Welcome to the special education resource site of the VBA Commission on the Needs of Children. The commission is an affiliate group of The Virginia Bar Association.

The website’s mission is threefold:

  1. To provide information to lawyers and health care professionals to help them understand how federal and state laws affect the delivery of special education services to Virginia’s children,
  2. To help them understand the technical language associated with special education, and
  3. To provide tools to advocate with educators in a meaningful way on behalf of children.

The development of the site is the result of collaboration between lawyers and medical professionals. Its impetus arose from questions over the years from health care providers who were treating young patients with disabilities about communicating effectively with schools on behalf of their patients. This website hopes to share what has been learned with other health care providers to enable them to know and provide the information needed by educators in determining whether a child is eligible for special education or in creating appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to guide the delivery of educational services.

Just as health care fields have their own “language,” which often seems foreign to outsiders, special education has its own language replete with legal meanings foreign to the uninitiated. Health care professionals (along with parents) struggle to understand this language and what it requires of them. The goal of this website is to make that task easier so that those who work with children who have disabilities can share their expertise in the common endeavor of promoting the educational success of children.