Iowa Dept. of Education Declares Collaboration to Enhance Disability Support Functions

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On Monday, the Iowa Department of Education revealed a collaboration with the Johnston-based nonprofit ASK Resource Center to enhance support services for families of children with disabilities throughout the state. This development coincides with Iowa lawmakers advancing a proposal to revamp Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies, following the abandonment of the governor’s AEA overhaul plan. ASK Resource Center, as stated in a press release on Monday, is Iowa’s sole parent-training, information, and advocacy center specializing in ensuring the enforcement of state and federal laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Department of Education remains committed to ensuring all families of children with disabilities consistently receive timely, high-quality resources and supports that are responsive to their needs,” said Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow. “In partnership with ASK Resource Center, families across Iowa will have the support of family specialists, family mentors, and experts focused on accessibility and postsecondary transitions as they advocate for their children with disabilities.”

The collaboration with ASK Resource Center, as announced by the Iowa Department of Education, aims to provide families throughout the state with access to consistent, high-quality services. This includes assistance from family support specialists and other professionals who can guide families in understanding their rights and the requirements for their child to succeed both within and beyond the classroom.

As per a statement from the Iowa Department of Education, ASK Resource Center staff will be strategically placed in each of Iowa’s nine superintendent and Area Education Agency (AEA) regions, ensuring convenient access to their services. They are anticipated to staff approximately 18 full-time positions, which will include roles such as:

– A family support supervisor

– Lead family support specialist

– Nine full-time family support specialists

– Additional part-time professionals dedicated to providing individualized assistance to families of students with disabilities

– Three full-time coordinators with a focus on training, accessibility, and postsecondary transitions as part of the team dedicated to supporting families.

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