Rocky Point Union Free School District Departments | Special Ed - Common Terms

Special Education

Terms and Definitions

Explanations of commonly used words and phrases in the special education program


  • ADA    Americans with Disabilities Act
    Civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination.
  • AIS    Academic Intervention Services
  • DDD    Division of Developmental Disabilities
    Public agency that offers various services to qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • ELL    English Language Learners
  • ESY    Extended School Year Services
    ESY is the special education and related services provided to students beyond the regular 180-day school year to maintain a student’s learned skills/behavior, not the teaching of new skills/behaviors. The IEP team decides whether or not the student requires ESY services and the location of these services.
  • FAPE    Free Appropriate Public Education
    Legal requirement for school districts to provide free appropriate public education to qualified students with disabilities, regardless of disability.
  • IAES    Interim Alternative Educational Setting
  • IDEA    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    Federal law ensuring services to children with disabilities. Governs how states and public agencies provide education to youth with disabilities.
  • IEP    Individualized Education Program
    Personalized education program for students with disabilities.
  • LD    Learning Disabled
  • LRE    Least Restrictive Environment
    Requirement to educate special needs children with children who are not disabled, to the extent appropriate.
  • NCLB    No Child Left Behind
  • NYSAA    New York State Alternative Assessment
  • OPWDD     Office of People with Developmental Disabilities
  • OT    Occupational Therapy
    Focuses on daily living, fine motor skills and sensory integration.
  • PLP    Present Level of Performance
  • PT    Physical Therapy
    Evaluation and treatment of physical disabilities to improve the use of bones, muscles, joints and nerves through exercise.
  • PTA    Parent Teacher Association
    Advocacy organization that promotes the improvement of health, welfare and education of children.
  • Related Services
    Specialized services provided by the district for qualified students, such as physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT).
  • SDI    Specially Designed Instruction
    Appropriate instructional adaptations that meet the needs of eligible students.
  • Section 504    
    Part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. Allows for accommodations and/or modifications so that children with disabilities can participate in the general education classroom with access to general education curriculum.
  • SEIT    Special Education Itinerant Teacher
  • SLP    Speech Language Pathology
    Therapy that focuses on improvement of communication problems.