Services for children with low-incidence disabilities are provided through eight regional contractors throughout the state. The contractors and the boundaries for the regions are set by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Either an Education Service District (ESD) or a School District operates the Regional Programs. Each program hires trained, certified staff to provide the needed specialized services. The regional service delivery model provides equal access to services, regardless of the child's location, throughout the state of Oregon.
Coordination and planning for each Region is the responsibility of the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) with representation from local education agencies and parents of children served by their Regional Program. Statewide coordination is provided by a Regional Management Team, consisting of the Regional Program Director, the Office of Learning/Student Services, the Coordinator of each Region, and the Director of the School for the Deaf.
The specialized services provided are not generally available through local programs or Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) programs due to the small number of children per school district. These services include, but are not limited to: specially designed instruction in academic areas, Braille, language development, sign language, orientation and mobility, use of technology for communication, independent living skills, play and social skills, low vision services, assistive technology, and transition services; and related services such as audiology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Consultation and training are provided to local education staff and parents to assist teams to implement the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The need for these services is identified through the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. These plans are developed cooperatively by the Regional Programs and the local school districts, or the Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) programs.
The school improvement process, implementation of higher achievement standards, statewide performance assessments, and personnel shortages, all require the continuation of an equitable, cost effective, and a high quality service delivery system for students with low-incidence disabilities.