3 Quick Resources for Military Families Moving Overseas

Military parents whose children have disabilities may have concerns about moving their child from a stateside school (public or Department of Defense) to a school in another country where their school options are limited and laws protecting individuals with disabilities are not the same. Here are three quick resources for these parents to give them a jump-start on their research and decision-making:

Military Families Overseas: Does ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Apply?

Military Children Transitioning into the DoDEA School System (podcast from the Military Child Education Coalition, with Dr. Dell W. McMullen, Europe Director for Student Excellence, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

Department of Defense Directory on Early Intervention, Special Education and Related Services in OCONUS Communities (“OCONUS” – Outside the Continental United States)

And here is some more in-depth information about Department of Defense Education Activity schools and Special Education:

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System

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Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System

Special Education:

Prior to June 2015, DoDEA schools operated under IDEA 1997 in providing EIS and Special Education services. In June 2015 Department of Defense issued a new directive and a manual with regulations based on the provisions of IDEA 2004.  While this change should eliminate many of the differences between public schools and DoDEA schools with regard to Special Education, some DoDEA schools may not have fully implemented the changes.

Can military families now expect the same interpretation of IDEA whether their children receive services through State and public schools or Department of Defense?  It’s early to tell, but there will (probably) still be differences in how public schools/States and DoD interpret and implement the IDEA.

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