Getting To Know Your New Role As A Disabilities Coordinator

The following table is part of the Orientation Guide for Head Start Disabilities Coordinators. It suggests activities and steps that can guide new coordinators in the first few months and will help them find ways to navigate through the new community.

What You Need To Do Where You Can Get The Information

Review general employee information for your agency

  • Read program policies and procedures
  • Review your job description and organizational chart 

Meetings with supervisor(s), program manager(s), and other administrative staff

Review information specific to disabilities services

  • Get to know the services provided to children and families with disabilities in your program
  • Ask about the areas of program strengths and needs
  • Review your program’s calendar
  • Review program self-assessment, Program Report Information (PIR) and other relevant data
  • Ask about budget processes and financial designations for disabilities services

Meetings with supervisor(s) and other administrative staff

Review/Evaluate the Disability Services Plan

  • Review the process for revision and implementation strategies

Get to know the components of Disability Services Plan and other service plans

Understand/Review specific requirements for disabilities services

  • Policies and procedures regarding disabilities services
  • Timelines of services
  • Meeting State Regulations
  • Parents rights, diagnostic categories, eligibility criteria 

Head Start Performance Standards

State Regulations for disabilities services

Meetings with supervisors and other managers and services area staff

Documentation

Meetings with partners, including LEA and Part C agencies

Learn the documentation and record-keeping system(s)

  • Find out how your program documents the services for children and families with disabilities
  • Learn the processes for documentation 

Meetings with supervisor(s) and other managers

Documentation of processes

Understand current collaborations and community services to develop appropriate recruitment plans

  • Find out about the unique needs of your program’s community
  • Learn about current collaborative relationships with other programs
  • Review the guidelines for collaboration, transition procedures and Child Find responsibilities
  • Ask about the role of community advisories and Health advisory committees
  • Review existing Interagency Agreements
  • Review Recruitment Plans

Community Assessment

Collaboration agreements

Meeting partner agencies, including LEA and Part C

Meetings with supervisor(s) and other managers

Previous recruitment procedures and plans

Review program training plan

  • Learn about your program’s needs assessment and staff training needs
  • Find out about training materials available
  • Learn about the processes for professional development
  • Implementation and process for tracking professional development

Meetings with supervisor(s) and other managers

Existing training plan with calendar

Professional Development budget

Develop awareness of tracking and monitoring systems

  • Learn about the Program Information Report (PIR) and Office of Head Start Monitoring Instrument processes
  • Review Disability Services data Learn about data analysis and planning for disability services
  • Review communication protocols with partners 

Office of Head Start Monitoring Instrument

PIR

Children’s files

IEPs and IFSPs

Meetings with supervisor(s) and other managers

Meetings with community partners

Getting To Know Your New Role As A Disabilities Coordinator. Disabilities Training and Technical Assistance Team. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2008. English.

Last Reviewed: March 2010

Last Updated: March 12, 2015