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Education for Special Needs

Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Scholarship Programs

Includes information about the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, the U.S. Senate Youth Program and the Autism Scholarship Program. The Ohio Educational Choice (EdChoice) Scholarship Program provides scholarships or vouchers for students from under-performing schools to attend private schools.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(877) 644-6338 or text “OHED EC” to 468311
education.ohio.gov/Scholarships

Columbus Urban League (CUL)

The Columbus Urban League (CUL) is a community‐based, non‐profit, advocacy organization that works to empower African Americans and marginalized groups through economic, educational and social progress with programs, classes and services. There initiatives fall under six categories:

  • Restoring Citizens
  • Keeping My Home
  • Growing Our Kids
  • Money & Mortgages
  • Jobs & Training
  • African American Male Initiative

788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 257-6300
cul.org

Association for the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) and Hattie Larlham Central Ohio Services

ADD is a Hattie Larlham agency in Central Ohio. The nonprofit organization provides residential and recreational services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Dahlberg-Gibson Learning Center provides half day, year-round childcare for children ages 1 through 5 years of age living in the North Linden (43224) area. During the school year, they offer physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as early intervention services, early childhood education and social work services.
769 Brooksedge Boulevard, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 486-4361
hattielarlham.org/v/services-add.asp

Child Development Council (CDC) of Franklin County

Provides developmental and educational services to income-eligible children and their families in Franklin County. Infants and children up to 5 years old may attend classes that focus on child development, along with providing health, nutrition, and other social services. Services may also be provided in the home. Also provides services for parents of children enrolled in their Head Start program. This includes their Fatherhood Project, which offers parenting education and support for fathers, GED preparation, literacy tutoring, college advising, ESOL classes, computer classes and more.
300 East Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 221-1709
cdcheadstart.org

Childhood League Center

Offers early childhood services for children with delays in development, home visitation programs and classes for young children with special needs. Most programs are free or for a small fee.
674 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 253-6933
childhoodleague.org

Coaching for College Success

This program is offered by Syntero Counseling to provide high school students with an IEP or 504 Plan with  preparation  and support as they transition to college. The goal of this program is to provide an early warning system for students and parents to address issues before they become a crisis; while also developing the necessary functioning skills for those with ADHD/ADD, Autism, mental health concerns or physical disabilities as they transition on to college.
299 Cramer Creek Court, Dublin, Ohio 43016
(844) 578-2237
coachingforsuccess.com

Columbus Center for Human Services

Has a variety of different programs including in-home support for individuals with disabilities, assisted living locations and even provides reliable transportation services.

    • The CAC (Career, Activity, Community): Provides a multi-faceted environment where individuals are given the opportunity to develop and acquire new skills
    • Supported Community Living (SCL) is an experienced provider of comprehensive in-home supports serving individuals with disabilities
    • Employment Services: Provides vocational training and career development for individuals seeking employment in the community
    • Transportation Services: Provides safe and reliable transportation for individuals with disabilities between home, work, adult day programs, and events throughout Franklin, Union, Delaware, and Pickaway counties
    • Park West Court Apartments (PWCA) is an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

540 Industrial Mile Road, Columbus, Ohio 43228
(614) 641-2900
cchsohio.org

Columbus City Schools (CCS) Special Needs Preschool

The CCS Special Needs Preschool Program provides early intervention opportunities for children ages 3 to 5, who have special needs in one of the following developmental areas based on the state and federal guidelines: language, cognition, motor skills, adaptive behavior and social-emotional development.
2001 Hamilton Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211
(614) 365-5230
ccsoh.us/Preschool.aspx

Columbus City Schools Parent Mentor Program

The Student Support Services office of Columbus City Schools offers this program for parents of special needs students. Their Parent Mentors are also parents of special needs children and they have experience in obtaining special educational services for students and their families. Parents can expect the support of their Parent Mentor before, during and after the IEP process, as well as direct them to community agencies for other assistance and resources.
2571 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43202
(614) 365-5219 or 365-8642
ccsoh.us/ParentMentorProgram1.aspx

Disability Rights Ohio (formerly Ohio Legal Rights Services)

Provides legal advocacy and rights protection throughout Ohio for people who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill or have other physical and mental disabilities. This includes assisting individuals with problems such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, access to assistive technology devices, special education, housing, employment, voting, community integration, and rights protection issues within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
50 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(800) 282-9181 or TTY (800) 858-3542
disabilityrightsohio.org

Early Intervention Services

Are you trying to find educational resources and programs for your child who is less than age 3? Check out the early intervention section of CAP4Kids.

Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO) Special Education Services

Works to improve education for all students, particularly those with special needs in Franklin, Delaware and Union counties. Their website has information for parents about disabilities and special education programs available.
2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 445-3750
escco.org/programs-services/special-education

Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO) State Support Team Region 11 Family Resources

Provides information and assistance to parents in central Ohio about special education issues. Parent mentors are parents of children with special needs who work within school districts to provide families with information and support for effectively working with schools. Many parent mentors offer workshops on topics concerning families of children with special needs, write parent newsletters and serve as a resource that parents can call for help. They also publish a list of helpful summer programs and resource directory.
2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 753-4690
sst11.org/family-engagement/family-resources

Educational Service Center of Central Ohio (ESCCO) Transition Programs

  • Campus-Based Transition: Students focus on individualized transition plans to achieve future adult living and career aspirations. The ESC offers three unique programs on the campuses of Columbus State Community College and The Ohio State University, which serve students who have completed or met all graduation requirements, and have elected to defer their high school diploma.
  • Transition Resources to Access College and Careers (TRACC): Helps students with disabilities transition to college and prepare to achieve their goals for the future. The ESC of Central Ohio and Columbus State Community College will collaborate to provide students served under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act the tools and access to college support systems to achieve success in their chosen areas of study.

2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 445-3750
escco.org/programs-services/special-education

Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (FCBDD)

Services are provided for children from birth to age 21 who have developmental delays and disabilities. They provide these services in collaboration with all of the Franklin County school districts. Services include early childhood education and home-based services, developmental evaluations, early intervention services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and more.
2879 Johnstown Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 475-6440
fcbdd.org

Great Schools

Parents turn to this website to find the right schools for their children, to get practical advice and information that will help them raise successful, college-ready kids and to support the schools in their communities. There is a lot of information on special education programs. “E-ssential Guide to Assistive Technology” provides an overview of current technologies to help parents select the right tools for their children.
1999 Harrison Street, San Francisco, California 94612
(415) 977-0700
greatschools.org

Haugland Learning Center

Educates youth with autism and Asperger syndrome at several locations throughout Ohio in classroom and home-based settings from preschool through twelfth grade. All educational costs are covered by the autism scholarship or by school districts. They have academic and activity-based summer camp programs, autism testing, therapy services, tutoring programs, after-school programs and counseling as well.
7690 New Market Center Way, Columbus, Ohio 43235
(614) 602-6473
hauglandlearningcenter.com

Marburn Academy

Provides non-traditional K through 12 schooling for bright students with learning difficulties such as ADHD and dyslexia in central Ohio. They also offer free parent seminars, free early reading screenings, assessment, private tutoring and summer school. They have financial aid and tuition loan programs as well.
9555 Johnstown Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 433-0822
marburnacademy.org

Monarch Boarding Academy

Kids with autism spectrum disorders ages 8 to 21 whose needs cannot be met in the home can live at Monarch and receive 24-hour structured care and treatment specifically designed to enhance social, behavioral and academic growth.
22001 Fairmount Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44118
(800) 879-2522 or (216) 320-8945
monarchcenterforautism.org/programs/boarding-academy-dp1

Next Chapter Book Club

This free program provides teens and adults of all ages with intellectual disabilities and a wide range of reading skills meet with trained volunteers to read aloud and discuss a book each week. The goal of the reading groups is to improve literacy and promote friendships among people with disabilities and within a community-based setting.
1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 404-6060 or (614) 685-6718
nextchapterbookclub.org

Ohio Center for Autism & Low Incidence (OCALI)

Serves families and professionals working with students with autism and low-incidence disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments and traumatic brain injuries. Their website has an extensive services and supports database (Nexus) of helpful community resources, as well as a free lending library of books, DVDs and assistive technology. They publish a parent guide that discusses topics such as screening and diagnosis, accessing educational services, future planning and more.
470 Glenmount Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(866) 886-2254 or (614) 262-5989 TTY
ocali.org

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD)

Serves families of infants, toddlers and youth with disabilities in Ohio to ensure that every Ohio child with special needs reaches their highest potential. Parents can call to get one-to-one assistance. Also, offers resources for parents of children with disabilities, including parenting classes.
165 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio 43302
(740) 382-5452
ocecd.org

Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Special Education

The Students with Disabilities page has helpful information about activities that ensure that students with disabilities receive the specialized instruction and support needed for success in school and in life. They provide information about accommodations available for state assessments and resources for parents of children with disabilities, including a helpful list of Ohio resources.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(877) 644-6338
education.ohio.gov/Topics/Special-Education

Ohio Head Start Association

Use their county directory map to find Head Start providers and services in each county in Ohio.
7810 McEwen Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459
(937) 435-1113
ohsai.org/directory

Parent Mentor of Ohio

Parent mentors are parents of children with special needs who work in the schools throughout Ohio to provide families information and support. They help families, free of charge, work together with school personnel and help parents find the help they need. Call or go online to find out if there is a parent mentor at your school.
165 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio 43302
(844) 382-5452
ocecd.org/ParentMentorsofOhio.aspx

Special Education Evaluation Letters

Do you need sample letters to request school services such as an evaluation (IEP)? These letters can be found in the resources section of CAP4Kids by clicking below.
Go to CAP4Kids Resources Section

St. Vincent Family Center Prep Academy

St. Vincent Prep Academy is a preschool that provides individualized social-emotional based programming for preschool-age children with behavior problems. They also help each child learn reading, writing, spelling, math and self-management skills, while encouraging critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
1490 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 252-0731
svfc.org/services/english/st-vincent-prep-academy

St. Vincent Family Center Therapeutic Programs

All these programs work with children who have behavior, emotional and/or social challenges. Their staff works closely with parents/caregivers to identify child and family strengths.

    • Therapeutic Preschool Program: Work with children ages 3 to 6.
    • Therapeutic School Age Program: The goal of the program is for children, once returned to a regular school setting, to successfully maintain their behavior and academic performance.
    • Therapeutic Afterschool Program: Services youth from 5-1/2 to 12 year of age. It is group-based; designed to prevent out-of-home placement or to aid in the transition from a more to less restrictive setting.

1490 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 824-5437, ask for Intake
svfc.org

The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)

Helps to effectively resolve special education disputes by offering parents tips on how to communicate with their child’s school and how to prepare for an IEP meeting.
576 Olive Street, Eugene, Oregon 97401
(541) 686-5060
cadreworks.org

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education (OSEP) IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Visit their website for information about infants and toddlers with disabilities and older children and young adults who need special education and related services.
400 Maryland Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20202
(800) 872-5327 or (800) 437-0833 TTY
osepideasthatwork.org

Understood

The National Center for Learning Disabilities offers this online resource with toolkits, parent coaching and resources to support parents with a child who has learning and attention issues. Parents can also find information on IEP and 504 Plan processes, as well as ideas on how to ask for special learning accommodations in the child’s classroom. Other programs developed with The National Center for Learning Disabilities are Friends of Quinn, Get Ready to Read, LD Navigator and RTI Action Network.
32 Laight Street, New York, New York 10013
(212) 545-7510
understood.org/en

Wrightslaw

Started by an attorney who has a learning disability, Wrightslaw has become one of the most widely known websites to help families with special education problems and issues. Their website has helpful information about a variety of topics, such as tips to help your child get off to a good start when school begins, Individualized Education Program (IEP) frequently asked questions, and more.
PO Box 1008, Deltaville, Virginia 23043
wrightslaw.com

YMCA Early Childhood Resource Network (ECRN)

Provides developmental screenings for children from six weeks of age through 5 years of age who have special needs (developmental delays, disabilities and special health care needs) as well as a free toy and equipment lending program for children.  ECRN staff perform on-site child observations at child care sites and preschools. They also provide ongoing service coordination.
6555 Busch Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio  43229
(614) 543-9000
ymcacolumbus.org/ecrn