The Law Center and PCCY Comment on OCDEL’s Proposed Eligibility Policy

The Law Center and Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) submitted comments on the Office of Child Development and Early Learning Services (OCDEL)’s proposed policy for the Eligibility for Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention services. The Law Center’s Sonja Kerr and PCCY’s Executive Director, Shelly Yanoff, addressed three primary concerns regarding the policy, as well as their belief that “increased investments in early intervention will be cost-effective in both the short term and the long run.” First, Ms. Kerr and Ms. Yanoff urged the OCDEL to clarify that – as the IDEA requires – an informed clinical opinion may be used as an independent means to determine a child’s eligibility (not only in cases where there is a lack of standardized measures available).

Secondly, they expressed concern that the policy suggests that children may be found ineligible even when their scores on developmental tests meet the requirements. Ms. Kerr and Ms. Yanoff also urged the OCDEL to consider scores on individual sub-domains; considering these individual scores together – as the policy suggests- may mask “real and important developmental deficits and delays.”

Finally, they ask OCDEL to delete references in the policy to standardized evaluation tools, which are not considered best practice, are more stringent than what is required by the IDEA, and have no legal basis.

To read the full comments submitted by the Law Center and PCCY, click here.