What Is Early ACCESS?
Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth to age three, and providers from the Departments of Education, Public Health, Human Services, and the Child Health Specialty Clinics. The purpose of this program is for families and staff to work together in identifying, coordinating and providing needed services and resources that will help the family assist their infant or toddler to grow and develop.
The family and providers work together to identify and address specific family concerns and priorities as they relate to the child's overall growth and development. In addition, broader family needs and concerns can be addressed by locating other supportive/resources services in the local community for the family and/or child. All services to the child are provided in the child's natural environment including the home and other community settings where children of the same age without disabilities participate.
Services required to be provided to children and families include:
- Service Coordination
- Screenings, evaluation and assessments
- "Individualized Family Service Plan" (IFSP)
- Assistive Technology
- Family Training/Counseling
- Health Services
- Medical evaluations to determine eligibility
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work
- Special Instruction
- Speech Language Therapy
Age Requirements and Eligibility:
An infant or toddler under the age of three (birth to age three) who,
- has a condition or disability that is known to have a high probability of later delays if early intervention services were not provided, OR
- is already experiencing a 25% delay in one or more areas of growth or development.
There are no costs to families for service coordination activities; evaluation and assessment activities to determine eligibility or identify the concerns, priorities and resources of the family; and development and reviews of the Individualized Family Service Plan. The service coordinator works with the family to determine cost s and payment arrangements of other needed services. Some services may have charges or sliding fee scales or may be provided at no cost to families. Costs are determined by a variety of factors that are individualized to each child and family.
Where to Apply:
To connect to the Early ACCESS system in your area, families can contact www.EarlyACCESSIowa.org, Iowa's free statewide information and referral service for people with disabilities, their families, their service providers and other members of the community. Information specialists are available via telephone and e-mail, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Early ACCESS Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents
Parents have rights, known as procedural safeguards, which apply to every aspect of the early intervention process, such as evaluation, access to records, and Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) team participation. State and federal laws and regulations outline what needs to happen for eligible infants and toddlers with conditions or developmental delays to enhance their growth and development. This document serves as your procedural safeguards notice and will help you understand the rights available to you and your child through a federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) Part C and the Iowa Administrative Rules for Early ACCESS Integrated System of Early Intervention Services.
Early ACCESS Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents (2006-6-21)
Iowa Council for Early ACCESS - Description
The Iowa Council for Early ACCESS (ICEA) advises and assists the Iowa Department of Education in the planning, coordination, and delivery of services to infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. The Council currently has 30 members, including members from the signatory agencies. The signatory agencies (the Department of Education as the lead agency, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, and Child Health Specialty Clinics) are the agencies in Iowa that form the foundation of the coordinated statewide interagency system.
The membership of the Council consists of families and representatives of the public and private sectors who, by virtue of their position, interest, and training can contribute to the quality of services provided to infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. Council membership is:
- Appointed by the Governor's Office;
- Organized according to the Federal law, meeting guidelines for its composition of 20% parents and 20% public and private providers of early intervention service. Other required members include personnel preparation, state legislator, state preschool programs, health insurance, Head Start, state child care agency, and other state agencies;
- Balanced according to State law in regard to geographic region, political party and gender;
- Appointed for a three-year term, not to exceed two consecutive terms.
Meetings are open to the public and held in accessible locations. Visit the Department of Education website for meeting information.
Early ACCESS System Info:
The Department of Education is the lead state agency for the Early ACCESS System (IDEA Part C). For more information about the state level system infrastructure, funding and federal reporting, please go to the Department of Education website.