Data shows that many English Learners are inappropriately identified as students with disabilities, while other ELs' disabilities are overlooked, leading to a lack of necessary services. Through the resources provided on this page, DESE seeks to support educators' understanding of the complexities of identifying and supporting ELs with disabilities. It is essential that as Massachusetts educators, we pay close attention to the specific needs of our students.
Guidance for Supporting ELs with Disabilities
Ensure Equitable Access to Education: Focus on Assessment/Evaluation for Special Education & Related Services
IEP Process Guide
Identifying ELs with Specific Learning Disabilities (WIDA)
Ensure Equitable Access to Education through a Tiered System of Support
The Massachusetts Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)The MTSS Blueprint is one example framework districts can use to implement school-wide initiatives that assist all students.
The Massachusetts Blueprint for English Learner SuccessThe Blueprint for English Learner Success deconstructs the Vision for English Learner Education into four distinct pillars and then goes deeper to identify specific building blocks at the classroom, school, district and state levels of the education system to reinforce each pillar.
Promote Inclusive Practice Accessible to All Students: A Focus on Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Practices
Massachusetts Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice
Cultural Proficiency: A Strategy to Address Equity Gaps in Students' Achievement and Learning Experiences
Diversity and Disproportionality (RTI Action Network)
Cultural Diversity and Secondary Transition Annotated Bibliography
Family Engagement (WIDA)
Family and Community Engagement (U.S. Department of Education)
A Parent's Guide to Special Education
A Parent's Guide to Special Education in Massachusetts
STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS: A Framework for Prenatal through Young Adulthood Family Engagement in Massachusetts
MA DESE Family Portal
Promoting Inclusive Practice Accessible to All Students: A Focus on Collaborating for Student Success
Ensure Equitable Access to Education: Language Professionals & the IEP Process
Focus on ELs with Disabilities: Providing Access to Complex Language (WIDA)
Supporting ELs & Students With Disabilities: Strategies From Turnaround Schools in Massachusetts
Dear Colleague Letter — ELs & Limited English Proficient Parents (U.S. Department of Justice & U.S. Department of Education)
Last Updated: December 9, 2020
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.