ATTENTION UPDATE ADVERTISERS Please click here to access the NEW advertising rates and deadlines for COSAC’s bimonthly newsletter, UpDate.
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SECTION UPDATEDPlease refer to the autism-related links, which can be accessed via the Information and Referral section of the Web site for several updates regarding insurance information, financial planning and residential services.
THE COSAC GUIDE TO ADULT SERVICESThe COSAC Guide to Supports and Services in New Jersey for Adults with Autism is now available as a download from the Information and Referral section of the Web site. Please click here to access the page.
WEB SITE SURVEYCOSAC will be amplifying its Web site in the coming months and would appreciate your input. How often do you visit our Web site? For what information do you frequently search? Help us to decide the particular components of our upgraded Web site. Please click on the link below to view the Web site survey. COSAC Web site Survey
COSAC IN THE NEWS
Check out Paul Potito’s article in the April issue of Exceptional Parent Magazine.
AUTISM NEWSCOSAC’s Summary of IDEIA 2004 – Key Changes
(Law takes effect July 1, 2005)
1. Highly qualified special education teachers – can no longer hold emergency or temporary certification, and must meet certain requirements. Additionally, state or LEA cannot be “sued” because of lack of highly qualified teacher.
2. Private Schools – even if parents make a decision to unilaterally place their children in private school, districts will still be responsible for providing some services “to the extent consistent with the number and location of such children in the school district served by a LEA”. Additionally, the private school placement must be within the same school district. (There are five requirements for this provision). For districts to assume full financial responsibility of the placement, requirements remain the same.
3. Initial Evaluation & Reevaluation – evaluation must take place within 60 days after parent request. Reevaluations only required if teacher or parent makes request or if academic performance warrants one. Evaluation continues to be required before determining a child is no longer in need of special education.
4. IEP –
a. Elimination of requirement for “benchmarks and short-term objectives” except for those who are the most severely cognitively disabled.
b. Transition service needs – changed from age 14 to 16, adds transition services requirement for postsecondary goals for appropriate education, training, employment, and independent living skills.
c. Permits members of IEP team to be excused from IEP meeting if parents and LEA agree. If the meeting deals with an excused member’s area, they must provide input in writing to the parent and the team. Parental consent must be obtained.
d. Changes to IEP after annual IEP meeting may be made without holding IEP meeting.
e. 15 states will pilot 3-year IEP program.
5. Complaints – may only be presented concerning violations that occurred within previous two years before the date the parent or agency knew or should have known about the alleged action. Does not apply if parent was prevented from presenting the complaint (if LEA misrepresented that it had resolved the problem)
6. Procedural Safeguards Notice – only needs to be given once a year except upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation, upon first filing of complaint and upon request by parent.
7. Resolution Session – Required prior to a due process hearing. Must be held within 15 days of receiving complaint. LEA may not include it’s attorney unless parent has one and is offered the opportunity to resolve the issue.
8. Attorney’s Fees – Allows for attorney’s fees against the parent’s attorney where the complaint is frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation or where the parent’s attorney continues to litigate when the above mentioned are clear. Additionally, fees may be against the parent’s attorney or the parent if the parent’s complaint is presented for harassment purposes or causes unnecessary delay or needlessly increases the cost of litigation. Prohibits attorney’s fees for resolution session. Courts are also allowed to reduce attorney’s fees if parent’s attorney unreasonably protracts the final resolution of a complaint.
9. Stay Put – Does not apply to original educational placement setting. Interim educational setting is now the stay put placement until due process resolution.
10. Manifestation Determination – parents are now part of the team to make this determination. If so determined, IEP team must conduct FBA and implement behavior plan. If one exists already, it shall be reviewed and modified as necessary.
11. Early Intervention – states can adopt policies that allow children to remain with early intervention services until kindergarten rather than receiving services from the school district at age 3.For further information, please contact COSAC’s Information & Advocacy Services Department: 609-883-8100.
Don’t forget to check outNews & Events for a continuously updated calender of events in New Jersey and across the country. Be sure to visit this page in the future for links to special news on the website.