A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities - 1996
Other OSEP Programs and Projects Benefitting Young Children with Disabilities
OSEP continues to support a number of projects designed to promote innovative strategies for the delivery of services to young children with disabilities and their families. Priorities include development of more effective practices, development of region-specific or population-specific program models, enhancing training for existing personnel and preservice training, and identification of strategies to recruit individuals into relevant fields of study.
The Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities
The Early Education Program for Children with Disabilities (EEPCD), originally named the Handicapped Children's Early Education Program (HCEEP), has been operating for the past 26 years. Its original mission was to establish model demonstration projects for the delivery of special education and related services to young children with disabilities from birth through age 8. The program has evolved as State and local early intervention systems have matured. EEPCD presently supports States and Outlying Areas in two ways: first, by developing programs that assist in the provision of comprehensive services for infants and toddlers with disabilities from birth through age 2 and their families; and second, by expanding services for children with disabilities ages 3-8 and their families. During FY 1995, EEPCD supported 125 projects: 41 demonstration projects, 47 outreach projects, 27 inservice training projects, 4 research institutes, 5 statewide data systems projects and 1 national technical assistance center.
EEPCD's demonstration projects address a variety of topics. They include the following:
- the unique needs of children with low-incidence disabilities, such as deaf-blindness;
- the use of technology to enhance services for young children with disabilities;
- multidisciplinary intervention services for children and families;
- interagency collaboration in the provision of services;
- family and professional collaboration;
- an examination of differing service delivery models;
- coordination between public and private agencies;
- curriculum and materials development; and
- services for infants with special health needs.
Outreach projects have two goals. The first is to increase the availability of high-quality services to young children with disabilities. The second is to promote replication of innovative models or components of models that were developed under the demonstration or inservice components of EEPCD or that have been developed with other funding. All of the 47 projects receiving outreach funding have a multistate or national focus and are funded for 3 years. Outreach efforts focus on improving training and services, as well as on interagency and interstate collaboration. All outreach efforts are required to coordinate their dissemination and replication activities with the State lead agencies under Part H and/or the Preschool Grants Program.
Inservice Training Projects
Projects in this priority area develop and evaluate inservice training models that will prepare professionals and paraprofessionals to provide, coordinate, or enhance early intervention, special education, and related services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and/or for preschool children with disabilities. Inservice training projects are funded for 3 years. During FY 1995, 10 new projects were funded for a total of 27 projects.
Four research institutes are supported. These institutes investigate:
Statewide Data Systems Projects
- interventions for children affected by parental substance abuse;
- influences on service patterns and utilization in early intervention and preschool programs;
- barriers to inclusion in educational, cultural, and community contexts; and
- successful early intervention practices adopted and adapted for early primary grades.
Statewide data systems projects expand States' capabilities for tracking data about services for children with disabilities and those at risk for developing disabilities, and their families, and for using that information to facilitate linking those services. During FY 1995, the following five projects were in their fifth and final year of funding:
- District of Columbia Department of Human Services: Statewide Data System for Birth through Eight-Year-Olds At-risk for Developmental Disabilities;
- Georgia Department of Human Resources: STREAM: Strengthening the Early Assistance Model through the Refinement, Enhancement, and Further Implications for High Priority Children;
- Florida Department of Education: Identification and Tracking System for Florida's At-risk Preschool Children;
- North Dakota Department of Public Instruction: A Statewide Data Management System for At-risk Children in North Dakota; and
- Ohio Department of Health: Linking Interagency Networks for Comprehensive Computer Systems.
[Implementation of the Part H Program]
[Summary and Implications]