Discipline Discussions: Our Discipline Policies Reflect Our Priorities

Discipline and Behavior: Our Discipline Policies Reflect Our Priorities

 1,591,473

Valerie C. Williams Director, Office of Special Education Programs Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

By Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

1,591,473

This is the total number of disciplinary removals students with disabilities experienced over the 2019-20 school year. Each removal represents a child’s time away from their typical learning environment: time away from their teachers, their peers, and their friends. For many children with disabilities, particularly those who find comfort in routines, it can be an uprooting and distressing experience. It is hard for a child to learn when they are removed from their class.

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Voices From the Field: Interview with B. Gerard Woodrich

Engaging Fathers

B. Gerard Woodrich

B. Gerard Woodrich is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. He obtained his Master of Social Work degree from Southern University, New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge. Mr. Woodrich specializes in treating depression and trauma-based anxiety due to emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. His greatest passion is centered around helping young African American males and at-risk youth using innovative and relatable techniques.

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Improving Outcomes for Native American Students With Disabilities While Respecting and Honoring Native Culture

Thomas Delaney closeup with forest pine trees rising up behind him

By Thomas Delaney, EdS School Psychologist, Interagency Partnership Supervisor and State Personnel Development Grant Director for the Minnesota Department of Education

When I was in high school in the mid-1980s, I got a copy of Richard Bach’s book “Illusions” into my hands. I can’t remember how that came to be, or who put it there, but there is a quote in that book that can always help you look in the mirror and recognize who you see, and it reads, “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”

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The Biden-Harris Administration Promotes Access to Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Katherine (Katy) Neas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Education
Sherry Lachman, Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance and Labor, White House Office of Management and Budget
Bert Wyman, Program Examiner, White House Office of Management and Budget 


The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving the lives of young children with disabilities and their families. We are working to ensure that every child who needs individualized and high-quality early intervention services receives them as early as possible. We have called on Congress to double funding for these services and we have made strategic investments to expand the number of early intervention providers, including in underserved communities. We are also developing user-friendly resources and technical assistance on expanding access to early intervention for early childhood state and local administrators and service providers, families, and advocates. As part of this effort, on December 14, the Department of Education, in partnership with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, hosted a webinar where we released informational guides for early childhood stakeholders to promote innovative and effective strategies for identifying and serving all children eligible for early intervention services.

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Discipline Discussions: The Impact and Harm of Exclusionary Discipline 

Discipline Discussions Banner - Introduction

Valerie C. Williams Director, Office of Special Education Programs Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

By Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Over seven million children with disabilities and their families rely on the effective, high-quality implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to support a lifetime of success.

Make no mistake about it, IDEA — and the rights and protections it affords — impacts a child’s future, how they view themselves as learners today and leaders tomorrow. In fact, the National Center for Educational Outcomes estimates that 85–90% of children with disabilities can be expected to achieve at grade-level when they are provided with the best instruction, supports, and accommodations. Indeed, the promise of IDEA rests with the full implementation of the law.

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47 Years Later, Are We Delivering on the Promise of IDEA?

IDEA -- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act -- 1975 > Present
By Valerie C. Williams, Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Forty-seven years ago, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) opened the doors for children with disabilities. At the time IDEA was passed in 1975 (originally named the Educational for All Handicapped Children Act, or Public Law 94-142), Congress found that children with disabilities were excluded entirely from the public school system. The passage of IDEA meant that no more children with disabilities could be turned away from school and required that they have available to them “a free appropriate education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs.”

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How I Realized I was Disabled

October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
Eliza Young

By: Eliza Young

Disability is a broad term that may seem hard to define. There are the medical definitions and the legal definitions, but what matters to me is how my disabled community defines disability.

Who can be included in the disabled community? What unites all disabled people? The answer, like for most communities, is a set of shared experiences of the world.

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Dyslexia Awareness Month: An Interview with a Parent

Note: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

Kristin Kane

Kristin Kane

Resha Conroy

Resha Conroy

By Kristin Kane

October is a great month for awareness, some impressive groups come together this month to share information about a specific issue. At the heart of it is a goal that helps others understand why the issue is important and why we should pay attention. Raising awareness can take different forms, but it is the connection of people that brings meaning to why a community raises awareness.

This month is Dyslexia/LD/ADHD Awareness Month, and I had the honor of sitting down with Resha Conroy, a parent of a child with Dyslexia. She is also a member of the National Center on Improving Literacy Family Engagement Advisory Board and has started her own non-profit, Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children

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