Links for Parents


ODE Website for Families of Students with Disabilities
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced a new page on its website dedicated to publicizing resources for families of students with disabilities. ODE says the page will be regularly updated with new information as it becomes available.

"The page features information to help families better understand the special education process. It includes the newly created Evaluation Roadmap to show families what to expect if they feel their children may need additional supports or Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The Evaluation Roadmap shares key timelines, links to documents that schools must use and supporting information at each step for a better understanding of what parents can expect. The Evaluation Roadmap is downloadable and available in multiple languages," ODE stated in a newsletter announcement.

The site also provides links for parents in need of one-on-one assistance, highlights other organizations with resources and information, like OCALI and the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center at Ohio State University, and offers information on early childhood development and literacy supports.

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) 

Ohio’s Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) is administered annually.  The AASCD is aligned to Ohio’s Academic Content Standards–Extended (OACS-E) and is designed to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment.

Ohio’s Parent Guide to Autism

This manual provides an overview of the world of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It was developed by Ohio parents of individuals with ASD who have a broad range of experience with interventions, resources, and services. The group’s work began with the question: What do you wish you had known the first year your child was diagnosed?

The manual covers a wide range of topics of interest to families, and each chapter contains rich reference materials, including books, websites, and names of organizations where additional information on each topic may be obtained.

State Support Team Region 8

Ohio Department of Education Parent Contact: Jenine Sansosti
phone number: 330-945-5600 ext. 511218

PBIS – Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports

The Ohio PBIS Network Vision Statement: All learning environments in Ohio will implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as an effective and proactive framework for improving safety, social competence, and academic achievement for all students.

In simple terms,  while academics are important, schools also need to think about the educational environment.  Children come to school with very different backgrounds, including different expectations on how to learn, behave and interact.  We can’t assume that all children know and understand the school’s expectations.  We can assume that all children can learn our expectations if they are given appropriate guidance and support.

In a nutshell, that is PBIS.  It is about creating a positive school environment where adults change their own behavior so they can help guide children’s behavior.  PBIS is not a specific program, but a framework and way of thinking.  It includes a focus on positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors & teaching children HOW to behave rather than punishing misbehavior.

Families are important members of the school community.  We know that when schools and families work together toward a common goal of helping all children be more successful, it is more likely to happen.  Families can reinforce PBIS behavior expectations at home so that children have clear and consistent expectations.  Families can also help the school understand their child and ways they might help teach behavioral expectations.

When you talk to your child’s teacher, consider asking some of these questions:

  1.      Does the school have written behavior rules my child needs to follow?  What are they?

  2.      How is the school teaching positive behavior to my child?

  3.      How can parents teach those same rules at home?

  4.      Will my child earn a reward for following rules?  How does this work?  How can I make this work at home?

Check out these websites for more information:
PBIS fact sheet:
Ohio Department of Education information on PBIS:
SST 8 PBIS webpage:

To subscribe to this parent newsletter, contact Alice Doyle at and type “parent e-mail list” in the subject line.

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages.

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)

The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) is in the process of developing Autism Internet Modules (AIM) in partnership with the Autism Society of America (ASA), the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Organization for Autism Research, and Geneva Centre for Autism, Toronto, Canada. In addition Arizona Department of Education, the Indiana Resource Center, and the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disorders are collaborating on content development for the AIM project.

The AIM project will develop a series of 60 online modules on ASD by the time the project is complete including characteristics, diagnosis, interventions and supports, transition, and employment. Module authors will include experts in ASD from across the nation. These modules are available at no cost, in an open-source format to any computer or digital telephone user. Thus, these modules are available throughout Ohio and on a global basis.
Ohio Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children (special education department) 

Opportunities For Ohioans With Disabilities (OOD)
OOD provides services leading to employment for people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities
The County of Summit Board of Developmental Disabilities (PCBDD) provides services to individuals with disabilities and their families in Portage County.