FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A 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 Vicky Harmon, Fort Rucker EFMP coordinator and new parent support program nurse specialist.

The resource places access to valuable information at the fingertips of those who need answers, Harmon said. The website covers anything from legal rights to practical application and from student referrals to individual education programs.

"Special Ed Connection explains specific procedures and provides real‐world application strategies, so parents can learn the complexities surrounding special education supports and services," she added.

The resource is available to Army staff and parents. Users are encouraged to contact their local Army Community Service EFMP coordinator to register for the Special Education Connection website, Harmon added.

Resources available through Special Ed Connection are grouped into four main categories.

Smart Starts -- The best starting point to gain an interpretation and a better understanding of almost 450 special education topics. You'll find that SmartStarts provide practical guidance, based on federal regulations and case law. From assistive technology to chronic health conditions to measuring progress, each SmartStart will help you understand the law and how it applies to your individual child's situation.

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 their 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.

According to Harmon, 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.

"This site will benefit everyone who has access, by providing simple unencumbered explanations of special education needs for children with special needs," she said. "In other words, if you have a child with special needs and have no idea about their rights related to education, this is the site to use."

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.