Exceptional Student Education (Special Education)
All Florida students participate in the state’s assessment and accountability system through the Florida Standards.
Students with Disabilities (SWD) receive instruction with specialized instructional supports that are provided by both general education and special education teachers. For many students with disabilities - and for many without - success in the classroom depends upon having appropriate adaptations, accommodations and modifications made to the instruction and any other classroom activities.
Students with significant cognitive disabilities, have the opportunity to access the Florida Standards at a reduced level of complexity through a modified curriculum termed the Florida Standards Access Points.
For additional resources that you can use at home, see our list under Parent Resources, or talk to your child's teacher.
FDLRS Hillsborough services the Hillsborough County Public Schools and provides diagnostic and instructional support services to district personnel serving students with disabilities and their families in addition to those who are at risk of having a disability.
Just Read, Families!
Just Read, Florida! is the statewide reading initiative that prioritizes reading in Florida's public schools and among all the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them.
Division of Special Education
The Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services administers programs for students with disabilities. Additionally, the bureau coordinates student services throughout the state and participates in multiple inter-agency efforts designed to strengthen the quality and variety of services available to students with special needs.
Florida Center for Reading Research for Parents
The Florida Center for Reading Research is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University that was established in 2002 by the Governor's office and Legislature. Currently, FCRR is home to nine tenured and tenure-track faculty members holding joint appointments with the College of Arts & Sciences or College of Education.
Learning Ally supports and has resources for helping students with print disabilities, including blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia and other learning differences. Learning Ally improves the way students learn at home and in the classroom.
US Department of Education (Parents)
ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
HCPS Reading Resources
Your Place for Reading, Resources and Research. Hillsborough Library Media Services. CyberCat, virtual libraries, axis360 and MyOn
CPALMS is an online toolbox of information resources, and interactive tools that helps educators effectively implement teaching standards. It is the State of Florida’s official source for standards information and course descriptions.
A source for Student Tutorials and Resources to support learning in language arts, mathematics, science, civics and US History.
Bookshare® is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.
College Board Exams
During high school, students take a variety of assessments. For district and state level assessments (i.e. FSA, mid-terms, final exams, or classroom assessments etc) the provision of accommodations is based on the IEP and what is allowable for each assessment.
However, beginning in 9th grade, students also take College Board examinations. These assessments include the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. Students cannot take these assessments with accommodations unless their request for accommodations has been approved by the College Board's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Receiving school accommodations does not guarantee College Board approval of a request, however, in most cases, students are approved for the same accommodations they receive in school. It can take up to seven weeks to process an accommodations request. This means that for a 9th grader to receive accommodations on the PSAT/NMSQT exam, the approval process really should begin during the spring semester of their 8th grade year. The most efficient way to get approval from SSD is through SSD Online, which is available to educators. Families can take advantage of SSD Online by working with their school team. Collaboration between school teams and families is the best way to ensure that everything goes smoothly on test day.
For more information on accommodations for College Board examinations visit https://www.collegeboard.org/students-with-disabilities/request-accommodations
Students with disabilities who plan on taking the ACT will need to acquire accommodations approval through the Test Accessibility and Accommodations (TAA) system of the ACT company. This process is different than the procedures outlined by College Board. Students will need to first create an account, register for the ACT test, indicate the need for accommodations, and then select the type of accommodation support needed. Upon completion of registration, the student/parent/guardian will receive an email with instructions on how to work with their school to submit the accommodations request. Although, accommodations approval for the ACT cannot begin until the student has registered for the test, it will be important to register early to allow ample time for the approval process.
Once accommodations are approved, students need to take steps to ensure that accommodations are in place on test day. Communication and collaboration with the school team will be very important!
For information on accommodations for ACT testing, visit