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NACDD believes that students with developmental disabilities should be held to high expectations and receive a free and appropriate public education that is inclusive, with the needed individualized supports and services to ensure educational success. Students should be provided individualized appropriate instruction; positive behavior interventions of supports, and be taught by fully certified and highly effective teachers, administrators and other specialized instructional support personnel.


NACDD firmly believes that averse interventions and the use of restraint and seclusion are not consistent with proactive best practices in addressing the needs of students with developmental disabilities. Behavioral supports should be person-centered, individually designed, positive, culturally appropriate, and allow for modifying or replacing the environment.

NACDD supports the passage of The Keeping All Students Safe Act, introduced by Representative Beyer (D-VA) and the Stop Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act, introduced by Representative Schiff (D-CA). The two bills look to address the use of these techniques in schools and other types of facilities. The bill seek to prevent and reduce the use of physical restraints and seclusion in schools except in rare situations when the student’s behavior poses an immediate danger of physical harm, and to prohibit the use of chemical or mechanical restraints. The bills seek to replace these techniques with effective prevention practices, and promote techniques that create a positive school climate for all students NACDD also continues to work to improve data collection on the use of these techniques.

NACDD’s letters on this topic are linked below:

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Girl doing homework

The 114th Congress began quickly with reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) moving through Congress. ESEA is the civil rights law regarding the general education system that has been up for reauthorization since 2007. In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) reauthorized ESEA. NACDD had an active role in the most recent ESEA reauthorization through two coalitions: the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and an ad-hoc workgroup formed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

In July 2015, both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed bills to reauthorize the ESEA of 1965. The House version is known as H.R. 5 or the Student Success Act (SSA) and the Senate version is called S. 1177 or the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) of 2015. A conference committee met on November 18 and 19, 2015 to resolve the differences between the Student Success Act and the Every Child Achieves Act and voted to adopt the conference framework. Legislative language was completed over Thanksgiving. The bill’s title is the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” abbreviated in the summary as ESSA. It reauthorizes programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for four years.

NACDD’s letters on ESEA reauthorization and now implementation are linked below:

Early Childhood Education

In May 2015, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a policy statement on inclusion of young children with disabilities in high-quality inclusive early childhood programs. In the announcement, the Departments took the position “that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with appropriate support in meeting high expectations.” NACDD looks forward to working with the Departments to disseminate and implement a final statement.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act Reauthorization

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 provides support for career and technical education. This is another way to ensure students with developmental disabilities can transition from school to employment in the community.

NACDD has supported these principles for Perkins Reauthorization:

NACDD’s letters on Perkins Reauthorization are linked below:

Higher Education Act Reauthorization

The Higher Education Act was originally passed in 1965 “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” The Higher Education Opportunity Act was last reauthorized in 2008. The next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act needs to improve access and inclusion for students with developmental disabilities in all aspects of higher education. The Higher Education Act is another path for students with developmental disabilities to successfully transition from school to college and then employment in the community.

NACDD has supported these principles for Higher Education Act reauthorization:

NACDD’s letters on Perkins Reauthorization are linked below:

Partnerships and Coalitions

NACDD is a member of the Education Taskforce of the Consortium for Citizens Disabilities and helps to lead the efforts of the Taskforce. CCD is the largest coalition in greater, DC focused on a range of issues impacting persons with disabilities. CCD’s mission is to engage in advocacy efforts for national public policy that:

  • Ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society
  • Enhances the civil rights and quality of life of all people with disabilities and their families
  • Reflects the values of the Americans with Disabilities Act

NACDD is a member of Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion focused on addressing these issues in the education system.

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities LogoThe Alliance to Prevent restraint, Aversive Intervention and Seclusion (APRAIS) Logo


“Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: What It Means for Students with Disabilities”

This webinar was developed to update the SCDD, and other DD Partners, and support collaboration among the state partners under the DD Act in working on implementation.

Learn More                                         PDF of Slides                                                       Slides with Audio

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