Special Note about Discussing Special Needs
Laws that govern the privacy of health matters between you and your doctors also apply to the special needs of students. It is important that you never identify a child’s disability or the fact that he or she receives special-education services. It is important that you never directly discuss a diagnosis. It’s entirely okay to say something like “We have several students with autism in our community,” but not to say “both Jane and Susan have children with autism.” When discussing a need you could say, “We have a student who has trouble managing the stairs,” but it would be wrong to say “Johnny has cerebral palsy and has trouble with climbing stairs.”
The laws that govern disclosure are rigorously enforced in the WCPSS – as they should be. Therefore, your school cannot give you a list of students with special needs. Your school staff can distribute material directly to those identified with special needs without sharing the identities of those students with the PTA. Parents can volunteer information about their children’s diagnoses, but the PTA may not pass that information along to anyone without express written consent.
At the 2013 PTA Leadership Conference held in August, PTA leaders who attended the Ledership breakout session were able to grab our Guide to Inclusion which has handy tips and an example of how to hold a Special Education Open house. Feel free to download the guide below.
Here are examples of how to get stated in your school.
Special Education Open House