Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools(CHCCS): This is the school district for those who live within Chapel Hill or Carrboro. It is separate from Orange County schools. Children aged 3 - 5 are served by the Preschool Disabilities branch. Thea Wilson is the coordinator. For Kindergarten aged children or older, the Exceptional Children department is who serves children needing special education. Each school has their own EC program facilitator as well.

SNAC (Special Needs Advisory Council of CHCCS): SNAC is a group of parents, district staff, and community professionals working together for the continuous improvement of the CHCCS Exceptional Children's program. Their purpose is to influence district policy on EC issues.

Orange County Schools: This is a separate district from CHCCS. Their Exceptional Children Department is headed by Connie Crimmins for K-12, and Pre-K Specialist for Pre-K services. Whitney Griffin is the Autism Specialist for OCS. Like CHCCS, each Orange County school has its own EC program facilitator.

Orange County SEPTA: This is the special education PTA for Orange County schools. They educate parents about special education processes and advocacy. Even if your child does not attend an Orange County school, you can attend their SEPTA workshops and educational presentations, which are excellent. Chapel Hill does not currently have a SEPTA, so the Orange County SEPTA is a good resource for CHCCS parents.

ECAC (Exceptional Children's AssistanceCenter): This is North Carolina's Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) which provides information, advocacy training, and assistance for parents with children who receive (or need to receive) special education services. They have a toll free hotline which is answered by parents who have kids in special education, training workshops (they do a great IEP Institute, presentations about becoming an effective advocate, and more). I have attended a couple of their workshops, and they were very informative and helpful. They also have a free lending library with special education and disability books and DVDs. All services provided by ECAC are free.

Wrightlaw: The ultimate special education law experts. Their website is chock full of case law, questions and answers, resources, and more. They also sell all of the outstanding Wrightslaw books on special education law on their site. If you ever have a chance to go to one of Pete Wright's special education law seminars, do it! They are definitely not just for lawyers, and parents will get a lot out of them.

Advocates for Children's Services /Legal Aid of North Carolina: Advocates for Children's Services provide free legal assistance to low income families who need assistance with public school issues (accessing special education, IEP disputes, expulsions, etc.). They are only able to directly represent a limited number of families at any given time, but they also have an excellent free handbook about knowing your rights in the NC public schools.  The handbook has a comprehensive section about special education.

2e Newsletter website: This is a good resource for 2e (twice exceptional) issues. If your child has HFA/Asperger's and is academically gifted, this website will have a lot of useful information to help advocate for your child's unique challenges.

All content © 2016 by Chapel Hill Autism Resources and Tools (C.H.A.R.T.)

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