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Parents/Families of a Child with a Disability
This webpage is for parents and those who work with parents. It is dedicated to providing information on special education issues, practices and resources to families who have children with disabilities.
Look for this icon throughout the Special Education website (specific webpages with /cdesped in the URL) to find information and resources for families
How to Search this Site
- You can use the Google Search box (which only searches within the CDE) at the top right side of the webpage and type in what you are looking for.
- You can use our Topic Index (Alpha Index) - alphabetical list for the Office of Special Education.
Parents - Do you want to contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit?
Questions about Special Education or the Special Education process, please contact:
Young Children (Birth to age 5) or Preschool:
Questions about young children (birth to age 5) or Preschool Special Education, please contact the Preschool Team:
Questions about students in Gifted Education, please contact Gifted Education Team:
Frequently Asked Questions
Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP)
- Special Education and Educational Surrogate Parents - Technical Assistance and Training Manual 2018 (PDF)
- Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) Guidance Memo, June 2018 (PDF)
- Assignment of an ESP Form 2022-2023 (PDF)
- Click here if you are interested in serving as an ESP.
Address Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) questions to:
Submit form via FAX to:
Mail form to:
Colorado Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services Unit, ESP Assignments
1560 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver CO 80202
ChildFind and Preschool Special Education
Every school district or Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) has professionals trained to evaluate young children’s development. This service is referred to as Child Find. The purpose of the child find process is to determine whether a child has a need for early intervention or special education services.
Has your child been identified as having a Disability?
Fourteen disabilities have been identified under ECEA. The Disabilities webpage has links to each of the 14 identified disabilities (with more information about that disability) and the appropriate state office contacts.
Does your child have an IEP (Individualized Education Program)?
The IEP Link has both forms and resources
Does your child need related services?
The term "related services" means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling condition in children.
Find information on dispute resolution options available to parents and school districts regarding disputes during the Special Education process.
Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP)
Family-centered conferences designed to offer support, information, and education to parents with children who have a disability, ages birth to 21 years, and professionals.
Looking for a Conference or Training?
- Calendar: PEAK Parent Center [Exiting CDE Website]
Browse this statewide online calendar of events for families and educators of children and youth with disabilities.
- Special Education Legal Conference - Provides special education legal trends/updates both nationally and those specific to Colorado.
Colorado Special Advisory Committees
- Colorado Special Education Advisory Committee (CSEAC) - A mandated state-level committee with members interested in the quality of education received by children/youth with disabilities.
- Colorado Inter-Agency Coordinating Council - (Exiting CDE Website)
A federally mandated, governor-appointed council to advise and assist implementation of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE) - A state council reviewing best practices recommending strategies for increased parent involvement in public education, for the purpose of improving education and raising students' academic achievement levels.
Parent and Family Support List / Lista de apoyo para padres y familias
- Agency List for Families of Students with Disabilities
- Una lista de agencias para cualquier persona que busque apoyo y recursos para personal con discapacidades
Supporting Displaced Students
Homelessness and Natural Disasters (such as fires, floods, etc.)
Our Partners Who Help Us Help You:
Having trouble with this webpage?
If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at ESSU@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.