The information presented below is a brief overview of this state's special education support system. Please contact the state education agency or follow the included links for more detailed information.

Educational definitions of disabilities

  • Autism - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Intellectual disability - consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and further defines mild, moderate and severe levels of impairment
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - uses emotional disability and specifies two categories: emotional disability and emotional disability-private, which indicates the student attends a private school. Definition is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

More detailed information is available at disability information.

Numbers of students with disabilities served

For the 2012 child count, Arizona reported the following:

  • Autism - 9,060 students, fifth highest among disability populations
  • Intellectual disability - 7,431 students, seventh highest among disability populations
  • Emotional/behavioral disorder - 7,723 students, sixth highest among disabilities populations

Support service structure

Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services sponsors the Parent Information Network Specialists, which provides a wide range of support services. Access locations and contact information.

Task forces

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force was created in 2010 to improve statewide autism services. Arizona also implemented the Best Practices in Special Education and Behavior Management Task Force. Its summary and recommendations are available at report.

Statewide disability clearinghouse

Arizona does not have a statewide disability clearinghouse.

Disability scholarship programs

Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program provides funding to eligible families of children with disabilities to purchase educational supports, including private school tuition. An additional corporate tax credit program, Lexie's Law, funds school-choice scholarships for students with disabilities.

Insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder services

Arizona enacted legislation related to insurance coverage specifically for autism spectrum disorder-related services. See Arizona insurance for more details.

TRICARE-approved applied behavior analysis providers

As of May 2013, Arizona had 41 supervisors (direct service providers) and 185 tutors (assistants requiring supervision to provide services).

Secondary transition resources

Information and resources related to secondary transition in Arizona are available at secondary transition.

Parent training and information centers

Raising Special Kids is Arizona's parent training and information center.

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission

Arizona is a member of the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission.

Special education resources

Information on resources for families is available from the local school district, the local Parent Information Network Specialists and the parent training and information center listed above. Additional information is provided at special education, under the Resources for Parents heading.

Students at school