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.