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Mission: Idaho Parents Unlimited supports, empowers, educates, and advocates to enhance the quality of life for Idahoans with disabilities and their families.

What can IPUL do for you?

  • Idaho Parents Unlimited helps parents understand their rights and responsibilities in Special Education.
  • They provide information and training so that parents have the tools, and skills, to advocate for themselves and their children.
  • A Parent Education Coordinator can help problem-solve and provide options available to you in school matters.

Professional Standards Commission - Code of Ethics

This version of the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators was revised by the Professional Standards Commission and approved by both the State Board of Education and the Idaho legislature. (IDAPA Click here to view the Code of Ethics

New Guidance From the US Department of Education and Department of Justice Issued November 12th

Student with disabilities, like all students, must be provided the opportunity to fully participate in our public schools. A critical aspect of participation is communication with others. We have unclosed a document, entitled "Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students with Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools" (FAQs), which explains the responsibility of public schools to ensure that communication with students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities is as effective as communication with all other students. Click here for full article.

US Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Guidance Documents Published July 2013:

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently published the following guidance documents related to implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):
  • Letter of Clarification on Part C System of Payments (SOP) (July 19, 2013) - This letter is a response to state questions about implementing the SOP provisions of the 2011 Part C regulations of the IDEA, specifically about: (1) parental consent requirements; (2) parental consent for the use of private insurance to pay for Part C services; and (3) the SOP and fees provisions under the 2011 Part C regulations.
  • Memo and Q&A on Part B Dispute Resolution (July 23, 2013) - This memorandum and Q&A provides guidance on mediation, State complaint procedures, due process complaints and hearing procedures, the resolution process and expedited due process hearings. It updates three previous memoranda, as well as a previous Q&A document.

Idaho Common Core Standards and Timeline

In 2009, Idaho worked with other states to develop new academic standards in mathematics and English language arts that would be higher, fewer, clearer and comparable with any other country in the world. Find the details on the State Department of Education's Website here:

Idaho Common Core

Additional Information on the Common Core Standards and Students with Disabilities can be found here:

Students with Disabilities

Restraint and Seclusion Guidance from the US Department of Education:

On May 15, 2012 the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of a 40 page resource document on seclusion and restraints. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy Kareem Dale, and U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, & Policy Development Carmel Martin discussed the importance of this resource and corresponding principles.

The publication outlines principles for educators, parents and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion. The resource is applicable to all students, not just those with disabilities.

Please refer to the following links for more information:

Press release: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-issues-resource-document-discourages-restraint-and-seclu

Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/seclusion/index.html

The 2011 – 2012 Dispute Resolution data in Idaho for the State Department of Education

Each year Idaho reports to the public on the State's progress and/or slippage in meeting the "measurable and rigorous targets" found in the SPP and the performance of each LEA located in the State on the targets in the SPP. The Annual Report Performance Report (APR) is posted on the State website here

DR Update 2011-2012 (May 22l).pptx (PowerPoint)

DR Update 2011-2012 (May 22l).pdf (PDF)

New resources for educators in 2017 from the Council for Exceptional Children:

Your UDL Lesson Planner: The Step-by-Step Guide for Teaching All Learners. This hands-on guide is for teachers familiar with universal design for learning who are ready to put it into practice. Through vignettes, exercises, video demonstrations, and more, you'll learn to plan K–12 lessons that meet every student's needs.
Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs. Learn the core components of bullying prevention and response in this ready-for-action guidebook for K–12 educators and administrators.
Twice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted Students. In this comprehensive book on 2e learners, you'll find out how to tap into the strengths and support the needs of gifted students with disabilities using evidence-based strategies and classroom tools shown to promote student success.
(Please note that the above resources are not free) 

PTI (Parent Training & Information Center) has been continuously funded since 1985. This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). Project activities are designed to respond to the training and information needs of Idaho paents of children and youth with disabilities. 

More Resources: 

GEMS  Genetic Education Materials for School Success 

Learn More about Idaho’s Talking Book Service

Two children reading together

Your child may be eligible to borrow free audio or Braille books and magazines if he or she is unable to read standard print, hold a book, or turn pages due to a temporary or permanent physical limitation. This free service is provided by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and the and the National Library Service. Registered users receive:
  • Books, magazines, and playback equipment
  • Materials mailed directly to and from the user at no charge
  • Toll free number to contact Readers Advisors who can help select titles or answer questions
  • Online catalog for direct ordering
  • Ability to download digital audio titles on phones or other devices
The Talking Books collection offers a wide range of popular fiction and nonfiction book and magazine titles for adults, teens, and children in English, Spanish and other languages. Children’s magazines include National Geographic World, Cricket, Muse, Humpty Dumpty, Spider, Sports Illustrated for Kids and more. The collection may be searched by anyone using the online catalog. Materials are mailed directly to the individual’s home in special returnable packaging and may be returned to the Commission for Libraries without postage costs.
Download an application at http://libraries.idaho.gov/page/eligibility-applications or call 1-800-458-3271. Applications need to be signed by a doctor, librarian, or social worker to qualify based on vision or physical impairments. If your child has an organic brain disorder, such as dyslexia, a medical doctor needs to sign the application (based on current federal law).
Idaho Talking Book staff are happy to answer any questions you might have or present to groups. Contact us at 1-800-458-3271.


Video Topics

  1. Access to Books
    • My First Books Library Program (ICfL): My First Books targets children from birth to kindergarten who are unlikely to have many books in their homes or have a library card. The program provides a book a month for nine months for each participating child, and My First Books families can participate in a free early literacy workshop. My First Books parents also receive a monthly newsletter, "The Bookworm," which suggests tips and strategies to support early literacy skills at home.
    • Routes to Reading: Books to Go Program (ICfL): The Idaho Commission for Libraries and Idaho public libraries placed Books to Go bins of books at Head Start sites, developmental preschools, child care centers, and home-based child care locations. This allowed parents and caregivers to have convenient, continuous access to pre-packaged books. The bags contained age-appropriate quality books and an early literacy handout that corresponded with the titles.
    • Routes to Reading: Storytime Online and TumbleBooks Programs (ICfL): Many families and child care providers are not able to attend library storytimes. This brings storytimes to them through a parent-friendly website with access to TumbleBooks™ in English and Spanish, daily activities to develop early literacy skills including fingerplays and songs modeled in video clips, and other educational information. The org site is a great resource for Idaho families, librarians, and caregivers. A three-year contract with TumbleBooks provides access to ebooks through every Idaho public library website. Promotional efforts are underway to get the word out about these great resources.
    • Book It Forward! Idaho Voices for Children
    • Open Access eBook Libraries: The International Children's Digital Library, Project Gutenberg, Loyal Books
    • BookShare
  2. Talk About It: Importance of Conversation

ICfL Programs to Build Off

  1. Every Child Ready to Read Library Program (ICfL): Every Child Ready to Read Family Workshop is a series of three 45-minute sessions that involve young children and their parents in learning about early literacy practices that help prepare children to be successful in school. Early literacy practices are highlighted and parents have a chance to practice them with their child. Fun interactive activities, practical tips, and resources are shared during each session. Materials for families and your library are available from the Read to Me program at no cost to your publicly-funded Idaho library. Workshop scripts in English and Spanish are provided.
  2. "Six Skills" Activity Sheets (IcFL):  Print motivation, print awareness, vocabulary, letter knowledge, narrative skills, phonological awareness (English and Spanish)


IDEA Basics overview video

To ensure that students with disabilities consistently have opportunities to participate in extracurricular athletics equal to those of other students, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the United States Department of Education (Department) clarify and communicate schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) regarding the provision of extracurricular athletics. 

Read more Here.

School Based Medicaid Services

The School Based Medicaid Advisory Committee met on May 7, 2014 to discuss a variety of topics that impact school districts that bill School Based Medicaid. In an effort to keep all interested parties informed on the activities of the Advisory Committee, the Idaho State Department of Education and Idaho Division of Medicaid will be posting minutes to the meeting as well as all handouts and presentations. These documents will be located in two locations: 
The Division of Medicaid is offering an opportunity for school districts to submit one student’s Medicaid file for a desk review. Districts choosing to be a part of this great and unique opportunity will submit one (1) Medicaid file between May 12, 2014 – June 13, 2014 per student whose IEP was developed between July 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 in order to assure that the new services are reflected. You can get additional information by reviewing the 2014 Quality Assurance Desk Review Process (posted on ITC or SBS websites). 

Idaho School-Based Services (Medicaid)

"Once you know one Medicaid program, you know one Medicaid Program." This PowerPoint presentation goes over the Federal regulations and guidance pertaining to state school-based Medicaid services with a focus on Idaho. 

School District’s have an obligation to determine if a student is eligible for Special Education, then develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) whether the student is Medicaid eligible or not. IEP teams should not be developing IEP’s based on Medicaid Eligibility. IDEA requires that services identified on the Individual Education Plan be delivered based on need not funding source.


History of IDEA and Medicaid 

In 1988 with the passage of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, Medicaid was made accessible to student’s who met eligibility for Medicaid and had an Individual Education Plan in an educational or school setting. 

The Role of Health and Welfare

The Role of the Department of Health and Welfare is to provide oversight of all Medicaid programs in and out of schools. The Division of Medicaid has different units that help administer School Based Medicaid services. The two primary units are:

The Policy Unit whose function is to write state rules and interpretation of those rules.

And the Integrity Unit which monitors compliance with IDAPA rule and can perform audits of all Medicaid billings.


The Role of Local Education Agencies (School Districts)

If a school district desires to bill Medicaid for health related services, the district must apply to become a Medicaid provider. School district are under no obligation to come a Medicaid provider. Services that are identified on the student’s IEP must be delivered, per IDEA, regardless of the funding source.

Each school district is responsible for ensuring that all individuals who will be administering Medicaid billable services follow all applicable rules of the School-based Medicaid program.


Education and Medicaid

The Medicaid program provides support for children who are eligible for special education services and have specific healthcare needs that affect their educational performance and identified in their Individual Education Plan.

Medicaid benefits are allowed in the schools, but can’t be used to provide education. Educational activities are to be delivered using educational dollars. Medicaid dollars are used to assist the student in accessing their educational environment or educational curriculum.


Must be Medically Necessary 

In addition to being Medicaid eligible and having an IEP the student’s needs must also be considered Medically necessary.

What is Medically Necessary? To summarize - A service is medically necessary when it is needed to prevent, diagnose, or treat the student’s condition, there is no other equally effective treatment that is less costly, and the service meets professional standards of healthcare.

Remember that prior to identifying a Medicaid Reimbursable service the IEP team needs to be sure that the service is medically necessary to assist the student in accessing the educational environment or educational curriculum. Since Medicaid is a medical model of service delivery, Idaho has determined that a physician or practitioner of the healing arts is responsible to determine medical necessity in order for the services provided by a Medicaid provider to be reimbursed by Idaho Medicaid. 

A school district or charter school may not seek reimbursement for services provided prior to receiving a signed and dated recommendation or referral for those services.

Created in Partnership with the Idaho State Department of Education


Questions? Ask Here


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(208) 342-5884 

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