Changes made to the format, response, setting, timing or scheduling that do not significantly
change the original objective

Adapted Physical Education (APE)
Related service for students with disabilities who require developmental, corrective, and/or
supportive instruction in physical education

Adaptive Behavior
The ability of an individual to demonstrate appropriate personal independence, social
responsibility, and environmental awareness for his or her chronological age and cultural group

Alternate Assessment (AA)
The alternate assessment is designed for students with disabilities who cannot participate in the
state standardized testing and reporting system. It is a means of including students with the most
severe disabilities in the State’s assessment and accountability program.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
This act prohibits discrimination of individuals based on disability. Public transportation services
have to be accessible to individuals with disabilities and discrimination in the employment of
qualified individuals with disabilities is prohibited.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Application of learning principles derived from operant conditioning; used to increase or
decrease specific behaviors; considerable research supporting its use with individuals with

Process of gathering information and identifying a student’s strengths and needs; data used in
making decisions regarding a student’s eligibility for special education and IEP needs.

Assistive Technology (AT)
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve
the capabilities of or enhance learning for students with disabilities.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)                                                                                                   A condition that can make it hard for a person to sit still, control behavior and pay attention. Children with AD/HD are sometimes eligible for special education services under IDEA’s “other health impairment” disability

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
A developmental disorder characterized by abnormal or impaired development in social-
communication skills and restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
A BCBA is a behavioral specialist who has completed the requisite course work, practicum
hours and test scores in order to fulfill the nationally-accredited certification.  It is prestigious
and difficult certification to achieve and specialists with this degree are considered experts in
behavioral programming and modification for students with ASD.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA)
A certification one step below BCBA that indicates a teacher has completed the requisite school,
experiential, and test work to demonstrate comprehension and application of behavioral analysis

Cognitive Skills
The act or process of knowing; analytical or logical thinking.


Assurance that no information contained in school records be released without parental
permission, except as provided by law.

Permission from the parent/student (eighteen years or older) required by law for individualized
assessment and/or implementation of an IEP for the provision of special education services.

Core Curriculum
The core curriculum is the range of knowledge and skills which are included in the district-
adopted course of study and which must be learned for successful grade promotion and
graduation.  The curriculum may include academic as well as cultural, social and moral
knowledge and skills. IEP goals should reflect knowledge and implementation of the district’s
core curriculum as adapted for the student with a disability.

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is responsible for identifying and
arranging for the delivery of special education services for preschool children with disabilities
from ages three to five. The CPSE is responsible for guiding parents in a process that includes
evaluation and, if eligible, the recommendation for placement in approved programs and services
for each preschool student with a disability. The educational programs and services for preschool
children with disabilities are the responsibility of the school district in which the student resides
in accordance with New York State Education Law, Article 89.  When parents contact the CPSE
in Rush-Henrietta School District, they must establish proof of residency.
The CPSE shall review, at least annually, the status of each preschool child with a disability.
The membership of each committee on preschool special education shall include, but not be
limited to:
 The parents of a preschool child.
 At least one regular education teacher of the child whenever the child is or may be
participating in the regular education environment.
 At least one special education teacher of the child, or, if appropriate, not less than one
special education provider of the child.
 A representative of the school district who is qualified to provide or supervise special
education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and the
availability of preschool special education programs and services and other resources of
the school district and the municipality. The representative of the school district shall
serve as the chairperson of the committee.

 An additional parent member of a child with a disability residing in the school district or
a neighboring school district and whose child is enrolled in a preschool or elementary
level education program, provided that such parent is not a required member of the
parent(s) of the child request that the additional parent member not participate.
 An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, the
school psychologist, the representative of the school district.
 Other persons having the knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including
related services personnel as appropriate, as the school district or the parents shall
designate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise of such person shall be
made by the party (parents or school district) who invited the individual to be a member
of the committee on special education.
 For a child in transition from early intervention programs and services, the appropriate
professional designated by the agency that has been charged with the responsibility for
the preschool child.
 A representative of the municipality of the preschool child’s residence. The attendance of
the representative of the municipality shall not be required for a quorum.”

Committee on Special Education (CSE)
The Board of Education annually appoints a Committee on Special Education (CSE) whose
membership includes, but is not limited to the following members:
 Parents/guardians of the student
 At least one regular education teacher of such student (if the student is or may be
participating in the regular education environment)
 At least one special education teacher or one special education provider (i.e., related
service provider) of the student
 A representative of the District who is qualified to provide/administer/supervise special
education and who is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the availability of
resources of the District
 An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results; may
be a CSE member selected from the regular education teacher, the special education
teacher or provider, the school psychologist, or the District representative described
above, or a person having the knowledge or special expertise regarding the student as
determined by the District
 At the discretion of the parents/guardians or the District, other individuals who have the
knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel
 When appropriate, the student with a disability
 School psychologist
 School physician (if requested in writing by the parents/guardians or District at least 72
hours prior to the meeting)
 Parent member (The parent member is a parent/guardian of a student with a disability
residing in the District or a neighboring school district. The parent member shall not be a required member if the parents/guardians of the student request, in writing, that the
additional parent member not participate in the meeting.)

The ability to use letter-sound relationships to translate a written word into a spoken word. It is
commonly described as the ability to “sound out” a new word.

An inability or incapacity to perform a task or activity in a normative manner.

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
An instructional procedure in which students are presented with many trials of the same task and
receive reinforcement for making correct responses; DTT is a common educational strategy for
learners with autism

Due Process
Procedural safeguards to ensure the protection of the rights of the parent/guardian and the student
under IDEA

Emotional Disturbance (ED)
Special education eligibility criteria for students who exhibit one or more of the identified
characteristics to a marked degree over an extended period of time in a variety of settings that
adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

Procedures used by qualified personnel to determine whether a child has a disability and the
nature and extent of the special education and/or related services that the child needs.

Expressive Language Skills
Skills required to produce language for reliable communication with others; speaking and writing
are expressive language skills

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This Act indicates requirements for the protection of privacy of parents and students

Fine Motor Skills
Functions that require small muscle movements such as writing, tying shoes, and buttoning a

Formal Assessment
Using published, standardized tests usually for measuring student characteristics, such as
“intelligence” or “achievement,” rather than skills, such as “brushing teeth” or “following a
schedule;” these tests have a standard set of directions for their use and interpretation.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Every student with a disability is entitled to special education services in a setting which meets
his or her individual needs and the IEP is designed to provide educational benefit

Functional Academics
Substitution of life skills as a means for teaching academic tasks; the core of many instructional
programs for students with moderate to severe disabilities

Functional Analysis (FA)
Functional analysis is conducted for a student with a disability who displays a serious behavior
problem.  In a clinical setting, trained behavior therapists manipulate the environment in order to
“test” different behavioral hypotheses.  An FA provides the most conclusive evidence for
behavioral function.

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
A functional behavioral assessment is a systematic strategy for determining the function of
challenging behavior.  Trained therapist collect data, interview service providers, and observe the
student in order to identify the most probably motivating factor for a specific behavior

Gross Motor Skills
Functions that require large muscle movements such as running, jumping, or swimming

Inclusion is a philosophy and /or practice focused on educating each child with a disability, to
the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and/or classroom he or she would otherwise
attend. Inclusion entails bringing the support services to the child instead of relocating the child
to an alternative setting to receive services

IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation)
Testing done by someone who doesn’t work for the school system. Parents may either pay for
such an evaluation themselves or ask the school district to pay. The school district can either
agree or dispute the need for the I.E.E. by filing for a due process hearing.

Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
A plan developed by the child’s educational team that coordinates special education services for
eligible infants and toddlers and their families

Individual Services Plan (ISP)
A plan that describes the special education and/or related services that the LEA will provide to
an eligible student voluntarily enrolled by their parent in a private school setting

Individual Transition Plan (ITP)
A plan included in a student’s IEP beginning at age 16 or younger that addresses transition
needs, interagency responsibilities, and prerequisite skills that a student requires to successfully
transition from school to adult life

Individualized Educational Program (IEP)
A written detailed plan developed by a collaborative team for each student ages 3-21 who
receives special education services

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)
The federal law that ensures that all children with disabilities have access to free appropriate
public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their

Informal Assessment
Measuring student performance through classroom observations, interviewing, or teacher-made
tests that have not been utilized with large groups of people and which do not necessarily have a
standard set of instructions for their use and interpretation

Informed Consent
In accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations and Education Code: (1) Parent has been
fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his/her
primary language or other mode of communication; (2) The parent understands and agrees in
writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his/her consent is sought, and the consent
describes the activity and lists the record (if any) which will be released and to whom; and (3)
The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on his/her part and may be
revoked at any time

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
The score obtained on a test of mental ability; determined by comparing an individual’s test
score to his or her age.

Intelligence Test
A standardized series of questions and/or tasks designed to measure mental abilities, including
how a person thinks, reasons, solves problems, remembers, and learns new information

Intellectual Disability (ID)
Replaces the term mental retardation; means significantly below average general intellectual
functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the
developmental period that negatively impacts a child’s educational performance

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
The concept in State and Federal law that students with disabilities will be provided special education and related services in a setting which promotes interaction with the general school
population and classmates who are typically developing, to a degree appropriate to the needs of
both. The LRE is determined by the IEP team on an individual student basis.

Local Educational Agency (LEA)
A local school district, County Office of Education, or approved independent charter school
which has the responsibility to provide special education services to eligible students.

Refers to the selective placement of students with disabilities in one or more general education
classes and/or other school activities.

A conflict resolution process that can be used to resolve special education issues. Mediation is
entered into prior to holding a due process hearing. It is the intent of the legislature that the
mediation conference is an intervening, informal process conducted in a non-adversarial
atmosphere that allows the parties to create their own solutions rather than having one imposed
upon them through the judicial process. When a parent files, the mediation will be scheduled
within thirty-five days of state receipt of a hearing request. When a district files, the mediation
will be scheduled within fifteen days of state receipt of a hearing request.

Changes to curriculum and assessment that significantly alter the expectations for the student

Group of professionals from different disciplines who function as a team but perform their roles
independent of one another

Non-Public Schools (NPS)
A private, nonsectarian school that enrolls students with disabilities who are on an IEP

Occupational Therapist

Professionals trained in helping students address daily living skills, fine motor skills, and sensory
issues in 1:1 or small group settings

Occupational Therapy (OT)
Services provided by a qualified occupational therapist that remediate daily living skills, fine
motor skills, and sensory issues

Other Health Impaired (OHI)
Means 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 and adversely affects a student’s
educational performance

The natural or adoptive parent, guardian, or person appointed to act as a parent for a student

Procedural Safeguards
Procedural Safeguards must be given to the parents of child with a disability at a minimum (a)
Upon initial referral for evaluation; (b) Upon each notification of an IEP meeting; (c) Upon
reevaluation of a child; and (d) Upon receipt of a request for due process; also called Parent

Program Specialist (PS)
A specialist who holds a valid special education credential and has advanced training and related
experience in the education of students with disabilities.

Public Law 94 -142 Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) of 1975, now entitled IDEIA
The federal legislation governing the education of all handicapped students. PL 94 -142
mandated that all public schools in the U.S. provide “a free, appropriate public education and
related services” to “all handicapped children.”  Law has been revised numerous times since its
original introduction; renamed IDEA and then IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education
Improvement Act)

Reading Comprehension
Ability to understand what one has read

Receptive Language
Receiving and understanding spoken or written communication; receptive language skills include
listening and reading

The process of requesting an evaluation for a student who is suspected of having a disability to
determine eligibility for special education and/or related services.

The learning principle that states that when behaviors are immediately followed by a preferred
item, activity, or condition then that behavior will be more likely to occur in the future

Related Services
Services defined by federal law whose purpose is to assist a student with a disability to derive
benefit from special education; includes transportation services, speech/language therapy,
occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, etc.

Response to Intervention (RTI)
A tiered model for intervention in which students who are at risk for special education referrals
are exposed to gradually increasing levels of support instead of placement changes.

School Psychologist
Professional trained to give psychological tests, interpret results, provide counseling, and suggest
appropriate educational approaches to learning or behavioral problems

Section 504
A civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and
activities, public and private, that receive federal financial assistance. Any person is protected who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
activities, (2) has a record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such impairment.

Self-help Skills
Refers to feeding, dressing, and other activities necessary for independent functioning in a
family, in school, and in the community

Service Provider
Refers to person or agency providing some type of service to children with a disability and/or
their families.

Social Skills Training
Using direct instruction to teach students appropriate social behaviors that increase an
individual’s social competency, acceptance, and adaptation

Special Education
Specifically designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the individual needs of a child
with a disability

Speech-Language Impairment (SLI)
A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a
voice impairment, that negatively impacts a student’s educational performance

Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
Professional trained to identify, assess, diagnose, and correct various types of communication

Task Analysis (TA)
Instructional strategy in which complex, multi-step tasks are analyzed and broken down into
sequential component parts, with each part taught separately and then as a whole

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-
oriented process, which promote movement from school to post-school activities, including post-
secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (i.e. supported employment),
continuing education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. These
activities are derived from the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s
preference and interests. The process begins at sixteen years (or younger) and includes the
student, family, education personnel and vocational and adult service providers

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
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 negatively impacts a student’s
educational performance.