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    This page contains definitions of words and acronyms commonly used in relation to Special Education.

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    See Augmentative and Alternative Communication

    See Applied Behavior Analysis

    See Americans with Disabilities Act

    Adapted Physical Education (APE)
    A carefully designed physical education instructional program for a student with a disability.

    Administrative Review Team (ART)
    An administrative team that reviews eligibility for preschool and assigns students to a preschool IEP team.

    Adverse Educational Impact
    How, and to what extent, the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum and/or setting.

    See Paraeducator

    See Aversive Intervention

    See Aversive Intervention Plan

    See Alternative Learning Experience

    Alternative Learning Experience (ALE)
    Alternative Learning Experience occurs in whole or in part independent from the regular classroom setting or schedule.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    Law enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990 designed to protect the civil rights of people who have physical and mental disabilities. The ADA mandates changes in the way that both private businesses and the government conduct business to ensure that all Americans have full access to and can fully participate in every aspect of society.

    See Adapted Physical Education

    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. Positive reinforcement is one such principle: when a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, it is more likely to be repeated.

    See Administrative Review Team

    See Autism Spectrum Disorder

    The physical location where a student receives special education services.

    Assistive Technology
    Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

    See Assistive Technology

    A health care professional who is trained to evaluate hearing loss and related disorders and to rehabilitate individuals with hearing loss and related disorders.

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
    Refers to communication methods that help or replace speaking or writing for individuals who struggle to produce or comprehend spoken or written language.

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

    Aversive Intervention (AI)
    The use of isolation or restraint practices for the purpose of discouraging undesirable student behavior

    Aversive intervention plan (AIP)
    A plan within a student IEP that describes the systematic use of isolation or restraint for the purpose of discouraging undesirable behavior.


    See Board Certified Behavior Analyst

    See Bilingual Education Act

    Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
    A plan for reducing problem behaviors while increasing desired behaviors.

    Behavior Support Team (BeST)
    This is a provider in the Puget Sound are. Provides a timely and supportive response to families caring for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and behavior challenges.

    See Behavior Support Team

    Bilingual Education Act (BEA)
    Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968 was the first piece of United States federal legislation that recognized the needs of Limited English Speaking Ability (LESA) students.

    Bilingual Instructional Assistant (Bilingual IA)
    A school employee who works under the supervision of teachers or other professional practitioners to provide instruction or other direct services to children, youth and their families and is fluent in two languages, also able to provide communication support. See also paraeducator

    See Behavior Intervention Plan

    Birth-to-three transition coordinator
    The school district personnel responsible for facilitating a student’s transition from early learning.

    Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
    A graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services.

    A Seattle Public Schools postsecondary program that supports students with disabilities.

    Building administrator
    The Seattle Public Schools personnel responsible for administering a specific school building i.e. a principal.


    See Community Based Instruction

    See Common Core State Standards

    See Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss

    Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL)
    The Washington State Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL) is established to provide statewide leadership for the coordination and delivery of educational services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
    The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) who educate parents and improve outcomes for children with disabilities. CPIR is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education.

    Central Office Compliance Team
    An administrative team that reviews IEPs and other documents to ensure compliance with relevant laws and rules.

    Central Office Out of District Team (OOD)
    An administrative team that handles situations where students with disabilities transfer into Seattle Public Schools.

    Child Find
    The process used to locate, evaluate and identify youth, age birth to 21, who are in need of special education and related services, regardless of the severity of their disability.

    Citizen complaint
    A written statement to OSPI alleging that a federal or state special education rule or law has been violated by a school district, another public agency serving special education students, an ESD, or the state.

    See Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

    See Collection of Evidence

    Collection of Evidence (COE)
    An evaluation of a set of work samples prepared by the student with instructional support from a teacher.

    Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
    Drafted by experts and teachers from across the United States, they are clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade.

    Community Based Instruction (CBI)
    An instructional method for teaching, in real-life settings and under the supervision of educators, the skills that students will need for functional daily living as productive adults.

    See Crisis Prevention and Intervention

    See Center for Parent Information and Resources

    Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI)
    Non-violent crisis intervention.

    Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD)
    Referring to a group of people who represent multiple cultures and speak various languages.


    Databased Individualization (DBI)
    Process for individualizing and intensifying interventions through the systematic use of assessment data, validated interventions, and research-based adaptation strategies, used with students who have severe and persistent academic and behavioral needs.

    See Databased Individualization

    See Dialectical Behavior Therapy

    See Developmentally Delayed

    See Developmental Disabilities Administration

    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. Simultaneous hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

    Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH)
    A category of disability including some degree of hearing loss from mild to hearing loss of such severity that communication and learning is primarily by visual methods. Learn more about DHH in Seattle Public Schools.

    One of the 13 IDEA categories of disability. A hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
    DVR provides services to individuals who want to work but need assistance due to a physical, sensory, cognitive or mental disability. A DVR counselor works with each individual one-on-one to design a customized, step-by-step plan to achieve the desired job goal.

    Designated Instruction Services (DIS)
    Supports provided to students to ensure success in academic and other activities.

    Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
    Develops and implements public policies that will promote individual worth, self-respect, and dignity. Supports people to live in the community, provides supports to families.

    Developmental Screening
    A medical examination used to tell if children are learning basic skills like playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving when they should.

    Developmental Delay
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. A delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development.

    Developmentally Delayed (DD)
    Refers to only to children between the ages of 0 and 8 years old, a condition which represents a significant delay in the process of development. Children often have skill deficits including specific delays in language, perception, meta-cognition, and social, emotional and/or motor development.

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
    A therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm and substance abuse.

    See Deaf and Hard of Hearing

    See Designated Instruction Services

    Dual-enrolled students
    Students enrolled in both Seattle Public Schools and a private school.

    Due process hearing
    A formal, legal proceeding conducted by an administrative law judge relating to issues about the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of Free Appropriate Public Education to a student.


    Early intervention
    A system of coordinated services that promotes age-appropriate growth and development and supports families during the early years.

    Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT)
    Early intervention services during the first three years which can make a difference in a child’s life. Learn more about Early Childhood Special Education.

    See Expanded Core Curriculum

    Education Service Agency (ESA)
    Regional public multi-service agency authorized by State statute to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington State.

    Educational Service District (ESD)
    There are 9 Educational Service Districts in Washington State. They provide essential services for School Districts and communities and help OSPI (the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) implement legislatively-supported education initiatives.

    Educational Staff Associate (ESA)
    A certified school counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech language pathologist, or audiologist.

    See Emergency Expulsion

    See English Language Learner

    Emergency Expulsion (EE)
    An “emergency” exists when a student’s continued presence poses such a threat to people or property or so disrupts the education process that they must be expelled before a hearing occurs.

    Emergency Response Protocol (ERP)
    The Emergency Response Protocol is an addendum to the IEP that documents the advanced planning, conditions, and precautions needed in the case that isolation, restraint, or a restraint device may be used. The form must be signed by a Parent/Guardian, documenting their prior consent. The District must also provide Parents/Guardians with their policy on use of restraint and isolation. ERP’s must be incorporated into a student’s IEP and reviewed annually.

    Emotional Disturbance
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

    • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
    • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
    • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
    • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
    • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    End of Course [Exam] (EOC)
    Exams in math and biology allow students in grades 9-12 to be tested on the knowledge and skills they have gained from taking specific courses.

    English Language Learner (ELL)
    A student learning English whose primary language is not English.

    See End of Course

    See Emergency Response Protocol

    See Educational Service Agency or Educational Staff Associate

    See Educational Service District

    See Early Support for Infants and Toddlers

    See Extended School Year

    An assessment process used to determine whether a student has a disability.

    Evaluation Case Manager
    Seattle Public Schools personnel responsible for managing the evaluation process for a student referred for special education services.

    Evaluation team
    A team of school personnel responsible for evaluating student eligibility for special education services.

    Executive Director of Special Education
    The administrative head of the Special Education department.

    Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)
    Skills that students who are blind or visually impaired must learn in order to live and work independently, in addition to the “core” subjects like math, language arts, science, and history. The additional skills include social interaction, independent living, career education, communication modes such as braille.

    Extended school year (ESY)
    Special education services for students beyond the dates of the normal school year.


    Family Resource Coordinator (FRC )
    A person who assists a family in gaining access to the early intervention services for their eligible child and other resources as identified in the Individual Family Service Plan.

    See Free and Appropriate Public Education

    See Functional Behavior Assessment

    See Freedom of Information Act

    See Family Resource Coordinator

    Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
    The legal right to education for students with disabilities.

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
    A law that gives you the right to request access to federal agency records or information.

    Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA)
    A process that identifies a specific target behavior, the purpose of the behavior, and what factors maintain the behavior that is interfering with the student’s educational progress.


    General educator
    A teacher charged with implementing a school’s core curriculum.


    See Highly Capable Cohort

    Hearing Impairment (HI)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.

    Highly Capable Cohort (HCC)
    Students in Seattle Public Schools must be determined by the Advanced Learning Dept. to be Highly Capable by testing. Once qualified, a Highly Capable eligible student must apply (opt in) for the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) program. Once assigned to the HCC program they continue on the HCC pathway through 12th grade.

    See Hearing Impairment


    See Instructional Assistant (now called Paraeducator)

    See Interim Alternative Education Setting

    See In Class Support

    See Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    See Independent Educational Evaluation

    See Individualized Education Program

    IEP case manager
    The Seattle Public Schools personnel responsible for managing the process of developing and implementing and IEP.

    IEP meeting
    A conference between parents and school officials to develop, review, and revise a student’s IEP.

    IEP Online (IEPO)
    An online program used to write IEPs and other important special education documents.

    IEP team
    A team including parents and school officials that develops and monitors an IEP.

    See Individualized Family Service Plan

    See Individualized Health Plan

    In Class Support (ICS)
    Support provided inside the general education classroom by a Special Education Teacher.

    Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
    An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child in question.

    Individual transition plan (ITP)
    A plan developed as part of a student’s IEP at the age of 15 to develop a course of study and coordinated set of activities for the student that supports achievement of the postsecondary goals.

    Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    A legal document that describes a student’s learning needs, the services the school will provide, and how progress will be measured.

    Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
    A plan for special services for young children from birth to three with developmental delays.

    Individualized Health Plan (IHP)
    A formal, written agreement developed with the interdisciplinary collaboration of the school staff in partnership with the student’s family, the student and the student’s health care provider(s).

    Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
    A plan for special services for young children with developmental delays. It only applies to children birth to three years of age. Once a child turns 3 years old, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is put into place.

    Individualized Service Plan (ISP)
    A plan for special education students attending private school.

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    The law that outlines rights and regulations for students with disabilities in the U.S. who require special education.

    Instructional Assistant (IA)
    See Paraeducator

    Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES)
    An educational setting or program other than a student’s current placement that allows the student to receive services according to the their IEP.

    See Individualized Service Plan (for private schools)

    See Individual Transition Plan


    See Locally Determined Assessment

    See Local Education Agency

    Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
    The legal right of a student who has a disability to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.

    See Limited English Proficiency

    Limited English Proficiency
    Refers to a person who is not fluent in the English language often because it is not their native language.

    Local Education Agency (LEA)
    Seattle Public Schools is a Local Education Agency.

    Locally Determined Assessment (LDA)
    A test that is an option to students receiving special education services and can be used to meet the assessment requirement in English Language Arts (reading and writing), Mathematics and Science.

    See Least Restrictive Environment


    Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)
    A meeting which must take place within ten days of a behavior infraction that would cause a student to be removed from their current placement in a public school for more than 10 days.

    Manifestation Determination Team (MDT)
    A team responsible for deciding whether a student’s behavior is the result of their disability or the failure of staff to implement the student’s IEP.

    See Multidisciplinary Action Team

    Medical Services
    Services used for the purpose of diagnosis.

    See Multiple Disabilities

    See Manifestation Determination Review

    See Manifestation Determination Team

    See Multi-tiered System of Supports

    Multidisciplinary Action Team (MAT)
    School-based teams responsible for identifying and addressing student concerns at their earliest incidence.

    Multiple Disabilities (MD)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. A term for a person with several disabilities, such as a sensory disability associated with a motor disability. The combination of disabilities can cause such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities does not include deaf-blindness.

    Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
    A whole-school, data-driven, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for every student through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems.

    Mutual Exchange Form
    See Request of Information


    See No Child Left Behind

    See Notice of Disciplinary Action

    No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
    U.S. Act of Congress which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It was written in 2001. It included Title 1 provisions applying to disadvantaged students.

    Non-Public Agency (NPA)
    A private school approved by the state board of education or affiliated with a hospital or treatment facility that is eligible to provide special education services for students by contracting with a school district.

    Notice of Disciplinary Action (NDA)
    A parent/guardian is entitled to verbal and written notice of the proposed disciplinary action in the language spoken by the parent/guardian.

    See Non-Public Agency


    O & M
    See Orientation and Mobility

    Occupational therapist (OT)
    A health care professional who administers treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder.

    See Office of Civil Rights

    Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
    The Seattle Public Schools Office of Civil Rights is charged with receiving, investigating and resolving student complaints of discrimination.

    Office of General Council
    The legal department of Seattle Public Schools.

    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is part of the U.S. Department of Education. They are dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

    Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
    The division of state government in Washington charged with administering public schools.

    See Other Health Impairment

    See Orthopedic Impairment

    Orientation and Mobility (O & M)
    A significant and immediate consequence of visual impairment is the restriction in one’s ability to travel through physical and social environments and to anticipate and exercise control over potentially hazardous situations.

    Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

    See Office of Special Education Programs

    See Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

    See Occupational Therapist

    Other Health Impairment (OHI)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. Having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.


    A school employee who works under the supervision of teachers or other professional practitioners to provide instruction or other direct services to children and youth and their families. Paraeducators are sometimes referred to as “Instructional Assistants (IAs)”, “Aids”, and “Paraprofessionals”

    See Paraeducator

    Parent-Designated Adult (PDA)
    A school district employee selected by a parent--an individual who has executed a caretaker relative educational or medical authorization affidavit who voluntarily agrees to administer a specific medication to a student--for instance a student with diabetes or epilepsy.

    Parentally-placed private school students with disabilities
    Students with disabilities enrolled who have been enrolled in a private school as the result of their parent or guardian’s choice.

    Part C to B transition
    The process used to decide whether students who were eligible for special services before age three will be evaluated for special education eligibility after age three.

    Part C to B transition conference
    A meeting between Seattle Public Schools personnel, parents, and early learning officials to gather information relevant to the evaluation of a 3-year-old student’s eligibility for special education services.

    See Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

    See Picture Exchange Communication System

    See Parent-Designated Adult

    Physical Therapist (PT)
    health care professionals who help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility.

    Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
    A tool that helps nonverbal children communicate without words.

    See Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

    A service model option for a student with a disability.

    See Present Levels of Performance

    Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
    Process for creating school environments that are more predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals.

    Postsecondary transition
    The process that supports student preparation for life after high school.

    Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP)
    A statement that gives a snapshot of a student at a particular time and place. It describes the level at which the student is working academically and functionally (the ability to perform routine activities of everyday living). Previously called Present Levels of Performance (PLOP).

    Present Levels of Performance (PLOP)
    IDEA requires that each IEP must include a statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.

    Primary Placement
    Also referred to as SPS Primary Placement. A term specific to Seattle Public Schools. It defines a student’s special education home base and case manager’s specialty: Resource, Access, Social/Emotional, Focus and Distinct. These defined specialities create predictable pathways for student school assignment and for teacher professional development.

    Prior Written Notice (PWN)
    Notice provided to parents in writing before students are evaluated for special education services or about important decisions concerning a student’s special education program.

    Private school assessment team (PSAT)
    Assessment team at your child’s private school that affects your child’s special education program.

    Private School referral packet
    A collection of documents used to refer students for special education services that is provided to private schools by Seattle Public Schools.

    Procedural Safeguards
    A written notice of parental rights related to special education processes that must be provided to parents.

    Program specialist
    In Seattle Public Schools Special Education Program Specialists provide support to school staff and to families. There are two program specialists for each of the District’s 5 regions.

    See Private School Assessment Team

    See Physical Therapist

    See Prior Written Notice


    Regional Special Education Supervisor
    An Seattle Public Schools special education administrator responsible for schools within a defined geographic area.

    Related services
    Transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a student eligible for special education to benefit from special education.

    Request of Information (ROI)
    Also known as the Mutual Exchange form. A health form that gives Seattle Public Schools and a health care provider, hospital, or clinic permission to exchange information about a student.

    Resolution session
    A meeting initiated after a parent files a due process hearing request that is meant to give the district the opportunity to resolve the dispute.

    Response to Intervention (RTI)
    An approach to academic and behavioral intervention used in the United States to provide early, systemic, and appropriately intensive assistance to children who are at risk for or already underperforming as compared to appropriate grade-or age-level standards.

    RISERS or the Riser process
    This term is no longer used, but it refers to the process used to determine placement for students who are transitioning from one schooling level to the next i.e. PreK to Kindergarten, elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to transition program. For current information, see Change of School

    See Request of Information, also known as the mutual exchange form.

    See Response to Intervention


    See Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

    See School Based Health Centers

    School Based Health Centers (SBHC)
    School Based Health Centers are available at most Seattle Public middle and high schools. They are operated by community health agencies and are typically staffed with coordinators, nurse practitioners, and mental health counselors.

    School psychologist
    Professionals who apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.

    See Specially Designed Instruction

    See State Education Agency

    See Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council

    Secondary transition services
    Services to assist students in transitioning successfully to post-secondary life that begin no later than the first IEP in effect at age 16.

    Section 504 plan
    A legal document that outlines obligated school supports and services needed to address a disability as broadly defined by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    Service Plan
    A plan that describes the special education services that will be made available for parentally-placed students attending approved, non-profit private schools.

    See Speech Generation Devices

    Short Term Suspension (STS)
    A denial of attendance for up to and including 10 school days.

    See Student Intervention Team

    See Specific Learning Disability

    See Speech Language Impairment

    See Speech Language Pathologist

    Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)
    A standardized test consortium. It creates Common Core State Standards-aligned tests used in some of the US states. It is designed so that any student can participate and demonstrate what they know.

    Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
    A federal insurance company that is designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability.

    Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC)
    A council of parents, teachers, and community advocates who convene throughout the year to advise on issues related to Special Education.

    Special education certificated staff
    Teachers certified to teach special education.

    Special Education Ombudsperson
    Seattle Public Schools personnel who serves as a primary point of contact for parents seeking to provide feedback to the District’s Central Office. Learn more about the role of the Special Education Ombudsperson.

    Special Education Parent Teacher Association (PTSA)
    An independent body and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of assisting families of students with disabilities as they navigate the educational system, to partner with parents and educators, advocating for improvements in special education service delivery, and building bridges between the general and special education communities by bringing increased educational resources and opportunities for all students.

    Special Education Task Force
    A time-limited group of parents, educators, and district leaders working to propose a model for achieving a continuum of services for students with disabilities in Seattle Public Schools.

    Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
    Teaching strategies and methods used by teachers to instruct students with learning disabilities and other types of learning disorders.

    Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
    One of the 13 IDEA categories of disability. A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

    Speech Generation Devices (SGD)
    Also known as voice output communication aids, are electronic augmentative and alternative communication systems used to supplement or replace speech or writing for individuals with sever speech impairments, enabling them to verbally communicate their needs.

    Speech Language Impairment (SLI)
    One of the 13 IDEA categories of disability. A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    Speech language pathologist (SLP)
    A professional who evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty with speech or language.

    See Study Skills

    See Social Security Disability Insurance

    See Supplemental Security Income

    State Education Agency (SEA)
    A formal government label for the state-level government agencies within each U.S. State responsible for providing information, resources, and technical assistance on educational matters to schools and residents.

    State-Administered Parent Involvement Survey
    A survey of parent involvement administered by OSPI that is part of the State Performance Plans require by IDEA.

    See Short Term Suspension

    Student intervention teams (SIT)
    A team process that consists of consultation and problem solving which focuses on the needs of an individual student who has not previously responded to intervention.

    Study Skills (SS)
    Approaches to applied learning. They are critical to success in school, considered essential for acquiring good grades, and useful for learning throughout one’s life.

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    A U.S. government program that provides stipends to low-income people who are either aged (65 or older), blind, or disabled.

    Supplementary aids and services
    Supports that are provided in general education classes or other education-related settings to enable the student to benefit from their educational setting.


    See Teacher Assistance Team

    See Traumatic Brain Injury

    Teacher Assistance Team (TAT)
    Provides support and assistance to the teacher and principal so that instruction can be improved.

    Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired (TVI)
    A professional who has expertise in how visual impairment affects a student’s development and learning, as well as the strategies and tools that can help students learn about the world, perform everyday activities, and participate in the general curriculum and other activities in school.

    Temporary Alternative Placements for Evaluative Purposes
    An interim placement that assists in determining an appropriate ongoing placement for the student.

    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

    See Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired


    See Visual Impairment

    Visual Impairment (VI)
    One of the 14 IDEA categories of disability. An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.


    See Washington Administrative Code

    Washington Administrative Code (WAC)
    The regulations of executive branch agencies which are a source of special education law.