Special Education Basics

Special Education Basics

On-Demand • Online • 4 PD Hours

How much do you/your staff know about special education laws and how they apply to the Head Start Program Performance Standards? This course is designed to provide vital information on children with disabilities and the key laws that are essential for compliance.


Federal law requires Head Start programs reserve at least 10% of their enrollment for children with disabilities. All staff should have ample understanding of the basics around special education in Head Start and Early Head Start programs! With Special Education Basics, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and how these policies impact your responsibilities as a staff member.

Not only will you get a solid foundation in the key aspects of ADA and IDEA, but you’ll also learn how to identify potential signs of a disability in the children you work with. Early intervention is crucial for children with disabilities, as it can have a major impact on their learning and development. By learning how to identify potential signs of a disability, you can help ensure that children with disabilities receive the support and services they need as early as possible.

In this course, you’ll discover the ins and outs of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), so you can provide the best possible support to students with disabilities and their families. This course is also a powerful introduction to special education support for families with children with disabilities.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in the field of special education, and to support the early identification and intervention. Sign up for this course today!

Start Date: 

Pre-registration is open! This course will be available starting April 2023.

Course Level: 




Target Audience:

Instruction and Effective PracticeLeadership and ManagementProgram Operations, Parents and Families, and Support Services

Course Meeting Times:


Completion Timeline/Duration: 


Head Start Alignment:

This course supports programs in meeting the 1302.60 Full participation in program services and activities of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) in which a program must “ensure enrolled children with disabilities, including but not limited to those who are eligible for services under IDEA, and their families receive all applicable program services delivered in the least restrictive possible environment and that they fully participate in all program activities.”

Registration Rates

Member Rate:

Regular Rate:

Not a member? Join to save!

Download the Syllabus 


4 Hours of Course Material

Online, Self-Paced Content

3 Months of Access to Course

Video Content
Discussion Forums
Digital Badge
Certificate of Completion with PD Hours
24/7 Access to Transcript

Course Author

Zuly Vazquez

Zuly Vazquez

Zuly is the Manager of Early Head Start Professional Learning Programs at NHSA. She has worked with Head Start, and Early Head Start programs for over a decade, specializing in training, mentoring, coaching, facilitation, curriculum implementation, and management. She worked for several years in the classroom, providing high-quality education to children from different cultures, traditions, and ethnicities. She is a former EHS/HS parent. She has vast experience supporting and providing technical assistance to teachers, family child care providers, education specialists, and families in large EHS/HS programs in Florida and Georgia. Over her career, she designed a supplemental Christian early childhood curriculum, bilingual online lessons, and classroom observation tools and has facilitated early childhood education courses in English and Spanish at the college level. As an active early childhood advocate, she is a board member of her local NAEYC affiliate and Family Child Care Home Alliance of Georgia. She is a senior advisor of Latinas United for the Children of America.

Related Content

Special Education Essentials

Improve your understanding and approach to special education! In addition to sharing the latest research and best practices from Vanderbilt University, ...
Learn More

Classroom Management Credential

This program will equip you with three innovative approaches to managing challenging behaviors in the classroom. Hone your classroom management skills ...
Learn More

Sign Up for The Academy Newsletter!

Get exclusive discounts, news, and more.