District 214 offers a variety of programs and services to students with special needs. Click a heading below to read more about an individual program. Click here to skip to services.  

Parents, if you're looking for transition resources, download the Transition Resource Directory.

AcrobatPDF36x36 Transition Resource Directory



Adaptive Physical Education 

Students who require a physical education program that is so significantly modified it no longer represents the regular grade level physical education program are often eligible to receive an adaptive physical education program per their IEP.

Autism and Related Disorders 

This program supports staff and helps students on the autism spectrum learn the skills, acquire the knowledge, and  develop the behaviors necessary to reach their full potential as citizens who can meet the challenges of a changing society. Students included are those who experience any of the characteristics of autism to a degree that their education is being adversely impacted.  

Blind and Partially Sighted/Visually Impaired 

This NSSEO support program is designed to provide comprehensive and functional high school education for students who are blind or partially sighted.  The program includes individualized instruction in the areas of weaknesses, integration into regular classes, self-contained, and resource room assistance. 

Career Life Skills Program 

This program provides students with significant cognitive delays an opportunity for academic, vocational, and social growth in a regular high school environment. The district program located at John Hersey High School includes self-contained classes, integration into regular classes, extensive independent living, and vocational skill development.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program 

This regional program is designed to provide comprehensive and functional high school education for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The scope of the program involves self-contained classes for the hearing impaired, individualized instruction in areas of weaknesses, integration into regular classes with interpretation in total communication, and resource room assistance. Program location: John Hersey High School.  For more information, see the NSSEO website.


Individualized Resource (I.R.) 

This cross categorical program provides a unique educational approach to meet the special needs of identified students who exhibit learning disabilities, cognitive delays, and/or behavior disorders.

  • The learning disabilities portion of the I.R. program provides services to students who show serious educational deficiencies that are associated with such factors as perceptual impairment, severe learning disorders, and neurological impairment.  
  • The cognitive disabilities portion of the IR program provides services to student who exhibit a cognitive delay and adaptive functioning impairments.
  • The emotional disorder portion of the I.R. program provides services to students who exhibit problems in social/emotional growth and academic achievement to the extent that they are unable to make academic progress.

The I.R. program for individual students may include some self-contained classes, integration into the regular classes, and resource room assistance. Each high school in the district will offer a continuum of services.

Physically Challenged 

Students are offered a wide range of special services, including physical and occupational therapy.

Private Special Education Facility 

Students are recommended for placement in private facilities when an eligibility review conference determines and documents that the local district and the NSSEO cooperative cannot meet the unique special educational needs of the student with supplementary aides and services.  The private program may be a day school or residential facility.

Public Special Education Facility (such as NSSEO) 

Students are recommended for placement in public facilities when an eligibility review conference determines that the local district cannot meet the unique special educational needs of the student.  An example of a public facility is Samuel A. Kirk School (NSSEO).

The Academy at Forest View 

This is an alternative special educational experience for students with a disability whose progress in the traditional high school has been disrupted by significant emotional or behavioral problems. The aim of the program is to give students an opportunity to deal with these challenges through a therapeutic approach while continuing their progress toward a high school diploma.  They will continue to be included in the home school as much as their individual needs dictate.

Transition/Vocational Program 

Students with disabilities may be recommended for vocational/ career development experiences commensurate with their potential where such experience will enhance their employability.  Special education staff members coordinate the services in determining eligibility and assisting in the job placement processes. Transitional services are an integral part of every special education student's I.E.P. starting at age fourteen (14).

Upward Bound 

This is an optional one or two week summer program for special education students. Outdoor skills such as hiking, compass and map reading, rock climbing, canoeing, swimming, and wilderness survival are taught at Sunrise Lake in Bartlett, Illinois and at several other locations in the area.



Assistive Technology 

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, the team that develops an individual education program (IEP) for a child must consider whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services.  Assistive technology services directly assist a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device. Assistive technology device is any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a student with disability.

Counseling Services

Many student service staff are prepared to help their students with social, family, and personal problems as well as extensive academic and career planning.

Educational Interpreting 

Student Need for an Interpreter - The IEP team discusses the need for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing to use or continue to use interpreter services.

Guidance Services

The services provided include the collection and dissemination of educational, career, and college information, testing services, and maintenance of student records. Information is shared with and interpreted to the student and parents.  Students are provided assistance in evaluating their high school programs each year in order to develop career and life plans.

Occupational Therapy 

Schools provide occupational therapy when a child with a disability requires this related service to assist the child to benefit from special education. Occupational therapists use purposeful activities to facilitate a child’s active participation in self-maintenance; academic and vocational pursuits; and play or leisure activities that occur in school environments.

Physical Therapy 

Physical therapy is a related service provided to assist a child with disability to benefit from special education.  School physical therapy focuses on a child’s ability to move as independently as possible in the school environment.  The school physical therapist evaluates the child’s ability to move throughout the school and to participate in classroom activities.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

PBIS is based on learning rather than punishment. Students are expected to be responsible for their own actions in spite of the actions of others.  Students are expected to be safe, be respectful, and be responsible within the school environment.   

School Nursing/Health Services 

School nursing, health program planning, implementation and evaluation, and education programs are provided as related services for children with special health care needs, school health records, medication administration and emergency services.  

School Psychological Services 

School psychologists provide services which include individual case evaluations, professional consultant services, and therapeutic intervention. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students, strengthening connections between home and school.

Social Work Services 

Professional services are provided to students who are exhibiting symptoms of social or emotional difficulty which interfere with their maximum learning or social adjustment. 

Speech and Language Services 

Speech and language services are designed to serve students as either a program or a related service within the IEP.  Speech and language as a special education program requires the speech disability to stand alone – not related to another disability area.  Speech and language as a related service indicates the speech issues are related to an existing disability. Special communicative problems include language disorders, dysfluency, voice articulation, hearing, and indistinct speech. 

AcrobatPDF36x36Speech-Language Pathology Scope of Practice


In addition to the regular transportation provided to all students, transportation as a related service is an important component of the program for many students with disabilities.  Students with disabilities are entitled to this related service only if it has been determined by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team that transportation is necessary for the student to benefit from special education.