Learning the Language of 2e Advocacy

January, 2018

Educational advocacy, like other areas of specialty, has its own vocabulary. Here’s are some basic terms to get you started if you’re new to advocating for your twice-exceptional child.

504 Plan — A plan developed under federal civil rights legislation (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) for students with physical or mental impairments. Intended to “level the playing field,” it allows students to get the modifications and accommodations needed to participate fully in school and may be appropriate for those who do not meet the criteria for an IEP.

Accommodations — Adaptations or modifications made to the way in which instruction is delivered and in the way a student demonstrates learning in order to help the student function better. Examples include reduced assignments, extended time, and use of technology.

Comprehensive assessment — A detailed evaluation used to identify a child’s learning strengths and weaknesses; includes IQ and other types of educational testing supported by research

FAPE — Free and appropriate public education, the right of children with disabilities under federal law

Individualized Educational Program (IEP) — A written plan provided under federal education legislation (IDEA) for an individual student receiving special education services. The plan, which includes goals for the student and any remediation or accommodations needed, is reviewed and updated annually. To be eligible for an IEP, a student must:

  • Be between the ages of 3 and 21
  • Have an identified disability that impedes learning to the point that the child needs specialized instruction in order to close the gap between the child’s own academic achievement and that of his/her age peers

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) — Legislation that provides federal funds to state and local agencies to guarantee special education and related services to children with disabilities

Learning disability — A general term that refers to a group of disorders that occur in people of at least average intelligence, affecting the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, and respond to information. This term is defined more specifically in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (See www.medicinenet.com/learning_disability/article.htm.)

Remediation — Instruction aimed at improving or developing a student’s skill or ability that is weak or nonexistent through techniques such as one-on-one instruction, additional explanation, or more practice

Response to Intervention (RTI) — A regular-education, rather than special-education, process mandated under IDEA and designed to help struggling learners who may not have responded to regular classroom instruction and who need a different approach or more individual help in order to achieve at grade level. The process, frequently used to identify students with learning or other disabilities, is also able to meet advanced learning needs, but that use is optional. 

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