FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 3, 2016) -- A new web-based resource aims to help both Army staff and parents gain a clear understanding of special education requirements and services and how they work.

Special Ed Connection, an LRP Publications resource made available by the Army Installation Management Command Exceptional Family Member Program, explains specific procedures and provides real-world application strategies so parents can learn the complexities surrounding special education supports and services, according to Marion Cornish, Fort Rucker EFMP manager.

The resource places access to valuable information at the fingertips of those who need answers, Cornish said.

"This resource can be accessed almost any time and anywhere there is Internet access," she said. "The neat thing is it is offered at no cost, available any time of the day or night -- no waiting for a formal workshop, class or subject matter expert on your area of interest.

"This resource provides resources and tools that Army staff and parents can use to gain a clear understanding of special education requirements and services and how they work," she added. "Current information is available at their fingertips -- no waiting. Also, information is well researched. Sometimes our local resources are limited or not available or have a long response time. The more Army staff and parents know, the better they can advocate for children with special education needs."

The resource is available to military personnel, their families, Department of Defense civilians and any other Army staff personnel.

Users are encouraged to contact their local Army Community Service EFMP manager to register for the Special Education Connection website.

Resources available through Special Ed Connection include, but are not limited to, the following.

Smart Starts -- The best starting point to gain an interpretation and a better understanding of almost 450 special education topics. SmartStarts provides practical guidance, based on federal regulations and case law. From assistive technology to chronic health conditions to measuring progress, each SmartStart will help people understand the law and how it applies to children's situations.

Special Ed Online Dictionary -- Provides straight forward definitions of more than 1,400 widely used terms, enabling enhanced dialogue about special education issues. Straight-to-the-point explanations are provided, so users understand the meaning of terms such as prior written notice, least restrictive environment, transition services, functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plan giving them the ability to be more actively involved in meeting a child's educational needs.

News and Updates -- Users can stay current on latest news and developments in the special education community, including news about legislation, best practice strategies from special education experts, updates from experts regarding new techniques being used in the special education community and more.

Special Ed Round-Ups -- Users are provided an easy way to quickly locate practice guidance and gain access to valuable resources on a host of important special education issues from autism to bullying to postsecondary transition and more.

A website tutorial is available for first-time users, or users may call LRP training staff toll free at 1-800-515-4577, ext 6515, according to Cornish.

For more information about Special Education Connection or upcoming EFMP workshops and training, call 255-9277 or visit the ACS EFMP office inside the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 350.