Empowering families to advocate for themselves so that children with special educational needs can reach their full potential in education and life - through support, training, and education. 
Special Education in Missouri

There is often confusion about what options are available for students who are not making progress in school and/or who have barriers to learning.   Whether the issue surrounds academic difficulties, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, social and/or behavioral disorders, or mental disorders, help is available in many different ways.

Response to Intervention
When a child is identified as needing more assistance, schools provide Response to Intervention, also known as RTI.   Response to Intervention uses high quality, research-based instruction in general and special education to provide services and interventions to students who struggle to learn and may be at risk or suspected of having learning disabilities.  More information about RTI can be found here:  Response to Intervention - A Primer for Parents.

Section 504 Plan
A Section 504 Plan is a document that provides accommodations for students who have a disability.   While it does not provide specialized instruction, it can "even the playing field" for students who have disabilities.   A student must be evaluated for a Section 504 Plan, but the law does not require comprehensive testing.  You can learn more about a Section 504 Plan here:  Section 504 Plan.    

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individualized Education Plan, also known an IEP, provides specialized instruction to a student and can also provide modifications and accommodations, if necessary. In order to have an IEP, a student must be evaluated.  If a parent has a concerns about their child, he or she can request an evaluation.   A sample letter for requesting a full and comprehensive evaluation can be found here:  Sample Letter to Request an Evaluation  In Missouri, there are 13 different educational categories that can be considered after an evaluation including, but not limited to, Autism, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Other Health Impaired, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Orthopedic Impairment, Visual Impairment, and Speech/Language Impairment.  There are timelines that schools must adhere to and certain steps that must be taken.  You can learn more about the process here:  The 10 Steps of the Special Education Process .  

National Special Education News - New OSEP Director

The United States Department of Education has announced that a new director of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has been appointed.   Laurie Vander Ploeg, who is from Michigan,  is currently director of special education for the Kent ISD, and has served on the boards of Council for Exceptional Children, the Council of Administrators of Special Education, and other national organizations. She is the mother of a child with a disability and worked as a school special education teacher for 15 years in western Michigan school districts before entering administration.  Ms. Vander Ploeg will become the director of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services' (OSERS) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in November.

To learn more about special education in Missouri, or of you have questions, please visit  www.missouriparentsact.org  or call 1-800-743-7634 for questions, resources, or information. We are here to help you!
Dyslexia Awareness Month | 2018

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) uses the following definition of dyslexia:  "Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge." (IDA/NICHD, 2002)

In 2017, DESE released a document entitled Serving students at-risk for Dyslexia Guidance to LEA which was created to to "provide guidance to local education agencies (LEAs) for identifying and servicing students at-risk for dyslexia or related disorders in accordance with the provisions of Section 167.950, RSMo."  You can review the document here:  MO DESE Dyslexia Guidance.   

The guidance states that "In the 2018-19 school year and subsequent years, each public school, including each charter school, shall conduct dyslexia screenings for students in the appropriate year consistent with the findings and recommendations of the task force created under section 633.420. "Dyslexia screening" is a short test conducted by a teacher or school counselor to determine whether a student likely has dyslexia or a related disorder in which a positive result does not represent a medical diagnosis but indicates that the student could benefit from approved support."  

More information about dyslexia in Missouri, including webinars, can be found in the Dyslexia section of DESE's website here:    DESE Dyslexia Information

As always, please contact MPACT if you have concerns about dyslexia and/or any part of your child's education.   
Free Special Education Trainings
Does your child have a disability; struggle with learning, behavior, or social issues at school; or currently receive special education services? If so, Missouri Parents Act (MPACT) may be able to help. MPACT is a federally-funded, statewide parent training and information center. MPACT offers families free training, resources, and support throughout the special education process. 
 
All training descriptions are located on our website. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a training for your area or organization or  RSVP for any of MPACT's scheduled trainings  by clicking on the individual links below.

For more information about MPACT or to request information and resources about the special education process, please visit www.missouriparentsact.org or call 1-800-743-7634.

Northern Missouri Region

Cameron Transition Skills Day |Cameron, MO 
November 1, 2018 @ 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM 
First Baptist Church 
207 McElwain Drive Cameron, MO  
Contact:  Lisa Bowles at  lbowles@missouriparentsact.org

Kansas City Missouri Region

Dispute Resolution Process
October 29 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County - eitas
8508 Hillcrest Rd
Kansas City,  MO 64138

Special Education Mediation
October 29 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County - eitas 
8508 Hillcrest Rd. 
Kansas City, MO 64138

 
Kansas City Fall Career Festival - Preparing Teens with Disabilities for their Future
October 30 @ 4:00 pm -  7:00 pm
East High School
1924 Van Brunt Blvd 
Kansas City, MO 64127 
 

Section 504 and Students with Disabilities
November 5 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Whole Person
3710 Main Street 
Kansas City,  MO 64111
Understanding the Evaluation Process
December 10 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Trails West Branch Library
6000 Wilson Rd
Kansas City, MO 64123

Special Education:  What I Need to Know
December 10 @ 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Trails West Branch Library
6000 Wilson Rd
Kansas City, MO 64123

Understanding ADHD
January 23, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Whole Person
3710 Main Street 
Kansas City, 
MO 64111

Steps to Success: Understanding the IFSP
January 28, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Kansas City Public Library: North-East Branch
6000 Wilson Ave
Kansas City, MO 64123
 
Steps to Success: Family Record Keeping
January 28, 2019 @ 11:40 am - 12:30 pm
Kansas City Public Library: North-East Branch
6000 Wilson Ave
Kansas City, MO 64123

Special Education:  What I Need to Know
January 29, 2019 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Red Bridge Elementary
10781 Oak St
Kansas City, MO 64114

Steps to Success:  Effectively Communicating your Child's Needs
February 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Red Bridge Elementary
10781 Oak St 
Kansas City,  MO 64114

Special Education Law
February 27, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Whole Person, 3710 Main Street 
Kansas City,  MO 64111

Central Missouri Region  

October 24 @ 12:30 pm -  2:30 pm
Columbia Public Library 1
100 W. Broadway 
Columbia, 65205

November 6 @ 10:00 am -  12:00 pm
Pat hways
860 Lynn St 
Lebanon, MO 65536
 
Understanding the IEP Process for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
November 16 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am 
Missouri River Regional Library
14 Adams St
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Understanding the IEP Process
December 4 @ 6:00 pm -  7:30 pm
Jefferson City Baptist Church
3705 Route C 
Jefferson City, MO 65201  

St. Louis Missouri Region
  
Understanding ADHD
October 17 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Special School District of St. Louis County
SSD Central Office
12110 Clayton Rd
Town and Country, MO 63131
 
Understanding the IEP Process
October 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Special School District of St. Louis County
SSD Central Office
12110 Clayton Rd
Town and Country, MO 63131
 
Solving the Employment Puzzle
November 7 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Special School District of St. Louis County
SSD Central Office
12110 Clayton Rd
Town and Country, MO 63131
 
The Art of Effective Advocacy
November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
St. Charles City-County Library District: Spencer Road Branch
427 Spencer Road 
St. Peters,  MO 63376

Special Education - What I Need to Know
December 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hope High School, 307 West Pitman 
O'Fallon,  MO 63366

Art of Effective Advocacy
January 30, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hope High School, 307 West Pitman 
O'Fallon,  MO 63366
 
Steps to Success: IDEA Part C to Part B
February 6, 2019
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
St. Charles City-County Library District: Spencer Road Branch
427 Spencer Rd
St. Peters, MO 63376

Southwest Missouri Region
   
Southeast Missouri Region

Understanding ADHD
October 25 @ 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Three Rivers College, 2080 Three Rivers Blvd 
Poplar Bluff,  MO 63901

Positive Behavior Interventions
November 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Charleston Nutrition Center
205 West Commercial St 
Charleston,  MO 63834

Understanding ADHD
November 6 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sikeston Nutrition Center
307 Creset St 
Sikeston,  MO  63801
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MPACT Employment Opportunities

Regional Coordinator | Springfield, MO
More information here:    Regional Coordinator
MPACT is funded in part or whole by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H328M090020-10. The contents of the website, however, and any documents cited herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S Department of Education.
Copyright © 2018 MPACT. All rights reserved.
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