Special Education Related Resources

This section contains a selected list of resources about universal design for learning, inclusion, early learning, early intervention, disabilities, and the BICC project.

BICC Resources

The following publications feature articles about the BICC project.

  • Impact. Feature Issue on Early Childhood Education and Children with Disabilities. Published by the Institute on Community Integration and the Research and Training Center on Community Living, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota • Volume 22 • Number 1 • Summer/Fall 2009.

Universal Design for Learning Resources

These are organizations, articles, and internet sites dedicated to UDL.


  • CAST is a nonprofit organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning. Download UDL resources and information from their website.
  • The National Professional Development Center for Inclusion (NPDCI). The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) works with states (including Pennsylvania) to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers.
  • U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). OSEP, offers s a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities ages birth through 21. Their website includes a Tool Kit on Universal Design for Learning. http://www.osepideasthatwork.org/UDL/index.asp

UDL Articles and Web Resources:

  • Universal Design for Learning: From the Start.By Bonnie Blagojevic, Deb Twomy, & Linda Labas.
  • The Universal Design of Early Education. Moving Forward for All Children. By Michael Conn-Powers, Alice Frazeur Cross, Elizabeth Krider Traub, & Lois Hutter-Pishgahi.http://journal.naeyc.org/btj/200609/ConnPowersBTJ.pdf
  • UDL National Universal Design for Learning Task Force.

Inclusion in Early Childhood Resources

For additional information about early childhood inclusion, see these sites.

    • NECTAC. NECTAC is the national early childhood technical assistance center supported by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). NECTAC serves all 50 states and 10 jurisdictions with an array of services and supports to improve service systems and outcomes for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children with special needs and their families.

  • Circle of Inclusion. The Circle of Inclusion web site is for early childhood service providers and families of young children. This web site offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight. http://circleofinclusion.org

Early Intervention Services

Children from birth to age 5 who have special needs due to developmental delays or disabilities are eligible to receive Early Intervention services. Services are funded by the Department of Public Welfare and are provided at no cost to families.

To learn more about Early Intervention in PA: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/about/ocdel/003676718.htm

Parents who have questions about their child's development may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. The CONNECT Helpline assists families in locating resources and providing information regarding child development for children ages birth to age 5. In addition, CONNECT can assist parents by making a direct link to their local Early Intervention program or local preschool Early Intervention program.

Northampton and Lehigh County Early Intervention Resources

Birth to age 3:

Infants and children from birth to their third birthday are eligible to receive Early Intervention services if they are experiencing significant delays in one or more areas of development, such as physical, cognitive, social, emotional, communication, and adaptive, or are at high risk for developmental delays.

  • Northampton County. To request Early Intervention services, call: 610-974-7500.
  • Lehigh County. To request Early Intervention services, call: 610-782-3125

3 to 5 years old:

  • Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Early Intervention (EI) Programs and Services, for families living in Northampton, Monroe and Pike counties. The services provided help families of children ages 3 through school age with or at risk for developmental delays. Services may include: Early Identification, Screening and Assessment; Speech Pathology and Audiology; Special Instruction; Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy; and Family Trainings.
    visit http://www.ciu20.orgor call610-252-5550
  • Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 Project CONNECT Early Intervention Programs are for families living in Lehigh and Carbon Counties. Services are provided for eligible preschool children and their families and include developmental screenings and evaluations; occupational physical therapies and speech, hearing and vision services.
    visit http://www.cliu.orgor call 610-769-4111.
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Community Services for Children Northeast Regional Key. Contact: Mary Jo Mastriani. 1-800-528-7222, ext. 2320 or 610-437-6000, ext. 2320. http://www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspx?page=Programs_ECMH
  • Child Care Information Services, Inc. (CCIS) is a private, non-profit agency that originated and operates the Unconditional Child Care (UCC) program. UCC provides support and intervention for young children who have challenging behaviors in their child care programs. A wraparound team approach is used to develop intervention plans for children at their child care sites, with the goal of resolving problems while the child is still young. 610-419-4500.

Pennsylvania Resources

These organizations provide information about education, early learning, and support for children with disabilities in Pennsylvania.

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  • Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality (PA Keys).
    A statewide quality improvement program for early learning programs and practitioners sponsored by the Department of Public Welfare's Office of child Development and Early Learning.
  • PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network). PaTTAN is a professional development network of the Pennsylvania Department of Education working in partnerships with families and local education agencies to support programs and services to improve student learning and achievement.
  • The Special Kids Network (SKN) is a statewide toll-free helpline. The SKN helpline provides callers with a broad range of referral services for children with special health care needs and their families. http://www.portal.health.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/special_kids_network/14205 1-800-986-4550

National Resources

The following national organizations are dedicated to supporting educators, families, and individuals affected by disability.

  • The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving special and gifted education. CEC supports educators by providing professional information, resources, and professional development.
  • The Beach Center. The Beach Center offers training, technical assistance, information and referral services to families and individuals affected by disability, practitioners, policy leaders, and other researchers.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is the world's largest organization dedicated to improving education for all young children. They set and promote standards for early childhood education as well as provide resources for practitioners and families, offer professional development opportunities, and advocate for public policy to make high quality education available for all children ages birth - 8.
  • The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY is a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children and youth; effective educational practices; and special education law.
  • Family Village Specific Diagnoses Card Catalog. This website is a clearinghouse of information on hundreds of disabilities that includes links to helpful resources, web sites, and supports. www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/specific.htm

Resources for Families and Caregivers

Parents and caregivers of children and youth with disabilities in Pennsylvania can find free information and support from the following groups.

  • Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania (P2P) connects families of children with similar disabilities and concerns. This statewide service is free of charge.
    http://www.parenttoparent.org 1-888-727-2706
  • Pennsylvania Parents and Caregivers Resource Network (PPCRN) provides
    information and resources for parents and caregivers of children and adults with developmental disabilities. 1-888-5-PARENT; 1-888-572-7368
  • Parent Education Network (PEN) provides technical assistance, information, trainings, workshops and referral services to parents of children with special needs in Pennsylvania. http://www.parentednet.org 1-800-522-5827

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