Americans with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance: Testing Accommodations

(2016) | Useful to Parent Centers looking for technical assistance about testing accommodations in the ADA.

This resource provides technical assistance on testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities who take standardized exams and other high-stakes tests. It addresses the obligations of testing entities, including private, state, or local government entities that offer exams related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary (high school), postsecondary (college and graduate school), professional (law, medicine, etc.), or trade (cosmetology, electrician, etc.) purposes to provide testing accommodations, what types of accommodations must be provided, and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations are also discussed.

Access this resource page at:


Overview | Parent Program Measures Survey Data Collection

Word version of this overview

The Parent Center Program Measures Survey process is ready for you to begin surveying parents served by your Parent Center during the 2015-16 program year. Below are the details for this year. You can submit your results at any time, but the deadline for submission is December 2, 2016.

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The Program Measures Survey Instrument
We will conduct this user survey using the same questions as last year. The data you submit will be used as part of an overall assessment of the progress that the Parent Center Program has made toward the long-term measures established by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). These data are aggregated across all of the Parent Centers reporting. They will not be used or examined on the individual parent center level.

The survey has seven (7) questions.

These questions were developed in collaboration with the Study Group and the Center for Project Performance at Westat. These are evaluation firms that have been contracted by OSEP to provide technical assistance in measuring program performance.

The questions have been reviewed by our colleagues—PTIs, CPRCs, and PTACs—who provided great feedback to make sure that they are not only valid and reliable but also will be easy for parents to understand and answer.

The first six (6) questions have responses based on a 4-point Likert scale of Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. The response for the last question is a simple Yes, Maybe, or No.

The survey is available in English and in Spanish.

We have added a section where you can include any comments that parents share with as you are conducting the surveys.

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Preparing to Conduct Your Center’s Surveys
Your Center will be asked to survey parents that have been served by your Center within the last six months. To get started, you will need to prepare a list of the parents who received training and/or individual assistance from your Center during the last six months. This list should be created using either a Microsoft Word table, or an Excel worksheet, or a table in comma-separated value (.csv) format. Only include parents for whom you have either a phone number or e-mail address that you can use to reach them for the survey.

Once you have prepared your list, assign each contact a separate code (numeric or alphanumeric). The list should be coded in such a way that you will know who the parent is, if you are asked to contact them for the Program Measure Survey. Save this list, so that you will be able to identify the parents to contact for the survey. Before submitting your list of contact codes, you can delete any personally identifiable information for the contacts (e.g., name, address, phone, etc.). We do not require this information. Submit only the list of contact codes.

There are 2 ways you can submit your coded list of contacts.

(1) During on-line submission of your Center’s Part 1 data collection results (e.g., numbers of contacts at trainings or via individual assistance; demographics; disability categories). There’s an “upload file” feature for this purpose in Section II, Unduplicated Number of Parents Served. Find the Part 1 data collection submissions form online, at:

 (2) You can also submit your list of coded contacts at any time via e-mail to: Maria Rodriguez, If you send your list via e-mail, please also tell us your Center’s unduplicated count of parents served during the 2015-16 project year.

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Conducting the Program Measures Surveys
When we receive your list of coded contacts, we will randomize it to put the contacts/identification codes in the order in which you are to contact and survey parents. We will send to you a list that reflects the order in which you are to contact parents for the survey and also the number of parent surveys that your Center is assigned to complete and submit for the Program Measures Data Collection.

You won’t be contacting all the parents on the list, however. Based on your unduplicated count, your Parent Center has been assigned a specific number of parent surveys to conduct. Your Center will submit the aggregated results of only that many surveys completed by parents.

Why does the randomized list we’ve attached have more contacts than the number of surveys needed from your Center? Because we know that there may be parents you won’t be able to contact or who don’t respond to your request to complete a survey. The extra contacts on the list can serve as alternates, as needed. But it’s important that you get in touch with parents in the order given on the randomized list. Only when you can’t get a response should you contact one of the alternates.

Remember: You must collect surveys in the prescribed order and only submit the assigned number of surveys.

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Aggregating Your Results
Please use the Program Measures Data Worksheet to combine the responses that you receive. You will use your completed worksheet to input your data into the on-line submission form.

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Submitting Your Results
You will submit your survey results via the SmartSheet form that can be found online at:

Submit your survey results by December 2, 2016.

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Back to main page for Parent Center Data Collection Forms | 2015-16

Instructions | Parent Program Measures Survey Data Collection

Word version of these instructions

Materials You Will Need to Conduct the Program Measures Surveys

1. You will receive an e-mail message that  includes the following information:

a. The number of surveys that your center is to collect and submit.
b. An Excel document with your list in the order that you are to collect surveys from your parent contacts (codes).

2. Next, you can download copies of the forms in English and Spanish to conduct your assigned surveys. These documents are also available in the Parent Center Workspace for Data Collection (at the Hub), or you can download the documents at:

In English

In Spanish

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Conducting the Surveys

Using your randomized list, you will start in the first row to reach out to contacts to conduct surveys. You must collect surveys in the prescribed order. However, as mentioned, we know that some of your contacts may not be available or willing to complete the survey. So you will continue down the list until you have obtained enough surveys to fulfill your assigned number.

Here are a couple of ways in which you might approach the randomized list.

Example 1: You are assigned to collect 10 surveys from your contact list. Call or send surveys to the first 10 contacts listed (shown in green in the graphic below). But you are only able to get complete responses from 6 of the 10 needed. So you reach out to the next 4 contacts (shaded in blue) and the next ones and the next ones, until you reach your total of 10 assigned.

example of the list of coded contacts

Example 2: You are assigned to collect 10 surveys. You want to send the survey to a larger number of contacts on your list so that you will have some extra information for your center to use. You send out 50 surveys and receive 25 responses. You will submit responses only for the first 10 respondents that appear on your list, (i.e., ID numbers 64964, 65634, 81751, 64870, 80902, 65438, 81678, 80828, 81106, 40464). Thus, it’s important to make sure you can connect respondents to the code you assigned to them, so you know which respondents are in your original random sample group.

When conducting the surveys, do not change the wording of any of the survey questions. The scripts, on the other hand, are provided as examples of ways you can communicate information about the survey to your parent contacts, either in writing or orally. You can adapt or adopt these scripts based on your center’s cultural context or communication style. However, the survey questions themselves must be asked just as they are given.

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Tallying The Results

We have developed a worksheet you can use to tally the results of your assigned respondents. After completing surveys for the parent contacts assigned to your Parent Center, use this worksheet to record the numbers of parent answers for each question. As you can see below, you will only need to add up your responses. There is no need to calculate totals and percentages.

Remember that you are to only submit the assigned number of responses from contacts as prescribed in your randomized list.

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Submitting the Results

Online Submission of Results by December 2nd. Please submit your survey results via the SmartSheet form that can be found online at:

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Maria Rodriguez at or (862) 214-2813.

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Back to main page for Parent Center Data Collection Forms | 2015-16

Buzz from the Hub | August 2016

Preteen boy leaning against the school busTheme: Back to School!

Welcome to the August 2016 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). This month’s Buzz focuses on ESSA for starters, and gives you lots of resources for getting back to school. Yes, it’s almost that time again. We hope the resources below help you and your families get off to a great school start!

All our best to you, as always,

The CPIR Team | Debra, Lisa, Nolan, and Myriam



New Resources in the Hub on ESSA

Here are several recent additions to the Hub library, all of which pertain to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and how it addresses specific populations of students.

ESSA Provisions for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Disabilities.
This presentation by Kate Burdick of the Juvenile Law Center & Legal Center for Youth Justice and Education provides an overview of important provisions in the ESSA regarding youth involved in the juvenile justice system. 24 minutes.

ESSA Provisions Regarding Homeless Children and Youth: Implications for Students with Disabilities.
This presentation provides information on important provisions of the ESSA for homeless children and youth that impact students with disabilities. Presented by Patricia Julianelle, Director of State Projects and Legal Affairs for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). 26 minutes.

ESSA and Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
This presentation provides an overview of ESSA provisions regarding Alternate Assessments on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Presented by Ricki Sabia, Senior Education Policy Advisor for the National Down Syndrome Congress. 14 minutes.

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Spotlight on…Help for the Hot Spots

As the school year gets underway, we all hope for the best, while recognizing that there are particular “hot spots” where trouble may brew—behavior, discipline, bullying, to name a few familiar challenges. Here are tools to help parents build effective working relations with school professionals, help them ward off hot-spots-in-the-making, or deal with them once they arise.

Open Line and More: A Guide for Effective Communication.
This handy guide is filled with useful communication tips for families working with schools or other agencies. From Parents Reaching Out (PRO) in New Mexico.

Planning for a Meeting about Your Child’s Behavior Needs. | Also in Spanish!
When a child’s behavior causes concern at school, parents may find themselves among competing approaches to handling behavior. Planning ahead for an individualized meeting about their child’s behavior needs will help parents explain their own ideas about the best way to help their child in addition to listening to the ideas of others. English version from PACER Center in Minnesota. Spanish version from Parents Resource Network in Texas.

IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides | In English and Spanish!
IDEA gives parents and schools multiple ways to resolve conflicts. CADRE offers a parent guide series describing each of IDEA’s mechanisms: state complaints, mediation, due process complaints and hearings, resolution sessions, and IEP facilitation. Each is available in English and in Spanish.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

Building parent power takes hard, dedicated work. Here are several resources you can share with the families you serve.

Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs.
Here are Reading Rockets’ top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.

Accessible Educational Materials: Key Questions for Parents and Families.
Are you working with families with a student who needs extra help using textbooks, online learning programs, or other educational materials or technologies? Share this Q&A with families and parents to help them get started learning about AEM and accessible technologies to ensure every learner has access to learning.

10 Tips for a Successful School Year.
Here are 10 tips to help parents get off to a good start at the beginning of the new school year. From Wrightslaw.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

The work that Parent Centers do covers so many topics, it’s mind-boggling. How do you keep up with such a broad range of priorities? Here are several resources you can use on topics of continuing importance.

Essential Elements of Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits.
Everyone loves a compelling story, and Parent Centers have a lot of stories to share. The link below will take you to an article called Experts Break Down the Science of Nonprofit Storytelling. At the end of this interesting article is an even MORE interesting storybook you can download for free. Sweet!

Parent Leadership Initiatives Set Off a Ripple Effect.
This new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform suggests how parent leadership initiatives can set off a positive “ripple effect.” Across the 7 programs explored, parents said they have gained the confidence and skills to speak out with authority about their experience and propose innovative solutions to bolster access and opportunity for their children’s future.

Preschool Inclusion: What’s the Evidence, What Gets in the Way, and What do High-Quality Programs Look Like? | Webinar
This 2016 webinar provides an overview of the 40 years of research supporting early childhood inclusion; a review of myths surrounding the children, adults and systems that support inclusion; and a review of common features across the inclusion models that have produced the most powerful outcomes. 58 minutes. Watch the streaming presentation (linked above) or download the PowerPoint presentation file.

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Miss the August Webinar?

No problem! We’ve archived Using Data for Collaboration and Advocacy for your listening and viewing convenience.

About the webinar | ESSA requires that states engage in meaningful consultation with a variety of stakeholders in making decisions about state plans for ESSA implementation. Many of these decisions will be based on the data on students, schools, professionals and communities.

This webinar will help you hone your skills in finding, understanding, and using data to make sure that the needs and interests of students with disabilities and their families are addressed in these important discussions.

Find all at the archive page of the August 4th webinar, at:

Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Debra, Myriam, Lisa, and Nolan
The CPIR Team


This eNewsletter from the CPIR is copyright-free.
We encourage you to share it with others.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
c/o SPAN, Inc.
35 Halsey St., Fourth Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Subscribe to the Buzz from the Hub.

Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the Center for Parent Information and Resources.

Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8

cover of the report Parenting Matters(2016) | Useful to Parent Centers in working with parents of young children, including ways Parent Centers can support interventions that help more parents learn about effective parenting practices.

Parents are among the most important people in the lives of young children. While parents generally are filled with anticipation about their children’s unfolding personalities, many lack information and tools to support them in their parenting role and promote their children’s healthy development.

Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8 reviews research on parenting practices and identifies effective practices. The report also recommends ways agencies and others can support interventions that help more parents learn about effective parenting practices.

Read the report online or download it (400 pages) from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, at:

Read the Report in Brief (4 pages) or download the brief, at:

Excerpt from the Report in Brief
(from page 1)

Research shows that parents who know more about child development are more likely to have quality interactions with their child and to act in ways that support their child’s healthy development. And parents with knowledge of specific evidence-based parenting practices are more likely to engage in those practices. Parenting practices that the committee found to be associated with positive child outcomes in areas of physical health and safety and many kinds of competence (emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social) include:

  • contingent responsiveness (“serve and return”)—adult behavior that occurs immediately in response to a child’s behavior and that is related to the child’s focus of attention, such as a parent smiling back at a child;
  • showing warmth and sensitivity;
  • routines and reduced household chaos;
  • shared book reading and talking to children;
  • practices that promote children’s health and safety—in particular, receipt of prenatal care, breastfeeding, vaccination, ensuring children’s adequate nutrition and physical activity, monitoring, and household/vehicle safety; and
  • use of appropriate (less-harsh) discipline.

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Webinar | Using Data for Collaboration and Advocacy

Screenshot of the agenda for this webinarA webinar for the Parent Center Network


Webinar Date:
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)


Vicki Davis Dávila, JD

Robert Kim, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education


The new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires that states engage in meaningful consultation with a variety of stakeholders in making decisions about state plans for ESSA implementation. Many of these decisions will be based on the data on students, schools, professionals and communities.

This webinar will help you hone your skills in finding, understanding, and using data to make sure that the needs and interests of students with disabilities and their families are addressed in these important discussions.

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Download the Webinar’s Slideshow Presentation

Download the webinar’s PPT (i.e., as a PowerPoint file, 7 MB)

Download a PDF of the webinar’s slideshow (PDF, 2 MB)

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Additional Resources

Handout | Understanding Data as Information (PDF, 127 KB)
This tool can be used individually or in a decision-making group to support using data effectively.

What ESSA Requires | Family and Community Engagement
Parent and family engagement and consultation have always been a key piece of this powerful law. This brief provides advocates with a full overview of ESSA’s requirements (and opportunities) for parent, family, and community engagement.

ESSA | Every Student Succeeds Act  | CPIR resource page, January 2016

ESSA Webinar | CPIR Webinar, February 2016

Search the Hub library for ESSA Resources using the search term ESSA

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Need the PDF Reader?

Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®.


Go to the Webinar Archives, to listen to and view other webinars in the CPIR series.

Parent Center Data Collection | Sample Scenarios

Updated August 2016

Reporting your Parent Center’s activities accurately for the 2015 program year is an important task. This page gives you two different scenarios of training, support and assistance you might offer to a parent, and illustrates how the various contacts and activities would be counted and recorded in the Data Collection.

Scenario 1

Ms. Example calls to find out how to deal with her daughter being suspended.  She leaves a message with your Parent Center’s receptionist. You call Ms. Example back, reach her voice mail, and leave a message asking her to call back.

Ms. Example calls back with her question about her daughter’s suspension from school, is connected to your staff person, and receives information and coaching on how to work with the school to get her daughter back in school with the help she needs.

You ask Ms. Example some demographic questions and find out that Ms. Example self-identifies as the African-American parent of a 16-year-old child with a learning disability and an emotional disturbance.

She does not identify as Hispanic but she states that her daughter’s dad is Hispanic and her daughter identifies as Hispanic.

You ask her if she would like to sign up for your e-newsletter, and she provides you with her email address.  She receives six e-newsletters during the reporting period.

Ms. Example emails you back with questions about her child’s IEP as a follow up to the information you provided, and you respond by email.

Ms. Example leaves a message two weeks later thanking you for your help and sharing with you the good news that her daughter is back in school.

She also finds your Center on Twitter and Facebook and follows you on both.

How would you count this experience with Ms. Example?

Individual Assistance Contacts

  • There have been two (2) contacts with Ms. Example (the first phone call when you responded to her initial call and the email you sent in response to her follow-up email) for Individual Assistance.
  • One contact is counted under phone calls, and one contact is counted under electronic modes.

Demographic Information

  • Her daughter is counted twice in the Federal disability category, under both learning disability and emotional disability.
  • Her daughter is counted as African-American (race) and Hispanic (ethnicity) in the demographic data.

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Scenario 2

Ms. Example signs up to attend a training on IDEA Rights and Responsibilities.  At the session, she signs your attendance sheet with her name but not her contact information.

At the training, she picks up your flyer for your three-part webinar series on discipline. She participates in the first webinar while it’s being held live, but downloads recordings of the other two webinars.

A month later, she calls you back with a question about her son, who is 12 months old and who doesn’t seem to be developing like he should. You explain to her the process for calling her local early intervention system and how to ask for a multidisciplinary evaluation.

She calls you back and says her son was evaluated and found eligible for early intervention services, but now she needs help understanding the results of the evaluation. You arrange to meet her in the office to go over the results of the evaluation with her.

During the meeting in the office, it’s apparent that she will need additional support at the IFSP meeting and that she meets your center’s criteria for going to that meeting. You meet with her two more times to prepare her for the meeting, and you attend the IFSP meeting with her.

How would you count this experience with Ms. Example?


  • She counts once (1) for the in-person training she attended.
  • She counts three (3) times for the trainings she attended virtually

Individual Assistance

  • She counts once (1) for the phone call where you discussed her son.
  • She counts three (3) times for the in-person meeting with parents (once (1) for the first meeting and twice (2) for the two meetings to prepare for the IFSP).
  • She counts once (1) for the IFSP meeting you attended to support her.

Demographic Information

  • Her son counts as one (1) child who’s disability is suspected when she made her initial phone call and then again as one (1) child with a developmental delay once he’s found eligible for services.

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 Quick Jump Links

Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program | Non-Regulatory Guidance

(2016, July) | Useful to Parent Centers in understanding how the provisions of ESSA and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act affect homeless students. 

From the U.S. Department of Education, this non-regulatory guidance is issued to states and school districts on the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for supporting homeless youth. The new provisions address the needs of homeless individuals, and ensure educational rights and protections for homeless children and youth. The guidance is meant to assist state and local partners in understanding and implementing the new law in order to better protect and serve homeless students and help schools in providing these students with much needed stability, safety, and support. The guidance was informed by the input of a diverse group of stakeholders to best address the needs of homeless youth..

The guidance is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements. The Department is issuing this guidance to provide States and LEAs with information to assist them in meeting their obligations under the McKinney-Vento Act and under ESSA. The guidance is accompanied by a fact sheet called Supporting the Success of Homeless Children and Youths: A Fact Sheet and Tips.

Access the guidance at:

Access the fact sheet:

Every Student Succeeds Act: Advancing Equity for Children with Disabilities in Charter Schools

(July 2016) Useful to Parent Centers in understanding how the provisions in the education law, ESSA, will impact special education in the charter sector.

This presentation, by Lauren Morando Rhim, Ph.D., Executive Director of National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, provides an overview of charter schools and their responsibilities to students with disabilities as well as a summary of provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act that will help advance equity for students with disabilities.

This presentation is 44 minutes in length and be viewed at:

PowerPoint presentation available at:  (PDF, 1.27 MB )

Every Student Succeeds Act Provisions for Foster Care Children with Disabilities

(June 2016) Useful to Parent Centers in understanding the provisions in the education law, ESSA, in reference to children in foster care.

This presentation by Kathleen McNaught, Project Director at the Legal Center for
Foster Care and Education, provides an overview of provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) pertaining to children in foster care with an emphasis on foster care children with disabilities.

This presentation is 40 minutes in length and can viewed at:

PowerPoint presentation available at: (PDF, 407 KB)