Ideas that Work, office of special programs U.S. Department of Education

The contents of this website were developed in part under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150052. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government or Project Officer, David Emenheiser.

For Parents

This section of the website has information for parents of children with special needs. Below are Informational Tip Sheets on various topics that can be downloaded and printed.  To the right, are sample letters for parents to be able to click on, print and use as a template for their own child's letter.   Below the sample letters is a Resource section.  Please scroll down to see these resources to the right.  

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Below are Informational Tip Sheets on Various Topics that can be printed.  Just click on the title!

Q & A on Graduation Requirements between OCECD staff and Andrew Hinkle, ODE, OEC

Q: A child with a disability could still receive a diploma but would not be college and career ready if they were exempt from end of course exams, am I correct?

A: If student is excused from graduation test for graduation, and does not score proficient on those tests, or meet one of the other graduation testing pathways, then yes, the student will receive a diploma, but may likely not be college or career ready (as measured by the graduation testing options).


Q: Could you please explain to me what that would like look as far as a diploma is concerned? Would it not look like every other diploma?

A: Ohio only has one diploma, so the student would have the same diploma as other students. However, they would have received it without meeting the same requirements as other students. It’s worth mentioning that while Ohio recognizes that the student “graduate” with a diploma, the USDOE does not. The USDOE does not count as graduates students who receive a diploma but do not meet the regular requirements.


Q: There was a lot of talk around districts being ready for online testing and the benefits of being able to take the tests online including accommodations that were built in (universal design) and the benefit to both students with or without disabilities.

A: Yes, the online platform does provide many more embedded features than paper and pencil tests. This can be noted when comparing the online universal tools and the paper universal tools, And it has been reported, at least anecdotally, that students, including students with disabilities, prefer the online platform over the paper test (at about 2 to 1). However, this does not mean that we would see better performance in online testing. Consider that, even though the online platform is inherently more accessible, there are still ways to approximate the same features on paper.


Andrew R Hinkle

Education Program Specialist

Office for Exceptional Children

Sample Letters
Data presented in this brief on Due Process Complaints include dispute resolution data reported to OSEP by the states. This brief is one in a series that examines eleven years of IDEA dispute resolution activity, concluding in 2014-15.
Navigating the special education system can be challenging. CADRE's new resource provides families interested in hiring an advocate with questions to consider and highlights additional resources available to families.
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