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October 26, 2011

TO:      Superintendents, Directors of Special Education, Services Coordination Supervisors, PTI-Nebraska, Nebraska Advocacy Services

FROM: Gary Sherman, Administrator, NDE Office of Special Education Susan Buettner, Deputy Director, NDHHS Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care


The new IDEA Part C Regulations were published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2011.  According to federal law, the regulations
become effective October 28, 2011, thirty days following their publication.  IDEA 2004, which has been in effect a number of years, has not changed.  When that reauthorization became effective, some portions of NDE Rule 51 were modified in accordance with new sections of the law.  Other changes were not made pending final approval of the Part C Regulations which finally occurred in September of this year.  These regulations will necessitate the implementation of additional procedures.

Major changes found in the IDEA Part C Regulations include:

  • The definition of “multidisciplinary” has been revised in respect to the composition of the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) team.  The team must include the parent and two or more individuals from separate disciplines or professions.  One of these people must be the Services Coordinator.
  • For a child who is limited English proficient, “native language” means the language normally used by the parents except when conducting evaluations and assessments.  In those situations, qualified personnel determine whether it is developmentally appropriate to use the
    language normally used by the child.  Child Find is being held to “rigorous standards” to appropriately identify children to reduce the need for future services.  This includes the addition of programs to coordinate the child find efforts, including Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EDHI), home visiting, CAPTA referral follow-up, and focus on child care providers as referral sources.
  • Efforts must be made to extend outreach to primary referral sources that include public agencies and staff in child welfare, child protective services, and foster care; homeless family shelters; and domestic violence shelters and agencies.  Primary referral sources, including school Districts, must refer a child to the Part C program as soon as possible, but in no case more than seven calendar days after the child has been identified. This is a change from the previous requirement of no later than 2 working days.   Screening procedures are defined within the new regulations.  Screening includes the administration of appropriate instruments by personnel trained to use them.
  • Notice must be provided to parents prior to the screening, and written consent to conduct the screening must be obtained.  The notice must include the information that parents can request an evaluation at any time.
  • If screening results indicate the child continues to be suspected to have a disability, written notice must be provided and consent obtained to conduct an evaluation.  If the child is not suspected to have a disability, written notice must be provided that includes the parent’s right to request evaluation.
  • The responsibilities of the EDN Services Coordinators and the District Case Managers (for those families who choose not to have an EDN Service Coordinator), include:  coordination of early intervention and other services the child needs or is being provided; conducting referral and other activities; ensuring the timely provision of services; and conducting follow-up activities to determine that the appropriate Part C services are being provided.  The IFSP service page mustinclude service coordination services, regardless of whether the EDN Services Coordinator or the District case manager is providing these services.

The above list is not intended to be all-inclusive, but highlights some of the major changes that will impact services in Nebraska.

The new regulations become effective October 28, 2011.  Part C services should be provided in compliance with the regulations on the effective date.  The Nebraska Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will be making necessary changes in Rule 51 and the
NDHHS Early Intervention Service Coordination Regulations to ensure compliance with the federal requirements.  Training and additional information will be provided as implementation of the regulations progresses.

Administrators, EDN Services Coordinators, and direct service providers are strongly encouraged to read the new regulations to fully understand their implications for their work.  To access the complete text of the IDEA Part C Federal Regulations, go to:


In addition, 34 CFR 303.342(e) states each early intervention service must be provided as soon as possible after the parent provides consent for that service.  To implement this regulation, the Nebraska Part C Co-Leads have determined that services must be provided as soon as possible, but not to exceed 30 calendar days from the date of parental consent,
except in the event of exceptional circumstances of the family that make it impossible for the provision of the services within 30 days. 
This regulatory requirement will be another revision reflected in Rule 51.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact Carol McClain at 402-471-2471
or carol.mcclain@nebraska.gov; Joan Luebbers at
402-471-2463 or joan.luebbers@nebraska.gov; or Amy Bunnell at
402-471-9329 or amy.bunnell@nebraska.gov.

Groundbreaking new Spanish-language initiative to assist families with children facing learning disabilities.

Latino families get the help they need to be informed and confident partners in helping their children to be successful learners.

New York City, NY
— Today one in five school children is Hispanic, and it is estimated that
Hispanics will account for 95% of the teen population growth in the U.S. in the
next decade. Many of these children are at special risk for lower academic
achievement, grade repetition, and school dropout. Hispanic families need
access to information about learning disabilities (LD) and other resources to
help their children receive the services and supports they need to succeed in
school and beyond.

A first-of-its-kind Spanish-language initiative for children facing learning
disabilities is being launched to increase early detection and intervention of
learning disabilities, which can be pivotal to educational success.  Until
now Spanish-speaking families have had scarce resources to help them understand
the signs of learning disabilities, nor have they had the resources available
to help resolve learning issues or to find the answers to questions about how
to access  resources that will translate into  school success.

“Early detection of barriers to learning can be life-changing for young
students, and every Spanish-speaking parent and caregiver should know about
these free resources,” said James H. Wendorf, executive director of the
National Center for Learning Disabilities. “Now Hispanic families can
access online tools and information in English and Spanish that will help them
to be effective advocates for their children.”

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is pleased to launch an
extensive toolkit and informational campaign in Spanish to help families detect
the signs of LD, work with their children to develop and enhance skills, and be
an advocate for their children at school. This comprehensive toolkit is the
first-of-its-kind for Hispanic families, with over three-dozen Spanish-language
resources available including an interactive guide to help parents detect
learning disabilities and recommendations for helping young children overcome
barriers to early reading. The Spanish language online kit can be found by clicking here.

The informational campaign also includes briefings with educational and
community leaders nationwide, as well as an online advertising campaign that
aligns with the growing use of search engines and social media among Spanish
speakers.  Additional Spanish-language resources will be publicly launched
in the coming months, to create what will be the largest online learning
disabilities resource nationwide.

Early identification of struggle is critical to ensuring educational success
for children facing learning disabilities, and this initiative has the promise
to profoundly help Hispanic families.

More information about NCLD can be found at www.LD.org.

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Informed Parents = Improved Outcomes for Families