Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




F. Douglas Prillaman


The related services component of P.L. 94-142 has been one of the most difficult features in providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for eligible handicapped students and it continues to be a persistent challenge. Related services have been a fertile area of disagreements between school personnel and parents because of the high cost of providing some services, and because of parents' requests for a variety of services, not necessarily within the intent of the law, to be provided at public expense. Issues involving related services have primarily focused on availability, service delivery models ensuring fiscal efficiency, compliance and legality. One area which has yet to be examined is the availability of criteria to guide school personnel in determining whether special education students are eligible for specific related services.;The purpose of this study is to investigate the availability of criteria for providing related services to special education students by surveying all state educational agencies and the District of Columbia. Directors of special education were requested to complete a survey instrument and provide a copy of their state eligibility criteria for related services.;The analysis of survey responses and the examination of selected eligibility criteria resulted in the following findings: (a) only one state has developed eligibility criteria for all related services as defined under P.L. 94-142; available criteria were most prevalent for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, (b) variations exist among states in the practice of providing related services and (c) available eligibility criteria differ from state to state in terms of specificity. Recommendations for consideration by educational agencies on the issue of eligibility criteria are also provided.



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