Special Education Services (SES) provides technical assistance to all education agencies serving Alabama’s children with disabilities as well as gifted children. SES is also responsible for ensuring that education agencies providing services are in compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations and for processing all complaints and requests for due process hearings and mediation regarding special education issues.
Alabama's Standards-Based IEP Initiative
In accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Alabama developed a model for providing access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities. State, regional, and local workshops were conducted to train teachers to lead the development of IEP goals and benchmarks, as needed, that are based on the general education curriculum standards. Standards-based IEPs provide individual plans that target grade-level academic content.
Alabama Curriculum Guides
The Alabama Curriculum Guides are resources for Alabama's teachers that provide prerequisite and enabling skills that lead to learning grade-level academic standards. The curriculum guides can be used to enable students to learn the content in smaller increments, catch up on content they may have missed in previous years, and/or review content related to grade-level academic standards.
Alabama Extended Standards
Although all students must have access to the state academic content standards, a small percentage of students with disabilities require standards that are less complex than the state’s grade-level academic content standards. In Alabama these alternate content standards are called the Alabama Extended Standards. The Alabama Extended Standards are the academic content for students with significant cognitive disabilities. These standards define what students with significant cognitive disabilities are expected to know and be able to do in reading, mathematics, and science.
Autism Alabama is an initiative of Special Education Services, Alabama Department of Education, to provide on-line trainng resources for parents and educational professionals on autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Alabama Autism Task Force, Ages Six-Twenty One Subcommittee, emphasized the importance of education personnel having a clear understanding of ASD and evidence-based treatment approaches. Additionally, the subcommittee recommended that parents have access to information in order to meaningfully participate in decisions about the best treatment approaches for their child.