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Eligibility

Special education is designed to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education with services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. 

Special Education:

  • is not a place
  • refers to specially designed instruction (adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction)
  • ensures access to the general education curriculum so that each child with a disability can meet the educational standards that apply to all children

To be eligible for special education children must be referred, evaluated, and determined eligible for services. Federal and state regulations set parameters for how to respond to a referral for special education, generally what the evaluation process must entail, and how eligibility is determined.

View requirements relative to referral, evaluation and eligibility within the Rhode Island Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities.

View the Rhode Island Early Childhood Special Education: Referral, Evaluation, & Eligibility Determination document which provides comprehensive support to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs).

  • Referral
  • Evaluation
  • Eligibility
  • Rhode Island's Performance
  • Resources for Early Childhood Special Educators
  • Additional Resources

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