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Special Education Services & Supports

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students with special needs in classroom

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Assistive Technology

The purpose of Keystone AEA's Assistive Technology Team is to support IEP / IFSP teams as they provide assistive technology services and devices to individuals ages birth to 21.  As a resource to teams, they work to help IEP / IFSP teams integrate assistive technology into the student's life.

Assistive Technology



The Keystone AEA Autism Resource Team was formed to provide educationally-based consultative services for school districts and families within Keystone AEA. Autism resource team members have specialized training in order to work with children and young adults who have autism or similar characteristics.


The Keystone AEA Autism Resource Team is committed to consulting with families and schools through the use of evidence-based practices. When providing these services, the goal for each student is to gain independence, self-fulfillment, and access to the general education curriculum.

In order to meet this vision, members of the Keystone AEA Autism Resource Team:

  • collaborate with AEA, LEA, and family members.
  • provide information regarding autism and evidence-based practices to school teams, parents, and other agencies.
  • collaborate with school teams regarding intervention plans, IEPs, and behavior intervention plans, again focused on the inclusion of evidence-based practices.
  • engage in professional development opportunities as a team and on an individual basis.



The Keystone Behavior Resource Team is a multi-disicplinary team of special education support staff with expertise in assessment and intervention for students with challenging behaviors. 

The Keystone Behavior Resource Team provides consultation to school teams to assess behavior and to plan behavioral interventions for students identified for special education services or students within the general education setting. These consultation services are tailored to meet the needs of the referring school team.

On-site consultation services, for school teams who refer students, might include:

  • List of resources for you to access as you search for answers to your questions
  • Training for AEA staff who work in your school buildings
  • ABC observations
  • Preference analysis
  • Functional analysis
  • Concurrent operant analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Launching a behavior intervention plan

In addition, we provide professional development to LEA and AEA staff on Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans.


Brain Injury

A brain injury can happen at any time to anyone. Keystone AEA has a team of professionals ready to assist schools and families with information about the educational needs of students with acquired brain injuries.

The Brain Injury Resource Team:

  • provides information about brain injury to school teams, parents, and other agencies.

  • consults with teams during the evaluation of a child with an acquired brain injury.

  • assists educators and parents in planning for the child's re-entry into school and home.

  • offers inservice training for educators, parents, and community organizations.

Brain Injury

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

The goal of the Hearing Department is to provide quality audiological and educational support to students, families, and local school districts. The department provides comprehensive audiology services to infants, preschoolers, and school age children. Hearing evaluations may be conducted free of charge at the local school building, or may best be completed at one of Keystone’s three sound booth locations: Decorah, Elkader, or Dubuque. 

The department provides comprehensive audiology services to infants, preschoolers, and school age children. Hearing evaluations may be conducted free of charge at the local school building, or may best be completed at one of Keystone’s three sound booth locations: Decorah, Elkader, or Dubuque. 

Audiologists are hearing specialists who have a minimum of a master’s degree and must be licensed and/or certified by the state of Iowa. Audiologists identify and evaluate individuals with hearing problems and make suggestions for intervention. They are assisted by Audiometrists who are trained to screen hearing.

Audiological services include:

  • Hearing conservation programs for school-age children
  • Educational follow-up
  • Participation in child study team meetings/staffings
  • Wax build-up in the ear canal
  • Fluid or ear infection in the middle ear
  • Inherited conditions (family genetics)
  • Meningitis
  • Significant lack of oxygen or other complications at birth
  • Certain infections the mother may contract during pregnancy
  • Aging

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing



Keystone has a portal of information that connects parents, educators, and students to the most reliable resources on the topic of Dyslexia.


Early ACCESS (Birth-Age 3)

Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth to age three, and providers from local Public Health, Human Services, Child Health Specialty Clinics, Area Education Agencies and other community programs. The purpose of this system of services is for families and service providers to work together in identifying, coordinating and providing needed services/resources that will help the family assist their infant or toddler to grow and develop and reach his/her greatest potential.


Family and Educator Partnership

The FEP, started in 1984, provides a unique opportunity for parents and educators to build partnerships to improve educational programs for children and young adults with special needs. Previously, the program was known as Parent and Educator Connection (PEC). Modeling an effective collaborative partnership, the FEP is staffed by a family coordinator who brings the perspective of a parent with a child having special needs and an educator coordinator who brings the perspective of an educator. Each of Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) employs these staff to guide the program within the AEA. They collaborate directly with parents, local education agencies, and agencies outside the educational system. 

The goal of the Iowa Family & Educator Partnership is to support successful outcomes in the areas of living, learning and working for individuals with disabilities ages 0-21, the Family & Educator Partnership will operate within a tiered system of supports across Iowa with intentional coordination, consistency, and continuity through partnerships between families and educators.

FEP Resources and Services for Families and Educators

  • Facilitate understanding of special education, including family/student rights and responsibilities
  • Support families and educators through personal, phone, email contact, including attending Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)/IEP meetings
  • Assistance preparing for IFSP/IEP meeting
  • Information and support regarding transition from IFSP to IEP and post secondary transition
  • Support communication between home and school to enhance family and educator partnerships
  • Link family and educators to services within the AEA and the community
  • Provide information and understanding regarding educational processes

Family & Educator Partnership

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Secondary Transition

Throughout life people move from one set of circumstances to another. The period of adjustment to these changes is known as transition. As individuals develop and grow they experience many transitions. Although transition planning is important whenever changes occur, there are two specific times when procedures and practices are mandated by IDEA '04 and the Iowa Administrative Rules of Special Education. The first time is when children turn three years of age and transition from Part C services to Part B or other community services. The second time is when an individual turns 14 years of age or younger, if appropriate, and post-secondary planning procedures take effect. This webpage focuses solely on the latter – the transition of youth with disabilities from high school to learning, living and working in the community.

The ultimate goal of secondary transition planning is to make the adjustment from high school as easy, successful and as short as possible. Successful transition planning should begin early and be based on specific knowledge and experiences of targeted future environments and activities. It includes the commitment of resources, collaboration among people and agencies, and decision making to develop an IEP for the student.

Secondary Transition

Significant Disabilities

Speech Language Pathology


For more information, please contact a member of your district navigator team or refer to our Specialized Service Team Directory.