KY’s Regional Interagency Councils (RIACs) are Seeking Parent Representatives

KY’s Regional Interagency Councils (RIACs) are seeking parent representatives to serve on councils across the state. The primary role of the parent representative is to serve as a voice for families who have children and transition-age youth with or at risk of developing behavioral health needs.  RIACs meet monthly and are made up of community partners representing the education system, family resource youth service centers, mental health centers, public health, community based services, courts, juvenile justice, youth, parents, and other community agencies that provide services and supports to children, adolescents and transition-age youth and their families.  Interested parents must have a child with a behavioral health need who is or has been a consumer of system of care services and supports.

The position is voluntary and compensation is provided for meeting participation.  Those selected will have opportunities to attend training, conferences, and meetings to support leadership development in their communities and assist with the growth and implementation of a youth and family-driven system of care.

For more information contact your local RIAC:
RIAC Map 2018     RIAC Contact Information with Counties

KY-SPIN’s Myth Busters: If a parent does not agree with the schools evaluation results

Myth: The parent has no options if they do not agree with the school’s evaluation results.

Truth: If the parent is not in agreement with the schools initial and subsequent evaluations in Kentucky they can request through the school an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) at the public school’s expense.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) Regulations
Part 300 / E / 300.502 Independent educational evaluation. (b) (1) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency, subject to the conditions in paragraphs (b)(2) through (4) of this section.

Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR)
707 KAR 1:340. Procedural safeguards and state complaint procedures. Section 2. Independent Educational Evaluation. (6) A parent shall be entitled to only one (1) independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the public agency conducts an evaluation with which the parents disagree.

Helpful Resources:

Right to Obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation (CPIR)
Communicating with your child’s school through letter writing(CPIR)
Evaluating Children for Disability (CPIR)
Just for Parents: Learning about Special Education Evaluation (PACER)
Evaluation: What Does It Mean for Your Child? (PACER)

Spotlight on KY: Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC)

The mission of the Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC) is to strengthen our state’s systems of support for persons affected by autism by bridging research to practice and by providing training and resources to families and professionals. KATC is committed to improving the quality of life for those affected by ASD. Learn More about KATC

Department for Medicaid Services Releases Two Guides

The Department for Medicaid Services Division of Community Alternatives:

The Department for Medicaid Services a week after releasing its response to Navigant’s final assessment report on the Commonwealth’s 1915(c) waiver programs has come out with two guides to explain plans for waiver redesign to individuals and providers. You can find the guides here: Guide for individuals and their families & Guide for waiver providers

The Department for Medicaid Services releases a response to Navigant’s 1915(c) waiver assessment final report

The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) Division of Community Alternatives:

The Department for Medicaid Services releases a response to Navigant’s 1915(c) waiver assessment final report (Published Oct. 15, 2018): On Sept. 20, 2018 the Department for Medicaid Services released the Navigant Consulting, Inc. final report on its assessment of Kentucky 1915(c) Home and Community Based waiver programs. The report included 11 recommendations for improving the programs and suggested next steps. The report finalized preliminary recommendations released in April 2018 and included feedback that the department collected from stakeholders in the spring of 2018.

Following a thorough review of the final report and stakeholder feedback, 1915(c) waiver staff, department leadership and leadership of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services selected and prioritized the recommendations and developed a response to the report. It includes the following information:

  1. Recommendations the department will adopt, how the department plans to adopt them and when you can expect to see program updates.
  2. Information on opportunities to learn more about the recommendations the department will implement, ask questions and get a more detailed explanation of what they mean for you.

Complete DMS Response to Navigant Final 1915(c) Waiver Assessment Report  

Navigant 1915(c) Waiver Assessment Final Report


Paulette Logsdon, Executive Director of KY-SPIN, has retired leaving a long legacy of service.  She has been with KY-SPIN since it began in 1988, she has dedicated 30 years to helping individuals with disabilities and their families at KY-SPIN and prior to that as well.  Paulette has paved the way for us all, not just in Kentucky but throughout the US to achieve great things for our families!  Although she will be greatly missed, she deserves this more than anyone and she will always be an important part of KY-SPIN.

Rhonda Logsdon was recently name the Executive Director of KY-SPIN.  Rhonda has been with KY-SPIN for 30 years in various capacities. She is a sibling of 3 whom have a disability and began as a teenager presenting for KY-SPIN. She is also a proud mom who foster/adopted her child. She is dedicated to assisting families and persons with disabilities to access needed information to be successful. Rhonda believes all children, no matter the severity of their disability, can achieve great things!

KY-SPIN’s Myth Busters: Timeline for Initial Evaluation to be Completed

Myth: The school does not have a set date to have the initial evaluation for Special Education/IEP (ages 3-21) to be completed by.

Truth: In Kentucky public schools have 60 school days from the date the parent signed the parental consent to evaluate.  This is not calendar days, weekends and breaks from school do not count.

If your child attends school on one of our military bases in Kentucky (Fort Knox or Fort Campbell) they are operated by Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). For DoDEA Schools they have 45 school days from the date that you sign the “Parent Permission to Assess” form.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) Regulations:

Part 300 / D / Sec. 300.301 Initial evaluations. (c) (1) (i) Must be conducted within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation; or (ii) If the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe; and

Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR):
707 KAR 1:320. Individual education program. Section 2. ARC Meetings. (3) An LEA shall ensure that within sixty (60) school days following the receipt of the parental consent for an initial evaluation of a child:

Helpful Resources:

DoDEA Parents Handbook on Special Education

FAQ: Kentucky Specific Regulations as related to IDEA 2004 Part B (ages 3-21) Chart (KY-SPIN, Inc.)

How to Get An Evaluation for Your Child Through School (ages 3-21) KY-SPIN, Inc. Information Sheet Series

Communicating with your child’s school through letter writing (NICHCY)

Evaluation: What Does It Mean for Your Child? (PACER)

Just for Parents: Learning about Special Education Evaluation (PACER)

Evaluating children for the presence of disability (NICHCY)

Categories of disability under IDEA (NICHCY)

Spotlight on KY: The Arc of Kentucky

The Arc of Kentucky holds a vision of a positive future for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; a future of communities with services and supports that will promote lives of value for Kentuckians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Kentucky believes that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are contributing members of schools, work places, churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, and their communities.  Learn More

Announcing New OSEP Director

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog:

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is excited to announce that Laurie VanderPloeg is joining the team as Director for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). We have full confidence that Laurie’s depth of knowledge and experience as well as her dedication to preparing students for success will move us forward in our commitment to raise expectations and improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities across the country.

Laurie has dedicated the past 38 years to ensuring that students with disabilities have access to a high-quality education, and her passion for empowering students to succeed began long before she entered the field. Laurie’s mom was a teacher who helped develop one of the first instructional support models for a school district in Lansing, MI, and her work ethic inspired Laurie to seek a similar career path.

“My mom was my first mentor and role model,” Laurie said. “I watched her commitment to her profession and observed her passion for meeting the individual needs of students.” Read More

KY-SPIN’s Myth Busters: ARC/IEP Team Meeting Frequency

Myth: You can only have 1 ARC/IEP Team Meeting a year

Truth: You can request an Admissions and Release Committee (ARC)/IEP meeting at anytime, but you will at least have one annually to review and update the IEP as needed.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) Regulations Part 300 / D / 300.324 Development, review, and revision of IEP. (b) Review and revision of IEPs. (1) … the IEP Team– (i) Reviews the child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved; and

Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR)
707 KAR 1:320. Individual education program. Section 2. ARC Meetings. (6) An LEA shall ensure that the ARC: (a) Reviews each child’s IEP periodically, but no less than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved;

Spotlight on KY: HDI’s The Parent Involvement Initiative

Human Development Institute’s (HDI)
The Parent Involvement Initiative

The Parent Involvement Initiative is part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and managed by the University of Kentucky. It is designed to promote stakeholder engagement in Kentucky Department of Education initiatives (e.g. State Performance Plan and State Systemic Improvement Plan).

Check out all their great resources like The Kentucky Parent Guide for Special Education (HDI) & they have a very helpful Parent Involvement Video Series!

Newly Released! OSERS Framework (U.S. Department of Education)

U.S. Department of Education News RElease 9/20/18

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett has released a framework that communicates the way OSERS will focus its work to advance the Secretary of Education’s priorities and continue to make progress toward achieving its mission to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

The framework prioritizes rethinking all aspects of how we better serve infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with disabilities. It highlights OSERS’ commitment to support states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities; to provide states flexibility to implement their programs within the constructs of the law; and to partner with parents, individuals with disabilities, and diverse stakeholders.

As an example of OSERS’ commitment to rethink anything and everything to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, Assistant Secretary Collett addressed in a blog the need to rethink special education to prepare each individual for successful careers and a meaningful life.

“This work is too important, the need is too urgent, and the stakes are too high for us to settle for anything less than whatever it takes to deliver on the promises we have made to individuals with disabilities and families in our country,” Collett said. “This will require an unwavering commitment to address any barriers that stand in the way of improving opportunities and outcomes for each person with a disability and to make needed changes at the federal, state, and local levels.”

KY-SPIN’s Resource Man Comic Issue 1

It’s been several years in the making, we are thrilled to release KY-SPIN’s Resource Man Comic Issue 1 for youth!  With input from youth and a youth artist we will be focusing on different topics each issue for youth.  Check out issue 1 Here



NEWS RELEASE Number 18-132 Sept. 5, 2018


(Frankfort, KY) – The Kentucky Board of Education approved school performance levels for 2018 federal and state accountability during a special meeting in Frankfort today.

By law, the state must identify schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) – those in the bottom 5 percent at each level (elementary, middle, and high school) or high schools with a 4-year graduation rate of less than 80 percent – and schools for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) – those with any student group performing as low as CSI schools.

For fall 2018 reporting, schools will be identified based on their performance on three indicators.

Last month, a group of education stakeholders and policymakers evaluated school performance data from the 2017-2018 school year, considered the relative weight ranges for each indicator established by the Kentucky Board of Education, and made a recommendation on the threshold cut scores for each indicator. Interim Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis made a slight modification to that in his recommendation, which the board approved today.  Continue Reading

Spotlight on KY: Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)

Publicly-funded community services are provided for Kentuckians who have problems with mental health, developmental and intellectual disabilities, or substance abuse, through Kentucky’s 14 regional Boards for Mental Health or Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (Regional MHID Boards). Regional MHID Boards are private, nonprofit organizations established by KRS Chapter 210 which serve residents of a designated multi-county region.

For information about mental health, developmental and intellectual disabilities, or substance abuse services, contact the local office of your Regional MHID Board. Learn More

Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)
and Adult State-Operated or State-Contracted Psychiatric Hospitals
Alphabetically by County

KY-SPIN’s Myth Busters: Special Education Location

Myth: Special Education is a place

Truth: Special Education is services and supports through Individualized Education Program (IEP) not a place.  Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which calls for IEP for students who qualify, children are to be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) with supports and accommodations brought in for that to work before an alternative placement is explored. Placement is not to be determined based on the category of disability a child qualifies under.

Least Restrictive Environment is explained in IDEA as follows:

. . . To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities . . . are educated with children who are nondisabled; and . . . special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [§300.114(a)(2)(i)]

IDEA also requires that the child’s placement:

  • is determined at least annually;
  • is based on the child’s IEP; and
  • is as close as possible to the child’s home. [§300.116(b)]

Click on the graphic from our friends at PEAK Parent Center:

 Helpful Resources:

Kentucky P&A wants to hear from you! 

They are in the process of drafting priorities for 2019!  Please click on link below and provide them with feedback on the work they are doing now and in the future.  Kentucky Protection and Advocacy (P&A) is the designated protection and advocacy system in Kentucky.  P&A, an independent state agency, protects and promotes the rights of Kentuckians with disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing, through information and referral, technical assistance, education and training, and legal advocacy.



KY-SPIN’s Myth Busters: Intelligence Levels and Special Education

Myth: A child is too smart for special education

Truth: There are many ways a child may qualify for special education, in fact children who qualify are among some of the brightest children! For children ages 3-21 there are a variety of categories under Individuals with Disabilities Education improvement Act (IDEA), a federal law, a child may qualify for.  There are a number of ways a disability can educationally effect a child. Examples are social/emotional, health, vision, hearing, academics, etc.

If they qualify there will be an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed to meet their needs.   An IEP team will meet which includes the parent and student to develop the IEP.  If your child has been diagnosed with a disability or you suspect they have one you can refer them to be evaluated.  Follow the steps in our How to Get An Evaluation for Your Child Through School (ages 3-21) Information Sheet.  A sample letter requesting evaluation can be found on Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services (CPIR).

Helpful Resources: