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Disabilities Services


The WACOG Head Start program has operated under a Congressional mandate since 1972 to make, at a minimum, 10% of its enrollment opportunities available to children with disabilities. The program has exceeded this mandate and serves children in integrated, developmentally appropriate programs. The enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and subsequent amendments affects Head Start, causing a shift in the nature of Head Start's responsibilities for providing services for children with disabilities relative to the responsibilities of the State Education Agency (SEA) and the Public Education Agency (PEA).

The Disabilities Service Plan and written Head Start/School District Memorandums of Agreement describe a variety of strategies for meeting the special needs of children with disabilities and their parents.

Children meeting disabilities eligibility criteria and enrolled in WACOG Head Start receive the full range of child development/educational, mental health, health, dental, nutritional, parent involvement and social services provided to all enrolled children. Head Start has a specific mandate to recruit and enroll income-eligible children and children with disabilities who are most in need of services, including children with severe disabilities. Head Start coordinates with the PEA and other groups to benefit children with disabilities and their families. Furthermore, Head Start is committed to fiscal support to assure the services needed by Head Start children with disabilities will be provided in full, either directly or by a combination of Head Start funds and other resources.

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