The Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System Associate Centers (FDLRS ACs) provide an array of instructional and family support services to exceptional student education (ESE) programs in school districts statewide. The four central functions of each FDLRS AC are child find, parent services, human resources development (HRD), and technology. The 19 FDLRS ACs serve Florida’s school districts, Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and Florida’s university laboratory/developmental research and charter schools. The discretionary projects collaborate with school districts, agency and support personnel, communities, families, and other educational personnel providing support services for educators, parents, school administrators, and students with exceptionalities. Funding also supports the implementation of the statewide Professional Development Alternatives (PDA) program. PDA modules are designed to provide Florida teachers with widely available, easily accessible opportunities to increase their competencies in the ESE area.
The targeted populations served by the FDLRS Associate Centers (FACs) include:
* Infants and toddlers and students in prekindergarten-grade 12;
* Students identified as at-risk;
* Exceptional students (students who are gifted and students with disabilities); and
* Community agencies, district administrators, families, paraprofessionals, related services providers, school administrators, student services, and teachers.
The purpose of the 19 FDLRS ACs is to provide the following programs and services for individuals working with ESE students, families, and support agencies:
* Assist in the location, identification, evaluation and initiation of appropriate education or other needed services for children and youth, birth through 21 years of age who have, or are at risk of developing, special or unique needs and are not enrolled in public school.
* Plan collaboratively with school districts, ESE departments, staff development offices, and other professional learning entities to provide information, professional learning and technical assistance and follow-up related to effective instructional strategies and service delivery models for the education of children and youth who are exceptional or have unique needs.
* Assist school districts and families who have children who are exceptional or have special or unique needs to develop effective partnerships allowing shared responsibility to improve the education of all children and youth.
* Assist and support school district professional staff and families of students with disabilities in the appropriate use of assistive and instructional technology, assistive technology (AT), related services, universal design principles and technology that enhance learning and communication.
* Assist schools and school districts in the implementation of inclusive educational practices.
Florida Inclusion Network (FIN) facilitators are also funded through the FDLRS ACs, and their role is to support the priorities of FIN. The purpose of the FIN discretionary project is to maintain a regional network of facilitators to assist schools and school districts in the implementation of effective and inclusive educational practices.
Statutory authority for implementing the FDLRS AC discretionary projects which include the Florida Inclusion Network are:
* FDLRS ACs: Section 1006.03, Florida Statutes (F.S.)
* FIN: Section 1003.57(1) (f), F.S.
Associate centers are charged with carrying out activities specified in the following funding authorities: * Public Law 108-446, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), Part B, Section 611,
* Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) # 84.027A (www.cfda.gov)
* Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) # 84.173A (www.cfda.gov)
* 2019 General Appropriations Act, Line 112, Special Categories, Grants and Aids – Exceptional Education from General Revenue Fund
- Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) #48.065 (www.myfloridacfo.com/aadir/docs/CSFACodesTable12-14-11.pdf)
Child Find Expected outcomes:
* Locate children who are potentially eligible for services under the IDEA, and link them with needed services.
* Promote general public awareness of programs and services available for young children who have or are at risk of developing disabilities.
* Provide service coordination and support for diagnostic screening, placement and training.
Parent Services Expected outcomes:
* Provide information, training, and support to school districts and families, in order to promote effective parent participation in the education of children who are exceptional or have special needs.
* Provide assistance in the development of family-friendly programs, training and support for services for children with disabilities, and support partnerships between schools and parents to support student achievement.
Human Resource Development Expected outcomes:
* Collaboratively plan and provide information, training, technical assistance, consultation and resources related to effective instructional strategies and models for the education of children and youth who are exceptional or have unique needs based on locally assessed needs and established priorities.
* Conduct needs assessments, as applicable, and personnel development with multi-level professional development activities at the awareness, comprehensive, integration, application, and follow-up levels.
Technology Expected outcomes:
* Provide assistance and support in the appropriate use of a variety of technologies for students, teachers, professional staff, and parents.
* Provide support services in the areas of AT, instructional technology, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), accessible instructional materials/National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (AIM/NIMAS) Florida services, and virtual and online instruction.