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Appendix B: Acronym List


Twice-Exceptional.  Twice-Exceptional refers to a student who is gifted and also has a disability (usually, but not always, a learning disability.)

504 Plans

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Plan. Section 504 of this federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.  A plan developed under this legislation includes accommodations that the student needs for equal access to instruction and assessment


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a biological, brain-based condition characterized by poor attention and distractibility and/or hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. It is one of the most common disorders that develop in children, and it can co-occur with dyslexia.


Autism Spectrum Disorder.  ASD refers to a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal social communication and social interaction, generally evidenced by the age of three.


American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. A professional organization for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and others interested in serving students with speech-language and/or hearing disorders.


Council for Exceptional Children. A professional organization comprised of educators and others interested in students with disabilities.


Colorado Department of Education.  The CDE provides leadership, resources, support, and accountability to the state’s school districts, schools, teachers, and administrators to help them build capacity to meet the needs of Colorado’s public school students.  The CDE also provides services and support to boards of cooperative educational services, early learning centers, state correctional schools, facility schools, and state libraries.  Through setting a clear vision for increasing student performance, CDE continually supports the advancement and improvement of the state’s education system to prepare all learners for success in a rapidly changing global workplace.


Exceptional Children’s Education Act. The ECEA is a Colorado law that delineates the specific rules for the administration of special education within the state.


English Learner.  An English Learner is one whose native language is not English.


Florida Center for Reading Research. The FCRR, one of the most widely respected reading-research institutes in the United States, provides a broad range of instructional material for teacher use.


International Dyslexia Association. The IDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with dyslexia, their families and the communities that support them.


Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. This branch works within this community to provide help and resources to individuals with dyslexia, their families and the communities that support them.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IDEA is a law that ensures services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. It governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities.


Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a legal document that clearly defines how a school plans to meet a child’s unique educational needs that result from a disability.


Learning Disability.  (See also SLD.)


Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A functional MRI is a noninvasive diagnostic test that measures brain activity as a person performs tasks while in an MRI scanner.


Multi-Tiered System of Supports. MTSS is a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem-solving and decision-making are practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students.


National Center on Improving Literacy. The NCIL is a partnership among literacy experts, university researchers and technical-assistance providers, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The center’s mission is to increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.


National Center for Learning Disabilities. The NCLD is a national organization that promotes public awareness of learning disabilities. is one of NCLD’s programs.


National Reading Panel. The NRP was convened by Congress in 1997 with the aim of assessing the effectiveness of different approaches to teach children to read. The panel issued its report, Teaching Children to Read, in 2000.


Office of Civil Rights. OCR is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education that is primarily focused on enforcing civil rights laws prohibiting schools from engaging in discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or membership in patriotic youth organizations. OCR enforces Section 504 in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance.


Office of Special Education Programs.  A subdivision of OSERS, OSEP administers the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21.


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Through its two main components, OSEP and RSA, OSERS guides and supports a comprehensive array of programs and projects that support individuals with disabilities.


Positron Emission Tomography. A PET scan is a brain-imaging test used in the research and study of dyslexia and numerous other medical conditions to compare brain function.


Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act. The READ Act, adopted by the Colorado General Assembly in 2012 and updated in 2019, focuses on early-literacy development for all students, especially students at risk to not read at grade level by the end of third grade. This state legislation mandates the use of universal screening in grades K-3 for the identification of reading “risk” and subsequent intervention for students who demonstrate this “risk.”


Reading to Ensure Academic Development Plan. A READ Plan is an intervention plan that is collaboratively developed by a student’s teacher and parents to address that child’s identified “risk” for reading failure as determined through universal screening mandated by the READ Act.


Response to Intervention.  RtI is a framework that promotes a well integrated system connecting general, compensatory, gifted, and special education in providing high quality, standards-based instruction and intervention that is matched to students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs.


Rehabilitation Services Administration.  A subdivision of OSERS, RSA carries out Titles I, III, VI and VII, as well as Section 509 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.



Specific Learning Disability.  A SLD is an unexpected difficulty in learning basic academic skills.  (See Glossary for more formal definition.)


Significant Reading Deficiency. As mandated by the Colorado READ Act, all K-3 students are screened for reading risk. When a student is identified as being significantly below grade level, the term SRD is used. A student with SRD is administered a diagnostic assessment to determine specific areas of need for reading improvement, and a READ Plan is designed for intervention services.