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Office of Student Services: Special Education

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Like all schools districts, students with disabilities are actively involved throughout the Liberty school community. They enjoy the same challenges and opportunities as their non-disabled peers. These students frequently receive additional services or participate in special programs to accommodate their disabilities while facilitating their success in school and life. What follows is a BRIEF explanation of some of Liberty’s -programs, plans and resources for students with disabilities. At the bottom of the page is a list of links to organization and professional websites.

Child Find

If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged 3 through 21 who is living in or attending a public or private school within the LCSD during the upcoming school year and suspect that this child may have a disability, please contact the Student Services Office at (845) 292-5400 x 5106. You must register in the district and meet with a representative from the Student Services office.

Programs for Students with Disabilities

Consultant Teachers

Consultant teachers are special education teachers who work with the regular classroom teachers to help “integrated” students find success in the general education environment. Consultant teachers, for example, may co-teach lessons, restructure assignments, provide special accommodations and follow-up with students and teachers after class. Since the goal is to provide a quality education in the least restrictive environment, most disabled students learn side-by-side with their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. Having consultant teachers helps LCSD achieve that goal.

Resource Room

The resource room is staffed by special education teachers who provide additional instruction to strengthen the skills of disabled students. Resource room teachers also work closely with students’ regular classroom teachers to provide students with necessary accommodations and modifications. This is also a time where they monitor the student’s progress.

Special Classes

While all disabled students are encouraged to participate in general education classes, for some this environment proves to be very restrictive. Some students require the additional support and structure of special classes designed to address their unique instructional needs. These classes have low student-to-teacher ratios and allow for more individualized instruction.

IEP Plan

The Committee on Special Education must develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for all students who are eligible for special education services. In developing the IEP, the committee considers evaluations, student strengths, concerns of the parent and, where appropriate, student performance on state and district assessments. An IEP documents the following: present level of performance; how the student’s disability impacts his/her participation in the general curriculum; classification of the disability; annual goals; recommended programs and services; whether or not the student will participate in state or alternate assessments; a list of any alternative accommodations; a list of any assistive technology devices; and transitional goals at the appropriate time. Parents are encouraged to attend all meetings as a member of the committee.

Information about Assistive Technology:

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system; whether purchased, modified, or created that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability. Assistive technology is used in the classroom first and foremost, but multiple environments must be considered as well. The purpose is to address the life skill areas of communication, mobility, recreation, vocation, independence, and therapy/rehabilitation.  Assistive technology is considered for all students with an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). Students with a 504 classification, or students who receive some services that are considered specialized education, MAY be considered for the use of assistive technology. As a result of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) legislation, students with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from a school district's programs and activities.  The need of a student who requires assistive technology is evaluated on an annual basis and could be considered at any time. For more information, please contact Eileen Conway-Whitaker at (845)292-5400 ext. 5112.

Click here for information on LCS Speech Services (PDF)

Parent Guides for Special Education

“A Parent’s Guide to Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3-21” (PDF document)

En Español, “Guía para los padres, Educación Especial en el Estado de Nueva York para niños de 3 a 21 Años" (PDF document)

“Preschool Special Education: Learning Outcomes and Indicators for Kindergarten Participation” (PDF document)

“Rights for parents of children with disabilities”

En Español, “Derechos para padres de niños con discapacidades”

• The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities has revised its publication, Categories of Disability Under IDEA. The new guide reflects changes made as part of IDEA 2004.

Special Education Presentations:

Special Education Presentation (PDF document) Special Education Process for Teachers (PDF document)

NEW Graduation Requirements

To promote career and college readiness New York State has introduced new diploma and credential options for students with disabilities. There is no longer an IEP diploma. Below are the current options. Click here for a flyer about graduation pathways or visit our High School Guidance Department.

Transition Information and Resources for High School Students with Disabilities

High School Diplomas

Regents Diploma: Must earn 22 credits distributed across specific courses and pass with at least a 65 on 5 Regents Exams (ELA, Math, Science, US History, Global History)
Local Diploma: Must earn 22 credits distributed across specific courses and pass 5 Regents Exams via Safety Net, which allows students with disabilities to pass exams with at least a 55 or (NEW) students may score less than a 55 on one or more of the required science and history Regents exams, if they have scores higher than a 65 on other required Regents exams AND meet attendance and course requirements.

High School Credentials (does not lead to a high school diploma)

Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC): For students with disabilities who have been assess with the NYS Alternate Assessment and attended 12 years of school, excluding kindergarten.
Career Preparation and Skills Credential (CDOS): (Click here to download a PDF document.) For students with disabilities who have participated in meaningful career development opportunities, in consideration of student preferences and interests that provide real work experience. Specifically, 2 units of study (216 hours) in Career and Technical Education coursework, at least 54 hours of work based learning, and has at least 1 completed employability profile.

Link to all current High School Diploma and Credential Certificates available to students with special needs.
Link to a PDF with brief explanation of new diploma and credential options.

Web Resources - Organizations and Professional Resources

A Practical Guide for People with Disabilities Who Want to Go to College
Everything you need to know, from planning on how to manage your disability on campus to planning on what to do with your degree once it’s in your hands, is addressed in this guide, with additional resources in the back.

Scholarship Guide for Students with Disabilities
The financial burdens of medical care can make it difficult for many students with disabilities to pursue higher education but this article may help you find a scholarships and grants and offers tips on how to apply for them.

Education and Special Needs
This site helps parents understand, implement and maintain a gluten and casein free diet for autistic children.
The Hudson 2-1-1 Developmental Disabilities Planning Council database is a great way to find a list of services for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities
NYS Department of Education home page
Council for Exceptional Children home page. The Council for Exceptional Children (CED) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.
The source for in depth and timely education and healthcare information that will make a difference in the life of parents and their children. Offers a free newsletter and lots of useful info.
LD Online is a service of The Learning Project at WETA, a public radio station in Washington, D.C. It contains access to articles, other sites, and a bulletin board to discuss special needs issues.
Home page of Sullivan BOCES. Curriculum, Standards and Assessment
The Ask Eric site is a database of searchable articles on education. It is primarily directed to educators but may be of interest to parents.
SullivanArc is a not-for-profit agency dedicated to providing support and services to over 800 individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and to their families. A chapter of NYSARC, Inc., SullivanArc is located at 162 East Broadway in Monticello, NY.

Autism Resources
This site helps parents understand, implement and maintain a gluten and casein free diet for autistic children.
Being armed with information about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) helps families feel more comfortable as they face new challenges. We are dedicated to supporting families by making information and resources more readily available.
Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children is a nationwide initiative aimed at communities with children ages 2 to 5. Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities. At the same time, the project fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids.
Sensory overload is the overstimulation of one or more senses, making it too difficult for an individual’s nervous system to process. This website presents ways to handle sensory overload for children with autism.
This website is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and offers a number of links to other websites.
Operation Autism directly supports U.S. military families touched by autism and autism spectrum disorders but has valuable information for all families. It serves as an introduction to autism, a guide for the life journey with autism, and a ready reference for available resources, services, and support.
The Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology website provides information and links for Accommodation Resources for people who have Autism Spectrum Disorders or Asperger Syndrome.
The Indiana Resource Center for Autism website provides, among other resources, teaching tips for children and adults with autism.
This website discusses what it means to plan your estate when you have a child with autism. It addresses the basics – like what exactly estate planning is and the challenges it can bring – as well as what documents you need to have in order in your estate planning, which documents your child needs to be successful and in compliance with the law, and how you should proceed once you have put your affairs in place.

Parent Support

Parents for Parents - English
The Parents 4 Parents Program provides parents with multiple resources that benefit the whole family. The scope of the programs is vast and is capable of being designed to meet the individual family's needs. Parents 4 Parents has a new resource in the form of a Facebook page. Click here to access this new resource.

Padres para Padres - Espanol
El programa Padres para Padres proporciona a los padres varios recursos que benefician a toda la familia. El programa es diseñado para satisfacer las necesidades individuales de la familia en los siguientes grupos.
Action Toward Independence offers advocacy, parenting classes, peer counseling, independent living skills, resource assistance and benefits advisement. Groups specific to Sullivan County are Autism Parent Support, Autism Social Skills Program, Mental Health Peer Advocacy, Mental Illness and Chemical Addition Advocacy. Contact: Linda Simmons, Parent Advocate and Autism Social Skills Coordinator
Action Toward Independence flyer (PDF)
New Hope Family Support Services offers programs for families such as summer and weekend recreational respite, clinical services and benefit coordination for children diagnosed with intellectual or Developmental Disability. Contact: Sherry Eidel, Community Outreach Coordinator;list
The Parent Education Ring is a gathering of web sites that have a common purpose of providing information and resources for parents and professionals who work with them.
A0K Teacher stuff provides teachers, educators and parents with resources to work with their students or children. It contains resources for reading, math, science, online reference books, special needs children information, freebies for teachers and an online discount bookstore.
The Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy and support for individuals with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and their families in NYS.

Software Reviews
A site for parents and teachers containing reviews about educational software for kids and occasional articles about issues in education.

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