Written by Theresa Sidebotham on March 14, 2012 at 10:52 p.m.
The following are some of the most useful resources I found, as well as a short list of people who helped by providing information for this section.
A. Annotated Resources
1. Useful Websites
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
www.bazelon.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Online informational publications, legal briefs and analyses, and advocacy primers relating to youth with mental disabilities.
Casey Life Skills
www.caseylifeskills.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Assessments that evaluate independent living skills for different age groups, in English, Spanish, and French.
Colorado Department of Education Exceptional Student Leadership Unit Website
Homepage is https://www.cde.state.co.us/offices/exceptionalstudentservicesunit (viewed April 4, 2018)
Transition resources are at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/TransResources.asp (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
The website has a wealth of resources covering many topics. Sometimes it can be a little tricky to navigate, but the search engine works well. It offers a variety of useful information. Go to “Laws and Regulations” for IDEA, Exceptional Children’s Educational Act Rules, and others. Also, Department employees are helpful and have a wealth of expertise.
Early Intervention Colorado
Available at www.eicolorado.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Early intervention supports and services for infants, toddlers, and their families.
Another contact: Division for Developmental Disabilities, Colleen Head 303-866-7262
This is where you want to start if you are advocating for a child under the age of three with possible disabilities.
Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center
Available at www.rrfcnetwork.org/mprrc (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Federally funded resource center on special education to help states improve programs and services.
The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice
www.edjj.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Useful materials on the website about the intersection of disability and the juvenile justice system.
National Information Center for Children and Youth With Disabilities (NICHCY)
www.nichcy.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
National information and referral center for families, educators, and advocates on specific disabilities, special education and related services, and educational rights. Numerous useful articles. Information also available in Spanish.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
www.ojjdp.gov (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Wide range of information on juvenile justice issues, including education-related resources.
www.wrightslaw.com (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Probably the most comprehensive and easy to use resource available for special education and advocating for children with disabilities. Numerous articles and resources, free email Special Ed Advocate, excellent publications.
Yellow Pages for Kids With Disabilities
www.yellowpagesforkids.com (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Separate listings for each state and territory. Lists disability information groups; state agencies; support groups, advocacy groups, and more.
2. Articles and Print Resources
Abuse and Neglect of Children with Disabilities Factsheet Number 36
Arch National Resource Center for Respite and Crisis Care Services available at
www.archrespite.org (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
American Bar Association Standards of Practice for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases (approved February 1996) AbuseNeglectStandards.pdf.
Valuable document for those representing children.
Asking the Right Questions: A Judicial Checklist to Ensure That the Educational Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care are Being Addressed Permanency Planning for Children Department (April 2005) available along with many other valuable resources at www.ncjfcj.org in the list of All Publications. (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
Handy short resource that includes brief overview and explanation of what judges should consider, plus relevant checklists.
Brad Bittan, Esq., The Mandate to Use Special Education at Juvenile Delinquency Sentencing, 32 Colo. Law. 99, 100 (2003).
Brad Bittan, Esq., Juvenile Delinquency: A Protocol for Youth With Disabilities (2007). (Attached to this document.)
Sue Burrell and Loren Warboys, Special Education and the Juvenile Justice System, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Bulletin July 2000. Available at www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/2000_6_5/contents.html (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice & EDJJ, The National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice, Monograph Series (June 2002) http://cecp.air.org/juvenilejustice/juvenile_justice.asp (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
These seven juvenile justice monographs are an excellent overview of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.
Randy Chapman, The Everyday Guide to Special Education Law (The Legal Center for people with Disabilities and Older People 2008).
Excellent short book surveying education law; clear and easy to understand; new edition in 2008; also available in Spanish. Check out blog as well, at randychapman.wordpress.com/about/ (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
Colorado Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Unit, Colorado FFY 2005-2010 State Performance Plan for Special Education (2005, updated February 2008) available at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/SPP.asp (viewed March 13, 2012).
Fairly technical but informative.
Early Intervention Colorado
Early Intervention Colorado State Plan Under Part C (2010) (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
The State Plan is a detailed, indepth overview and indispensable resource for anyone who is involved with early childhood intervention. As the DDD’s policy and procedure document, it not only gives concrete detail, but provides the standard by which the Federal Office of Special Education Programs judges Colorado’s compliance.
Peter Leone and Lois Weinberg, Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, May 2010.
Jennifer Pokempner and Lourdes M. Rosado, Dependent Youth Aging out of Foster Care: A Guide for Judges, Juvenile Law Center (2003)
Available at www.nebhands.nebraska.edu/files/ (viewed March 14, 2010).
Overview and checklists for permanency hearings.
A Guide to FERPA, FAPE: Helping Parents and Advocates Improve Educational Results for Children with Disabilities
Available at www.fape.org/justice/sharing.html (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
Detailed guide to FERPA, including complete list of exceptions to prior consent requirement and procedural details on disclosing information under FERPA. Includes the text of the regulations implementing the statute.
Angela J. Herrick & Helen D. Ward, Advocating for the Educational Needs of Children in Out-of-Home Care Colorado Department of Human Services.
Excellent manual for caseworkers and supervisors that has material useful for anyone advocating for children in the child welfare system.
Kathleen McNaught, Learning Curves: Education Advocacy for Children in Foster Care (ABA Center on Children and the Law 2004).
Invaluable resource on special education and children in foster care, packed with details and checklists. Essential reference for judges, advocates, attorneys, and anyone involved in the child welfare system.
Kathleen McNaught, Mythbusting: Breaking Down Confidentiality and Decision-Making Barriers to Meet the Education Needs of Children in Foster Care (American Bar Association 2005) available at http://cca-ct.org/mythbusting2.pdf (viewed April 4, 2018).
Detailed and useful article with links to laws and examples. Invaluable. Also has a great list of resources at the end.
National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
Available at www.ncmhjj.com/ (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
National Children’s Law Network, In School, the Right School, Finish School (Holland & Hart and Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center 2007).
“A guide to improving educational opportunities for court-involved youth.” A good overview of the different laws that apply.
National Council on Disability, Improving Educational Outcomes for Students with Disabilities (May 14, 2004) available at www.ncd.gov/publications/2004/Mar172004 (viewed March 14, 2012).
National Council on Disability Testimony, Juvenile Detention Centers: Are They Warehousing Children with Mental Illness? (July 7, 2004) available at www.nami.org/ (viewed March 14, 2012).
National Council on Disability, Youth with Disabilities in the Foster Care System: Barriers to Success and Proposed Policy Solutions (2008) available at www.ncd.gov/publications/2008/02262008 (viewed March 14, 2012).
Long, detailed, and highly informative.
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Educating Homeless Children and Youth: The Guide to Their Rights (August 2007) available at www.nlchp.org/ (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center A Checklist for Improving Your Annual Performance Report for Indicator 13 (May 2007) available at www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/i13aprchecklist.pdf (viewed March 14, 2012).
Checklist for transition planning under IDEA.
Parent and Child Rights in Special Education: Procedural Safeguards Notice, Colorado Department of Education available at www.cde.state.co.us/spedlaw/info.htm (viewed Oct. 30, 2010)
Excellent short handbook that explains procedural safeguards under provisions of IDEA and the Colorado Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA).
Stephen Starin, Functional Behavioral Assessments: What, Why, When, Where, and Who? Available at www.wrightslaw.com/info/discipl.fab.starin.htm (viewed Oct. 30, 2010).
Special Education Advocacy for Children in the Juvenile Delinquency System (Joseph B. Tulman & Joyce A. McGee eds., University of the District of Columbia School of Law Juvenile Law Clinic, 1998).
Although it does not include the IDEA 2004 amendments, this is an excellent and detailed book on advocating for juveniles with disabilities in the juvenile justice system. Key resource for anyone defending or trying to rehabilitate juveniles.
The Special Needs of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Implications for Effective Practice, Children’s Law Center, Covington, Kentucky (2001).
Excellent, fairly lengthy, detailed handbook for representing juveniles with disabilities. Addresses many aspects and problems.
Unique Challenges, Hopeful Responses: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Youth with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System (Pacer Center, Minneapolis, MN 1997).
Covers most of the major disabilities, symptoms, implications, and possible treatments.
Peter W.D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright, From Emotions to Advocacy, (Harbor House Law Press Inc. 2008).
Excellent resource guide for special education advocates that not only explains the process, but how to meet a child’s needs and how to build relationships.
Peter W. D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright & Suzanne Whitney Heath, No Child Left Behind (Harbor House Law Press Inc. 2007).
Comprehensive discussion of NCLB.
Peter W. D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright, Special Education Law (Harbor House Law Press Inc. 2d ed. 2007).
Excellent all in one handbook on special education law; contains actual statutes with commentary. See also the www.wrightslaw.com website.
CCB Partners’ mission is “building partnerships to find innovative, practical and quality solutions to the challenges faced by people with developmental disabilities.” Member organizations are Denver Options, Developmental Pathways, North Metro Community Services, The Resource Exchange, and Eastern Colorado Services. The website is www.ccbpartners.org.
1490 Lafayette St. Suite 207
Denver, CO 80218
Court appointed special advocates help abused and neglected children throughout Colorado.
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
655 Broadway, Suite 775
Denver CO 80203
Organization is dedicated to promoting social justice and enforcing civil rights for people with all kinds of disabilities. Particularly impressive is the Resource Center, with detailed lists and contacts for many local resources.
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Special education rights and advocacy. Has listservs (one for attorneys) and discussion groups; annual conference. $150 a year for attorneys or $400 for an organization.
National Resource Center for Youth Services
An annual youth leadership conference for youth in or transitioning out of foster care.
Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) & Learning Disabilities Association of America
www.ldanatl.org & www.ldaamerica.org
National nonprofit organization with chapters in all states and a broad range of information and publications on specific learning disabilities, legal issues, and advocacy.
“The membership, composed of individuals with learning disabilities, family members and concerned professionals, advocates for the almost three million students of school age with learning disabilities and for adults affected with learning disabilities.” Useful material and articles on the site.
The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People
455 Sherman St., Suite 130
Denver, CO 80203-4403
303-722-0300 (Voice and TTY)
Very knowledgeable about special education issues and very helpful. A key resource.
Bridges to Work (the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities)
Bridges from School to Work “develops and supports mutually beneficial job placements to meet the workforce needs of local employers and the vocational goals of young people.”
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
Assists state and local workforce development programs to serve youth with disabilities.
National Youth Leadership Network
National voice for young leaders with disabilities. Includes a newsroom, resources, and youth experts.
“YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.”
Youth Transition Funders Group
“The Youth Transition Funders Group is a network of grant-makers whose mission is to help all youth make a successful transition to adulthood by age 25.”
Articles and resources; appears to focus mainly on social policy.
For questions and suggestions on improvement, please contact Theresa Lynn Sidebotham.
I would like to thank the following people for their invaluable assistance and the information they gave on the Special Education chapter, including, in many cases, reading over the draft for errors. There is not space to thank everyone I spoke to while pursuing resources, but I am grateful to all of them.
Any mistakes, legal and practical, are mine alone.
- The Honorable Barbara Bosley and her law clerk Kristin Marburg, from the Denver Juvenile Court;
- Brad Bittan, juvenile law attorney;
- Mary Griffin from the Child Welfare Office of the Department of Human Services;
- Colleen Head, CDHS-Division for Developmental Disabilities;
- Keith Kirchubel from the Colorado Department of Education on the subject of educational surrogate parents;
- Thom Miller and Randy Parcel from the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People for advice, research, and resources;
- Ed Rodgers and Sherri Piccione from the Office of the Guardian Ad Litem in Colorado Springs for resources, suggestions, and corrections, and the forms developed by their office;
- Shari Shink from the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center;
- Barb Taylor, Division of Youth Corrections, for interviewing and making corrections to the draft;
- Maureen Wirth from the Colorado Department of Education on the subject of out of district children;
- Wendy Armstrong, Exceptional Student Leadership Unit, Colorado Department of Education; and
- Laura Writebol from the Colorado Department of Human Services on education and child welfare.
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