The opening slide in the Module 5 Perry Williams
Office of Special Education Programs
U.S. Department of Education

January 2007

September 2020 Editor’s Note: Module 5 on Disproportionality in Special Education is in the process of being updated to reflect changes in the IDEA regulations. We will soon be posting the first slideshow in the revised version as well as the trainer’s guide and handouts for participants.


  • English only slideshow
  • Handouts for Participants in both English and Spanish

IDEA 2004 takes a stand against significant disproportionality of students in particular racial or ethnic groups in special education. Module 5 explains what states, districts, and schools must now do to address the disproportionate representation.

Module 5 is available in English only (except for its handouts, which are available in English and in Spanish), as you’ll see below. It includes:

  • a slideshow presentation;
  • a Trainer’s Guide explaining the content of the slides; and
  • handouts for participants.

Please do help yourself below, and download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others in how IDEA is currently addressing the disproportionality and overrepresentation of certain racial or ethnic groups in special education.

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Component #1: The Slideshow

Use these 22 slides in vivid colors (in English only) to train audiences about IDEA’s new requirements regarding disproportionality. (ZIP folder)

Component #2: Trainer’s Guide

The Trainer’s Guide illustrates how each slide operates and provides detailed discussion of the content on each slide. It’s available in both a nicely laid out PDF file with thumbnail graphics of the slides and as an accessible Word file (from which you can freely copy and paste content to other documents). Which would you like?

Component #3: Handouts for Participants | Folletos para Participantes

Module 5 falls under Theme B, IDEA and General Education, for which handouts in English and Spanish are available. If you’ve downloaded handouts for any of the other Theme B modules (6, 7, or 8), you already have what you need for Module 5 (provided you’re still working in the same language!) and don’t need to download the handouts again.

If you do need to download the handouts for Theme B, here they are, in two different formats and two different languages:

English Handouts, Theme B

Spanish Handouts, Theme B

Note about the Spanish Translations:
In preparing the handouts in Spanish, we’ve chosen to use a certain vocabulary set for the terminology most frequently used in IDEA. IDEA itself is extremely and purposefully consistent about its terminology, and we felt it critical to do the same in Spanish. However, we fully recognize that there are many ways to say the same thing, and Spanish is rich with alternatives from country to country, region to region. So we’ve also prepared a glossary of the terminology used in IDEA, how we’ve rendered that terminology in Spanish, and other ways of rendering it that families may also hear. Share this with participants as you see fit or use it to guide your own translations. The glossary of terminology is available in two formats, PDF and Word:

Component #4: Resources for Trainers
(Optional, English only)

One resource for trainers is provided to accompany Module 5. Again, choose between downloading a PDF file or an accessible Word file (or both, if you like).

  • /wp-content/uploads/repo_items/legacy/B-resources.pdf” target=”_blank”>PDF | Resources for Trainers
  • Word | Resources for Trainers (Accessible Word version)

There! You’re set to go with Module 5.

Please remember that these materials are designed to be authoritative sources of information about disproportionality and overrepresentation. That’s why they are so detailed. As a trainer, you are free to adapt these materials to fit the purposes and needs of your audience, and the amount of time you have to spend with them.

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Quick-Jump Menu to Other Modules

1: Top 10 Basics of Special Education
2: Key Changes in IDEA
5: Disproportionality and Overrepresentation (you’re already here!)
6: Early Intervening Services and Response to Intervention
7: Highly Qualified Teachers (withdrawn with the reauthorization of NCLB as the ESSA in 2015)
9: Introduction to Evaluation under IDEA
10: Initial Evaluation and Reevaluation
11: Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities
12: The IEP Team
13: Content of the IEP
14: Meetings of the IEP Team
15: LRE Decision Making
16: Children Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools
17: Introduction to Procedural Safeguards
18: Options for Dispute Resolution
19: Key Issues in Discipline

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