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Section 1

ak dept education

special ed handbook

Accommodations - As used in testing, accommodations are alterations in how a test is presented to the test taker or how the test taker responds. Accommodations include a variety of alterations in presentation format, response format, setting in which the test is taken, timing, or scheduling. The alterations do not substantially change level, content, or performance criteria. The changes are made in order to "level the playing field;" that is, to provide equal opportunity to demonstrate what is known.

Adaptations - Any adjustments or modifications in environment, instruction, or materials used for learning that enhance the student's performance or allow participation in an activity.

Adaptive Behavior - The effectiveness with which the individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his or her age and cultural group. An assessment of a child's adaptive behavior is a required component of the mental retardation eligibility category.

Adult services - Includes health, social, housing, transportation and/or employment opportunities normally provided for persons age 18 or older through public, non-public, community-based agencies.

Age of majority - The age of majority in Alaska is 18 years. One year before the date of the student's 18th birthday, the District must provide notice to the student and the parents of the transfer of rights.

Alternate Achievement Standards - Expectations of performance that differ in complexity from grade-level achievement standards.

Alternate Assessment - An assessment used with significantly cognitively disabled students, that measures the student’s proficiency on the general curriculum against alternate achievement standards. Students taking the Alternate Assessment are on the non-diploma track.

Alternative assessment - Beginning in the 2004 school year, students with disabilities who do not pass some or all sections of the High School Graduation Qualifying Examination may participate in an optional assessment designed by the student's IEP Team and approved by the Department. The Department will develop guidelines for IEP Teams to follow in creating optional assessments. This process should not be confused with the Alternate Assessment described above.

Appropriate educational program - Individually planned instruction with sufficient support services to permit the child to benefit educationally from instruction.

Assistive technology device - Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Assistive technology service - Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes:
  1. The evaluation of the needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the individual in the individual's customary environment.
  2. Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities.
  3. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing or replacing of assistive technology devices.
  4. Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs.
  5. Training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability, or when appropriate, that individual's family.
  6. Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers or other individuals who provide services to employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities.
Audiology - includes the following services:
  1. Identification of children with hearing loss.
  2. Determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss, including referral for medical or other professional attention for the habilitation of hearing.
  3. Provision of habilitative activities, such as language habilitation, auditory training, speech reading (lip-reading,) hearing evaluation, and speech conservation.
  4. Creation and administration of programs for prevention of hearing loss.
  5. Counseling and guidance of pupils, parents, and teachers regarding hearing loss.
  6. Determination of the child's need for group and individual simplification, selecting and fitting an appropriate aid, and evaluating the effectiveness of amplification.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) - A behavior intervention plan is comprised of practical and specific strategies designed to increase or reduce a definable set or pattern of behaviors. These strategies address preventive techniques, teaching replacement behaviors, and how to react to the behavior of concern. The BIP is often developed in conjunction with a functional behavioral assessment (FBA).

Benchmarks - Term that can be used interchangeably with short term objectives in the goal section of the IEP. Benchmarks are used for broad life skills to be acquired rather then discrete academic tasks. Benchmarks are measurable and must be linked to the measurable annual goal.

Benchmark exam - A statewide assessment given to students in grades 3, 6, and 8 to determine level of achievement in math, reading, and writing.

Child - A person between birth and 21 years of age who has a disability, or is suspected of having a disability, whether or not enrolled in a public or private education program. The term also includes children not yet enrolled in school but for whom an educational record has been created.

Child with a disability - A child demonstrating one or more of the following: autism, deaf-blindness, mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, early childhood developmental delay, traumatic brain injury, or specific learning disabilities; and who by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

Competency/Incompetency - Competency is a legal concept that refers both to a person's right and ability to manage his/her own affairs and make life decisions. A competent person is entitled to make decisions; an incompetent person has a legal representative, or "guardian," who makes decisions on behalf of the person determined to be incompetent. Adults are presumed competent while minors are presumed incompetent. The presumed incompetence of a minor can be overcome by "emancipation" or can be modified by laws pertaining to certain proceedings. The presumed competence of an adult can be overcome by special judicial proceedings to declare the person incompetent, proceedings for "interdiction", or for a "continuing tutorship". Without clear proof, adults are considered competent and able to make their own decisions.

Content standards - These have been adopted into regulation by the State Board of Education & Early Development in twelve core subject areas: English/language arts, mathematics, science, geography, government & citizenship, history, skills for a healthy life, arts, world languages, technology, employability and library/information. Content standards are broad statements of what students should know and be able to do as a result of their twelve years of public schooling.

Continuing and adult education - Organized educational programs conducted by qualified personnel for individuals who have graduated or left high school.

Counseling services - Services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.

Day, Business day, and School day -
  1. Day: means calendar day.
  2. Business day: means Monday through Friday (except for federal and state holidays unless holidays are specifically included).
  3. School day: means any day or partial day that children are in attendance at school for instructional purposes.
Development of the IEP - A discussion by the IEP Team during the IEP meeting or meetings regarding each component of the IEP.

Disability - Under IDEA 2004 and applicable Alaska law and regulations, children with disabilities are those who meet the following three criteria:
  1. The child demonstrates one of the educational disabilities defined in Part III.
  2. The presence of the disability adversely affects the educational performance of the child.
  3. The child requires special education and related services.
Section 504 defines a person with a disability as:

Any person who has a physical or mental disability which substantially limits a major life activity or has a record of such disability or is regarded as having such a disability.

Due Process Hearing - When a district and parent disagree on issue related to a child's special education program, either may request an impartial hearing. A hearing officer trained and assigned by the Department will preside over the hearing and arrive at a decision.

Early identification - The implementation of a formal plan for identifying a disability as early as possible in a child's life.

Education performance - Performance in school, or in the case of preschool children with disabilities, performance in an age-appropriate setting.

Education record - A record that is directly related to a student and maintained by a district or by a party acting for the District. Included in this are medical and psychological reports and records, and any records of test results. The term does not include:
  1. Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel (and educational personnel ancillary thereto) which are in the sole possession of the person who made them and which are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except another person who performs on a temporary basis the duties of the person who made the record.
  2. Test instruments (as distinguished from test results), test booklets and other testing materials.
  3. Certain records maintained by law enforcement units of education agencies.
  4. Records maintained about student employees.
  5. Records maintained about students who are 18 years of age or who are enrolled in an institution of post-secondary education.
Educational Service Agency (ESA) - A regional public agency authorized by State law to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies. An ESA is also an administrative agency for special education and related services provided within Alaska's public elementary and secondary schools. The Special Education Service Agency (SESA) offices are located in Anchorage.

Emancipation - A legal process for freeing a minor from all or part of the restrictions of childhood, including the presumption of legal incompetency.

Equally effective - A nonacademic or extracurricular service or activity must afford a child with a disability an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit or to reach the same level of achievement.

ESY (Extended School Year) - Extended school year services means special education and related services that meet state standards and are provided to a child with a disability beyond the normal school year, in accordance with the child's IEP, and at no cost to the parents of the child.

Evaluation - Process of determining if a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child may need. Evaluation procedures are used selectively with an individual child and does not include basic tests administered to, or procedures used with, all children in a school, grade or class.

Excess cost - Costs that are in excess of the average annual per-student expenditure in a local educational agency during the preceding school year for an elementary or secondary school student, as may be appropriate, and which shall be computed after deducting -
  1. Amounts received
    1. under part B of this title;
    2. under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; or
    3. under part A of title VII of that Act; and
  2. Any State or local funds expended for programs that would qualify for assistance under any of those parts.
Free and appropriate public education (FAPE) - The term "free appropriate public education" means special education and related services that
  1. Have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, without charge;
  2. Meet the standards of the State educational agency;
  3. Include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education; and
  4. Are provided in conformity with IEP requirements under IDEA 2004.
Full interdiction - An extreme measure taken to judicially declare an adult incompetent, rendering him or her legally incapable of decision-making, and giving authority for decisions to the interdict's guardian, the curator. Interdiction is only available when a temporary or permanent physical or mental illness or disability, or habitual drunkenness, make the individual incapable of taking care of personal needs and administering an estate. It is the requirement of incapacity to take care of person and property which distinguishes "full" from "limited" interdiction; one's person or property.

Functional behavioral assessment (F.B.A.) - Process for determining why a student engages in challenging behavior and how a student's behavior relates to the environment. This type of assessment can provide an IEP Team with useful data in order to design effective behavior intervention plans that assist the student in developing more appropriate behaviors and reducing inappropriate behaviors.

Functional vocational evaluation - An assessment of occupational interests, aptitudes and preparation opportunities.

general education curriculum - The same curriculum as for students without disabilities.

Grade Level Expectations - See Performance Standards/Grade Level Expectations

Guardian - A private individual who has been given the legal custody of a child by state court or by through the laws of a state.

High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE) - Beginning in 2004, Alaska students must pass this exam in order to be eligible for a diploma. The exam assesses student proficiency in the areas of reading, math, and writing.

Identify and locate - Related to Child Find, it is the process through which districts notify a parent that the District has reason to believe that the parent's child may have a disability and require special education and related services. Such children may include those not yet of school age, as well as those enrolled in school (public or private), home school, charter school, correspondence school, or educational programs in correctional facilities in the District. This process may also involve children who have voluntarily or involuntarily left school (without graduating) who are still of school age.

Illegal drug - means a controlled substance that does not include a controlled substance that is possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or under any other provision of Federal law.

Independent educational evaluation (IEE) - An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in question. The primary purpose of an IEE is to determine eligibility, not to develop the IEP.

Independent living - Initiating, maintaining and/or actively participating in a household using self-generated resources.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) - A written statement that is developed by the IEP Team and translates evaluation information into a practical plan for specially designed instruction and delivery of services.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) - Required by IDEA under Part C for infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services; the IFSP combines the IEP notion of planning with the idea that the family is critical to infant development. For children with disabilities ages 3-5, an IFSP may serve as the IEP if using that plan is agreed to by the District and at least one of the child's parents.

Informed consent - Informed consent means that:
  1. A child's parents have been fully informed, in the parent's native language or other mode of communication, of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought.
  2. The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which the consent is sought.
  3. The consent describes that activity and lists any records that will be released and to whom.
  4. The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time. However, parents may not retroactively revoke consent for actions that have already been taken by the District.
Instructional placement - The setting or settings in which special education services are provided, not the specific classroom or teacher.

Integrated employment - Paid work in sites and settings not unique to individuals with disabilities.

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) - A setting, other than the student's current educational placement, where the student will still receive FAPE. The setting is determined by the IEP Team and selected to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and receive those services and modifications included in the student's IEP. Due to a disciplinary action, a change in placement may be ordered for a student with a disability:
  1. To an appropriate educational setting, another setting, or suspension for not more than 10 school days (to the extent that such alternatives would be applied to students without disabilities).
  2. To an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for the same amount of time that a child without a disability would be subject to discipline, but for not more than 45 days if the student carries a weapon or knowingly possess drugs.
Involuntary commitment - If an individual has been legally determined to be dangerous to self, or not of capable monitoring self-care, personal safety, or either, or has been found not guilty by reason of insanity or presently lacking the mental capacity to proceed to trial, then the individual may be remanded to the custody of DHSS to provide appropriate living options and services.

Itinerant Services - Services provided by a special education teacher or related service provider to assist a regular teacher, or a classroom aide in serving children with disabilities. The Itinerant Service provider must develop and plan the program of a child with a disability when a teacher or teacher aide provides the direct services to the child. Supervision must be on-site, at least monthly, and must be included on the IEP of a child with a disability.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - Each child with a disability should receive services in an instructional setting that most closely approximates the learning environment of his/her non-disabled peers (regular classroom) in a manner beneficial to the individual student and students in the regular classroom. The LRE is determined by the IEP Team.

Legally adequate consent - Consent given by a person when each of the following conditions has been met:
  1. The person giving consent is of legal age and has not been adjudicated incompetent to manage his or her personal affairs by an appropriate court of law.
  2. The person giving consent has been informed of and adequately comprehends the matters, purposes, consequences, and risks of the procedure and benefits of any alternative procedure, and the fact that withholding or withdrawal of consent shall not prejudice future provision of care and services to the recipient. Furthermore, in cases of unusual or hazardous treatment procedures, experimental research, organ transplantation, and non-therapeutic surgery, the person giving the consent has been informed of and adequately comprehends the method to be used in the proposed procedure.
  3. The person giving the consent has given it voluntarily, free from coercion and undue influence.
Legal status determination - The establishment of whether it is a matter of record that the individual can give legally adequate consent or another person must give consent (e.g., the parent of a minor, a person properly designated by a court of competent jurisdiction).

Limited interdiction - Where incapacity is not sufficient for full interdiction limited interdiction may be appropriate. This may occur in response to a petition for full interdiction or limited interdiction. A judgment of limited interdiction provides for a limited curator who possesses only those specific powers necessary to provide for the needs of the interdict; the specific power and authority are not set out in the judgment of limited interdiction. The limited interdict is not deprived of any civil right, power, or authority except as specifically removed by the court. The law requires that the rights of the limited interdict must be infringed in the least restrictive manner consistent with his incapacities. In all other respects, limited interdiction uses the same procedures and safeguards as full interdiction.

Location - The type of instructional environment that is the appropriate place for providing services (e.g., resource room, regular classroom).

Majors - Adults, persons who are age 18 or above.

Manifestation Determination- A manifestation determination requires the IEP Team to review the possible relationship between a student's disability and the student's behavior that may result in a suspension or expulsion. The team must consider evaluation and diagnostic results, including data gleaned from the F.B.A. The team must also determine if the IEP and placement is appropriate, if the required program, including supplementary aids and services were provided, if the delineated behavioral interventions were consistently/reliably implemented as outlined in the IEP, and if the student understood his or her behavior and could control the behavior.

Maximum extent appropriate - The maximum integration of children with and without disabilities in the instructional and non-instructional setting consistent with the avoidance of harmful effects.

Medical services - Services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child's medically-related disability that results in the child's need for special education and related services.

Mediation - Process designed to assist parent(s), school or infant learning program personnel in resolving disagreements regarding the provision of an appropriate public education for children with disabilities under Part B and Part C of IDEA 2004. Mediation is a voluntary process agreed to by a parent and the District and provided at no cost.

Minors - Persons who are under the age of 18.

Modification - A testing modification is a change to the setting, timing, presentation or response format of a standardized examination approved by the Department and recommended for a student by the student’s IEP Team that alters what the test measures.

Native language - The language normally used by the child in the home/learning environment. Also for individuals with deafness/blindness/no written language, it is the mode of communication normally used, e.g., sign language, Braille, or oral communication.

Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities - They include the following services or activities when provided by a district: counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, referrals to agencies which provide assistance to persons with disabilities, assistance provided by the public agency in making outside employment available, meals, and recess periods.

Nonsupplanting - Part B funds may not be used for the payment of any costs directly attributable to the provision of FAPE to children with disabilities that would have been provided to such children by other federal, state and/or local funds.

Occupational therapy (OT) - OT services are provided by a qualified occupational therapist and include:
  1. Improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation;
  2. Improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning when functions are impaired or lost; and
  3. Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.
Orientation and mobility services - Services provided by qualified personnel to children who are blind or who have visual impairments to enable them to attain systematic orientation to, and safe movement within their environments in school, home, work, and community. Services include:
  1. Spatial and environmental concepts and use of information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature, and vibrations) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street);
  2. To use the long cane to supplement visual travel skills or as a tool for safely negotiating the environment for students with no available travel vision;
  3. To understand and use remaining vision and distance low vision aids; and
  4. Other concepts, techniques, and tools.
Outcome oriented process - A series of events unique to an individual student's need that lead directly to integrated employment, supported employment, post-secondary education, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living and/or community participation.

Parent - A parent means a natural or adoptive parent of a child; a guardian, (but not the state if the child is a ward of the state); a person acting in the place of a parent (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with the steps outline in this handbook.

Parent counseling and training - A related service that helps parents acquire the necessary skills to support the implementation of their child's IEP.

Performance Standards/Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) - GLEs are statements that define what all students should know and be able to do at the end of a given grade level. These standards are assessed using statewide assessments and other evaluation tools.

Person acting as a parent - A person who, with the consent of the parent, is acting in the place of the parent during the parent's absence. If a person acting as a parent is not a member of the child's extended family, written consent from the parent agreeing to such an arrangement must be provided to the District.

Personal or professional bias - An interest that precludes an individual from performing required responsibilities in an objective manner.

Personally identifiable information- Information that includes some or all of the following:
  1. The name of the child, the child's parents, or other family member;
  2. The address of the child;
  3. A personal identifier, such as the child's social security number or student number; or
  4. A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.
Person-centered planning (PCP) in the secondary transition process - Person-centered planning is a process and structure used in developing a student's IEP. This process can be used at any age that the team believes transition is an important part of IEP development.

Physical therapy (PT) - Services provided by a qualified physical therapist, with emphasis on impairments of movement that lead to functional limitations.

Placement - The overall education environment in which special education and related services are provided to a child with a disability and includes, but is not limited to, the child's instructional placement.

Post-school activities - Include post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation.

Post-secondary education - Organized educational programs provided by qualified personnel which are available beyond grades 9-12, such as those provided in community colleges; vocational-technical institutes; and four year colleges and universities.

Psychological services - Services provided by an appropriately trained psychological professional that include:
  1. Administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;
  2. Interpreting assessment results;
  3. Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning;
  4. Consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, and behavioral evaluations;
  5. Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents.
  6. Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
Public expense - The public agency either pays for the full cost of the educational service or insures that it is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent.

Public Law 105-17 - Federal statutory reference for IDEA 2004.

Quality Schools Initiative (QSI) - Alaska's statewide school reform effort that is designed to improve learning results for ALL students, including students with disabilities.

Record - Information or data recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to: handwriting, print, tapes, diskettes, film, microfilm and microfiche, photographs or drawings.

Recoupment - The ability to regain or recover the level of skills attained prior to interruption of programming.

Recreation - Component of secondary transition planning for students with disabilities. Includes assessment of leisure function; therapeutic recreation services; recreation programs in school and community agencies; and leisure education.

Regression - A reversion to a lower level of functioning, as evidenced by a decrease in the performance level of previously attained skills that occurs as a result of an interruption in educational programming.

Regular class - A specific instructional grouping within the regular educational environment.

Regular educational environment - The regular classroom and any other instructional setting in which both regular and special education services may be provided to children with and without disabilities, but does not include a classroom or other instructional setting in which the selection of children without disabilities is based on the criterion of educational disadvantage.

Rehabilitation counseling services - Services provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community of a student with a disability. The term also includes vocational rehabilitation services provided to a student with disabilities by vocational rehabilitation programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Related services - Transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.

Review and revision of the IEP - An evaluation by the IEP Team of the current accuracy and appropriateness of each of the statements or determinations called for in the development of the IEP and the actual formulation of additions, deletions or other modifications to the IEP.

School health services - Services provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

School term - A school term begins and ends on the dates fixed by the governing body of a school district. A school term shall include not less than 180 days in session, unless otherwise approved by the approval of the commissioner.

Screening - A brief procedure for identifying children who should receive a more comprehensive assessment, and may include informal, non-standardized procedures or formal, standardized procedures.

Self-sufficiency - The demonstration of independence evidenced by the ability to acquire skills commensurate with assessed potential.

Serious bodily injury - A bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

Social work services in schools - Services include the following:
  1. Preparing a social or developmental history on a child with a disability.
  2. Group and individual counseling with the child and family;
  3. Working in partnership with parents and others on those problems in a child's living situation (home, school, and community) that affect the child's adjustment in school.
  4. Mobilizing school and community resources to enable the child to receive maximum benefit from his or her educational program.
  5. Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
Special Education - Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

Speech pathology (SP) - Services include the following:
  1. Identification of children with speech or language impairments.
  2. Diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments.
  3. Referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments.
  4. Provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments.
  5. Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.
Stay put - A provision that requires the child to remain in the present program during due process proceedings unless an interim alternative educational setting is agreed to by the parents and the District. An AES may also be designated if the student is determined to be dangerous to self or others.

Supplementary aids and services - Aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with children without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.

Supported employment - Paid employment that requires the use of designated personnel to assist individuals with disabilities in acquiring and maintaining site specific skills.

Surrogate parent - An individual who acts in place of a parent to protect the educational rights of a student with a disability and meets the qualifications for surrogate parents.

Transfer of rights - The exchange of educational rights under Part B of the IDEA 2004 from parents to a student who has reached the age of majority (18 years).

Transition services - A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process that promotes movement from school to post school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation.

Transportation - A related service that includes travel to and from school and between schools; travel in and around school buildings; and specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps), if required to provide special transportation for a child with a disability.

Transportation units - The number of regular and specially designed buses and other vehicles used to transport children with disabilities to and from school, and between and away from school facilities and related service providers.

Travel training - Instruction to develop an awareness of the environment in which the student lives and to learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely in the environment (e.g., in school, home, work, and community).

Vocational education - A planned series of learning experiences, the specific objective of which is to prepare persons to enter, continue in, or upgrade themselves in gainful employment in recognized occupations not designated as professionals or requiring a baccalaureate or higher degree.

Vocational training - Providing instruction and work experience to promote the acquisition of specific job-related skills by qualified personnel.

Ward of the State - When the courts assign legal responsibility to make decisions regarding a child's education to a state agency or representative of a state agency. Some children are wards of the State solely for the purpose of care and treatment. In such cases, the parent(s) of the child maintains responsibility for participation in educational decision-making. A child who is a ward of the state is provided with a surrogate parent only when the courts have severed the parents' rights regarding educational decisions.

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