Although all TUSD staff members play a part in the education of students who receive special education instruction and services, Ex Ed staff members are primarily responsible for determining the specially designed instruction and services to be made available to students who are eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law governing special education.
The purpose of the IDEA is to “ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education [FAPE] that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.1(a)]
The Ex Ed department includes teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, paraprofessionals, audiologists, sign language interpreters, administrators, clerical staff, and others. All work in coordination and cooperation with general education staff and administrators to create programs and plans that are focused on success of all exceptional students. A student’s particular team members are determined based on data collected when completing a comprehensive assessment.