Special Education

Parent and Family Toolbox

Published: 5/6/2024 10:35 AM

​​​​​Parent Support Organizations

  • Arc of Kentucky (ARC of KY)​: The Arc of KY promotes the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
  • Kentucky (KY) Protection & Advocacy: Often referred to as KY P & A, this organization protects and advocates for the legal rights of Kentuckians with disabilities through legally-based individual advocacy, systemic advocacy efforts, and education/training. 
  • Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network: Often referred to as KY-SPIN, this organization links families and individuals with disabilities to helpful resources. KY-SPIN also offers monthly webinars to support families in their understanding of specific topics relating to special education.
  • Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC): The KATC works to strengthen Kentucky’s systems of support for persons affected by autism by bridging research to practice and by providing training and resources to families and professionals. 
  • Kentucky Advisory Council on Autism (KyACA): The Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder promotes collaborative efforts and advocates to improve support systems for individuals with autism. Their webpage includes information to support children of all ages and upcoming events and resources.​​

​ ​Grow Your Knowledge

Family Engagement:
  • Promoting Equity for Young Multilingual ChildrenThis Focus Bulletin invites early care and education (ECE) educators to promote equity for young, multilingual children and their families. 
  • Family and Community Engagement (from the US Department of Education): Provides a framework for families, schools, districts, States, and the broader communities to build capacity for student achievement and school improvement. The website lists relevant guiding documents, checklists, and other valuable resources on activities promoting healthy eating, physical care habits, and academic engagement.
  • Global Family Research Project: This organization promotes equitable family and community engagement in a learning environment that connects the home, school, and community. Their website includes information and resources for effective family engagement practices and policies, including the Family Engagement Playbook.
  • Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools: Engaged communities—with families at the center—are vital to improving student and school outcomes. The KY Collaborative for Families and Schools was created in this crucial work to build and sustain engagement support and resources for Kentucky families, schools, and communities. 
  • Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership: The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) is a continuum of engagement and leadership development for families, schools, and communities to increase the academic success of Kentucky students and foster the progress of Kentucky’s public schools.
  • USED Resou​rces for Parents​: This webpage includes various topics, including early childhood, special education, paying for college, reading resources, and helping your child learn. 
  • Advisory Groups: Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education regularly seeks input on education issues from many partners through advisory committees and stakeholder groups. A list of members, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff contact information, meeting dates, agendas, and minutes of the meetings are posted on each group’s webpage. As well as including parents as members of many advisory councils, many councils also seek input and feedback from the general public.
Disabilities and Special Education
Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Resources for Parents: 
  • Kentucky Academic Standards: The Kentucky Academic Standards contain the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should have the opportunity to learn before graduating from Kentucky high schools. The standards address what is to be learned but do not address how learning experiences should be designed or what resources should be used. Parents may also find the Standards Family Guides and Resources page for more information.
  • School Report Card (SRC): School and District Report Cards provide information about each school and district, including test performance, teacher qualifications, student safety, awards, parent involvement, and much more. Parents and families may also find information on Kentucky's 5-Star Rating System (accountability system) on the SRC page, including short descriptions that explain the assessment and accountability data in the SRC in an easy-to-understand manner. 
  • Alternate Assessment: The Alternate K-PREP serves students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Students having such disabilities may require an alternate means of participation in Kentucky’s statewide assessment to demonstrate achievement. The alternate assessment is designed to meet the needs of the students by allowing a greater depth of adaptations, modifications, and alternative modes of participation for the state assessment. 
Additional Alternate Assessment Resources: 
Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) and Distance Learning
Student Records:
Transition and Employment
  • Transition Starters from the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR):​ The CIPR provides Transition related resources designed to connect families, students, and professionals to basic information about transition planning. Resources include articles, guide​s, and online training.
  • Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR): The OVR works with Kentuckians with disabilities to help them achieve suitable employment and independence. OVR’s webpage provides information and resources to support the employment and independence of Kentuckians with disabilities. The web​page also includes information about the Carl ​D. Perkins Vocational Training Center​.
  • Kentucky Work​s​: KYWORKS strives to boost employment opportunities for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Kentucky. The group also provides specific information on transition, employment, and post-secondary information, transportation, etc.
  • Transition for Parents: This KDE webpage provides resource links that parents might find helpful as they assist their child in planning and preparing for life after school. 
Mental Health: 
School Safety: 


  • Open House: If you need to contact someone in your child’s district, you can visit the KDE’s District and School Directory, Open House. Click on your district to find a list of district-level contacts.
  • The Office of Special Education and Early Learning (OSEEL): If you would like to contact someone from the KDE’s OSEEL, please visit our webpage or call (502)-564-4970.  

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