI): A Primer for Parents: The National Association for School Psychologists has prepared this helpful guide for parents wanting to know more about RTI.

Special Connections: Connecting teachers to strategies that help students with special needs successfully access the general education curriculum.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): Provides extensive information on IDEA.

Wrightslaw: Provides accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.