Disability Rights and Public Schools
IDEA Part C
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA or IDEA) Part C is the federal law that outlines "Early Intervention Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities".
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Part C
- Article - Understanding IDEA Part C
- What is a child's "Natural Environment"?
- Part C Eligibility Considerations For Infants & Toddlers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - from IDEA Infant & Toddler Coordinators Association
Texas Newborn Screening, Tracking, and Intervention Requirements
The Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) is a required state program that focuses on identifying infants with hearing loss in order to provide the child and the family with access to appropriate services to help prevent or reduce developmental delays.
- Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
- Texas Code (rules) for Newborn Hearing Screening
Requirements for Referring Children and Families for Services
Once a child is identified as having a suspected or confirmed hearing loss, there is a rule in place for referral to services. "Child Find" is a component of IDEA that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. The Texas regulation states that "All primary referral sources must refer a child under age three who may be in need of and/or qualify for comprehensive early intervention services. Referrals must be within two working days of identification, and must be made to an ECI-approved program for evaluation and assessment of the child."
Eligibility and Service Coordination
If a infant or toddler, aged birth to three, is eligible to receive Early Intervention services and Auditory Impairment (AI) services, then the services are coordinated through ECI and are provided by both Texas Education Agency (TEA) Deaf Education Services and the DARS Division of Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECI). There is an agreement in place which describes how these two agencies work together to provide complete services called the memorandum of understanding or MOU.
IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan)
An IFSP documents and guides the early intervention process for children with disabilities and their families.
- Making a Plan for Your Child: IFSP Considerations for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing - from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Division of Human Development and Disability
- ECI General Requirements for IFSP
- Notice of Procedural Safeguards - an explanation of parental rights from the Texas Education Agency (TEA)
- National Association of the Deaf - Tips for developing an IFSP
- US Dept. of Education IFSP article
- Writing the IFSP for your Child
Planning services for children 0-3 requires planning and collaboration. Occasionally, this teamwork and collaboration can also require mediation or other strategies to solve disagreements.
CADRE (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education) provides state specific resources, national resources, a literature database, and a continuum of interventions for the stages of conflict.
CADRE (The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education) also developed "Working Together" - a collection of resources created to facilitate the collaboration between parents, schools, and early childhood programs. This collection includes short videos, a study guide, and related resources categorized by "Listening," "Positions & Interests," and "A Tale of Two Conversations." See, for example, IDEA Early Intervention Family Guides to Dispute Resolution.