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Disabilities Services
The Head Start Program works collaboratively with parents to secure services from local education agency (LEA) Special Education staff, local community resources, professionals, and program staff. Head Start enrollment opportunities are made available to children with disabilities through active recruitment efforts. Also, the program meets compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and 504 Law.
Individualized Support
Within the first 45 days of enrollment, all Head Start children undergo a series of screenings to identify any potential difficulties that could affect learning. In the cases where a child is referred for further assessment, teachers and parents are assisted in completing the documentation. The School Readiness Specialist attends all Admission, Review, & Dismissal (ARD) meetings and keeps the management team informed through the case management coordination efforts for the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) service delivery.
Professional Development
On-going disabilities training is available for program teachers, assistants, Family Services Associates, management team staff, and parents. Head Start staff are trained to ensure that children with disabilities have their individual needs met. Parents are also offered opportunities to attend training regarding their child's disability.

Parents can also access free training videos and resources on the ESC-20 Parent Training Videos page.
Transition
Program staff assists the transition into the Head Start program from a local Early Childhood Intervention ( ECI) agency, day care, or home setting. This assistance continues as the child transitions out of the Head Start program into Kindergarten. One of the greatest benefits to the Head Start/public school partnership model is that parents and children are completely familiar with the system and support.

Facts & Highlights
  1. Head Start and IDEA guidelines are followed to provide services for children with disabilities.
  2. Head Start and the local school district Special Education staff collaborate to meet the needs of children with disabilities.
  3. Local community and school district libraries are encouraged to shelve literature dealing with a variety of topics related to disabilities. In addition, libraries purchase books that specifically recognize and celebrate the diverse needs of all children.
  4. The library center in each Head Start classroom displays books that facilitate the acceptance of disabilities and diversity.
  5. The Head Start Program and LEA Special Education department have a Memorandum of Understanding for services to those children in the program that may need special services and meet the IDEA criteria.
  6. The Head Start Program has a Memorandum of Understanding with the local ECI agencies that provide services to children with disabilities who are 0 to 3 years of age. This agreement ensures the continuation of services through the Head Start program for families that meet the eligibility criteria.
  7. Head Start staff work collaboratively with local school districts and ESC-20 staff for Child Find.
Tri-County Head Start Contacts:
Priscilla Garza
School Readiness Specialist
(210) 370-5472
Maria Spain
School Readiness Specialist
(210) 370-5419
Bexar County Head Start Contacts:
Casandra Morrison
Disabilities & Wellness Specialist
(210) 370-5482

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