disability terminology

APE, BIP, OHI, IDEA, IEP — these acronyms come at you fast and furious when you navigate your child’s special education services.

Now, the National Education Association (NAE) has posted a list of terms used in, and about special education to help you sort through the jumble soup.

“Learning these unfamiliar terms, and the commonly used acronyms that represent them, can help in navigating the special education and 504 processes,” it writes. “This list is intended to help familiarize you with common terms, definitions, and acronyms that are frequently used in the disability space.”

Each entry includes “Acronym,” “Acronym Defined” and “Definition.” For example:

Acronym: IEP

Acronym Defined: Individualized Education Program

Definition: An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written plan developed for a student identified with a disability by a team of education professionals, the parent/guardian, and the child (when appropriate) that describes the special education instruction, supports, and services a student needs to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE).

It’s a great guide, check it out here. And of course, there are other such guides, such as this one from the Center for Parent Information and Resources.

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