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New EDR/EPC Forms Required on 01/01/2016

Districts currently have the option to use these evaluation forms but will be required to use them beginning January 1, 2016.

Notice of Public Review and Comment and Public Hearing - State Part B Application

In accordance with federal regulations governing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as amended in 2004, the Annual State Application and revised policies and procedures under Part B from the Arkansas Department of Education is available for public review from March 11, 2015, through May 11, 2015.

Written public comments will be accepted from March 18, 2015, through April 18, 2015.

Public hearings will be held on April 21, 2015, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and April 23, 2015, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education Unit, 1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 450, Little Rock, AR  72201.

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Information and Resources

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) ensure that all students with print disabilities have the opportunity to perceive the information contained in educational materials.  

New AIM Information and Resources are now available for Arkansas educators, parents and students.

Teacher Resources

Our new Teacher Resources page offers a compilation of resources designed to help teachers meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Click here for more information


In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has encouraged state departments of education to review their respective statutes, regulations, rules, or advisory documents, regarding the use of student restraints in public schools to determine whether they need to be updated or developed, and issued a Resource Document to aid states and school districts in this process.

In an effort to assist Arkansas school districts, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has developed Advisory Guidelines for the Use of Student Restraints in Public School or Educational Settings. It is ADE’s recommendation that districts review and consider these guidelines when developing or revising their own policies and procedures for implementation during the 2014-2015 school year and thereafter. These guidelines are not regulatory, but provide useful information regarding prevention and appropriate use of physical restraint. The guidelines also provide suggested procedures for training district staff, reporting incidents, and debriefing. Also attached is a sample Incident Record and Debriefing Form.

ADE advisory guidelines for the use of student restraint in public school or educational settings

ADE sample physical restraint-seclusion incident record and debriefing report

NCSC Professional Development

NCSC’s long-term goal is to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities achieve increasingly higher academic outcomes and leave high school ready for post-secondary options. A well-designed summative assessment alone is insufficient to achieve that goal. Thus, NCSC is developing a full system intended to support educators, which includes formative assessment tools and strategies, professional development on appropriate interim uses of data for progress monitoring, and management systems to ease the burdens of administration and documentation. The resources in the link below are the introductory professional development pieces developed by NCSC to prepare educators to teach the Common Core State Standards to students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Click here for NCSC Professional Development Materials

Surrogate Parent Training

Pursuant to IDEA, 34 CFR §300.519, and Section 15.00 of the ADE, Special Education and Related Services, Procedural Requirements, a public agency must appoint a surrogate parent to ensure that the rights of a child are protected when:

  1. No parent (as defined in 34 CFR §300.30 of the IDEA regulations) can be identified;
  2. The public agency, after reasonable efforts, cannot locate a parent;
  3. The child is a ward of the State under the laws of that State; or
  4. The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(6)).

A surrogate parent may represent the child in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child, and the provision of FAPE to the child.

The public agency must ensure that a surrogate parent:

  1. Is not an employee of the SEA, the LEA, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child;
  2. Has no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child the surrogate parent represents; and
  3. Has knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.

In an effort to assist districts in providing knowledge of IDEA to surrogate parents, the ADE Special Education Unit has developed a PowerPoint presentation that may be used by districts for information and training purposes. Notes are included as part of the presentation to help facilitate discussion.

Click here to download PowerPoint presentation

About Us

Welcome to the Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education website. Our website has been designed to offer straightforward access to useful special education information for parents, teachers, school administrators, and members of the public.

Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education Unit, works in collaboration with local school districts to provide special education services for students with disabilities (ages 3 to 21) in an effort to ensure that all special education students in Arkansas receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Special Education Unit is committed to improving educational results for students with disabilities though statewide leadership and support to schools, educators, students, families, and other stakeholders.

Additional responsibilities include the oversight of statewide compliance with all federal and state special education laws and regulations, development of programs and services, management of federally required data reporting and analysis, and administration of state and local special education budgets.