The following are information and websites that I have found useful over the years. Please note that I am not affiliated with any of the organizations listed. The websites and descriptions below are presented as informational resources only.
This website is run by the California Department of Education (CDE), and includes information on the activities of special education advisory groups, current and upcoming CDE events, searchable databases for retrieving special education-related information, resources and support for parents of children with disabilities, and federal and state legislation, laws, regulations, and policies. The website also contains information on programs and services available to students with disabilities, as well as publications, training and technical assistance opportunities, and recruitment resources and materials.
Click here for a link to the most recent Special Education Rights of Parents and Children published by the California Department of Education.
Thinking of hiring a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP), Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to work with your child or family? This website, run by the state of California Board of Behavioral Sciences, allows you to verify the licenses of LEPs, MFTs, and LCSWs, including information on whether or not the person has complied with continuing education requirements and whether there have been any citations, accusations, or disciplinary actions related to the person’s licensure. After clicking on the link above, click on “Online License Verification” on the left-hand side of the screen, then click on “Verify License or Registration” in the center of the page. From that page, you will be able to verify a person’s license based on their first and last name, business name, or license number.
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), part of the U.S. Department of Education, is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. OSEP administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers. These programs are intended to ensure that the rights of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their parents are protected.
FAPE stands for a Free and Appropriate Public Education, and is one of the rights guaranteed to children with disabilities by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). FAPE.org provides information about IDEA for families and advocates, including Spanish and Hmong translations of selected on-line documents and printed materials. The website also provides referrals to national, state, and local disability organizations, a nationwide network of parent training and information centers, and parent resource centers for information on IDEA 2004, as well as information on research about best practices that can be used to improve educational services.
This website, formerly known as SchwabLearning.org, is run by Great Schools, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving K-12 education by inspiring parents to get involved. This website can help parents with choosing the right schools for their children, supporting their children's education and improving schools in their communities.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. The goal of the WWC is to promote informed education decision-making by providing easily accessible databases and user-friendly reports that provide consumers with high-quality reviews of the effectiveness of various educational interventions (e.g., programs, products, practices, and policies) that claim to improve student outcomes. The WWC accomplishes this goal by conducting systematic reviews of existing research, and producing intervention and topic reports based on their findings.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.
This website provides a wealth of information, including information on Learning Disabilities, information on assessment and evaluation, suggestions on how to assist your child, a referral network, information on legislation and research, and on online IDEA training course for parents.
LD Online is a website dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about Learning Disabilities (LD) as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The site features a large number of informative, helpful articles, including monthly columns by noted experts in the field and first person essays. The website also includes children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, discussion forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products.
This website provides information about learning disabilities, early literacy, learning resources, support for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities, public policy and advocacy tools. The website includes information designed to help parents make informed decisions affecting their children who have learning disabilities or who may be at risk for learning disabilities; to help educators gain access to information about research-based instruction, assessment and support services; and to help child care providers and early childhood teachers understand early literacy skill development, recognize warning signs and respond to young children's needs.
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a nonprofit, national organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD. The CHADD website provides information designed to keep individuals and professionals current on research advances, medications and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD.
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), formerly known as The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), is an organization committed to promoting progressive policies, sound research, effective practices and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The National Association for Gifted Children is an organization of parents, teachers, educators, other professionals, and community leaders who have united to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. The NAGC focuses on supporting and developing policies and practices that encourage and respond to the diverse gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. NAGC supports and engages in research and development, staff development, advocacy, communication, and collaboration with other organizations and agencies who strive to improve the quality of education for all students.
The California Association for the Gifted is an organization of parents, educators, and community members who strive to improve education for individuals who demonstrate giftedness or gifted potential. The organization disseminates information, encourages advocacy and awareness, and sponsors activities significant to gifted education.