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Accessible Instructional Materials

Find accessible textbooks and other instructional materials for eligible K-12 students with IEPs in Virginia.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

A child may be found eligible for special education and related services as a child with autism if there is an adverse effect on the child's educational performance due to documented characteristics of autism spectrum disorder. Children with a medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders must be found eligible for special education and related services under IDEA before an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. Children who are suspected of having a disability should be referred to their local school division for evaluation and to initiate the process for determining eligibility.

Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

Supporting individuals by promoting recovery, self-determination, and wellness in all aspects of life

Hearing Impairment - Deaf Hard-of-Hearing Resources


"Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects the child’s educational performance. 34 CFR § 300.7 (c) (3)

"Hearing Impairment" means 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 in this section. 34 CFR § 300.7 (c) (5)

Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC)

With a specialized focus on students with disabilities, PEATC collaborates with families, schools and communities to shape positive futures! To stay up-to-date and informed on PEATC's upcoming events, visit their website and subscribe to their eNews! 

You can also follow PEATC on FacebookTwitter, and Youtube!

VDOE: Autism Spectrum Disorders - Emotional Disability

A child may be found eligible for special education and related services as a child with autism if there is an adverse effect on the child's educational performance due to documented characteristics of autism spectrum disorder. Children with a medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders must be found eligible for special education and related services under IDEA before an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. Children who are suspected of having a disability should be referred to their local school division for evaluation and to initiate the process for determining eligibility.

VDOE: Graduation Requirements - Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations

Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and verified credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma.

VDOE: Sensory Disabilities - Visual Impairment / Blind

"Visual impairment including blindness" means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. (34 CFR §300.8(c) (13)

VDOE: Special Education For Parents

Parents play an important role in the education of their children, especially parents of children who are identified as having disabilities. The law requires that parents and school personnel work together to provide children with appropriate educational services.

VDOE: Specific Disabilities - Learning Disability

Specific learning disabilities are heterogeneous in nature, often differing markedly from one person to the next. The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective on July 7, 2009, and reissued on January 25, 2010 (the Virginia Regulations) define the terms as follows.

"Specific learning disability" means 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 an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disabilities; of emotional disabilities; of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (COV § 22.1-213; 34 CFR 300.8 (c) (10) )

VDOE: Specific Disabilities - Orthopedic Impairment

"Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures). (34 CFR 300.8(c)(8))

VDOE: Specific Disabilities - Other Health Impairment

According to IDEA, "other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality or alertness. This includes a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment and which adversely affects a child's educational performance.

VDOE: Specific Disabilities Speech - Language Impairment

Speech-language impairments can impact the way a student communicates. Speech errors include errors when producing specific sounds that are not a result of normal development or language acquisition, dysfluency (stuttering), or motor speech issues. Students may also receive therapy for improving the understanding and use of spoken or written language, pragmatics, and meta-linguistic skills. Students with swallowing disorders or dysphagia can also receive services from speech-language pathologists (SLP) in Virginia public schools

VDOE: Specific Disabilities Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

"Traumatic brain injury" means 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. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma. (34 CFR 300.8(c)(12))

VDOE: Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC)

The Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at Virginia Commonwealth University offers a variety of services tailored to assist personnel in schools, interagency coordinating councils and state-operated programs in Superintendent’s Regions 1 and 8. The VDOE T/TAC is a part of the statewide network of T/TACs across Virginia and a participating member of the online community T/TACOnline . The VDOE T/TAC at VCU is also a part of the Partnership for People with Disabilities , a member of the national University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities,and the VCU School of Education .

Virginia Family Special Education Connection

This website provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families and caregivers of children with special needs to:

  • Access local school system contacts and disability services in your community
  • Explore an abundance of resources to help your child succeed.
  • Learn about and plan your child's educational program
  • Understand your legal rights and responsibilities

The Virginia Department of Education hopes that you find the information you need, whether you are new to special education or looking for the latest news, research, and resources.

Parents and families can make a difference in their child's education.

The Virginia Family Special Education Connection website is funded through the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The Virginia Family Special Education Connection is maintained by a team of professionals at the Kellar Institute for Human disabilities at George Mason University in partnership with VDOE.