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Special Education

Find information on Special Education gifted programs and services for autism, gifted education, visual impairment, evaluation, homebound services, and more.

Student in a wheelchair, getting support from Special Education Staff.

The Special Education Department provides support and technical assistance to schools regarding special education students and programs.

Guiding Principles

  • Serving students according to individualized need(s)
  • Ensuring quality of access to educational services regardless of where the student lives in the city
  • Using evidence-based practices for all students
  • Meeting our students' needs in their own communities


Contact the Special Education department with any questions you might have by phone at (505) 855-9903.

Our Services

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology provides support in the following ways:

  • Assesses assistive technology needs for APS special education students on a referral basis.
  • Provides assistive technology equipment on a loan basis to students identified as having a need per guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Designs and constructs equipment and work spaces for assistive technology devices.
  • Provides follow-up for students with ongoing/evolving assistive technology needs.
  • Provides training and technical assistance to schools regarding technology for special needs students.

Autism Resource Services

The Autism Resource team has a variety of resources to share expertise in areas related to quality programming and a readiness to help school teams meet the challenges of working effectively with students with autism.

In addition to consultation, the Autism Resource team provides a variety of training opportunities throughout the school year.

Evaluation Services

Student evaluation is completed by diagnosticians who are located throughout the district.

While most questions regarding the evaluation and placement process can be answered successfully at the individual school, the Evaluation Services staff are also available to school administration, parents, and community members who need information beyond what the school can provide.

Extended School Year (ESY)

Extended School Year (ESY) is a supplemental program designed to provide services to students with disabilities beyond the normal school year. The main focus of the program is to maintain skills acquired during the regular school year and not to teach new skills.

In order to be eligible, a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) committee must, on an annual basis, base the need for such services on skill loss and a student’s limited capacity for recoupment.

Services must be provided when the IEP team determines that a student might regress to such an extent in a skill and/or behavior area that recoupment of such skill loss would require an unusually long period of time or is unlikely or impossible to recoup.

Gifted Education

In the state of New Mexico, gifted education falls under the Special Education Department.

Students are identified through a referral and evaluation process at their school.

Programs are developed for each student through the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Gifted services are provided through a variety of classroom models.

Homebound Services

Homebound provides a continuum of services for Special Education students who are medically fragile or have severe behavioral concerns.

Homebound collaborates with parents, schools, community, and state agencies for the benefit of each student.

Least Restrictive Environment Support

Consultants within LRE provide technical assistance to support students with disabilities. Services include training and support for school teams in current best practices, instructional strategies, co-teaching, and collaboration in providing accommodations and modifications to student programs.

Multiple Disabilities

The Multiple Disabilities (MD) Unit provides technical support and assistance to Intensive Support Programs throughout the District.

The MD unit assists with the appropriate placement of students with Multiple Disabilities, coordinates needed related services, and provides technical assistance and support to the students and their families.

Visual Impairment

The Visual Impairment Unit provides support to students throughout the district who have been diagnosed as visually impaired or blind.

The following services are available for students within this program:

  • Braille instruction
  • Orientation and mobility (also known as "white cane" instruction)
  • Materials in large print
  • Materials in auditory format

The team also provides consultation services to all of the teachers and support personnel who work with our population on a daily basis.