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Hello, I'm Kathe Shelby, director of the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education, and I'm pleased to introduce this online course to train surrogate parents. This course represents the hard work and efforts of the state support teams, OCALI, and OEC staff. I appreciate their work in developing this course for the Ohio Department of Education. In taking this course, you will learn that the federal law known as the Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act (or IDEA) requires the children with disabilities who do not have parents available to advocate for them in the special education process are assigned a surrogate parent. The role of the surrogate parent is to make decisions about special education issues on their behalf. If you're interested in becoming a surrogate parent, you must complete the Ohio Department of Education approved online or face to face surrogate parent training. It takes schools, parents, and other stakeholders working together to address the need of our children, especially our children with disabilities. The online course is designed to provide training and information to participants wanting to serve as surrogate parents. Participating in this course will provide information about special education laws and procedures that will be helpful to anyone who is interested in the successful outcomes of children with disabilities. The online course is presented in modules with opportunities to stop and review the information presented. Thank you for your interest in becoming a surrogate parent, and in your commitment to children with disabilities.

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Welcome to Ohio's Surrogate Parent Training online course

The purpose of this course is to offer an accessible training option for those interested in representing students with disabilities as a surrogate parent. This course can be accessed in two ways:

If you are interested in becoming certified as a Surrogate Parent for students in Ohio, you must create an account or login and select "Take the Course". You will then complete the course registration form and begin the course. You will complete each module in sequence. To move from one module to the next, you must successfully answer the questions at the end of the module. You will be able to review the module and complete the questions again if you do not answer them correctly the first time. Upon completion of the last module and the final questions, you will have successfully completed the course. You will receive a Surrogate Parent Certificate by mail.

If you are not interested in becoming a Surrogate Parent, but you want to review information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Individual Education Program process, you may access the course modules in any order. You must still create an account or login and select "Browse the Modules".

We hope you enjoy the course.