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NC Education Lawyer Blog

  • Writer's pictureNC Education Lawyer

The ABCs of Education Law: DPI

If your child has a disability, you may find yourself overwhelmed and unsure about what resources are available to help them succeed in school. Fortunately, North Carolina's Department of Instruction ("DPI") has several programs and resources to support students with disabilities. In this post, we will explore the role of DPI and the programs that they offer to ensure your child has every opportunity to thrive academically and socially.

What is the Department of Instruction ("DPI")?

The DPI is responsible for providing leadership and support to public schools in North Carolina. They aim to ensure that every student in the state receives an excellent education. The department promotes equity, access, and opportunity for every student and works with schools to improve academic achievement. One of the department's critical roles is to support students with disabilities and to ensure that they receive the appropriate accommodations and services they need to succeed.

What Does DPI Do for Students with Disabilities?

To help students with disabilities, DPI provides a range of programs and resources. These include:

a. Exceptional Children Division ("ECD")

The ECD is responsible for ensuring that students with disabilities receive an appropriate education. They work with local education agencies ("LEAs") to implement federal and state laws and regulations related to special education. The division also provides resources and support to parents and educators to help them meet the needs of students with disabilities.

b. North Carolina Testing Program

DPI aims to ensure that students with disabilities receive the appropriate accommodations during testing. They provide information to LEAs on the various types of accommodations available, and they work with schools to ensure that accommodations are provided as needed.

c. Assistive Technology

Assistive technology refers to devices or services that help students with disabilities perform tasks that they may not otherwise be able to do. DPI provides training and support to educators on assistive technology and helps schools to acquire and implement assistive technology devices.

d. Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports ("PBIS")

PBIS is a proactive approach to managing student behavior. DPI provides resources and support to schools for implementing PBIS programs. These programs help students develop positive social skills, reduce disruptive behavior, and improve academic performance.

e. School Psychology

School psychologists play a crucial role in supporting students with disabilities. They provide assessment and intervention services, consult with educators and parents, and help develop and implement supports and accommodations for students with disabilities. DPI provides resources and support to schools to help them access school psychology services.

How Can Parents Access DPI Resources for their Children?

Parents who have children with disabilities can access resources and support from DPI in several ways. The department's website provides information and resources on special education, assistive technology, and other programs. Parents can also contact their child's school to learn more about the programs and resources available through DPI. Additionally, parents can contact the ECD directly with any questions or concerns they may have about their child's education.


North Carolina's Department of Instruction plays a vital role in ensuring that students with disabilities receive the support and accommodations they need to succeed in school. The department provides a range of programs and resources to help schools and educators meet the needs of students with disabilities. Parents can access these resources by contacting their child's school or the ECDn directly. With the help of NCDPI, parents can rest assured that their child is receiving an excellent education and has every opportunity to succeed.



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