Children with Disabilities


an adult leading a line of children outsideLeadership practices are the strategies and processes that promote professional and interagency collaboration, advocacy, and systems change. They support practitioners in providing high-quality services to young children, especially those at risk for or diagnosed with disabilities, and their families.

The resources below are organized based on their level of impact for learning and are only a sampling of the resources available on these practices.

Knowledge Awareness Level

Resources that fall into this category provide basic information and do not include activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect. They include archived webinars and checklists.

Americans with Disabilities Act – Resources
This resource provides an overview of federal civil rights given through the Americans with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in public activities. All audiences will find a brief description of the law and resources useful for working with individuals with disabilities.

Checklists: Collaboration in Leadership, Motivation and Guidance, and Vision and Direction
Learn more about recommended practices related to leadership from the DEC. Effective leadership is critical for children who have or are at risk for developmental delays. These three checklists help increase understanding and use of the DEC Recommended Practices related to leadership. They can be used as a self-evaluation or with a colleague, mentor, or coach.

Children with Disabilities
Listen as federal staff discuss how the Head Start Program Performance Standards address services and supports for children with disabilities. Learn how the standards support full inclusion and participation of all children who are and are not eligible for services under IDEA.

Collaboration with Families and Other Partners: Essential Features of High Quality Inclusion
Explore how to build partnerships that ensure high-quality inclusion for children with disabilities. Discover resources and strategies for communicating and collaborating with families and other adults. Learn the federal laws and policies related to these topics. Also, hear about ways to collaborate with state and community partners to build stronger infrastructure supports.

Disabilities Services Newsletters
Each Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter focuses on a different topic related to serving children with disabilities and their families. The format includes information about the topic area, concrete ideas to try out in the classroom, ways to involve and include families, and additional resources.

Early Childhood Inclusion Position Statement
Read the joint position statement from DEC and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) that underscores their commitment to quality early childhood inclusion. This statement may serve as the foundation for the work Head Start and Early Head Start programs do on behalf of children with disabilities and their families.

ECTA List of Part C Lead Agencies
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center provides a list identifying the lead agency for Part C services in each state and territory. It illustrates the variation between states in designation of Part C responsibilities and may be useful in building collaborative relationships with state Part C providers.

ECTA Map Finder
Use this interactive map to find state-specific contact information and government agencies for special education services to infants, toddlers, young children, and their families.

Frequently Asked Questions: Disabilities
Find answers to frequently asked questions about child development, disabilities, and providing effective services to children with disabilities. Answers include links for accessing additional information.

Young Children with Disabilities Infographic
This one-page infographic provides easy-to-read information about the requirements of serving children with disabilities. It includes essential information about laws, Head Start requirements.

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, Assurances Required, 45 CFR § 84.5
Review the legislation that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities by ensuring access to public services. Administrators, technical assistance providers, and Regional Office staff will find specific language regarding federal regulations describing expectations. Adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities will find information to advocate for themselves in programs.

Partnerships for Inclusion: Ensuring Access to High Quality Evaluation and Services
Watch this webinar for information on the federal laws and regulations for including children with delays and disabilities. It addresses the procedures and potential challenges that practitioners may come across during child screening, referral, evaluation, and service delivery, including the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI). A transcript, slide deck, and other handouts on inclusion are provided.

Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policies in Early Childhood Settings
This HHS/ED policy statement provides research-based evidence and guidance on preventing and limiting expulsion and suspension practices in early childhood settings. Find resources to improve practices that can support children's social and emotional development.

Policy Statement on Family Engagement: From the Early Years to the Early Grades
Families are critical partners in promoting child development. This resource provides principles and guidance from HHS and ED around the systematic inclusion and engagement of families in activities and programs that promote children's development, learning, and wellness. This includes the planning, development, and evaluation of such activities, programs, and systems.

Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs
Learn about the legal and research-based foundations for the early childhood inclusion of children with disabilities. Find guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) for practitioners, agencies, and states.

Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs
Find recommendations from HHS and ED for promoting the development and learning of all young children who are dual language learners (DLLs), birth to age 5, including those with disabilities. This resource provides specific guidance for identifying and supporting children who are DLLs with disabilities. It also offers general strategies and practices that can be adapted to meet the individualized needs of children who are DLLs with disabilities and their families.

Series on High Quality Inclusion
This webinar series focuses on aspects of inclusion and services to children with disabilities. Experts draw on current evidence to cover topics such as assessment, screening, evidence-best practices that support individualization, and partnering with parents.

Standards in Action: Interim Services for Children with Disabilities or Suspected Delays
This vignette looks at the Head Start Program Performance Standards on interim services (45 CFR § 1302.61(a)-(b)). Follow the program leader at a fictional grantee as she works with others in the process to meet the standard.

States' Part C Regulations and Policies
Disabilities coordinators, technical assistance providers, Regional and State Collaboration Office staff, and disability reviewers can use this information to understand the requirements that exist for infants and toddlers with disabilities in each state.

Supporting Children Who Do Not Qualify for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
Children who have delays but do not qualify for services need individualized support to participate in learning activities. Watch this webinar regarding the laws and regulations on this topic and learn supportive strategies that can be applied to all children in Head Start programs. The presentation also provides a brief overview of DEC Recommended Practices and RTI to help participants develop an understanding of inclusion practices. Use the slides and video transcripts as a reference.

Transporting Children with Disabilities
Read about the law requiring that agencies specify and comply with any special transportation requirements for a child with a disability when preparing the child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This can be used as a resource for training staff and parents on what is required for transporting children with disabilities. Find information around special requirements, including pick-up and drop-off, seating, equipment needs, additional assistance, and any training for bus drivers and monitors.

Knowledge Acquisition Level

Resources in this category provide information and activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect.

Shared Responsibilities: Helping Managers Understand
This workshop activity and case study is designed to engage participants on a personal or emotional level and help them understand how managers' decisions affect the day-to-day experiences of children with disabilities and their families. Tips for trainers and a discussion guide are included.

Mastery Level

Coaches, faculty, and professional development providers can use these resources to teach content to and support others in developing knowledge and skills application related to the content.

SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library: Including Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
Examine the beliefs and attitudes that influence and affect adults and children in inclusive settings, and the importance of developing a vision for inclusion. Intended for leadership development in early childhood special education, this module contains nine sessions of content and real-life examples. A facilitators' guide is included for trainers.