Partners in PROMISE created a comprehensive guide of special education resources for military families. We briefly describe each resource and encourage you to research further. It is our hope that these resources can continue to provide you with support as you navigate through your own unique journey. Please check out our blog for additional support and resources that our fearless leaders have compiled.
The Department of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is committed to improving the outcomes of children with special needs through two primary programs. These programs are the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitative Services Administration (RSA).
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities nationwide. Furthermore, IDEA ensures special education and related services to these children.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas of employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services. This also includes private schools, daycare centers, and gyms.
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is a component of the US Department of Education and is responsible for enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition, Section 504 requires that students with disabilities have appropriate educational services to meet the needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities.
State Education Agency (SEA) provides links to a variety of information including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
The Center for Parent Information & Resources is the central hub of information and products created for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities.
Understood.org raises awareness and provides resources, and support so people who learn and think differently can thrive in school, at work, and throughout life.
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) protects and enforces the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. As a result, this ensures that every student has the appropriate education they need to learn, grow, and thrive.
The National Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) is an invaluable non-profit resource. CADRE supports State Education Agencies, Lead Agencies, and federally funded Parent Centers in numerous ways. CADRE builds local-level capacity to prevent and resolve disputes. Moreover, they help develop more effective equitable dispute resolution systems. CADRE’s general phone number is: 514-359-4957.
Military One Source from the Department of Defense is your 24/7 gateway to trusted information, resources, and confidential help. In addition, this includes the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) support for military families with special needs, medical needs, and educational needs.
Military Installations are the official comprehensive source for information about duty stations and local resources. Furthermore, these resources include installation overviews, contacts for programs and services, check-in procedures, warm handoffs to a gaining EFMP Family Support Office, and community information for installations worldwide. Find your Local EFMP Office.
Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) deals with the challenges of frequent relocation of military children. Also, it offers guidance for uniform treatment of these children as they transfer between districts in multiple states.
About the Authors
Michelle Norman, Founder & Executive Director
Michelle Norman is the Executive Director and Founder of Partners in PROMISE, a non-profit organization focused on educating, advising and advocating for exceptional military families and their education. She is a Navy spouse of over 25 years and mother of a 18 year old daughter with cerebral palsy and many other medical diagnoses. After years of successfully advocating and winning multiple legal cases to ensure her daughter receives the minimum education required by law, Michelle realized that she was not alone. After seeing a gap in support, the Virginia Beach resident has become a passionate advocate for all military children with special needs and their families. Read more about our fearless leader here.
Grace Kim, esq., Founder & President of the Board
Grace E. Kim is the principal attorney with The Law Office of Grace E. Kim, P.C. Her practice is focused on Special Education and Education Law, including issues involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), restraint and seclusion, school discipline, and higher education issues. Read more of Grace’s bio here.