Back to blog

Action-Driven Policy – A Guide for Special Education Leaders

10-minute read • 2 min read • Oct 14, 2020 1:07:23 PM • Written by: Sarah Sandelius


The COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed challenges in educating young people with disabilities in Washington DC and across the country. The DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), seeking to build ecosystem capacity to deliver high-quality special education services, hired ABC to canvas local needs and launch a community of practice to support its continuous education initiative. ABC canvased existing national, state, and local guidance materials, identifying a key need to translate compliance-focused policy documents into practice support for practitioners. The attached overview was created for DC educators; however, it may also prove useful to practitioners in other jurisdictions.

Research Process

This fall, ABC conducted a thorough review of existing federal and local guidance and policy materials.  Sources included:

  • Policy documents issued by governmental agencies;
  • Guidance overviews from national non-profit organizations; and
  • Resources from local organizations in other jurisdictions.

Focusing on the practice of special education and serving young people with disabilities, ABC also reviewed related guidance on topics such as health care and operations/facilities to ensure a well-rounded analysis.

The main take-away?

Educators need guidance they can implement now. The wealth of compliance-focused resources reveal the need for practical examples that clearly illustrate promising practices and build long-term educator capacity.  Educators do not have the time to cull through thousands of resources to find the one or two that fills a particular need.  Also, educators need access to curated materials that are structured enough to be reliable and validated, but flexible to meet the unique needs of their context. To address this need, ABC has published a policy document with real-world examples highlighting guidance in practice.  

Download this tool and spread it widely. Comment below with your examples and we may add them to updated versions. Or email us with ideas about how to make this document more useful. We want to hear from you!

Download the document by clicking the down arrow at the top right of the image.

Get your guide for Special Education Leaders Now!

Sarah Sandelius