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:

Spotlight on KY: Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN)

The Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CCSHCN) provides comprehensive care to children with special health care needs. They treat children who:

  • Are KY residents
  • Are under the age of 21
  • Meet medical eligibility
  • Meet financial eligibility

Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for Kentucky’s children with special health care needs through quality service, leadership, advocacy, education and collaboration.

Their vision is to be the visible leader in supporting the highest quality of life for Kentucky’s children with special health care needs and their families through collaboration and creation of a more accessible community based system of support.

Specialty Medical Care

The Commission provides services through a variety of specialty clinics held across the Commonwealth.

  • Asthma (Severe)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Communication Disorders
  • Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Eye
  • Hearing Loss
  • Heart
  • Hemophilia
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedic
  • Otology
  • Rheumatology
  • Scoliosis

To learn more CCSHCN

COMMISSIONER’S MONDAY MESSAGE: Proposed New High School Graduation Requirements


Proposed New High School Graduation Requirements
The Kentucky Department of Education has been working to revise graduation requirements to provide our graduates with greater flexibility in the courses they take and the opportunity to personalize their course of study, while also ensuring they are prepared with the foundational skills they need after high school. Please look at my video on proposed graduation requirements to learn more.

We will take proposed new requirements to the Kentucky Board of Education for a first reading at its meeting on Thursday (8/2). You can find a written overview of the proposed changes in 704 KAR 3:305 online along with a comparison of the old requirements and the proposed graduation requirements.

To read the whole Monday Message goto:

Myth Busters: Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Myth: Is that Dyslexia is not recognized as a part of the Specific Learning Disability (SLD) category to qualify for Individualized Education Program (IEP) in Kentucky.

Truth: Dyslexia is specifically listed under the Specific Learning Disability (SLD) definition in the Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR):

KAR 3:303. (59) “Specific learning disability” or “LD” means a disorder that adversely affects the ability to acquire, comprehend, or apply reading, mathematical, writing, reasoning, listening, or speaking skills to the extent that specially designed instruction is required to benefit from education. The specific learning disability (LD) may include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, developmental aphasia, and perceptual/motor disabilities. The term does not include deficits that are the result of other primary determinant or disabling factors such as vision, hearing, motor Legislative Research Commission PDF Version impairment, mental disability, emotional-behavioral disability, environmental or economic disadvantaged, cultural factors, limited English proficiency, or lack of relevant research-based instruction in the deficit area. (

Kentucky Administrative Regulation regarding SLD eligibility in 707 KAR 1:310. Determination of eligibility (

Kentucky Department of Education (KDE):  Specific Learning Disability Guidance Document. The purpose of this document is to assist schools in conducting appropriate and comprehensive educational evaluations for students suspected of having a specific learning disability (SLD).

KDE: Reference tables used to determine student eligibility under the Specific Learning Disability category. The information is supported by the regulation 707 KAR 1:310 Determination of eligibility. 


Spotlight on KY: Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children (KPFC)

KPFC’s vision is that all families raising youth and children affected by behavioral health challenges will achieve their fullest potential.

KPFC’s mission is to empower families affected by behavioral health challenges to initiate personal and systems change.

In April 1998 the Statewide Partnership of Kentucky for Effective Support (SPOKES-a statewide parent group) and the Kentucky Family Based Services Association (KFBSA-a statewide professional group) merged to become Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, Inc. This merge allowed KPFC to provide a united voice dedicated to improving services for children in Kentucky with emotional, social, and behavioral challenges. As the name implies, bringing the parents and professionals to the table to truly work in partnership is an important part of KPFC.

KPFC’s united voice works to:

  • effect policy changes at the state level,
  • educate legislators about the needs of children with severe emotional disabilities,
  • improve services so that all children and families will be able to receive appropriate services in their home communities, and
  • give a voice to the youth and families that live with this disability every day.

To learn more about KPFC 

Important Update on Michelle P Waiver Waiting List

Center for Accessible Living – Bowling Green Facebook Post



Important Update on Michelle P Waiver waiting list

The Kentucky State Cabinet for Health and Family Services is currently reviewing all names on the waiting list for the Michelle P. waiver for further review for eligibility. This process will take many months to complete.

It is imperative that the state has your current address and phone numbers so they can contact you to conduct the review.

If the state cannot reach you within 14 days of their attempt to schedule a review your family member will be removed from the waiting list.

Please email the state at to update your records.

To verify your family member is on the Michelle P waiver waiting list call 502-564-1647 option#4 then option#1

COMMISSIONER’S MONDAY MESSAGE: Update on Accountability for 2018-2019 School Year


Commissioner’s Comments

Update on Accountability for 2018-2019 school year
School accountability for the 2018-2019 school year will be based on the content tests given at elementary and middle schools. For high schools, the reading and mathematics subscores on the college admissions examination and scores from the science and writing assessments will be used for accountability.

At high school, end-of-course tests will NOT be administered in spring 2019. Instead, students will take the college admissions examination to assess reading and mathematics and participate in field tests for new Kentucky assessments. A college admissions examination vendor is being secured and an announcement is expected within the next several weeks. At grade 11, a new operational assessment in science will be administered and the on-demand writing test will continue. A social studies assessment will be created once new standards are adopted.

At its upcoming August meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) will conduct its first review of the regulations for reading/writing and mathematics content standards and graduation requirements. These topics will impact state testing and accountability for 2018-2019 school year. Content standards are the basis of the state-required tests and much input has been collected on the revision of the content standards over the past two years. With the passage of Senate Bill 1 (2017, Kentucky General Assembly), a formalized process for standards development was established and implemented. As a result, KBE will begin to review revised standards in August.

The KBE will also consider the department’s proposal for revised high school graduation requirements. At its June 2018 meeting, I made the case to the board that receiving a diploma in Kentucky should require the demonstration essential skills and content knowledge necessary for transition to postsecondary and/or the workforce. The proposed regulation requires that students meet a passing point in reading and foundational mathematics on a new state-required test to be administered in the spring of grade 10.

The expected time for the adoption of new content standards and graduation requirements is spring 2019. If you have questions about the state’s assessment plan for spring 2019, please contact Associate Commissioner Rhonda Sims or Director Jennifer Stafford by email or by phone at 502-564-2256.

To read the whole Monday Message goto:

Save the Date: KY-SPIN Family Fall Festival

KY-SPIN Family Fall Festival

Date: Sun, October 21 2018
Time: 3-5pm
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport’s Ballroom; 2735 Crittenden Drive; Louisville, KY 40209


FREE event for children with disabilities, their siblings and parents/caregivers.

FREE games, trick-or-treating and refreshments.

Wear your costumes (no scary, gory or revealing costumes).

Please RSVP to 800-525-7746 or

ponsored By Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport

To make a donation or volunteer for the event please contact
KY-SPIN at the phone number or email address above.

Download Flyer



KDE News Release 18-104 Alternate Assessment Waiver public comment:

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking public comment on a request to extend its waiver on the number of students who can be tested using an alternate assessment on annual statewide Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests.

Kentucky requires all students enrolled in a public K-12 school to be assessed – either with accommodations, without accommodations or with an alternate assessment. The only exception is for a student who receives a medical or extraordinary circumstances nonparticipation waiver.

Kentucky follows the federal participation requirement and, to date, has met or exceeded the 95 percent participation rate as reported in the School Report Card.

Federal regulation states no more than 1 percent of the total number of students participating in a statewide assessment such as K-PREP may take the alternate assessment in each subject area tested. The most recent data from the 2016-2017 school year shows that slightly more than 1 percent of Kentucky’s students took alternate assessments.

According to 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4), “If a State anticipates that it will exceed the cap under paragraph (c)(2) of this section with respect to any subject for which assessments are administered under § 200.2(a)(1) in any school year, the State may request that the Secretary [of Education] waive the cap for the relevant subject, pursuant to section 8401 of the Act, for one year.”

The KDE plans to submit the waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education in the areas of reading, mathematics, writing, language mechanics, social studies, English II, Algebra II, Biology and U.S. History.

The department will continue to gather data on the characteristics of students participating in the alternate assessment to determine whether students who do not have significant cognitive disabilities are participating.

The KDE will continue to monitor alternate assessment data and request justification from districts that exceed

1 percent participation in any subject. The department will address any disproportionality in the percentage of students taking the alternate assessment.

As a result of the 2017-2018 waiver, the KDE, regional special education cooperatives, and school districts have worked rigorously in collaboration to develop and implement guidance and training to ensure only the students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are participating in the alternate assessment. The substantial progress made is cited in the proposed waiver for alternate assessment participation the KDE will submit to the U.S. Department of Education.

The proposed waiver is available on the Kentucky Department of Education website.

Any individual or organization may submit written comments on the proposed waiver under 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4). Written comments will be accepted through August 2.

Send written comments on the proposed waiver to Veronica Sullivan, Assistant Director, Division of Learning Services, Office of Teaching and Learning, Kentucky Department of Education, 300 Sower Boulevard, Fifth Floor, Sower Building, Frankfort, KY 40601. Sullivan also may be reached by telephone at (502) 564-4970, or by fax at (502) 564-4124.


KentuckyWorks Family and Youth Engagement Community Conversation

Join the conversation on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 for youth with intellectual disabilities, families, and professionals to discuss what families and youth need to prepare for the world of work! They need to hear your voices, including parents of younger and older students with disabilities and youth with more significant needs. Help them figure out how to make employment a possibility for everyone!

They want youth with the intellectual disabilities and their families to come talk with them about the resources and support they need to prepare for and find meaningful work, and teachers and professionals to share the valued resources they have found. Please register below to attend KentuckyWorks Family Engagement Community Conversation on Tuesday, July 17 from 10am-12pm at KCTCS: 300 N Main St. Versailles, KY with national expert, Sean Roy, from the YES! Center and Dr. Harold Kleinert from HDI.

Register for the Community Conversation.

Download flyer.

People with disabilities have significant skills and talents to contribute to the world, and this Community Conversation is a wonderful opportunity for youth and family members to identify the barriers to employment, find solutions along with professionals, and learn more about what we can all do to make meaningful employment a reality. As the mom of an 18 year-old with Down syndrome and a member of the KentuckyWorks team, this issue is near to my heart as we look for ways to make sure that youth with intellectual disabilities, the parents of younger and older students, and the professionals in our lives have this vision that everyone has inherent value and the ability to contribute to their communities, and it is our responsibility to work together to unleash that potential. —Stephanie Meredith

From Lexington:

Take Versailles Road to Versailles
Bear right onto US 60 toward Frankfort
Go through two stop lights, then turn left at the KCTCS digital sign.
Follow the road across the railroad tracks and turn right for visitor parking.

From Frankfort:

Take US 60/Versailles Road straight to Versailles (approx. 10 miles)
You will pass the back of Woodford Co. High School and go under a pedestrian bridge.
Turn right at the KCTCS digital sign and flags, just past the pedestrian bridge.
Follow the road across the railroad tracks and turn right for visitor parking.


Hosted by the Office of Autism and the KY Autism Training Center


Parents, caregivers, professionals and self-advocates from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky are invited to attend this two day training event that will begin on Thursday evening with a buffet dinner and resource roundtables with state and local agencies followed by a full day of breakout training sessions and lunch on Friday! Meals are included in the registration fee. ** A limited number of scholarships for lodging will be available for family members traveling more than 60 miles from their home to attend the Summit. Greenbo Lake State Resort Park 965 Lodge Rd Greenup, KY 41144 ──── Resource Roundtables Breakout Sessions:  Communication  Behavior in the Home  Self-Advocacy  IEP Information  Social Skills  Puberty  Emergency Readiness for Families and more! ──── Registration cost: $15 – 1 person $25 – 2 people Questions?? Call (502)852-4631 REGISTER ONLINE:

2018 ASD Parent Summit

Statewide Community Conversations on Expanding Higher Education Opportunities (HDI & KyWorks)

Statewide Community Conversation that HDI and KentuckyWorks are holding May 21 at three sites simultaneously (Lexington, Morehead and Murray) on expanding higher education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in KY!

Cate Weir from Think College in Boston and Erik Carter from Vanderbilt will be leading the event, and it will originate at Bluegrass Community and Technical College on Newtown Pike, but also taking place at the same time at Morehead and Murray! Please consider attending or share with anyone who has an interest in higher education issues, like students, families, and educators.

There is no cost to attend at any of the three locations, and there will be food to enjoy. You have to  register so they know who is actually attending!  Just click on the registration link at: , and you will be emailed a confirmation with directions and location.

Download Flyer

Don’t Forget to Set Bookmarks to the New IDEA Website

In one week, the outdated Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 (Legacy) website will automatically redirect users to the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act website (new IDEA website).

So, set those bookmarks to today!

While the Legacy site will redirect users to the new IDEA website on April 30, content from the Legacy site is available for reference on the new IDEA website’s “Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004” historical reference page.

KDE: Town Halls Called Off; Public Input Still Sought on Graduation Requirements

(Frankfort, KY) – To speed the process for developing new graduation requirements, Interim Commissioner Wayne Lewis has taken action to streamline the stakeholder engagement process.

Instead of Town Hall meetings, as former commissioner Stephen Pruitt had planned, the Kentucky Department of Education now will collect input online through an expanded survey. This will cut down on staff time and expense, and expedite the development process so that schools have ample time to implement the new requirements for the incoming class of freshmen in the fall of 2019. Learn More


The Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) invites you to learn more about the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver Programs

Please join the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) for a Home and Community Based Services Waiver Program Town Hall meeting.
During the meetings, we will:
 Share proposed updates and how they apply to the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers
 Share Navigant Consulting’s proposed recommendations for our program
 Gather your thoughts and ideas about the recommendations

DMS will be releasing Navigant’s proposed recommendations prior to town halls. This will allow you to review the contents and be informed and ready to discuss the recommendations. Please know that you can come to the meeting to listen or you can be scheduled to speak. If you wish to speak, you will need to sign up for a time slot when you get to the meeting. You may speak for up to 3 minutes. Time slots will be available on a first come, first served basis.

We will hold 10 Town Hall meetings. You are welcome to attend more than one meeting, but please request to speak at only one meeting, allowing others the opportunity to speak. We want to hear from as many people as possible. If you want to speak at a meeting, you will need to give us your comments, in writing, prior to speaking. We will also have comment cards, to be shared at each meeting. Please complete a comment card at the meeting, if you want to share your comments in that manner.

Learn More

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A workshop for parents and teachers of ALL children with intellectual disabilities

Hosted by Center for Accessible Living
At the Kosair Charities Community Room
982 Eastern Parkway, Louisville
May 2, 2018 7pm-9pm
Refreshments provided

You’ll learn how to:
* Raise expectations for your child’s future
* Share the vision with your child’s teachers
* Create a solid employment plan for your child’s future that builds on his or her unique strengths, including ideas for IEP and Transition goals

Featuring Harold Kleinert, EdD & Stephanie Meredith
from the University of Kentucky’s
Human Development Institute & KentuckyWorks

Download Flyer

OSEP TOP NEWS: IDEA Legacy Website Content Will Move to Improved IDEA Website

Starting on April 30, 2018, the now-archived Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 (Legacy) website will redirect users to the U.S. Department of Education’s new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act website (new IDEA website). Content from the Legacy site is available for reference on the new IDEA website, and can be found on the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 historical reference page. We encourage users to bookmark the new IDEA website using the following link: .

Continue Reading

Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District clarifying the scope

On December 7th, the U.S. Department of Education released a question-and-answer document supporting the unanimous March 2017 U.S. Supreme Court opinion on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)-related case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District clarifying the scope of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The Q&A explains the case and provides a summary of the Court’s final decision and prior case law addressing the FAPE standard. The document also explains how FAPE is currently defined, clarifies the standard for determining FAPE and addresses how this ruling can support children with disabilities.   Read more…


Congratulations to Johnny Collett OSERS new Assistant Secretary

The U.S. Department of Education welcomed Johnny Collett, the new U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), on Jan. 16, 2018.

Collett, a former high school special education teacher, has served as the program director of Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and as the Kentucky state special education director. Collett has also served as an assistant division director and exceptional children consultant both at the Kentucky Department of Education.

Collett will lead OSERS towards 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.

OSERS comprises the Office of Special Education Programs, which administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Service Administration, which administers Section 509 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). OSERS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary administers a number of special projects.