Special Education Resources
Easter Seals Summer Camp
The Easter Seals Summer Camp program provides a nurturing social opportunity, and offers specialized programs for children, teenagers, and young adults in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. All five Easter Seals Day Camps are accredited by the American Camping Association, employing over 150 highly skilled counselors, activity coordinators, lifeguards, nurses, and volunteers to assist all campers in exploring new ways to concentrate on their abilities and have fun. The campers participate in age appropriate activities such as arts and crafts, swimming, music, athletics, group games, nature activities and special events. All activities are adapted to the campers' specific needs, providing a summer filled with therapeutic recreational activities. Lunch is provided for each camper, and special dietary needs can be accommodated. One- to five-week Day Camp sessions and Teen Overnight Camp are available. While Easter Seals contracts with local bus companies to provide transportation for campers on a limited basis, families are encouraged to provide their own transportation, if possible. Camp registration forms are available online. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. Scholarships are available for most campers, and no individual will be denied the opportunity to attend an Easter Seals camp based on inability to pay.
The Variety Club Camp is a nationally-acclaimed 80-acre facility located in Worcester Township, Montgomery County, serving children with special needs. In continuous operation since 1949, the camp is completely winterized for use on a year-round basis. Facilities include 22 cabins (each with a restroom and shower), a large dining and kitchen facility, a medical building, an arts and crafts center, computer and A/V labs, a greenhouse, nature trails, an outdoor amphitheater, and an auditorium with stage. Recreational facilities include an indoor sports pavilion with an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, an outdoor pool, basketball courts, a gymnasium, ball fields, a recreation hall, and a playground. All camp facilities are completely accessible to persons with disabilities.
The philosophy of the camp & developmental center is to provide a fun, safe recreational experience designed to foster greater independence and to provide an opportunity to participate in adaptive, age-appropriate peer group recreational and educational programs. Each program is designed to allow all children to participate to the highest level of their abilities.
Camp PALS is a one-week sleepaway camp for young adults with Down syndrome held at Cabrini College in Radnor, PA.Campers and volunteer counselors room together for the week in dormitories at the college. Throughout the week, camp participants enjoy fun activities and trips. Past activities have included: swimming, color wars, bowling, a baseball game, a trip to the beach, a Chris Burke concert, and a shopping spree!.
Camp S.T.R.O.N.G. (Striving to Reach Our Needs and Goals) is part of our year long STRONG program. Camp STRONG offers the same quality programs and activities as the rest of our camps, in a convenient location for the families in Norristown at an affordable price. Each week activities revolve around a fun weekly theme and campers are grouped by age into "villages".
Support Groups & Local Resources
NEACDA – Norristown Education and Advocacy for Children with Differing Abilities Our mission is to empower students, families, and the local community with education and resources to provide meaningful social and educational opportunities for children with differing abilities.
NEACDA's mission statement will be accomplished in part through:
Increased awareness of NEACDA in the District and community of Norristown.
Working with the Norristown Area School District to promote cross-collaboration concerning the needs of families with children with differing abilities.
Providing educational and social opportunities through the use of written and electronic resources, guest speakers, referral sources and networking opportunities with other parents and experts in the field of special education. This will aid in increasing the value of input parents bring to their child's IEP meeting.
HUNE – Hispanos Unidos Para Ninos Excepcionales
HUNE is a not for profit organization established in 1998. We provide free bilingual English and Spanish training, technical assistance and individual assistance to parents of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and to professionals who work with children. This assistance helps parents to participate more effectively with professionals in meeting the educational needs of children and youth with disabilities. HUNE works to improve educational outcomes for children and youth with all disabilities (emotional, learning, mental, and physical) from 0-21 years of age.
PaTTAN – Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
MCIU – Montgomery County Intermediate Unit
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit is one of 29 Intermediate Units formed by the Pennsylvania State Legislature in 1971 to provide support to local school districts. Created to replace the County Office of Superintendent, intermediate units provide special services as needed by the educational community in their service area. Through cooperation and collaboration among schools and community agencies, intermediate units work to provide innovative, responsive and cost-effective programs that save taxpayers millions of dollars annually. Pennsylvania’s intermediate units provide direct and indirect classroom support to more than two million students and nearly 147,000 school professional staff in Pennsylvania.
Free Publications & Forms
NCLB and IDEA: What Parents of Students with Disabilities Need to Know and Do by Candace Cortiella for the National Center on Educational Outcomes. (pdf - 23 pages)
A Guide to the Individualized Education Program from the U.S. Department of Education provides useful information for parents of students in special education.
A Parent’s Guide to Reading Basics from Schwab Learning delivers basic information about how kids learn to read.
Helping Your Child Become a Reader
Helping Your Child with Homework This booklet helps parents of elementary and junior high school students understand why homework is important and makes suggestions for helping children complete assignments successfully.
Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported By Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide
Identifying and Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Resource for School And Home. This resource guide designed for families and educators provides information on how attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is identified and treated. The resource includes sections on legal requirements, treatment options and helpful hints on how to improve the quality of life at home and at school, for a child identified with ADHD.
Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers
A Toolkit for Teachers: Provides valuable information about the No Child Left Behind Act and how it supports teachers. Includes an overview of the law's "highly qualified teacher" provisions, frequently asked questions, resources, publications, and more.
Tools for Student Success: Selected Publications for Parents and Teachers from the U.S. Department of Educations ED.gov website or in print form from EDPubs, the Department of Education's publications distribution center. Most are available in English and Spanish.
What Works: Five Promising Remedial Reading Intervention Programs This booklet provides background information about research-based programs that, when properly implemented, have a track record of raising student achievement significantly--particularly for at-risk students. Produced by the American Federation of Teachers. (PDF 25 pages 113 K).
Websites for Resources on Special Needs LD Online – Learning Disabilities
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
DisabilityInfo.gov is the comprehensive Federal website of disability-related government resources.
Ed.gov is the website of the U.S. Department of Education – this site has wonderful information for parents, students, teachers and administrators.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) is the national information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. The center’s special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22).
Parent Training and Information Centers in each state provide training and information to parents of infants, toddlers, school-aged children, and young adults with disabilities and the professionals who work with their families. Find the one in your state.
The Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.
Tools for Students Success offers an assortment of helpful publications for parents.
All Kinds of Minds offers information to help students who struggle with learning measurably improve their success in school and life.
Earobics is a program for students with language delays.
The International Dyslexia Association
Davis Dyslexia Association International
Learning Websites Just for Fun