The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Under ADA children with disabilities are entitled to equal access to all entities, including chlld care and other early childhood programs. In addition, this law ensures that programs make reasonable accommodations so that children with disabilities can fully participate in the services and activities offered. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal education law that requires states to provide a free, appropriate, public education to eligible children. IDEA states that special education services be provided in the least restrictive/natural environment, including community settings where typically developing peers are participating. An important provision within IDEA addresses the need for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). A required component of the plan includes a written statement of the supplementary aids and related services to be provided to the child. Embedded interventions are considered supplementary aids and services. Including embedded interventions in the IEP or IFSP can help families and practitioners reach shared understandings about how they will work together to implement and evaluate these interventions for a specific child.
Listen to an exchange between Luke’s teacher, Jackie, and Rud Turnbull, one of the nation’s leading disability policy experts, as he explains teachers’ rights related to supplementary aids and services.
Audio 1.1: Interview with Rud Turnbull
A teacher of young children with disabilities asks Rud Turnbull, one of the nation’s leading disability policy experts, about her rights related to supplementary aids and services (embedded interventions) (running time: 2 min. 05 sec).
I’m going to need more help with Luke, so I wanted to know about my rights as a teacher with him [as] far as what we are providing in the classroom – even as a team – if that’s not enough what about my rights that I’m covered in my service to Luke.
That’s a very good question, Jackie, particularly because the statute focuses primarily on rights of the student and parents. You have several rights, though. You have a right to attend his IEP meetings. You have a right to confer with his parents and with your colleagues. You have an obligation to report his progress as often as the progress of other children is reported to their parents, and as part of those progress reports to have communication with Christine and Luke’s father. You have a right to request Luke to receive a reevaluation and if the reevaluation reveals that he needs different special education related services and supplementary aid services, you have the right to ask for the IEP to be amended so that he would get those supplementary aids and related services and special education. And finally you have a right to receive support from your administration and your colleagues and, where you need it, some in-service education. The reason you have that right is that IDEA provides that local educational agencies must have a plan for comprehensive personnel development – that is to say, in-service education. That’s an edge of the wedge that opens up those rights for you.