The Division for Special Education Services and Supports includes programs and services that support local school districts in their efforts to provide special education and related services to students with disabilities.
These services focus on enhancing student achievement and post-secondary outcomes through implementation of regional and statewide activities for students, families, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders.
Targeted areas for services and supports include accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, curriculum access and alignment, dropout prevention, family engagement, least restrictive environment, positive behavior supports, and transition.
Additional services include ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations for special education, collecting and analyzing data on educational services and outcomes, providing guidance and oversight of the budgets for state and federal special education funds, and coordinating dispute resolution requirements as required by state and federal regulations.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees students with disabilities the right to be educated with their peers in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to the maximum extent appropriate. IDEA also guarantees students with disabilities access to a full continuum of services and it is up to the IEP team to determine the Least Restrictive Environment for an individual student. The IEP team also determines the supports and accommodations necessary for successful participation in the LRE and other special education services as needed.
ASPIRE is a student led IEP initiate through the Georgia Department of Education's State Personnel Development Grant. Through this project students with disabilities are taught self-determination and self-advocacy skills through the active participation in their IEP meetings. Positive outcomes from this project include: increased graduation rates for students with disabilities, increase student achievement and decreased behavioral problems. The Georgia State Personnel Development Grant website contains all the resources needed to participate in the ASPIRE project. Additional resources are on the East Central GLRS ASPIRE webpage.
The Heart of Georgia Transition Alliance will assist students with disabilities to transition from high school to adulthood in order to be productive citizens, as measured by all students achieving their post secondary goals.
Bridge the information and services gap by encouraging agencies to work together and to share knowledge in order to raise the number of students with disabilities who graduate and who enter the work force
Reduce gaps attributable to budget constraints through grant writing, fund raising, etc…
Influence this region to adopt, expand, and support programs and services which can be sustainable over time so that students with disabilities and their families can receive consistent transition programming and information from early on
Develop transportation options so that individuals with disabilities can access services and employment
Improve the individual education and transition planning processes so that planning meetings and student interviews can be positive and effective transition tools
Develop a culture among schools and employers in which individuals will be educated and employed based on their abilities rather than excluded based on disability
Support, empower, and partner with families to raise awareness of resources and information concerning transition so that individuals with disabilities will become productive citizens