4 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Mission Statement: ADE’s mission is to provide an innovative, comprehensive education system focused on outcomes that ensure every student in Arkansas is prepared in post-secondary education and careers.
Overview: The ADE Special Education Unit works in collaboration with local school districts to provide special education services for students with disabilities ages three to 21. The Unit’s goal is to ensure that all special education students in Arkansas receive a free appropriate public education, as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Special Education Unit is committed to improving educational results for students with disabilities though statewide leadership and support to schools, educators, students, families, and other stakeholders.
Additional responsibilities include the oversight of statewide compliance with all federal and state special education laws and regulations, development of programs and services, management of federally required data reporting and analysis, and administration of state and local special education budgets. The Special Education Unit’s website provides information on special education eligibility criteria and program guidelines for children with disabilities.
ADE maintains records of Individual Educational Programs (IEPs) and Alternate Portfolio Assessments, which are designed to evaluate the performance of students with disabilities for whom the traditional benchmark examinations or end-of-course examinations are not appropriate. According to ADE, although the standards are the same for all students in Arkansas, the difference for students with significant disabilities is in the manner in which learning expectations are accessed and in the way progress toward standards is measured.
Age Groups Served: 3-21
Diagnoses Served: ALL types of delays and disabilities
Geographic Areas Served: ALL counties in Arkansas. Online resources.