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Supplementary Aids and Services (SaS): The Keys to a Student's LRE

IDEA has a whole section on supplementary aids and services which you can read about here:

But here is the crux of the matter in IDEA language:

"§Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily".

So what does that mean exactly? It means you start with the neighborhood school first and if the student is unable to participate in that environment with the needed supplementary aids and services the team has determined the student needs through data collection, an explanation must be given prior to moving the student to a more restrictive setting. Our collaborative efforts in making decisions about SaS with our team can help students stay in their LRE.

Unfortunately there is not good guidance provided by IDEA to exactly what those supplementary aids and services are but they generally fall under a few categories:

  • Modification of curriculum

  • Teacher training

  • Provision of a paraprofessional or aide

  • Effective behavior support

  • Physical /environmental supports

It is a section on an IEP and may be called something like LRE accommodations or supplementary aids and services but it is a section and we play a big role in this!

There are a few steps involved with making decisions about supplementary aids that will support your student in the LRE. The steps are: Do an ecological assessment( you can find these on my products page), build a student profile by working collaboratively with your team, determine what supplementary aids and supports you are going to try, collecting data on them. Once they are determined through the data driven process incorporate in the present level and then deliver! has a webinar for purchase on supplementary aids and services if you are interested in getting the nitty gritty.

So here's another important piece: Specifics! Documenting specifically the aid, the purpose , the location and manner and who is responsible! A couple key take-aways

  • Align with activities, routines and context

  • Align strategy with appropriate frequency

  • Have copies of the SaS delivery plan for team members

Last point: Service delivery. SaS are often called "indirect" but I like to call then services on behalf of the student (IDEA lingo). They require your support- possibly as part of a goal, or not. But if you are a "consultant" to the team and the student, you need to "know and understand" your client, therefore seeing them "directly" at times( also known as service to a student) - to ensure these supports are working.

Always happy to support therapists in making SaS decisions starting with that ecological approach. Remember, our collaborative efforts in making decisions about SaS with our team can help students stay in their LRE. But to assist with documenting common supports SBPTs provide, check out the products page for some ideas and language you can use!

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