• Department of Student Support Services
    Integrated Supports for Students
     
    408 South Carroll Avenue
    Michigan City, Indiana 46360
    219/873-2000 extension 8333 
     
    Photo of teacher and student   
     

    To qualify for special education services, a student must:

    • Have a documented disability that is covered by IDEA, and
    • Need special education in order to access thegeneral education curriculum

    “Access” is an important term in education. Making the curriculum accessible to students with disabilities is a lot like making buildings accessible to people in wheelchairs. If there’s a barrier to your child’s learning, such as difficulty reading, the school needs to come up with the equivalent of a wheelchair ramp to help your child access the reading material.

    School districts have a process in place to determine which students are eligible for special education. This process involves a comprehensive evaluation that looks at the way your child thinks. It also looks at other aspects of his development. You or your child’s school can request an evaluation. If the district agrees to evaluate your child, the testing will be conducted at no cost to you.

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is the federal law that defines and regulates special education. The law requires public schools to provide special education services to children ages 3 to 21 who meet certain criteria. (Children younger than 3 can get help through IDEA’s early intervention sservices.)