Special Education

Serving children and families since 1974

Before the mid-1970s, many children with physical or mental disabilities did not receive public education. In 1974, the Iowa legislature removed those barriers, and the U.S. Congress soon pursued a similar goal with the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires schools to provide equal opportunities in education for all children, regardless of their diverse learning needs. Iowa developed area education agencies (AEAs) to provide support services required by IDEA.

Central Rivers AEA has two major responsibilities in special education: identification of children with disabilities (Child Find) and providing support and related services to those identified children. Services are provided for children birth through the age of 21 and can be accessed through requests made by parents or school personnel.

Central Rivers AEA also serves as an educational leader in planning and supporting free and equitable access to quality educational programs and supporting school district staff, parents and AEA staff in meeting special education requirements and compliance.

Some of the most frequently used services include:

  • Media including books, videos and online resources
  • Professional Development
  • Technology
  • The AEA system assures families that each child will receive quality educational services and materials regardless of where they live – in a large district or a small one.
  • The AEA provides specialists who work with young children and in schools to support students, families and teachers.  Some of these roles include:
    • Speech-Language Pathologists
    • Social Workers
    • Physical and Occupational Therapists
    • School Psychologists
    • Special Education Consultants
    • Early Childhood Special Educators

Students with disabilities may be provided with accommodations that give them access to the general education curriculum and its assessments. Some students with disabilities participate in alternate forms of assessment in order to demonstrate learning.

Important Contacts

Staff Directory