Cumberland County Public Schools are committed to providing all children with disabilities a broad spectrum of educational opportunities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that all students with disabilities be afforded a free and appropriate public education to all students ages 2-21. Educational services must be provided in the student's least restrictive environment. This means that to the greatest extent possible, given the educational needs of a child, each child with a disability will be educated and participate in other school activities with their non-disabled peers. Special education is specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Cumberland County Public Schools provides individualized instruction to eligible children that address the unique needs of the child as a result of the child's disability. Cumberland County Public Schools ensures access of the child to the general curriculum, to ensure that the child has an opportunity to meet or exceed the educational standards.
A child may be found eligible for special education services in the following areas: Autism, Deafness, Deaf-Blindness, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability, Hearing Impairment, including Deafness, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment, including Blindness.
Special Education Referral Process
The special education process begins with a referral. A referral can be made by a parent, guardian, teacher, or other school-based team. The following steps are involved in the special education process:
• Identification and referral
• Determination of eligibility
• Development of an individualized education plan (IEP) and determination of services